University Out Of Focus

Closet cleaner – from “Think” – a Melbourne University Education Action Group paper in 1988. Youthful enthusiasms!

“Forms of masking the minute moments of politics in this place: each time you accept the suggestions of institutional authority, however reasonable or justified – a writer, tutor, lecturer, professor – you blink; the numbers in your class rise from 15 to 20 to 25 and you blink; your classroom is shifted, your seminar is moved to the only time you cannot possibly come, the course you plan to take next year vanish from the handbook and you blink, the degree or major structure is changed yet again and so you blink. Each time you are called in to the office or asked to leave the room (private discussions, a regime of secrecy), each time you provide an explanation for your absence, late essay, ill-prepared seminar paper or lecture – all these are opportunities to blink. Pass the library and blink because you know they don’t stock the authors you want or need, pass the Union building and blink, go to the departmental meeting and blink, belong to a department too small to hold a meeting … and blink as the funds disappear and courses are cancelled despite larger enrollments. Blink at the price of texts, photocopying, parking spaces – blinking lights in the ugly foyers of ugly buildings with lights on the blink, blink here and now, everybody blink. The aesthetic flutter of the eyes which fail to see every moment as decisive – we are almost on the brink of staring back cold and hard, but who can keep their eyes from sliding shut…”

the rest is there to read if you click on the image.


About john hutnyk

Writer on culture, cities, diaspora, history, film, prisons, colonialism, education, Marxism. Studied and taught in Australia at Deakin and Melbourne Universities; and in the UK in Manchester University’s Institute for Creative and Cultural Research; before moving to Goldsmiths in 1998, and becoming Academic Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies in 2004-2014. Has held visiting researcher posts in Germany at the South Asia Institute and Institute fur Ethnologie at Heidelberg University, and Visiting Professor posts in InterCultural Studies at Nagoya City University Japan, Zeppelin University and Hamburg University, Germany, Sociology at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, Turkey and at the Graduate institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. Immediate past adjunct Professor of RMIT University, Melbourne and GIAN Visiting Professor Jadavpur Uni Kolkata.
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3 Responses to University Out Of Focus

  1. Paul says:

    I blinked and discovered that my printing allocation in the library had been removed by administrative slight of hand and that from now on I’m paying for every page I print out of my own pocket – and my fees went up!

  2. Renegade Eye says:

    You might as well blindfold yourself, if you want a new textbook.

  3. Pingback: Grand, just Grand. « trinketization

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