<editorial board> <agu> The Double Crisis of the University and the Global Economy

Gigi Roggero conricerca at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 27 23:32:25 CET 2008

Hi all, First of all I would like to say that the debate within the editorial board has started very well. The list is really becoming a work list, and this is a great starting point for the journal. Very briefly, I want to focus on two points. About the question of the title: following the suggestions by Ranabir, Gerald and Gary, maybe we could think something like "edu-factory notes" or "edu-factory journal", with a subtitle like "Conflicts and Transformations of the University" or "Conflicts and Transformations in Knowledge Production". In this way, we can maintain the edu-factory concept while marking the specificity of the new project. About the question of the crisis: It is true, we shouldn't follow the ruling narratives on the crisis. In other words, we have to develop a radical analysis of it. But I think that this doesn't mean to deny the crisis, or not so much to invent a new series of words. It means on one hand to identify the subjective roots and struggles that inform the double crisis. On the other hand it means focusing on the double crisis as a chance for radical transformation in a way that doesn't replicate the celebrations in The Economist magazine, which points out that the Chinese ideogram for crisis combines the symbols for risk and opportunity. This is a crisis of capitalism, and the contemporary university as one of its articulations: the importance of the movements of the last months (e.g. the anomalous wave in Italy, quoted by Eli) consists in the force to overthrow the double crisis in an alternative space of possibility: "this is their crisis, and we won't pay for it".  The slogan quoted by Andrew ("merry crisis and happy new fear") - which I think was a graffiti that appeared in Athens - also contains a central ambivalence: the fear is not only the fear of the workers, but the fear of the ruling class too. And in their fear there is our wish of a "merry crisis". In this political context and from this standpoint, we have to analyze the new elements of the contemporary (double) crisis. But we cannot rely on the tired images of Italy and Greece as political laboratories, weak links or slogan generating factories. What are the concepts and struggles being invented in and between other parts of the world? How do they cut across each other, involving extra-economic factors, contrasting imaginations, different languages and approaches to translation, varying rhythms and times of change? The edu-factory journal is an avenue through which these questions can be developed in a transnational vein. All the best, Gigi 
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