Liz and Tim presented at the College Art Association Conference on the panel “Occupations: Labor, Activism, Art, and the Academy in Crisis”, sponsored by the Radical Art Caucus. The other presenters including Therese Quinn, professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and member of the AAUP and Aaron Hughes of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
We talked about 3 senses of ‘occupation’ –
- Our occupation as workers in the university
- Occupation as a struggle for university movements around the world
- How we use mapping to ‘re-occupy’ the university.
Therese spoke about contingent faculty organizing and ended with the following proposals,
- One faculty (full and part time faculty)
- Equal pay for equal work
- Job security for all
- Free and emancipatory education for all
Aaron discussed the relationship between education and militarization, the increasing militarization of our schools (starting at the elementary school level) and made a call for us to recognize our radical vulnerability. This relates very directly to some of the stuff we’ve been thinking about care and also opened up a whole other series of questions about the relationship between the military and the university, in terms of the class composition of the university, the relationship with immigration and research & funding.
Some of the questions we got concerned the public vs. private distinction (what does it mean that ‘public’ universities get less than a quarter of their funding from their local states?) How can we understand and deal with what is tempting/pleasurable about ‘the private’? What do we mean by autonomous university? What is the relationship between the autonomous university and the state? How to work within the institution of the university in order to get paid, to receive course credits, and other resources?