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Broke-Ass Schools: The last Middlesex U-or Kingston U-Philosophy update

Posted in Broke-Ass Schools by Arnold Pan on June 26, 2010
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This will probably be the last update on the Middlesex U Philosophy Center saga that has been going on for a few months now, which brought out some of the world’s best-known philosophy types to tackle the growing epidemic of broke-ass schools.  This is finally the final word on the matter,  because there’s a happy ending to the story: The highly rated Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), which was downsized at Middlesex despite being it’s top-rated program, is headed to Kingston University in London.  The CRMEP’s renowned M.A. and Ph.D. programs will continue on at Kingston, and all the students and some of the staff will be able to move with the program.

"Kingston University" by demian (Creative Common license)

The way the Save Middlesex Philosophy blog sees it, the decision by Kingston to take on the CRMEP is pretty much an in-your-face to the bean-counting admin at Middlesex–maybe they could hire one of those “Wide Load” house-moving trucks that take up two lanes on the freeway to metaphorically up and leave Middlesex for Kingston!  Part of the story is that Kingston is expanding its humanities programs, so maybe one school’s dead-weight is another’s potential moneymaker.  According to the blog:

Unlike Middlesex, Kingston is expanding rather than cutting back its provision in humanities subjects, and it is investing in research in these areas. In addition to taking on CRMEP staff, Kingston will be making a number of other high-level appointments over the coming months, and is launching its own London Graduate School in conjunction with colleagues from several other Universities internationally.  We believe that Kingston will provide an enthusiastic and supportive base for the activities of the CRMEP.

Apparently, a few other institutions on the continent are itching to collaborate with the CRMEP, so maybe this whole situation has only helped to boost its international profile.  The blog also points out how the multi-national effort to save Middlesex–or, rather, Kingston, now–philosophy has galvanized movements to protect at-risk humanities depts in England and elsewhere.  In any case, some folks really, really deserve to take some time off this summer–Congrats for giving us an example of self-preservation, Kingston U Philosophy!

Broke-Ass Schools: Middlesex University (UK) Philosophy

"Atrium at Middlesex University London at night" by Fox8901 (Public Domain)

Since we’re on the topic of academic celebs, here’s a case where they’re using their superpowers for good, fighting the epidemic of Broke-Ass Schools: Though Homi Bhabha hasn’t signed on as far as we can tell, superstars from B (Alain Badiou) to Z (Slavoj Zizek) are rallying to try and save the day for the Middlesex University philosophy program in the UK.  Many of you might have learned about this already from your Facebook news feed since a lot of academic types have joined the “Save Middlesex Philosophy!” fanpage, which now numbers of 12,000 members from around the world.  Along with the powerhouses mentioned above, esteemed scholars like Etienne Balibar, Judith Butler, Hardt & Negri, and Gayatri Spivak have co-signed a letter to the Times Higher Education in the UK speaking out against the proposed shutdown of one of the preeminent philosophy programs in Europe (which I guess we can assume is true, based on the caliber of its supporters).

Some choice quotes from the letter, below the fold