Undercommoning the University Workshop, 4 June 2015





Undercommoning: A Workshop

June 4, 2015

313 University Club, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Free and Open to the Public.

9-10:30 AM  Opening Session: Discussion of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney
(Facilitators: Elise Thoburn and Eli Meyerhoff)

Discussion questions: What do Moten and Harney mean when they recommend criminality as our proper relationship to the university? What would this look like in our institutions and disciplines? Where do the undercommons exist or where can it be created? What skills do we need to develop to become thieves? Where would we use stolen and reappropriated resources?

10:30 AM-12:30 PM Skill-Sharing Sessions 

1. Doing Counter-Hegemonic Archival Research
(Facilitators: Laura Goldblatt and Zach Schwartz-Weinstein)


Laura’s work involves viewing the archive as a space that documents a complex set of power relationships, as well as the absence of archival documents in research. She will discuss FOIA requests and strategies to construct a political narrative when those documents are withheld or do not exist.

Zach’s dissertation research involves looking at private university archives to document anti-union strategies as well as under-researched spaces like parking lots as sources of profit for universities.

2. Investigating University Finances
(Facilitators: Max Haiven, Lenora Hanson and Elsa Noterman)

Max Haiven writes on the art and culture produced under financialization and the limited imagination that contemporary capitalism offers for producing another reality.

Lenora and Elsa have researched and published on UW-Madison’s increasing investment in high-cost construction projects, the costs this places on students, and the wage-pressures it puts on workers here.

12:30-2 PM  Lunch Break (provided for registered attendees)

2-3:15 PM  Radical/Counter Cartographies
(Facilitator: Liz Mason-Deese)

As a part of the Counter-Cartographies Collective, Liz uses maps and mapping to make marginalized spaces visible, to destabilize hegemonic spatial representations, and to build alternative spatial imaginaries and practices.


3:15-4 PM Coffee break

4-5:30 PM Conversation with M Adams (Young Gifted and Black Coalition) and Karma Chavez (Communication Arts, UW-Madison) moderated by Thea Sircar
What is the role of university workers in supporting undercommoning and radical resistance occurring in our communities? How can we appropriate the resources of the university to take action beyond campus? How do non-black allies stand with those involved in radical black struggles?


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