Counter/Mapping QMary: the university and border technologies

To begin by asking <what is the university> requires an investigation of the function of the university not only as a knowledge factory but also as a border. Our investigation of what the university produces as knowledge, hierarchies and power exposes the border/s that operate in, on and around the university. That <the university is a border> is made possible by the operation of a filter mechanism. The counting of bodies, money in and money out, who can and can not enter, what are we when we leave, the limits of what is and is not knowledge and the complicity with national and global border regimes – who and what is stopped at the border?


A group of students, staff and researchers at Queen Mary University have set out to map the ways in which migration, border technologies, surveillance and monetary flows intersect with the university as our place of work and study. Joining us in the project are the <Counter-Cartographies Collective from the University of North Carolina>, who will help us to explore the dynamics and possibilities of mapping as method and action.

From Thursday 13 May – Monday 24 May we will gather to discuss, research and take action to produce a counter map of Queen Mary University. As part of our practice we will be facilitating <three public workshops> to expand the participation and possibilities of the project. These workshops as well as the counter mapping production process are open to all who are interested and are free to attend – please see below for the programme and contact details.


Thursday 13 May, 2pm                    Imaginaries of the university

<Opening event of the Counter/Mapping QMary project>

The Counter-Cartographies Collective will present their work on the neo-liberal university and discuss their maps, methodologies and actions. This session will address our imaginaries of the university – current and potential – and will conclude with a drift around QM campus.

Thursday 20 May, 2pm             How to make a counter-map

<Workshop: mapping at method, practice and action>

The Counter-Cartographies Collective will facilitate a workshop on radical collaborative mapping skills using available open source mapping software and web-based data-mining techniques. Free and open to all, email us to register.

Monday 24 May, 4pm                The politics and potential of counter-mapping

<Presentation and open discussion> In this event, the Counter/Mapping QMary project will present their map of Queen Mary.

This presentation will be followed by an open discussion of the methods and politics of mapping the university as a site of migration, education and labour struggles.

Invited interlocutors:

The Students not Suspects Campaign (Goldsmiths),

No Cuts at Queen Mary Campaign,

Jane Wills,

Ishani Chandrasekara,

David Pinder,

John Hutnyk,

Alberto Toscano

Contact info:
Counter/Mapping QMary
Facebook group: countermapping qmary

The Counter/Mapping QMary project is generously supported by the School of Business and Management and the Economy, Development and Social Justice and the Culture, Space and Power research groups (Geography Dept) at Queen Mary University.