<agu> how to build up a global autonomous university?

Brett Neilson B.Neilson at uws.edu.au
Mon May 12 13:37:51 CEST 2008

Hey Ned,
I think the idea was to reopen the other list after a pause to signal that the second round of discussion had closed. Perhaps it's time to think about that reopening now. Personally I'm unsure that uninterrupted discussion is any more a guarantee of mobilizing thought than switching on and off, which is really just another rhythm, let alone the underlying logic of computer circuits. 
In any case, this new list is about mobilizing something more than thought or discussion. I agree that a wiki could be one way to begin to organize curricula but perhaps other devices will be more suited to the other proposals, however they might evolve or modify over the next weeks.


From: agu-bounces at listcultures.org on behalf of Ned Rossiter
Sent: Mon 12/05/2008 8:29 PM
To: agu at listcultures.org
Subject: Re: <agu> how to build up a global autonomous university?

good to see this concrete initiative.

One suggestion I have: keep the other edu-factory list open.  I have 
never understood why the organizers decide to close it.  I can see 
some point behind wanting to keep discussions focussed on the 2 
programs to date, but in my view closing the list refuses the logic 
of the 'multitude' to come up with proposals in addition to and/or 
conflicting with what appears as a control-freak mentality of the 

Furthermore, there is a danger in thinking that switching a list on 
and off guarantees the remobilization of thought/reconnection with 
participants.  The other list, in my view, should be able to develop 
its own rhythm, voices, debates, etc.  It is one strategic way of 
maintaining a continuum of thought.

As for the proposals below - a wiki could be one way to collectively 
build and modify curricula.

And I think the main site should include an open blog so that people 
can post related sites, texts, etc. In this way the terrain is more 
effectively mapped and participants have a sense of collective 
investment in the project.

In other words, edu-factory needs to open its shop.


On 11 May 2008, at 21:47, info at edu-factory.org wrote:

> Dear all,
> This is the first message of a new list: Global Autonomous
> University. The project is a development of edu-factory. So
> far edu-factory has organized two rounds of list discussion
> with many contributions on the questions of conflicts in the
> knowledge production, labor market hierarchisation and the
> university, and the networking of autonomous universities
> and auto-education initiatives. As rich as the list
> discussion and its transnational diffusion have been, we
> think it is now time to take some more pragmatic steps
> toward the establishment of what has become known, during
> the edu-factory experience, as a Global Autonomous
> University.
> The title of this initiative, particularly the word global,
> needs a preliminary clarification. We do not intend this
> project as the invention of an institution that is truly
> worldwide in scope. As one contributor to the list
> commented: who would be the audience for such an initiative,
> what languages would be used, would ideas/proposals travel
> seamlessly from one context to another? But we do think it
> is possible to bring together some existing auto-education
> projects, which have sprung up in various places in the
> world, to cooperate in research, the offering of courses and
> perhaps even degrees. Thus global doesn't mean the
> proposition of a universal model of resistance and the
> alternative university. On the contrary, with this title we
> want to highlight the necessity of approaching the
> transnational level as space of debate and action. In this
> sense, the Global Autonomous University project aims to
> connect, on a global scale, different forms of
> auto-education, struggles, and autonomous knowledge
> production situated in the university, or better along its
> borders. The project is not about proposing a unique model
> of alternative education. Rather, following a very important
> debate on the edu-factory list, it aims to construct a
> common translation tool to move between singularities. This
> tool would allow the empowerment of intellectual, political,
> and union activities in different sites and situations.
> The Global Autonomous University list will be devoted to
> practical planning and organization for the invention of new
> institutional forms. The participants in this list comprise
> members of the edu-factory collective, protagonists from the
> previous two rounds of discussion as well as strategic
> contacts who can assist with issues of design, networking,
> infrastructure, translation, etc. The purpose here is not
> further theorization, although we recognise the inherent
> value of this as well as its necessary connection to
> practice: in fact, the participants share a common
> perspective and interest in the ambitious project of
> building up an autonomous institution. The objective of the
> list is the planning and making of concrete moves toward the
> establishment of cooperative networked activities between
> autonomous university initiatives.
> To start the discussion, we have identified some central
> points in the attempt to realize the project:
> *     The questions of curriculum of the new institutional
> form, of academic labor, and their conflictual collocation
> within intellectual property system;
> *     The legal question about the possibility of obtaining
> accreditation as official university (we do not think that
> the recognition is the aim of an autonomous institution, but
> it does provide the possibility to open a conflict around
> the accreditation system, the measurement of quality, and
> the award of degrees);
> *     The obtainment of the funds in order to support the
> project;
> *     The role of socio-technical networks such as the
> Internet, as well as open access and open source
> technologies (we know that e-learning and distance learning
> are part of the corporate lexicon, often used to precarize
> labor power and to dematerialize the relations between
> teachers and students; our problem is to use the
> technological tools in order to experiment with
> transnational autonomous connections, to build up
> 'organized networks');
> *     The proposal of a free newspaper (which would be made
> available in pdf format on the Internet so that edu-factory
> participants around the world can print it up and distribute
> within their various political contexts) and
> video-interviews as research materials
> We propose to focus and organize the list discussion on
> these points. We propose also to imagine collectively the
> time and calendar of our debate, in order to trace out the
> steps to realize the strategic project of the Global
> Autonomous University.
> Best,
> edu-factory collective
> _______________________________________________
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