Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Anti-University

While looking up the situationist Alexander Trocchi online, I came across the above super poster on Peter Watts blog I noticed the anti-psychiatry franchise are on the list (Berke, Cooper and Laing), along with some radical writers and artists of the time. What a great poster it is, not especially for its artistic aesthetic, but because it represents a moment-in-time which is connected to a place - a truly historical document which pinpoints people in space, while attributing them to a specific revolutionary action.

As Peter Watts states on his blog: "The London Anti-University was formed after participants at 1967′s Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation at the Roundhouse decided they wanted to continue to explore some of the themes and conversations that had started there (sample debates: The Future of Capitalism; Black Power; Imperialism and Revolution in America)." I love the titles of these classes. They are pretty much standard university modules in Cultural Studies nowadays, even if the titles then were much more polemic than the contemporary ones. Today we like to seduce our students with 'Postcolonial Theory' and 'Capital and Critique', in order that they don't get too scared and sign up for something more innocuous - and less revolutionary - instead.

The London Anti-University seemed like a great idea (check out the excellent film on Peter's blog at the above link). I especially like the hotch-potch of donated chairs for the students.

Notes on institutions, anti-institutions and self-institutions
Revolutionary educational practice

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