Symposium on Educational Eliminationism and Cultural Colonization


A HEAT (Higher Education & Theory) Symposium, with John Beck and Matthew Cornford (The Art School and the Culture Shed), David J. Blacker (The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame), and Nina Power (One-Dimensional Woman).

Friday 7th November
2pm – 6pm (followed by drinks reception)
Westminster Forum (5th Floor, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street)
Co-hosted by Institute for Modern & Contemporary Culture (IMCC) and the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) at the University of Westminster.

David J. Blacker defines educational eliminationism as a state of affairs in which elites no longer find it necessary to utilize mass schooling as a first link in the long chain of the process of the extraction of workers’ surplus labour value but instead cut their losses and abandon public schooling altogether. John Beck and Matthew Cornford have charted the decline of local art schools and concordant rise of the ‘destination’ art gallery, and asked what this tells us about the changing relationship between the function of education and art in the new creative economy. Nina Power argues that current attacks on the education system are part and parcel of a broader war on cognitive and immaterial labour, upon which the art world provides a peculiarly privileged vantage point.

Drawing on the etymological and political association between culture and colonization, this symposium seeks to investigate the currently shifting relationship between education and culture through the themes of eliminationism and colonization.

John Beck is Professor in English Literature at the University of Westminster, director of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC), and author of Dirty wars: landscape, power, and waste in Western American literature and (with Matthew Cornford) The Art School and the Culture Shed.

David J. Blacker is a Professor of Philosophy of Education and Legal Studies at the University of Delaware, editor of Education Review,, and author of The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame and Democratic Education Stretched thin: How Complexity Challenges a Democratic Ideal.

Matthew Cornford is Professor of Fine Art at the University of Brighton, has a longstanding collaborative art practice with David Cross, and author (with John Beck) of The Art School and the Culture Shed.

Nina Power is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University, regularly writes for the Guardian and New Humanist, co-editor of Alain Badiou’s On Beckett and author of One-Dimensional Woman.

rsvp to the organizer:

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