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.