Massumi letter

De : Brian Massumi

Date : 14 mai 2010 17:49:37 HAEC

À :,,,

Objet : closure of Middlesex Philosophy

To the Board of Governors, Middlesex University

I feel compelled to add my voice to the growing indignation over your decision to close the Philosophy Department at Middlesex. It was with shock and incredulity that I first heard of the decision. The Philosophy Department at Middlesex enjoys a well-deserved reputation, not only in its home discipline but across the humanties, in England and abroad, as among the most dynamic and productive academic centres for theoretical inquiry worldwide. Its reputation is such that it hardly possible to utter the words “philosophy” and the “UK” in the same sentence without the next sentence starting with “Middlesex.” My shock at hearing of the decision registered my disbelief that a university possessed of such a resource could be so short-sighted as to deprive itself of the academic asset it represents for its own students, and for the international community of scholars. My growing indignation translates my disquiet over what a decision of this nature means for the direction of higher education generally. I can only interpret it as part of the continuing realignment of higher education according to narrow principles of efficiency and economic rationalization which betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of learning and research in a complex and rapidly evolving society facing challenges of historic proportions which have shaken the certainties of the past. Centres for innovative theoretical thinking such as the Middlesex Philosophy department are laboratories for new modes of thought for the challenges ahead. They are an essential element in the university research mix, without which students will be ill-prepared to understand and respond to the challenges — and opportunities — of the changing world in which they will live and work. I strongly urge you to reconsider this ill-conceived decision.


Brian Massumi


Department of Communication

Université de Montréal

C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville

Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 Canada

fax: (+1) 514 343 2298

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