Toward a Global Autonomous University

Toward a Global Autonomous University

25 March 2010, 8pm at Galerie Schijnheilig
Passeerdersgracht 23, Amsterdam

Conversation and presentation of the book:

Cognitive Labor, The Production of Knowledge and Exodus from the Education Factory
(New York: Autonomedia, 2009) edited by the Edu-factory collective

Edu-Factory is a transnational collective engaged with the transformations of the global university and conflicts in knowledge production. The website of the global network ( connects investigations and reports from university struggles.

Jos Scheren will interview:

Amit Basole, University of Massachussets, Vidya Ashram, Varanasi
Aetzel Griffioen, Erasmus Universiteit, Economics on the Border, Rotterdam
Wessel de Boer, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universitaire Activisten
Kyra Weaver, Universiteit Utrecht, Kritische Studenten Utrecht

Many voices have risen to defend the integrity of the University from the recent interventions of the European governments. They say that universities are threatened by public expenditures cuttings, the privatization of education and the commoditization of knowledge. The implementation of the ‘Bologna Process’ is taken as one of the most dangerous threats to the university as we are used to know it.

But should the university ‘as we are used to know it’ become the object of a rescue operation?

The time has come to question the very concept of University, as the factory of universally valid and authoritative knowledge. It is clear that the university, which is said to be at risk in Europe, has being an instrument of destruction rather than of production of knowledge in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

This university is about to be destroyed. The only question is: who will destroy this university? Those academic managers who under the disguise of ‘necessary cuts’ and ‘efficiency targets’ are basically enlarging their own profitable/parasitical positions? Or those who are seeking to construct common knowledge: those capable of inventing different ways of learning, using different languages, inside and outside the academia?

The old university as an ivory tower is about to disappear. Will it all end in an ecological disaster where no knowledge can ever be developed or will it be something different that we do not yet fully know but that for sure has to be constructed in common?

Further reading
- Amit Basole, ‘Eurocentrism, the University and multiplicity of knowledge production sites‘, in Edu-factory mailing list, April 2007
- Amit Basole, ‘Some reflections on knowledge hierarchies and the autonomous university‘, in Edu-factory mailing list, January 2008
- The Double Crisis, zero issue of the Edu-factory web journal


This event is organised by The Common Seminar.