Marx course, Friday 29 October 2010, 4pm

Meade McCloughan presents the third installment of his course on Marx’s Capital. For the latest details about the course, see http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctymjm/teaching/MdxMx3.htm

Place: Room M009 (The Green Room), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ.

Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus.

Note: there will be a hiatus on 5 November, and the fourth session will take place on Friday 12 November.

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Reminder: Nina Power seminar tomorrow (Thursday, 28 October 2010)

Thursday, 28 October 2010, 6.30pm:

Nina Power on ‘Intellectual Equality: Rancière and Education’

Nina Power will be speaking on Rancière and pedagogy (with reference to The Ignorant Schoolmaster).

Power is the author of One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books, 2009), and numerous articles on philosophy, politics, feminism, and educational theory. She is the co-editor and translator (with Alberto Toscano) of the forthcoming edition of Alain Badiou’s Political Writings (Columbia University Press). She is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University.

Place: Saloon (M004), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ. Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus. Enquiries: c.kerslake@mdx.ac.uk

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Philosophy Events, 28/29 October: Nina Power seminar and Marx course

Thursday 28 October 2010, 6.30pm:

Nina Power on ‘Intellectual Equality: Rancière and Education’

Nina Power is the author of One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books, 2009), and numerous articles on philosophy, politics, feminism, and educational theory. She is the co-editor and translator (with Alberto Toscano) of the forthcoming edition of Alain Badiou’s Political Writings (Columbia University Press). She is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University.

Place: Saloon (M004), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ. Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus. Enquiries: c.kerslake@mdx.ac.uk

 

Friday 29 October 2010, 4pm:

Meade McCloughan presents the third installment of his course on Marx’s Capital. For details about the course, see http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctymjm/teaching/MdxMx.htm

All welcome to both events.

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Žižek and the Critique of Political Economy

Alex Callinicos, professor of European Studies at King’s College London, will be delivering the opening talk in the new series of public seminars organised by Middlesex University’s Philosophy Department. Alex will be speaking on “Slavoj Žižek and the Critique of Political Economy” at 6:30pm, this Thursday 14 October, in the Mansion Building’s Saloon (M004) on Trent Park campus (nearest tube: Oakwood or Cockfosters).

This will also be an occasion for people to gather, almost five months after the occupation of the Mansion Building, and collectively consider the state of education in the shadow of financial cuts and even higher tuition fees. We encourage all those who were active in last summer’s campaign to save Middlesex philosophy, as well as anyone interested in philosophy, humanities and politics of education, to join us at this seminar.

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4-week Seminar on Marx, 15 October-12 November 2010

Free course on Marx’s Capital at Middlesex Philosophy Department.

Starting on Friday 15 October at 4pm, Meade McCloughan will present an exposition of the main argument of volume 1 of Marx’s Capital, in four parts.

The course will focus on the conceptual structure of the text, with special attention paid to key passages.

15th October.  Commodities and money: The mystery of surplus value.

22nd October.  Capital and labour: The mystery of surplus value solved.

29th October.  The dynamics of capitalist production: Absolute and relative surplus value, formal and real subsumption.

12th November.  The accumulation of capital; crises, revolution and communism.

The Penguin Marx Library/Penguin Classics edition (tr. Ben Fowkes) will be used.

This course is free and open to the public. All welcome.

Time: Fridays 4-6pm. Please note the hiatus during the week ending 5 November.

Place: Room M009 (The Green Room), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ.

Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus.

Further enquiries: c.kerslake@mdx.ac.uk

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New Lecturer in Philosophy at Middlesex

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthew Charles as Lecturer in Philosophy for 2010-11.

Matthew has been teaching part-time in the Philosophy Department at Middlesex for several years, as well as on the ‘Capitalism and Culture’ course at the University of Westminster.

He completed his PhD, entitled ‘Speculative Experience and History: Walter Benjamin’s Goethean Kantianism’, at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex in 2009. His research is concerned with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, in particular with the philosophy of Walter Benjamin. He is the co-author of the forthcoming entry on Walter Benjamin for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and is a member of the editorial collective of the journal Radical Philosophy.

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Middlesex Philosophy Seminar and Events, 2010-11

The Philosophy programme at Middlesex is due to close in 2012. Admissions have been stopped, and only second- and third-year undergraduate students now remain. We will announce the appointment of a new temporary lecturer in Philosophy shortly.

Below is the schedule for the Philosophy Seminar. This series is aimed at Philosophy and Humanities students at Middlesex, but is also open to the public, and anyone interested in fundamental enquiry about philosophical issues is welcome to attend.

Seminars will mostly be held on Thursdays, at 6.30pm, but three (30 November, 25 January and 15 February) will be held on Tuesdays at 5.30pm. All seminars will take place in the Saloon (M004), Mansion Building, Trent Park. (Cockfosters/Oakwood tube).

Please also note the workshop on Wednesday 3 November, ‘The Humanities and the Idea of the University’. This will take place between 11am and 6pm, in the Saloon, Mansion Building. The ‘Hegel Now?’ workshop on 5 May will take place from 2pm – 8.30pm (room to be announced).

Thursday 14 October.  Alex Callinicos (Kings College London): ‘Slavoj Žižek and the Critique of Political Economy’

Thursday 28 October.  Nina Power (Roehampton): ‘Intellectual Equality: Rancière and Education’

Wednesday 3 November.  Workshop: ‘The Humanities and the Idea of the University’

Thursday 11 November.  Susan James (Birkbeck): ‘Spinoza, Rembrandt and Suspicion’

Thursday 18 November.  Sean Sayers (Kent): ‘Marx’s Concept of Communism’

Tuesday 30 November.  Christopher Norris (Cardiff): ‘Aesthetic Ideology Revisited’

Thursday 9 December.  Gary Lachman (London): ‘What is Cosmic Consciousness?’

Tuesday 25 January.  Robin Le Poidevin (Leeds): ‘The Beginning of Time’

Thursday 3 February.  Keith Ansell Pearson (Warwick): ‘Beyond Compassion: On Nietzsche’s Moral Therapy in Dawn

Tuesday 15 February.  Dylan Evans (University College Cork): ‘Is Lacanian Psychoanalysis Wrong, Or Not Even Wrong?’

Thursday 3 March.  Marcus Boon (York University, Toronto): ‘The Politics of Just Intonation: Music, Mathematics and Philosophy after La Monte Young’

Thursday 17 March.  Martin Liebscher (Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London): ‘Sigmund Freud and his Philosophical Mediators’

Thursday 31 March.  David Lapoujade (Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne): Title to be announced.

Thursday 5 May.  Workshop: ‘Hegel Now?’ Including Slavoj Žižek on ‘Is it still possible to be a Hegelian today?’ Further speakers to be confirmed.

In addition, this semester we will be running two short courses open to the general public. These will take place in the Green Room (M009), Mansion Building, on Friday afternoons between 4-6pm. From 15 October to 12 November, Meade McCloughan will lead a course on Marx’s Capital, and from 26 November to 10 December, Rosa Nogues will give an introduction to French feminist philosophy.

Please direct enquiries to c.kerslake@mdx.ac.uk

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ANNOUNCEMENT – The Humanities and the Idea of the University, 3 November 2010

Workshop organised by the Philosophy Department of Middlesex University.
Wednesday 3 November 2010, 11am-6pm, Saloon, Trent Park campus

A crisis is facing Humanities education in the British university system. Forthcoming budget cuts in Higher Education look like they will target Humanities subjects in particular. The study of History, Literature and Philosophy are all in the immediate firing line. There is every chance that, if current proposals by the government are carried out, Humanities education will rapidly disappear from the UK university system as a whole, and become concentrated in elite institutions, open only to those who can afford the astronomical fees being proposed by these institutions.

The UK government appears to be about to take a huge risk. The British economy now rests largely on the ‘service sector’ (around 75% of GDP), but a large proportion of the income of the latter derives from London’s trade in financial exports. In the wake of the 2008 banking crisis, and the programme of austerity pursued by the current government, the UK economy hangs in a very delicate balance. The government appears to be hoping to inflict most of the pain resulting from cuts on working people and students, while letting the City continue as before, with a few adjustments in regulation. But if the government is going to withdraw funding from Humanities education in the UK, the repercussions for both culture and economy in the future could be immense.

A vast reduction in resources for the teaching and research of the Humanities, leading to the concentration of knowledge in the hands of a few, in conjunction with an education system re-tooled to provide the skills for a service sector founded on the irrational fluctuations of a financialised economy, could pave the way for increased instability at a number of levels: individual, social, economic, political and cultural.

An urgent re-think is required to review the bases, principles and values of Humanities education. What are the Humanities, what are they for, and what do they need to do to renew their relation to the historical present? Why aren’t more people reciting Shakespeare, why aren’t they talking about Bertrand Russell on the bus? Are there arts and methods to Humanities education that we are forgetting? How can Humanities education be related to ideas and principles of universality and equality? Is it possible to stipulate that Humanities education is an essential component of what a university does, or should be doing? Where are the new ideas in Humanities education?

In the past five years Middlesex University has abandoned teaching and research in two key Humanities subjects, History (closed in 2006) and Philosophy (admissions stopped in 2010). It appears to be on course to reduce all of its Humanities provision. This workshop will be a forum for lecturers and students to discuss the future of Humanities at Middlesex and in the UK in general. Speakers include: Matthew Charles, Andrew Goffey, Dave Hill, Johann Hoiby, Christian Kerslake, Andrew McGettigan, Alfie Meadows, Marie-Louise Rosbech and Marina Vishmidt. The workshop includes a panel discussion by Middlesex students of Martha Nussbaum’s recent book Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton, 2010).

The Middlesex workshop dovetails with two events taking place later the same week in London at Birkbeck College. On Thursday 4 November, Onora O’Neill will give a speech on ‘The Two Cultures Fifty Years On’. On 5 November, Birkbeck will be hosting the conference ‘Why Humanities?’ The first week of November thus provides a number of opportunities to reflect on the state of the Humanities in the UK today.

The workshop is co-organised by Andrew Goffey (a.goffey@mdx.ac.uk) and Christian Kerslake (c.kerslake@mdx.ac.uk). Attendance is free, but please register in advance by writing to mdxhumanities@yahoo.co.uk.

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CRMEP moves to Kingston – Middlesex staff suspensions never lifted

Press Release, 1 July 2010

The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy moved from Middlesex University to Kingston University today. Four members of philosophy staff moved with the Centre. Two of these members of staff were placed under ‘precautionary’ suspension by Middlesex management on 21 May, pending an investigation into their role in the occupations at Trent Park. Their suspensions were never lifted, and they remained suspended when their Middlesex employment came to an end on 30 June.

This directly contradicts the assurance two weeks ago by ­John McGuinness (Director of Human Resources at Middlesex) to several parties, including half a dozen external examiners and the UCU regional representative, that the suspensions would be lifted by 18 June. Along with several other issues raised by the campaign, the general question of Middlesex University’s abuse of disciplinary procedures thus remains unresolved. The Middlesex UCU branch has now moved to stage 2 of its Disputes Procedure with the University over these suspensions and their implications. The campaign against mismanagement, abuse of process and intimidation of academic staff continues, as does the mobilisation to save the undergraduate programme in Philosophy and to resist the erosion of education at Middlesex more broadly.

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Middlesex University deceives boycotting external examiners over staff suspensions

Press release, 24 June 2010

The ‘precautionary’ suspension of two members of academic staff in Philosophy at Middlesex continues, despite a statement last week by the University’s Head of Human Resources, John McGuinness, that it would be lifted. The statement appears to have been used to deceive the External Examiners of several departments who had been boycotting the assessment process into abandoning their boycott, in the run-up to Middlesex graduation ceremonies in early July.

On Friday 18 June, Roger Bull, Associate Dean for Learning and Quality Enhancement in the School of Arts and Education, wrote to External Examiners who were boycotting the assessment process in support of the suspended staff:

“The Head of Human Resources, John McGuinness, confirms on behalf of our University that the suspension to a member of staff who will remain at Middlesex University has been lifted and those suspensions relating to academic staff moving to Kingston University (as previously announced by the University) will be lifted this week. In the light of this information I would ask you to confirm with me and with the academic staff in the University with whom you carry out your external examining duties, the grades and standards for the samples of work you have seen, such that all undergraduate students in Art and Design may have their grades confirmed.”

External Examiners subsequently confirmed the grades. Yet, as of noon on Thursday 24 June, the staff in question confirmed that they remain suspended.

The University has also failed to undertake the regular 10-day review of their suspensions required by the University’s disciplinary procedures.

Despite a statement by the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, Michael Driscoll, that the transfer of four Philosophy staff to Kingston was ‘amicable’ and a promise that the transition would be ‘seamless’, the University continues to harass its staff in Philosophy.

Under the terms of their suspensions these staff must “refrain from entering the University premises … [and] refrain contacting in any way any University employee, student or any University contractor or supplier without the prior agreement of the Dean or a member of the Executive”.

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