Reading Group Meeting with Guest Brian Holmes

“Autonomous Universities”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012  4:00 – 6:00 pm
212 University Club Building (2nd floor, 432 East Campus Mall)


THE AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY: A Question of Collective Action

As its name implies, the “knowledge-based economy” was built in the classrooms, research laboratories and business centers of the university. Today that economy lies in ruins – yet the bankers, executives and administrators who are responsible for its collapse still dominate the world of ideas. How to create a counter-force, when higher education has been reorganized for maximum profitability and academic labor has been reduced to generalized precarity?

This lecture/workshop asks about the conditions for an autonomous and networked university, mobilizing students, grads, adjuncts, professors, activists and members of local communities in the effort to generate an effective critique of the neoliberal order. At stake is the transfer of living knowledge outside the frameworks of financial control. Sure, it sounds risky and difficult – but it could be the only way for egalitarian and ecological ideas to retake their lost positions in our most vital social institutions.


Reactivating the Social Body in Insurrectionary Times: A Dialogue with Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi” by David Hugill & Elise Thorburn

Christopher Newfield, “Facing the Knowledge Managers” (chapter 8, pp of Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class, Harvard UP, 2008)

Brian Holmes is a Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where he teaches an intensive summer seminar. He holds a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of California at Berkeley, and is the author of the book Hieroglyphs of the Future. Holmes gives lectures widely in Europe and North & South America, is a frequent contributor to the international mailinglist Nettime, the art magazines Springerin (Austria) andBrumaria (Spain) and the interdisciplinary journal Multitudes(France). In recent years, Holmes has been co-organizing a series of seminars with the New York City based reading group 16 Beaver Group under the title Continental Drift, working on the issues of geopolitics and geopoetics. He regularly blogs at Continental Drift: The Other Side of Neoliberal Globalization.

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