Category Archives: ALFS presentation


The new competitive online price will enable more students to access our first-rate faculty and curricula. It’s the same great product, just at a far better price,” … said.

The University’s … degree and any future specially priced programs are exceptions to the rate reduction and will continue to operate under a package-price structure.


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Botones de pensamiento que buscan ser la rosa

* The thing is that the very idea of the public, the commons, is what have come under attack from Reagan forward. Now these foundations are trying to rebuild it under their own sign. It all seems cozy, the way working for Apple does while you are under their bubble in the U.S., but … even if the government withers away … these corporations are still ideological state apparati, and only shareholders can vote.

* Also just the way in which universities have gotten more authoritarian. Meetings are no longer held. All conversation is one-on-one. That creates an unprofessional situation with energy-draining gossip, since one there is no straight answer on what priorities are or any group decision on this. This is very manipulative. It is said to be corporate-style management but my friends in business seem to be allowed to talk to each other in a way the way the university no longer wants us to. I learned to be faculty back when there was shared governance, so I am still in the habit of asking questions one could ask back then, as in “Are we planning to…?” Now, these questions are no longer understood as mere requests for information. Instead, they’re hostile questions: how dare a mere professor think about planning, the future, the program, or expect to speak collegially with an administrator?

* The real question here is not who did what but whether in cases of abusive faculty and/or chairs there are systems in place to protect students, academic programs, and institutions of higher ed in general. Having a strong faculty voice in the evaluation and retention of chairs and deans seems like a key element that’s missing, according to this account. I have no idea how that works at NYU but this article leads me to think that is not the case.

* I was troubled that the author of this piece seems to accept that universities operate without shared governance. (“The university belongs, like the church and the military, to the social institutions that are situated at a considerable distance from democracy and adhere to premodern power structures.”) Thanks but no thanks. This is why I’m committed to AAUP and fighting to protect the role of the faculty in governance and within this issues such as academic due process, a recognition of academic freedom in governance speech, etc.

* Right, although I don’t think we succeeded everywhere in doing away with feudal underpinnings. This appears to be the case particularly at private schools and in the more insular regional places. The corporatization seems to really exacerbate the feudal elements, and in grotesque ways too, since in actual feudalism the lord had obligations to the vassal!

* Agree with you both! I remember when the phrase on my campus was “FACULTY governance.” Then it became “SHARED governance.” Then presidents became CEOs and provosts became CAOs, and the “governance” piece apportioned to faculty were limited to curriculum only, with first deans and then provosts deciding on most other issues (such as positions and position descriptions).



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On teaching in the smile economy

Why is it important to refuse the idea of treating students like customers?

Someone said:

Uneven and neglects US studies of managerialism, going out of her way not to cite Aronowitz, Ross, Slaughter, Rhoades, etc. Readings’ work was out of date when published. And it only lightly touches on the smile economy and the vast literature on affective labor. But where it’s good, it’s great.


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Giroux: “The great philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who was one of the first Marxist theoreticians who understood that almost every act of politics is a pedagogical practice, wrote a brilliant essay in 1916 on why he hates the indifferent. What he understood was that indifference, my term, was not an action that existed in a void but a learned political practice; that is, it was an operative pedagogical force that often hid beneath the ideological deceit of commonsense, the notion that there is no alternative, and a mass produced manufactured ignorance or form of public pedagogy that today parades under a notion of civic stupidity that proclaims its support for “alternative facts”, “enemies of the people,” and there is not such thing as the truth. Consciousness as the motor of thought, desire, agency, and struggle is a burden for many today because it refuses the notion of fate, easy orthodoxy, economic determinism, and the silly discourse of objective contradictions, not to mention the collapse into political purity and the notion that biology drives our politics. Consciousness is a site of struggle not a vacuum waiting to be filled with academic platitudes. It is the site where indifference is challenged and gives rise to educated hope and collective struggles.”

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De bonnes choses

I will start studying Russian at breakfast instead of looking at Facebook, I think. And Filipino food sounds great.

There is a good article about race and representation in that region said to be Acadian.

Chomsky has an article on the death of universities. On organizing, he says “Don’t be intimidated, don’t be frightened, and recognize that the future can be in our hands if we’re willing to grasp it.”

Morris Berman is convinced it is time to go.

The Andes Imagined, a book on indigenismo and modernity I want to read.

There is a journal of antinarrative poetry. I like the category and I think the poems I am working on fit it.

Race and gender, race and patriarchy (which is white): slavery was passed down through the mother.

Race as we know it appeared in fact in the 16th and 17th centuries (see essay above) and was part of coloniality/modernity. There is a tension between coloniality and modernity whose asymptote, as it were, is slavery and race, as Toussaint saw.

DFS is a major work, not used enough because of its difficulty. It makes the argument others have also made — that racism and modernity are one — and it is attractive because it casts race in a global frame. That means that it does not permit us to avoid discussions of racism by exceptionalism. I find it valuable for that reason; I am not sure if I can evaluate DFS’ apparent claim that it all comes down to the cogito. Nevertheless it is valuable because it allows us to look at white supremacy as world system and not bog down in the idea that one can only understand race if one accepts (I would say) the strategies of avoidance used in a particular place. More than that, it identifies specific mechanisms that keep white supremacy in place and that allow us to elucidate some short circuits that appear again and again in Latin American writing.

Note Kassie’s point from the spring: the way appropriation happens, such that white Latin Americans are able to say they are not European and are “natives.” This comes into play here.

I need to get these ideas clear.


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A starting point — or two, and a half

There are so many ways to start everything, so many points of entry, that I have become one of those who wants to write prefaces and prefaces to prefaces.

But I think the starting point to push on for this is that DFS’ book is one of those that attributes racism — at least, the colonial-based racism I am talking about — to modernity itself; in DFS’ case the culprit is the Cartesian subject. I will start pushing there.


On my other piece, I have these points:

  • “Adjunct” is not an ontological, but a political category
  • The real question, the real division among faculty, is whether or not one is for a critical university


And the Wonderland Avenue Public School is the school in Laurel Canyon I was interested in.


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More for “Language and the entrepreneurial university”

Last year, the state moved for dismissal, arguing that the 14th Amendment contains no reference to literacy. Then, last week, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III agreed with the state. Literacy is important, the judge noted. But students enjoy no right to access to being taught literacy. All the state has to do is make sure schools run. If they are unable to educate their students, that’s a shame, but court rulings have not established that “access to literacy” is “a fundamental right.”

“The deeper implication that the judge is tacitly admitting that it is all right to gut all of the public functions of government while leaving them nominally intact,” my friend said.

These ideas are key and they are for my next article (not the one I am working on now).


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