“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”: Student Protest as Improper Enjoyment

Submitted by RC on November 19th, 2017

[Author’s Note: This piece is not an entirely finished/particularly refined and doesn’t reflect my conclusive thoughts regarding the theoretical framework I forward in it (although I read Wynter and Lacan together here, working out the tensions and transformative implications of the combination is not really the goal of this paper, and I mostly cite McGowan because he’s useful for this analysis). A friend involved with Filler requested that I submit it because of its relevance to the conversations in the Pitt community regarding student protest, and I have no intention of repeating the academic’s mistake of using activism for scholarly gain without attempting to give back. Although I’ve tried to make it a more readable for a non-academic audience, I am inexperienced when it comes to that kind of translation, (and it takes a bit more time than I have with finals season coming up). I would hope that you approach this admittedly imperfect piece as an opportunity to perhaps work through and frustrate the way that you might imagine the purpose of higher education, but that’s largely up to you. Side note for debate people: card this at your own risk (like c’mon, have at least some restraint).]



Student Protest as Improper Enjoyment

RC


Introduction
On the night of November 17th 2016 at the University of Pittsburgh, a coalition of different student groups led by Pitt Against Debt staged a non-violent protest against student debt and then President-Elect Donald Trump. According to a letter to the editor published by the Pitt News and written by the Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition (2016), the protestors began by marching through the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland Campus until they had reached the lobby of a campus dormitory, Litchfield Towers, and had a “speak-out focusing on sharing and celebrating [their stories].” Throughout the march, the students were watched by university-affiliated police in full riot gear. After the police detained a student, a group of the protestors went back to the Litchfield Towers lobby and reportedly began chanting “let him go” (Pitt News, 2016).

The police then blocked the main entrance and began to use violent force to remove students from the area and onto the patio of the dormitory, arresting two protestors in the process. Accounts of the violent confrontation between the student protestors and the university-affiliated police sharply diverge; Bill Schackner and Andrew Goldstein (2016) of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette write that “violence abruptly broke out after protesters entered the Litchfield Towers dormitory complex on Fifth Avenue when University of Pittsburgh police ordered them to leave,” in contrast to the account above that claims that the protestors had first left the building and then returned after the detainment of their fellow student (Pitt News, 2016).


20161117hmnpittprotest-7-6


My interest in the protest is not to hash out the veracity of a specific account of the protest, but rather stems from what the reaction to the protest can tell us. The chain of events should sound familiar—student protest has been met with police brutality for centuries, if accounts of the University of Paris student strike in 1229 are to be believed. But in stark contrast to an event like May ‘68, where images of the protest would have to wait at least a day until being circulated for mass consumption through newspapers, a video of the protest was posted to Facebook within an hour or two of the event. The post demanded immediate response, accumulating hundreds of comments not only from Pitt students and alumni, but also from many conservative commenters who had no tie to Pitt. The vast majority of comments are either questioning or disparaging the student protestors, building an image of the protestors as “crybabies”, “spoiled brats”, and the like. The tropes invoked by commenters to justify the violence were not made in isolation—in the weeks after the election, similar rhetoric regarding student protests against Trump could be found across different new media platforms, from comment sections on Breitbart to Twitter and Youtube.

It’s useful to think here of Wendy Chun’s (2016) argument that the temporality of new media is defined by crisis (p. 71). Crises, as events that demand real-time decision making, become the essential grease on the wheels of the neoliberal economy of information, providing a constant stream of data input that shapes how we experience the Internet (p. 71). Think about how you might experience catastrophe in print newspapers: sure, you’re active in how you put together the pieces, but you aren’t really in control of the narrative—you are but one of many in an imagined mass community of faceless strangers the newspaper is targeting. But with algorithmically driven social media platforms like Facebook, news isn’t just distributed in the same package to faceless masses—it’s supposedly tailor made for YOU, and demands that YOU are constantly participating in conversations about the crises that erupt onto your screen.


Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 12.47.52 AM

The interactivity of the newsfeed conditions users to constantly respond and make sense of crisis after crisis, caught in a never-ending loop of adjusting their habits and beliefs to orient themselves in the imagined network of connections that make up how they perceive the world (p. 73). Images, videos, and articles that portray student protest as crisis are then moments that force you to make a semi-public (social media is where the private/public dichotomy breaks apart in the most confusing ways possible) judgment about the place of the university in how you imagine the connections in the political field in the United States. As of now, student protest is a constant fixture in political news coverage, providing a stream of crises that often come to stand in for broader anxiety that stems from the (relatively bipartisan) narrative of a crisis in campus free speech, often connected to (at best) mis-guided political correctness and overzealous student activists or (at worst) “SJWs,” “cultural Marxists,” and the “regressive Left.”

As such, the broader questions that this project seeks to answer is this: how do people imagine the relationship between the university and the field of American political discourse? And what can this imagined position tell us about the structural constraints upon what students can demand and how they can demand it in academic environments? And finally, what are the ethical protocols, the unconscious symbolic commitments, that lead us to imagine the university as such? The police violence against student protestors featured in the FaceBook video functions as a crisis that is perceived to demand the commenters ethical judgment. Using the theoretical lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis, I argue that these FaceBook comments reveal an investment in a fantasy of the campus as an apolitical space of private enjoyment. The invocation of tropes of safety, legality, disruption, and civility depoliticize student’s radical democratic demands by framing them as an improper form of enjoyment that breaks the unconscious ethical injunction to private enjoyment that structures the role of public institutions in racialized neoliberalism.

The paper is split into two parts. First, I articulate a theoretical framework through which to understand neoliberalism and its function in relation to desire. If you are a reader who doesn’t have a whole lot of time and is tired of reading a definition of neoliberalism for the umpteenth time, you can afford to skim this section until you get to the bit about desire. The second part begins with a short literature review regarding neoliberalism in higher education and then moves to an analysis of the comments. I have chosen four long comments that I think are representative of the comments that negatively read the student protestors (if you believe that this is insufficient or that I was cherrypicking the comments to make my argument, then you can always check out the video and the comments yourself). I conclude with a brief discussion of the possibility that student debt could be useful in traversing the fantasy of the apolitical campus.


cwzbmeqvqaarsuv


Neoliberalism and Enjoyment
Neoliberalism is defined by David Harvey (2006) as “the first instance a theory of political economic practices which proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade” (p. 145). Generally used as a descriptive term by those who seek to critique it, the beginnings of neoliberal thought emerge from the work of Austrian and Chicago School neoclassical economists such as Friedrich Hayek, Ludvig von Mises, and Milton Friedman in the early to mid-20th century (p. 146). These economists begin their work with the presupposition of individual liberty and freedom as the defining aspects of the subject and thus the basis of Western civilization; they hold those two values as what must be protected at all costs from the forces of historical contingency set in motion through the tumult of the first half of the 20th century (p.151).

Not only are individual liberty and freedom the defining aspects of subject as market actor, but these economists also claimed that the only mechanism by which they could be properly protected from the likes of both the fascists and communists would be through the expansion of the market and the shrinking of the state. Within this paradigm the state becomes a force that perverts one’s subjectivity through domination, with the only solution being the subordination of the state by the market that allows the intrepid entrepreneur an equal shot at maximizing their potential through a range of choices freely made as per the direction of their life. The primary role of the state is then as the institution that facilitates, rather than intervenes in, the mechanism of the market as guide to human action (Dean, 2009, p.11). The market is defined in opposition to the state in terms of choice; within the neoliberal framework, the market maximizes one’s freedom because of the incredible range of choices that one is presented with and the flexibility to choose whichever one aligns with one’s self-interest rather than the state’s imposition of choice by force of law (p.34).

Following Sylvia Wynter’s (2014) archival and rhetorical scholarship on the origins of our present struggles, I think neoliberalism should be thought of as the currently hegemonic iteration of a much older structure of desire: coloniality, or the logic of racial difference that undergirds the world produced by capitalist, colonial modernity. For Wynter, coloniality is stitched together by the overrepresentation of an idealized figure of White Western Bourgeois Man as the primary metaphor for what it means to be human, defining the anti-Black and settler colonial contours of being, truth, power, and freedom that render the world coherent ( p. 21). And for non-academics, that line probably sounds like the kind of ridiculous sophistry that unnecessarily complicates and obscures what I mean. But think of it more like this: Wynter’s argument is that whenever people (especially those in the global middle class) invoke a universal idea of what it means to be human, they rely on the definitions and conceptions of the human that could be provincialized to Western modernity in its encounter with the Americas. Western political thought needed a way to work around the pesky ethical issue posed by slavery and native genocide, two necessary conditions for the existence of modern America, and its solution was to pretend as if black people and indigenous folks were less than human by nature, trapped by their own flesh. Wynter indicates that it is dangerous to act like saying “we” or “everybody” is something neutral and grounded in common-sense, when in fact the patterns of belief that they commit to are a product of the contingency of historical violence rather than transhistorical truth.

Wynter furthers that in global racialized neoliberalism, the subject (or the concept of the universal agent) that stands in for Man is homo oeconomicus, the rational market actor biologically determined by evolution to freely pursue their self-interest. And here is where I will resist the oft-touted charge of “post modern relativism” (whatever people mean by that): Wynter is not claiming that biology doesn’t matter, nor that it’s all just words—but rather, drawin on neuroscientific research on the co-evolution of language with the human brain, that the grounds for a new humanism, a non-modern universalism, lies in the recognition that the human is a resonance between bios and mythos, story and flesh. Neoliberal multiculturalism, with its respectable celebrations of all ethnic difference, represses the racialization of homo oeconomicus, although it becomes obvious when measured in terms of racial disparities in the market distribution of formerly public goods such as housing, healthcare, or education (Goldberg, 2009). The global middle-class is thus an ethnoclass, where class status helps determine one’s proximity to whiteness and distance from blackness. Racism shifts from a formal code of the state to the informal code of private preferences of the market, muting claims to structural racism by directing the focus of anti-racist efforts towards individual bad actors expressing misinformed private beliefs.

Homo oeconomicus is then based on the fantasy that the self-interested market actor can rationally derive its own desire, and the world of social relations created as a result are a pre-destined product of natural market equilibrium. I turn to Lacanian psychoanalysis here as a theoretical lens that might allows us to better understand the structure of desire that results from this fantasy in the symbolic structure of coloniality. Jacques Lacan is often seen to turns Freudian psychoanalysis on its head—rather than having biologically determined “true” desires that people repress to be allowed into the community, Lacan claims that our entrance into language produces desire. Language translates our needs, like hunger and thirst, into articulated demands that express what we want so that others can recognize our desire. But something is lost in that translation as the symbolic order of language constantly gets in the way of you articulating exactly what it is that you want. Think about how people stop in the middle of a conversation to “search” for the words that could enable them to express themselves; in that moment, there is an obvious disjunction between the words we must use and the things we want. Your desires, and the demands that erupt from them, are always partially pre-figured—you are thrown into a language that pre-existed you, and as it must be shared, it can never be your own. It is at the same time both alien and familiar, and the price for entrance into communal shared reality is a fundamental disconnect from the world.

Desire is structured around the lack, his term for the cut between subject and object that is inaugurated in our entrance into language. Lacan articulates three different registers of subject’s experience: the Imaginary, or the realm of fantasy in which the subject imagines their relation to the object; the Symbolic, or the linguistic economy of signifiers that determine the position of the subject and the object in discourse through the movement of meaning through tropes like metaphor and metonymy; and the Real, or the unsymbolizable contingency of mind-independent reality that intercedes to break apart the other two registers. These three registers are caught in messy entanglements, and each one is at play in the production of the subject’s desire. The subject is constituted around a drive to enjoy repetition of its failure, a painful enjoyment that Lacan terms jouissance, because without habitual misrecognition of the object of our desire in fantasies that breakdown because of the Real’s introduction of gaps in the symbolic, we could not sustain the fantasy that we have agency.

If the assumption that “self-interest” and “rationality” are co-terminous is wrongheaded, then what are the grounds for homo oeconomicus? If the subject is to maximize their self-interest through freely made choices, it must know its own desires—from whence does it find its bearings? Todd McGowan (2004) claims that the advent of capitalism, read through Sylvia Wynter as coloniality, begins to change the hegemonic structure of desire in Western civilization (p. 1). Feudal structures of desire were generally based on prohibitions and taboos derived from tradition. But the advent of capitalist, colonial modernity in the form of the Enlightenment changes that structure, shifting the ethical imperative of prohibition (“do not enjoy!”) to the ethical injunction to enjoy by pursuing your rational self-interest (p. 5).

Following Alenka Zupancic’s (2000) claim that the Enlightenment’s ethical imperatives are the manifestation of the Freudian superego that subjects identify with to enter into society, the ethical imperative of Man as homo oeconomicus is to pursue proper modes of private, individuated enjoyment. Not enjoying ones’ newfound freedom where nothing is prohibited (only regulated) entails not that something is wrong with the world, but rather with the subject themselves—being unhappy is your fault for not learning to properly enjoy (McGowan, p. 22). Enjoyment becomes a private enterprise, where the market’s influence on desire through the symbolic pre-figuration of consumer goods and lifestyle choices is repressed through the fantasy of endless enjoyment (p. 65). The imperative to enjoy then becomes the basis for social activity in a neoliberal society where the subject’s constant misrecognition of desire is buried under the command to demonstrate one’s humanity through enjoyment. This ethical injunction of is the condition for rendering punishment upon those whose enjoyment is rendered improper or criminalized in coloniality’s sorting of the selected and the dysselected in terms of proximity to Man. For further discussion of the differentiation of enjoyment, I would suggest engagement with scholars who interrogate how modernity constitutes the ethics of desire and freedom in terms of slavery, settler colonialism, and imperialism, such as Sadiya Hartman, Hortense Spillers, Lisa Lowe, and Shannon Winnubst.


20161117hmnpittprotest-4-3


Enjoyment in the Protest
My argument here is that the ethical imperative of neoliberal pedagogy is oriented around proper and improper modes of enjoyment. Already a central institution for the production and reproduction of coloniality as a regime of truth and founded with profits from slavery on stolen land, the antagonisms within the pedagogical practices of higher education further shift with the emergence of neoliberalism. Henry Giroux (2010) writes that the economic neo-Darwinism of neoliberal pedagogy “places an emphasis on winning at all costs, a ruthless competitiveness, hedonism, the cult of individualism, and a subject largely constructed within a market-driven rationality…[it] strips education of its public values, critical contents, and civic responsibilities.” (p. 185). Higher education faces both a crisis of legitimacy with ever more students taking on massive student debt in the desperate hope for a job in a market of shrinking opportunity; the curriculum now must meet the needs of the market (Bousquet, 2008). The ‘college experience’ is marketed as a consumer choice, with students produced as compliant individualized subjects who are taught to manage the brutal effects of neoliberal precarity and anxiety through depoliticized therapeutic education (Firth, 2014; Amsler, 2010). Critical pedagogical practices are chastised as causing discomfort and confirming the stereotype of the university as hotbed of liberal indoctrination (Wilson, 2015). Struggles against anti-Blackness/white supremacy are met with lipservice in the form of diversity discourse that substitutes the superficial reforms of liberal multiculturalism for structural changes in both the faculty and student bodies, downplaying the deep cut of social inequalities (Kymlicka, 2013).

I think that the common thread in this literature indicates the veracity of McGowan’s argument—if higher education is figured as a consumer choices to prohibit the politicization of the student body, then learning becomes a practice of private enjoyment. Students isolate themselves in the imaginary register, fantasizing about the potential their jobs might bring in new modes of enjoyment (McGowan, 2004, p. 148). Political questions are a disturbance to one’s inner private life of enjoyment; the only political issues that are worth taking up are those in which personal private enjoyment is at stake such as with the 3000-strong student protest against an alcohol prohibition Michigan State University (p. 150). Student protest then makes more sense in the 60s university campus that is characterized as one of prohibition, with students rights under threat (Altbach and Cohen, 1990). Prohibition as demand makes apparent the experience of dissatisfaction the sacrifice of enjoyment, leading the inadvertent side effect of politicization through a desire for a change in the structure of a repressive social order (McGowan, 2004, p. 138).

In the neoliberal university, the valorization of free speech norms and student choice allows students to feel political as long as they don’t step out of bounds. Note the ever multiplying number of politically oriented student groups, each centered on a specific set of goals that are not meant to overlap and instead provide a safe outlet for the desire to be political. These organizations can be housed in student government organizations, and you can be as radical as you as want as long as you don’t act in such a way that would significantly disturb the status quo, which is a strange shift when put in contrast with previous student agitation centered on questions of radical political change in the university structure. Student and faculty resistance that politicize the space of the university through anti-racist class struggle are met with vociferous backlash from the American public that university administrations are loath to participate in, as evidenced by the lack of administration defense of professors like Dr. Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, Dr. George Ciccariello-Maher, and Dr. Dana Cloud. And I will admit that any criticism of this piece that points out the lack of a productive and nuanced discussion of campus political groups I support is well-warranted; I am bracketing that discussion to put a focus on how administrations and the American public, especially right-wing new media users, approach enjoyment in the university.  Desire for change is instead channeled through politics as private enjoyment, figured as an interesting side effect of campus culture, a quirky consumer choice to modify the ‘college experience’ to one’s own tastes. 

This structure of desire is not one that is pre-given by biological necessity, but requires constant maintenance through the reinforcement of the socio-symbolic coordinates that shape subjects conscious perception of the world. Crises on new media force subjects to draw upon the unconscious to make ethical judgments moment to moment. In these moments, the symbolic order works as a reserve of argumentative fragments for when the subject must speak of what they think of what’s happening in the moment; and this is not to say that there is no agency in these moments of judgments, but rather that any choice is a kind of recombination of previous argumentative fragments. The video of the violence and brutality where the police push and shove students is made sense of through the structured invocation of a series of tropes regarding legality, civility, and the meaning of pedagogy. And so, what is the construction of enjoyment in academic space that is used as argumentative resource in the online conversations about the protest?

Let’s begin with how student protestors are figured as subjects who do not know how to properly enjoy academic space. The political demands of the student protestor are constructed as indicating excess enjoyments, where the motive for protesting is entitlement to space. One comment reads:

Keep crying and feeling entitled young America. The law is the law. During all of my encounters with a police officer they have never been rough with me. I wonder why. Oh yeah that’s right, I do what they say when they say it! Duh! How dumb of me to forget! Fucking kids now a days throw a big hissy fit if something doesn’t go their way or they don’t get what they want. The Rolling Stones said it best, you can’t always get what you want. About time these kids realize that or they will live an angry unhappy life. (Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition, 2016).

Violence is justified against student protestors because they improperly enjoy; political demands here stem from the desires for private enjoyment and an excess of enjoyment in the form of entitlement. It is fine to have private desires for change, but to mobilize that in protest becomes grounds for punishment. Dissatisfaction with the status quo is not political but rather is the product subject’s own inability to properly access private enjoyment. One does not deserve violence as long as one does not feel ‘entitled’ or if one does not ‘throw a big hissy fit’ if they don’t get what they want. The law becomes the limit to enjoyment; rather than prohibition of enjoyment, it is facilitator that is meant to maximize proper private enjoyment. ‘Young America’ stands in for the student protestor, who protests because of a sense of ‘entitlement’ to excess enjoyment in academic space in the form of politics. This reappears in the tie between the private enjoyment of other students in relation to the enjoyment of the protestors.

Looks to me like they were occupying a residence hall. You mean to tell me every protester there was assigned to that hall? 
Also really inconsiderate; I get that y’all need to hate Trump, and the only way to justify it for y’all is to protest and cry, but some responsible students were probably studying and relaxing, and you were ruining that environment for them…or do you not care about safe spaces? (PSSC, 2016)

The protest is not read as a demand to end the injustice of student debt, a central focus of the protest, but rather as ‘crying’ because the protestors do not enjoy Trump. The student protestor as ‘crybaby’ is frequently invoked in the conversation, tying the expression of political demands to the expression of one’s preferences. Crying is then a infantilization of the protestors in an effort to figure them as accessing an excessive enjoyment that disrupts the enjoyment of other students—they metaphorized as children who demand too much. Responsible enjoyers use the space to ‘study’ and ‘relax’, not to use the implications of what is learned to ‘ruin’ the academic environment political demands. To be apolitical is to be civil; the rough ground of politics is outside of the bounds of proper enjoyment. Studying is not to serve political ends. This becomes a common thread in several of the comments; violence is justified because disruption of other student’s enjoyment.

This isn’t “your” campus. You were a fraction of 100 of thousands of students who also pay to be there for and education. Other students may have felt threatened by your actions. Stay in the streets and say what you want, sit where you want that is your right. Disruption of this kind, inside a building is putting the safety of others in harms way. Since the election, students have been barricaded in halls by other students against their will as well as physical disruption to other students by your aggressive behavior. You are threatening your own peers by fear mongering. There have been protests and marches done peacefully, yours wasn’t one of them. And went stating an opinion that you disagree with your answer is “fuck you”. Shaming other people that voted for the same candidate you did. And comparing your behavior to MLK and Vietnam protests…really? (PSSC, 2016)

Disruption of private enjoyment is here found in aggression and physical location of political demands; the political demand is again figured as an expression of one’s right to private enjoyment, but the threat posed by that private enjoyment to other students who ‘also pay’ to be there for ‘education’ ensures that this is excess enjoyment. The highest sin in the society of enjoyment is to disrupt the social bond crafted through the imperative to enjoy; protest is only valid if it is based in the individual’s personal expression, not in democratic contestation with other students that might be against their will. Disruption of the status quo is the limit of private enjoyment.

1. Yes, it is your right to protest.
2. But really, in Towers Lobby? That’s just a disturbance to the 99.9% of students that need to walk through that area that aren’t protesting with you.
3. The police are required to ensure safety of the majority. Y’all were not the majority.
4. Sure, the way some of them acted were brutal. BUT, if you would have OBEYED their requests, they wouldn’t of removed you from the lobby (mind you so the MAJORITY OF US could continue on with our lives as normal) with force. They were yelling so you could hear them. They pushed and pulled because you weren’t evacuating like they asked.
5. Peaceful protests happen all over the world every minute, and you don’t hear about them. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE PEACEFUL.
6. They managed the protest that walked down fifth and Forbes very well, so you can’t tell me they do they aren’t fair and just and doing their job for your protection. (PSSC, 2016)

Here we find the completion of neoliberal logic in the understanding of what the role of the police in the university system. The police are here to facilitate learning in safety rather than to prohibit speech. Peaceful protests are good because they are not heard; the subject can find enjoyment in political demands as long as the work of democracy can be avoided. The actions of the police are instantly rationalized as justified in the face of threatened private enjoyment; pushing, pulling, and yelling are all benevolent when done through the work of a superego who does not demand anything of his subjects but that they enjoy themselves properly.

The hysterics of the small majority are never to be read as something to engage, but rather is understood as talk with no expectation of response. Disobeying the police is a sign that the student protestor has misunderstood the actual purpose of the academic space. The student protestor does not understand that the university is in fact meant for the comfortable and safe process of learning so that one can enter into the market a whole and emotionally stable worker who does not express dissatisfaction with the status quo but rather learns to relieve any anxiety through private enjoyment that does not encroach on the enjoyment of others. As McGowan writes, “the only political issue worth taking up is one in which my private enjoyment is at stake.” (148)

 

Conclusion
To draw my argument to a conclusion, the ethical justifications for the crisis of police brutality directed against student protestors is a product of neoliberal society’s imperative to enjoy, wherein private enjoyment is the ethical injunction by which the student body must live, or otherwise expect punishment. The university is crafted as an apolitical space, where political engagement is only an option as long as it is figured as a consumer choice that does not disrupt or antagonize other student’s private enjoyment. But I do not think that this means there are no grounds for student resistance. Racialized neoliberalism is fueled by contradictions, with one of the most apparent being student loan debt. As put simply by one of my fellow students who has since graduated, ‘you go to school to be able to afford to go to school.’ Student loan debt is an incredible achievement in the instantiation of market logic in higher education; as Chris Masaino (2012) writes “education, among other things, is conceived as a form of “human capital” rather than a social good, an investment security for one’s personal economic portfolio rather than the foundation of democratic citizenship. Student debt — the price one must pay in order to gain access to the possibility of upward mobility — is now one of the most risky investments in that portfolio.” Mobilizing these kinds of contradictions, these gaps and tensions in the symbolic structure of coloniality, is no panacea—I would not be surprised by the incorporation of such a struggle into the redemptive arc of progress upon which the University reproduces itself. But to use it as a topoi, as a commonplace that could begin a conversation that moves towards radicalization, could perhaps be a way forward. Such encounters could start with student debt as a metonym for the more general use of debt as part of a politics of disposability that finds its bearings in turning points in coloniality like the Zong massacre, where 133 slaves were sacrificed to cash out on the insurance on the “cargo.” But as I am quite inept at praxis, and would rather not pretend like I’m some kind of organizer that knows what they’re doing, I will strategically end this paper here before I write something that puts me in a bind.


Bibliography
Altbach, P. G., & Cohen, R. (1990). American student activism: The post-sixties transformation. The Journal of Higher Education, 32-49.

Amsler, S. S. (2011). From ‘therapeutic’to political education: The centrality of affective sensibility in critical pedagogy. Critical Studies in Education, 52(1), 47-63.

Bousquet, M. (2008). How the university works: Higher education and the low-wage nation. NYU Press.

Firth, R. (2014). Somatic pedagogies: Critiquing and resisting the affective discourse of the neoliberal state from an embodied anarchist perspective. ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 16(4), 121-142.

Foucault, M. (2008). The birth of biopolitics: lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979. Springer.

Giroux, H. A. (2010, June). Bare pedagogy and the scourge of neoliberalism: Rethinking higher education as a democratic public sphere. In The Educational Forum (Vol. 74, No. 3, pp. 184-196). Taylor & Francis Group.Goldstein, A. & Schackner. B. (2016).

“Pitt Protest Ends With Arrests At Dorm”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 3 2016. http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/11/17/Another-protest-under-way-in-Pittsburgh-as-faculty-at-Pitt-Point-Park- call/stories/201611170240.

Harvey, D. (2006). Neo‐Liberalism as creative destruction. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 88(2), 145-158.

Kymlicka, W. (2013). Neoliberal multiculturalism. Social resilience in the neoliberal era, 99-125.

“Letter To The Editor – The Pitt News”. (2016). The Pitt News. Accessed December 3 2016. http://pittnews.com/article/114107/opinions/letters- to- editor/letter-to-the-editor-121/.

Maisano, C. (2012). “The Soul of Student Debt.” Jacobin. Jacobinmag.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016, from https://www.jacobinmag.com/2012/12/the-soul-of-student-debt/

Police brutalized and arrested several… – Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition – PSSC | Facebook. (2016). Facebook.com. Retrieved 27 November 2016, from https://www.facebook.com/pittsburghsolidarity/videos/10862704014859 01/?pnref=story

3 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s