On the subject of roots

In 1983, Toni Morrison’s classic interview-turned-essay ‘Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation’ was published in Mari Evans’s anthology Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation. 1 In the piece, Morrison concerns herself with the figure of the ancestor in African American literature. For her, the ancestor is a ‘distinctive element of African American writing’, and because […]

Authoritarian and neoliberal attacks on higher education in Hungary

In April 2017, a law adopted by the Hungarian authorities, and promptly nicknamed ‘Lex CEU’, made the operation of the Central European University (CEU) impossible. The CEU is an English language graduate university with accreditation both in Hungary and in the USA, which was based in Budapest from 1991. Following a long process of attempted […]

A liberal poetics of policy

In The Evolution of Educational Thought (1938), Emile Durkheim recounted the historical irony that undergirds the idea of institutionality – by pitting it against the birth of the university in medieval Europe. He noted how the coming into being of a corporative organisation – the universitas – was effectively an attempt at ‘unionising’ the body […]

Neoliberal antiracism and the British university

While debates over race and higher education in the UK have long focused on questions of access, in recent years a host of campaigns have drawn attention to the alienation of students and staff of colour who succeed in entering white-dominated institutions. Their claims, often articulated on social media with the pithiness that hashtags require, […]

Not so simple

In the culture in which I was brought up, in the language that mediated this culture, ʻboycottʼ had a distinctly negative connotation. It has usually been associated with a moralistic punishment directed towards an individual or a group that has transgressed a norm without, perhaps, actually breaking the law. Admittedly, boycott was opposed to the […]

Pirate Radical Philosophy

Comment Pirate Radical Philosophy Gary hall Pirate … from the Latin pirata (-ae; pirate)… transliteration of the Greek piratis (pirate; πειρατής) from the verb pirao (make an attempt, try, test, get experience, endeavour, attack; πειράω). … In modern Greek… piragma: teasing [πείραγμα] … pirazo: tease, give trouble [πειράζω].1 Much has been written about the ‘crisis […]

Euphemism, the university and disobedience

Euphemism, the university and disobedience Alexander garcía düttmann Euphemism is the linguistic condition of contemporary society and spreads through the university as much as through any other institution. But what, exactly, is a euphemism? After having turned his attention to the different meanings of the Greek word from which ‘euphemism’ is derived, and having considered […]

On the theory of ideology

On Ihelheo.-y of ideology Ithe politics of A.lthussel’) Jacques Ranciere ‘Certainly it is an interesting event we are dealing with: the Dutrescence of the absolute spirit (Marx: German Ideology Part 1) ‘All the mysteries which lead theory into mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the understanding of that practice’. For a […]

Academic boycott as international solidarity

Boycotts are age-old undertakings. Unlike sanctions, which are enforced by governments and sometimes destroy the lives of millions of ordinary people (as in the case of the twelve-year sanctions against Iraq), boycotts are most often grassroots means of protest against the policies of governments. They can be undertaken by ordinary people to defend fellow human […]