Sakai letter

30 April 2010

Dear Dr. Esche,

I understand that the administration of Middlesex University recently reached the  decision to abolish the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy in the School of Arts. The news astonished me because I have known the Center’s impressive accomplishments for the past decade in its exceptional output and its transnational orientation. I know three of the members, Eric Alliez, Stella Sanford and, Peter Osborne, and mainly thanks to their scholarship, I have regarded the center as the most exciting philosophy program in Europe.
Even among graduate students in Latin America and East Asia, the center is well known. Like many graduate students, they are aware that something new and exciting is taking place at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex. Unlike many philosophy programs in North America and Europe, the faculty at the Center are much more sensitive to what is going on intellectually outside the North Atlantic area and have engaged in global and interdisciplinary projects such as Multitudes, Radical Philosophy, and Traces (a multilingual series in cultural theory and translation). Despite its declared spatiality in ‘Modern European Philosophy,’ their intellectual concern is much wider and their work appeals to a global audience. To abolish the Centre is to lose one of the anchors in the United Kingdom for intellectual networking with the rest of the world beyond the confines of Europe and North America.
As one of the readers who benefited greatly from the scholarship conducted by the faculty members of the Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, I most earnestly urge you to reconsider your decision to terminate the Center.

Naoki Sakai
Comparative Literature and Asian Studies
Cornell University
386 Rockefeller Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Tel: +1 607 280 5066
E-mail <>

From January through July 2010
Taiwan’s National Science Council Research Fellow and Visiting Professor
Graduate Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies
National Chiao Tung University
1001 University Road
Hsinchu, Taiwan 300

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