The University and the Undercommons: SEVEN THESES

The University and the Undercommons: SEVEN THESES Fred Moten and Stefano Harney The Only Possible Relationship to the University Today Is a Criminal One “To the university I’ll steal, and there I’ll steal,” to borrow from Pistol at the end of Henry V, as he would surely borrow from us. This is the only possible relationship to the American university today. This may be true of universities everywhere. It may have to be true of the university in general. But certainly, this much is true in the United States: it cannot be denied that the university is a place of refuge, and it cannot be accepted that the university is a place of enlightenment. In the face of these conditions one can only sneak into the university and steal what one can. To abuse its hospitality, to spite its mission, to join its refugee colony, its gypsy encampment, to be in but not of — this is the path of the subversive intellectual in the modern university. Worry about the university. This is the injunction today in the United States, one with a long history. Call for its restoration like Harold Bloom or Stanley Fish or Gerald Graff. Call for its reform like Derek Bok http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

The University and the Undercommons: SEVEN THESES

Social Text, Volume 22 (2 79) – Jun 1, 2004

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
D.O.I.
10.1215/01642472-22-2_79-101
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Fred Moten and Stefano Harney The Only Possible Relationship to the University Today Is a Criminal One “To the university I’ll steal, and there I’ll steal,” to borrow from Pistol at the end of Henry V, as he would surely borrow from us. This is the only possible relationship to the American university today. This may be true of universities everywhere. It may have to be true of the university in general. But certainly, this much is true in the United States: it cannot be denied that the university is a place of refuge, and it cannot be accepted that the university is a place of enlightenment. In the face of these conditions one can only sneak into the university and steal what one can. To abuse its hospitality, to spite its mission, to join its refugee colony, its gypsy encampment, to be in but not of — this is the path of the subversive intellectual in the modern university. Worry about the university. This is the injunction today in the United States, one with a long history. Call for its restoration like Harold Bloom or Stanley Fish or Gerald Graff. Call for its reform like Derek Bok

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2004

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