Category: Provocations

We publish short, provocative missives from undercommoners around the world aimed at catalyzing, educating, organizing and deepening the potentials of radical study and action. If you have a provocation you’d like us to consider for relay, please contact us.


Battling with the University for the University: Organizing, Friendship, and Performativity in the NYU Sanctuary Movement

[Photo: Ryan Quan from NYU News] by James McMaster and Olivia Michiko Gagnon   What follows is not an account of escalating strategies and spectacular confrontations. That can be found in the news. Consider this a fragmentary homage to and audit of the ideological and intimate micropolitics of our movement.   We are two friends writing from within the Sanctuary Campus… Read more →


CFP: From Sanctuary to Sabotage: Fighting the Fascist Creep at and beyond Universities

CALL FOR PROVOCATIONS (April 30, 2017) The 2016 US election has been framed as both a decisive break from “politics as usual” and as a continuation and intensification of longstanding racialized, gendered, and sexualized global class warfare. In this allegedly post-truth era, the university seems to have emerged as a key site of struggle, from the sanctuary campus movements to… Read more →


The NLRB Columbia Decision and the Future of Academic Labor Struggles

The question of graduate employee labor is now (once again) settled.  Today the National Labor Relations Board announced its three-to-one ruling in favor of graduate student teaching and research assistants at Columbia University, overturning the twelve-year-old precedent established in its 2004 ruling against grad employees at Brown.  (Brown itself overturned a four-year-old decision in favor of grad students at NYU.… Read more →


Pleonastic Poesy

This offering is part of Undercommoning’s Provocations series. If you would like to contribute, please see our call for provocations. Pleonastic Poesy: Uncontrollable Knowledge | Liberated Vulnerability Scott W. Schwartz \ \ \ G R O W T H / / / Stumbling clusterdust swarms beneath the flesh of knowledge. Bubbling below the pores of the dominant epistemology is molten vulnerability,… Read more →


Questionnaire by Dean Spade

This offering is part of Undercommoning’s Provocations series. If you would like to contribute, please see our call for provocations. (a questionnaire by Dean Spade) Do you think you might be the worst person? Do you think you might be the best person? Do you feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with news of contemporary travesties? Do you get more excited… Read more →

Call out for a Global, Autonomous Weekend of Action and Study

CALLOUT: For a global, decentralized Week of Action and Study against and beyond the university-as-such, October 14-21

Organize an autonomous local event October 14-21! We, the Undercommoning Collective, invite all those over whom the neoliberal, neocolonial university casts its shadow, all those who struggle within, against and beyond the university-as-such, to join us the week of October 14-21, 2016 for a global coordinated decentralized day of radical study and action. We encourage local organizers to plan an… Read more →


The Fantasy and Fate of Ethnic Studies in an Age of Uprisings: An Interview with Nick Mitchell

In this conversation, feminist studies and black studies scholar Nick Mitchell and Undercommoner Zach Schwartz-Weinstein discuss a range of topics: the politics of criticality; the labor politics of black studies and ethnic studies; the absorptive quality of the university’s administration of difference; the work of fantasy in academic labor; the origins of adjunctification and casualization; Black Lives Matter’s transformation into… Read more →