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Public space as translation process

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Public space as translation process I will discuss here the idea of public space in relation to the concept of so-called cultural translation. This concept has been deployed recently (at the end of the eighties and in the nineties) within the postmodern - and especially postcolonial - reflexion to solve some of its most challenging problems, like the problem of universality in culture, or the problem of emancipation in the social and political space which we consider to be historically - to use Ernesto Laclau' term - beyond the emancipation.

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Autonomous Universities and the Making of the Knowledge Commons

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Introduction This is the last of my four scheduled Russell Scholar lectures on the theme ofacademic freedom. I would like to briefly recapitulate for you their trajectory. In my previous lectures I discussed the threats to academic freedom coming fromthe state and market and I began to sketch a theory of academic freedom taking usbeyond our need to defend academic work and institutions from these threats. I arguedthat the notion of a knowledge commons is crucial in defining the positive aspect ofacademic freedom and that the proper expression of academic autonomy in the 21stcentury is the preservation, defense and expansion of the knowledge commons. In this lecture I address the role autonomous universities can play in the practical task of making the knowledge commons. Conclusion: The Threat, an Exodus from the University similar to one between the

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Enclosing the enclosers

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‘They might have the strength to impose their will, but we will never give them our consent…’ Gustavo Esteva looks back at the Oaxaca uprising of 2006 and explains how the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca posits an alternative solution for governance

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Taking the Squares, Tweeting the Revolution, Organizing the Common

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Edu-factory is entering into its fifth year of activity. This period has been formidable, both for edu-factory as well as for the changes in the general context. First and foremost, there is the global crisis, which is to say, the crisis of global capital. Reading the daily catastrophic reports and the desperate alarms of governments, think-tanks and the mainstream media all over the world, who can remember that only twenty years ago the universal rhetoric was the celebration of the end of history? So, without any sort of idealist purpose, by means of a materialist analysis we can say that the proposition and prospect of revolution is no longer a pipe dream or fantasy. Such a possibility can be formulated from the classical definition of revolutionary situation: the governors of the global capital cannot live like before; workers, precarious, students and the productive multitudes don’t want to live like before.

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Building Up an Institution of the Common

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“What was once the factory is now the university” states the international Edu-factory collective, which started off as a mailing list of 500 students, activists and researchers worldwide. They argue that in today’s cognitive capitalism, we have experienced the transformation from organising knowledge from above to the capture and expropriation of common knowledge after it is produced. This appropriation and exploitation of knowledge produced in the common opens up for a possibility that lies in the autonomy of knowledge production. The fact that knowledge today is produced in the common also makes it possible for us to re-appropriate it. The Edu-factory’s attempt to create a global autonomous university is a way of reclaiming such common knowledge. Edu-factory writes, “Theoretical practice is always political practice, and political practice is not only theoretical practice”. They claim that there is no production of knowledge that is not political. Theory is always a field of struggle and in times of “cognitive capitalism,” perhaps one of the most important. We met with Gigi Roggero, one of the initiators of Edu-factory at the Labour of the Multitude conference in Warsaw to talk about Edu-factory, recent university and precarious workers struggles, and ideas of autonomous education.

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