Feb 072013

The University of the Commons and the University of Enclosure

A talk with Max Haiven
Hosted by Solidarity Halifax

February 16, 1:00PM
Old Brewery Market, Lower Water Street, Halifax

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/533481533350015/

In Quebec, a massive student strike defied the law and brought down the provincial government to prevent tuition fee increases. Across Canada, university campuses have been key incubators of the Idle No More movements, both for indigenous peoples and their settler allies. And around the world, from Egypt to New York to Greece to Chile to Nigeria, students have been leading the struggles against austerity in the name of a different future. Yet at the same time, universities have become more corporatized, commercialized and rationalized than ever, with skyrocketing tuition fees, staggering levels of student debt, massively inflated class sizes and deteriorating working conditions for teachers and support staff. This presentation advances the idea that there are two forces contesting the future of the university. On the one hand, there is “The University of Enclosure”: a tool by which society is brought into conformity with the ruling socio-economic paradigm of colonialist capitalism. On the other, there is “The University of the Common” where new ideas, new relationships and new forms of solidarity are being built. The struggle between the two is a struggle over the soul of education itself.


Max Haiven is a long-time university sector activist. After being involved in the student movement in Halifax in the early 2000s he organized with unions representing precarious academic workers in Ontario. Currently, he is a member of the transnational Edu-Factory Collective and the Halifax-based Radical Imagination Project. He holds a PhD in cultural studies and is a post-doctoral fellow at New York University, and he teaches at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. More information: maxhaiven.com



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  1. […] speaker Max Haiven discusses The Struggle for the Soul of Education in the temporarily re-appropriated Brewery […]

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