Call for Provocations: Stealing from the University – rolling deadline


Call for Provocations

Stealing from the University: Within, Against & Beyond the Criminal Institution

** Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis **

This is not another call for papers about the University in Crisis.

This is our first call for provocations that demand we go beyond familiar complaints and challenge ourselves to organize. Recent student-led uprisings at Missouri, Ohio State, Duke, Appalachian State, and UC Davis, among many others, open up possibilities of re-purposing university-based resources for radical movements. How can we take the relay from these uprisings to expand insurgent practices of studying-in-movement?

The Undercommoning Collective invites provocative short pieces of writing (max: 2,000 words), interviews, videos, audio clips, comics, poetry, improvisations and ransom notes that resonate with any of the following:

  • The university as an institution is a laboratory and a factory for the production of new forms of gendered, racialized exploitation.
  • The neoliberal, neocolonial university cannot be reformed but must be abolished as such.
  • We have no nostalgia for the fabled university of the past, nor the promised university of the future.
  • The university has become a key institution of globalized racial capitalism, and therefore cannot be ignored or conceded as a field of struggle.
  • The university is a parasitic institution drawing sustenance from the shared labour of workers, students, and fugitives within it as well as those who are outside or excluded.
  • The university is a form of enclosure. It is a weapon for enclosing space-time, knowledge, money, bodies, history, ideas, data and relationships. It is a thief. As Stefano Harney and Fred Moten aptly put it, “the only possible relationship to the university today is a criminal one.”
  • What does it mean to “steal” from the university today in ways that open up horizons for common struggle within, against and beyond it?
  • How can we build a network of guerrilla intellectuals who are in but not of the university? How can this fugitive network build relationships between those who are relatively more ‘in’ the university and those, such as prisoners, who are relatively excluded from it?

Selected provocations will be published as part of the online launch of the Undercommoning project. Please send your completed submissions to undercommoning [at] riseup [dot] net

If you want to avoid using your real name, we are open to publishing your provocation anonymously or pseudonymously.

Also, please indicate if you are interested in participating in an in-person workshop or colloquium on these themes.

Feel free to ask us any questions at the above email.