Many readers will already be familiar with the news that administrators at Middlesex have announced the decision to close the Philosophy department.
Infinite Thought will obviously be a major hub in the struggle against the closures ... go there for latest news ....
There is a Facebook group
As Necessary Agitation argues, "Whatever party wins at the coming election, there are going to be massive, and I mean massive, job losses and departmental closures across the country. We havenít even began to feel the pinch yet." We are entering a new terrain, in which the struggle over education will be absolutely central. I would urge people to write to the Middlesex administrators in question:
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Michael Driscoll, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Waqar Ahmad, email@example.com;
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Margaret House, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Dean of the School of Arts & Education, Ed Esche, email@example.com.
(The full set of emails is firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com).
The co-ordinators of the campaign against the closures request that if you send an email, you also blind copy (BCC) it to the campaign email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
My letter is below:
I wish to add my voice to the wholly justified discontent about the proposed closure of the philosophy department at Middlesex University. It is one of the very few philosophy departments in the UK which seriously engage with Continental philosophy, and the consequences of removing such a well-renowned centre for the study of European philosophy will be extremely serious for intellectual life in this country. Since the issues and theories with which Continental Philosophy engages are so important for students and academics in the humanities in general, you can expect the sense of outrage that has already been expressed to intensify over the coming months. Many have benefited from the work going on at Middlesex directly (by being students there, as many of my most gifted friends were), but many more have benefited indirectly from the numerous conferences that the department has organised and the publications it has overseen.
The decision comes at a moment when the terrible consequences of allowing narrowly defined business interests and Ďthe marketí to dominate all aspects of culture are becoming increasingly clear. The time when closures like this would be meekly accepted is over. If this decision is not reversed, expect a long and bitter struggle.
Dr Mark Fisher
Tutor in Philosophy at the City Literary Institute, London
Visiting Fellow, the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London