Posts Tagged ‘Middlesex University’

Musical philosophy chairs

10 June 2010

A variation on the popular game, as played by British universities. When one university (e.g. Middlesex) turns a deaf ear to philosophy, removes the chairs and is not able to face the music, another university (e.g. Kingston) steps in and offers as many chairs as possible to the abandoned band of philosophers. The show must go on…

CRMEP set to move from Middlesex to Kingston University

Yesterday brought the happy news that the world renowned Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy has found a new home at Kingston University. As many of you know, this development follows weeks of unrest at Middlesex University following its decision to close down all its Philosophy programmes and to close its stellar Philosophy department.

We are extremely pleased to learn that the CRMEP will be preserved in this way and we wish Professor Eric Alliez, Professor Peter Hallward, Professor Peter Osborne and Dr Stella Sandford of the CRMEP a long and prosperous future at Kingston.

Congratulations to both the philosophers and Kingston University for a game well played. Middlesex University surely won’t be a sore looser, since they did not seem to understand what they had in the first place. To quote Warren Buffett, “Anyone not aware of the fool in the market probably is the fool in the market.”

Middlessex boycott

27 May 2010

News of the victimisation of specific professors and students by university management is the latest turn in the sorry saga of Middlesex University. Academics can sign up here to express support for the Academic Boycott of Middlesex University. The Save Middlesex Philosophy blog has all the necessary background information on this sad case of Middlesex University mutilating itself.

The Times on Middlesex

21 May 2010

In The Times today:

Philosophy hasn’t been this newsworthy since Wittgenstein threatened Popper

Not since the opening of Brent Cross Shopping Centre has our neck of North London known such heady intellectual excitement. Middlesex University, our local seat of learning, is in disarray. Students occupied one building for 12 days; the sit-in was ended only when the authorities served a High Court injunction. More than 14,000 people have signed a protest petition and 60 top international academics, including Noam Chomsky, have written angry letters. Tariq Ali has made a speech. There’s talk of barricades being manned, ramparts being stormed and Whitehall being invaded. The stroppy spirit of 1968 is in the air.

Middlesex reoccupation

21 May 2010

Resilient and resolute Middlesex protesters resurface:

A new occupation at Trent Park

This evening [20 May 2010] around 50 students and staff from half a dozen different programmes at Middlesex University’s School of Arts and Education occupied the library at Trent Park campus.

More Middlesex coverage:

New Statesman: “Philosophers united against cuts”

Students and academics meet at the ICA to discuss university department closures.

Times Higher Education: “Students forced to end sit-in, but vow to fight on”

The sit-in was sparked by plans to phase out all undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in philosophy, and all postgraduate research. During the occupation, the university said that if the protest ended it might consider the reinstatement of recruitment on part-time master’s programmes, which it had previously said would stop immediately.

A new occupation at Trent ParkA new occupation at Trent Park

More Middlesex press

19 May 2010

More articles on the Middlesex stand-off published in recent days:

The Guardian

Why is Middlesex University philosophy department closing?

By any public standard philosophy at Middlesex University is a success story, but funding formulas mean it is marked for closure

Times Higher Education

Why Middlesex Matters

The past three weeks have seen an international outcry at the decision by the administration of Middlesex University in London to close its small but very highly regarded philosophy programme. Why were so many American academics, many of them besieged by budget crises at their own universities, so upset at this decision made so far away? Why did Middlesex matter to those thousands who so quickly became involved, and why should it matter to all American academics, even those who are only just now hearing of it?

Middlesex outrage amplified

9 May 2010

Earlier today the BBC World Service beamed news of the closure of the Middlesex philosophy department – and the protest it has attracted – to the four corners of the world. Listen to the coverage here (starts at 41 min. 12 sec.).

At the same time The Guardian/The Observer published yet another article on the international scale of the outrage this news has triggered:

Middlesex University cuts spark international protest from philosophers

Move to phase out philosophy teaching at leading department branded a ‘national and international concern’

There is another important intervention on the pages of The Guardian by Lynne Segal:

Middlesex’s philosophical struggle

The situation is extraordinary by any rational, let alone scholarly, accounting. The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy was the feather in the cap of that young university. It was its highest-rated submission in the last research assessment exercise and in the top third of philosophy departments in the whole of the UK.


Here is also some coverage from The Telegraph:

Plan to shut leading philosophy course condemned by academics

Plans to shut one of the world’s leading university philosophy courses have sparked outrage among academics.

More Middlesex in The Guardian

8 May 2010

Finally news of the Middlesex affair reach the mainstream media. The Guardian brings extensive coverage of the closure of the Middlesex philosophy department and the international outrage it has triggered.

International academics protest at Middlesex philosophy closure

Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek and others urge dean to reverse department closure as students occupy campus building

The Guardian on Middlesex

6 May 2010

A bit of coverage in The Guardian on the Middlesex occupation:

Universities and colleges hit by industrial action

“Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at King’s College, London, are in the second day of a walkout over a £27m cuts programme at the institution, while at Middlesex approximately 30 students are occupying the university’s Mansion building in protest at the planned closure of the philosophy department. (…)

The 30 Middlesex students have been staging a peaceful sit-in since Tuesday morning calling for the university to reverse its decision to shut the world-renowned philosophy department. Anindya Bhattacharyya, an MA student, said they had mainly been studying, having rigged up a pulley system to get their books into the building.”

Middlesex newscast

6 May 2010

Watch this news report from the Middlesex occupation site:

Sign the petition and join the Facebook group to protest against the closure of the Middlesex philosophy department.

Middlesex letter

6 May 2010

Letter in Times Higher Education, signed by Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot, Jacques Ranciere, Gayatri Spivak, Slavoj Zizek and 24 others:

“We the undersigned deplore Middlesex University’s recent decision to close its philosophy programmes, including its prestigious and successful MAs. This is a matter of national and indeed international concern. Not only does it contradict Middlesex’s stated commitment to promote ‘research excellence’, it also represents a startling stage in the impoverishment of philosophy provision in the UK.” Read the rest here.

Add your voice by leaving your comment at the Times Higher Education articles, signing the petition and joining the Facebook group.

Times Higher Education articles:

Update: Times Higher Education have now published the full list of signatories. A very impressive list indeed, featuring leading philosophers of our time. If Dean Edward Esche at Middlesex is not familiar with these names, perhaps the Vice-Chancellor, members of the University Executive, and its Board of Governors should do a little Google search for these names just to get an idea of the damage they are causing to the Middlesex brand.

Here is the full list (from Times Higher Education):

Keith Ansell-Pearson, professor of philosophy, University of Warwick

Alain Badiou, emeritus professor of philosophy, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

Etienne Balibar, emeritus professor of philosophy, Université de Paris-Nanterre, and distinguished professor of humanities, University of California, Irvine

Miguel Beistegui, professor of philosophy, University of Warwick

Andrew Benjamin, professor of critical theory and philosophical aesthetics, Monash University, Australia

Andrew Bowie, professor of philosophy and German, Royal Holloway, University of London

Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot professor of rhetoric and comparative literature, University of California, Berkeley

Susan Buck-Morss, Jan Rock Zubrow professor of government, Cornell University, New York

Barbara Cassin, directeur de recherches, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

Simon Critchley, professor of philosophy and chair of the philosophy department, New School for Social Research, New York

Christopher Fynsk, professor of comparative literature and modern thought, and director of the Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen

Simon Glendinning, reader in European philosophy, London School of Economics, and director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Boris Groys, professor of Slavic and Russian studies, New York University

Michael Hardt, professor of literature, Duke University, NC

Harry Harootunian, emeritus professor of history, Chicago and New York universities

Joanna Hodge, professor of philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Claude Imbert, emeritus professor of philosophy, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

Mandy Merck, professor of media arts, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dermot Moran, professor of philosophy, University College Dublin

Michael Moriarty FBA, centenary professor of French literature and thought, Queen Mary, University of London

Antonio Negri, philosopher and political scientist

Jacques Rancière, emeritus professor of philosophy, Université de Paris VIII

Kristin Ross, professor of comparative literature, New York University

Lynne Segal, anniversary professor, psychosocial studies, Birkbeck, University of London

Peter Sloterdijk, rektor der Staatlichen Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe

Gayatri Spivak, university professor in the humanities, Columbia University, New York

Isabelle Stengers, professor of philosophy, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Peter Weibel, chairman and CEO, ZKM/Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe

James Williams, professor of European philosophy, University of Dundee

Slavoj Zizek, co-director of the International Centre for Humanities, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London