Labour Struggles in the Edu-Factory

Discussion and book launch for Toward a Global Autonomous University, edited by the Edu-factory collective

A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event
In collaboration with Edu-factory and Autonomedia

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Toronto Free Gallery
1277 Bloor Street West (by Lansdowne Ave)

toward-a-global-aut-uni-coverOccupations in the United States and Austria, mass demonstrations of students in Italy and France, labour organizing drives across North America, strikes in Ontario: After decades of university restructuring, recent years have seen a surge of struggle in the sphere of post-secondary education. How have these struggles played out locally? How do they relate to the broader transformation of labour under cognitive capitalism? What is the role of trade unionism within these movements? How do we build up an international network of struggles in and around the ongoing crisis of higher education? Join us for a discussion of these questions to launch Toward a Global Autonomous University: Cognitive Labor, the Production of Knowledge, and Exodus from the Education Factory, an edited volume recently published by Autonomedia.


Erika Biddle is a PhD candidate in Communication and Culture at York University, Toronto. She has been a member of the Autonomedia editorial collective since 2002.

Holly Baines is a precariously employed contract academic staff and member of the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association. She has been involved in academic, labour and other struggles for many years and was on the informal strike support team for the CUPE 3902 strike at McMaster in 2000 and the strike support committee during the 2008 strike at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Max Haiven is Chair of the Political Action Committee (and past president) of CUPE local 3906 which represents over 2,700 precarious academic workers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster where he researches globalization, finance and imagination.

Tom Keefer is an editor of the anti-capitalist journal “Upping the Anti” and a member of CUPE 3903 at York University, where he is a PhD candidate in Political Science.

Edu-factory is a transnational collective engaged in the transformations of the global university and conflicts in knowledge production. The global network collects and connects theoretical investigations and reports from university struggles. The network has organized meetings all around the world, paying particular attention to the intertwining of student and faculty struggles. In addition to English, the collective has published the volume in Italian, as Univerisità globale: Il nuovo mercato del sapere (Manifestolibri, 2008), and in Spanish, as Universidad en Conflicto (Traficantes de sueños, 2010).

Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (TSCI) would like to thank Toronto Free Gallery and Autonomedia for their assistance in making this event possible.

The Visionary Cartography of Félix Guattari

A Talk and Book Launch with Franco Berardi (Bifo)

Wednesday 25 March, 7:00-9:00pm

Room 066 | John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design | University of Toronto | 230 College Street

Listen to mp3 audio of event

felix-and-bifoAs a political activist, Bifo has focused on the creation of autonomous sources of information, cultural production and affective participation. Like others involved in the Italian political movement of Autonomia, during the 1970s Bifo fled to Paris, where he worked with Félix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. Bifo’s political practice intersects with the theoretical and conceptual terrain of Guattari’s writings to rethink the potential of provisional communities, desire, depression, friendship and political errors.

This event marks the long awaited translation of Bifo’s Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship, and Visionary Cartography (Palgrave, 2008). Bifo’s biography originates in the author’s close personal relationship and collaboration with Guattari in the 1970s and 1980s. In the words of Gary Genosko, “Bifo ensures that the refrains of Guattari’s processes of subjectivation do not petrify into academic givens but continue to sing their extraordinary singularity and make new becomings available for those engaged in tomorrow’s struggles.” Following an introduction by Gary Genosko, Bifo will traverse the pages of Félix.

Franco Berardi (Bifo) is a writer, media theorist and media activist. He founded the magazine A/traverso and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy. He is currently collaborating on the magazine Derive Approdi and teaches the social history of communication at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. He is the co-founder of the e-zine and of the free pirate television network Telestreet. For more information and writings by the author, including his recent Post-Futurist Manifesto, visit Generation-online.

Gary Genosko is Canada Research Chair in Technoculture Studies and Director of the Technoculture Lab at Lakehead University. He has published extensively on Félix Guattari’s life and work in The Guattari Reader, Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction, The Party without Bosses: Lessons on Anti-Capitalism from Guattari and Lula da Silva, and the three volume collection Deleuze and Guattari: Critical Assessments. He also edits The Semiotic Review of Books.

Collaborating with a network of activists, artists, and theorists, Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (TSCI) initiates events that inquire into the new enclosures and creative pathways beyond them.

TSCI would like to thank Gary Genosko, Alessandra Renzi and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Transformative Tactics

Celebrating the launch of Richard Day’s book, Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements (Pluto Press/Between the Lines)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Toronto Free Gallery, 660 Queen Street East (w. of Broadview)

gramsci_is_deadWhat strategies and tactics are today’s activists using to achieve social transformation? Are taking over the state or trying to reform its structures the only way to achieve meaningful social change? Or are direct-action tactics, for example, potentially more effective?

Join us for a participant-led conversation and celebration around these questions. Some of our guests include Adrian Blackwell, AnarchistU, Todd Irvine, David McNally, Stuart Vickars, Cynthia Wright, and others to be confirmed. The evening will begin with short video screenings by John Greyson, Rick Palidwor, and Pedestrian Mob. After the forum, everyone is invited to continue the conversation at a party in Toronto Free Gallery!

Supported by Between the Lines.