On employability in higher education and its relation to quality assurance: Between dis-identification and de-throning

The [students´] agitating makes me think of something that was invented one day, if I recall correctly, by my good, late friend Marcel Duchamp, ‘A bachelor prepares his own chocolate’. Take care that the agitator is not preparing his own chocolate. Jacques Lacan in 1969 [Lacan, 2007: 199]

Putting theory to work – a.k.a ‘if you don't like academia, why don't you leave?’

Introduction - Humboldt’s rift

The University of Culture, instituted by Humboldt, draws its legitimacy from culture, which names the synthesis of teaching and research, process and product, history and reason, philology and criticism, historical scholarship and aesthetic experience, the institution and the individual. (Readings, 1996: 65)

Common as silence

All this – all the meanness and agony without end
I sitting look out upon
See, hear and am silent.
- Walt Whitman, ‘I Sit and Look’


The Idea of communism, as Alain Badiou (2008: 98) explains, is an historical anchoring point ‘of everything elusive, slippery and evanescent’, a becoming-truth that negates capitalism, the institutions which support it and the ideology of ‘there is no alternative’. A communistic impulse is arguably present in all of us, an impulse for equality, self-determination and justice: an impulse that business and politicians capture in claims about fairness, inclusivity and now sensitivity to the environment.

Does capital need a commons fix?

Today economic crisis is a capitalist crisis of social stability, not a simple recession, that is, a crisis that requires a realignment of class/power relations and new systems of governance in order to re-establish growth and accumulation[1].

Recomposing precarity: Notes on the laboured politics of class composition

In Precarious rhapsody (2009) Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi argues that autonomous political movements in Italy in 1977 marked an important turning point in moving beyond modernity with its concomitant trends of progressive modernisation and class conflict as the driving motor of social transformation. Putting aside the epochal claims contained in this claim it is interesting to reflect on the role played by the notion of precarity in this description[1].

In praise of anti-capitalist consumption: How the V for Vendetta mask blows up Hollywood marketing

A massive protest took to the streets and squares of the world in 2011. In a sense, we can almost speak of a global protest movement, emerging simultaneously in different cities and spreading across the globe, demanding a just society, real democracy, and condemning capitalism. A renewed feeling of urgency brought people en masse together in a struggle for liberation from the yoke of the dictatorship of both repressive political regimes, and capitalist financial markets.

Re-appropriating Che’s image: From the revolution to the market and back again

The story is well known. Alberto Korda Díaz’s second snapshot of Ernesto Che Guevara, taken on March the 5th, 1960, at a mass funeral service that Fidel Castro called for the Cubans who were killed during an explosion in Havana, was destined to become probably one of the most reproduced and appropriated pictures of the late twentieth century. The photograph remained in Korda’s studio until Che’s death in 1967, when an Italian publisher, Gian-Giacomo Feltrinelli, produced posters using two prints of the image given as a gift to him by Korda.

Can the object be a comrade?

Image from Perlman (1969).

On things and comrades

The light is from the East… not only the liberation of the working class. The light is from the East – in a new relation to man, to woman, and to objects. Objects in our hands should also be equal, also be comrades, and not black, gloomy slaves like they have here.

The art of the East should be nationalized and rationed out. Objects will be understood, will become people’s friends and comrades, and people will begin to know how to laugh and enjoy and converse with things…


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