“Liberating action necessarily involves a moment of perception and volition. This action both precedes and follows that moment, to which it first acts as a prologue and which it subsequently serves to effect and continue within history. The action of domination, however, does not necessarily imply this dimension; for the structure of domination is maintained by its own mechanical and unconscious functionality” –José Luiz Fiori, in Paolo Friere, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 33.
In support of the student strike against the privatization of the university, and in solidarity with their demand for accessible education, we undertake to bring education into the public sphere and onto the street through a détournement of our existing classes in support of the student action. This alt-uniEs is governed by three simple propositions: ALTERNATIVE (a challenge to the neoliberal constitution of the university as a commodity or service), UNIVERSITY (a commitment to theory as a methodology of resistance) and UNIeS (a commitment to unity, democratic access, plurality). We understand education as a creative practice that might occur elsewhere than expected places and might lead elsewhere than expected outcomes. We have agreed to post alternative content in lieu of or alongside our scheduled classes at Concordia University, and invite students and the public to contribute statements, comments, discussions, poems, images, documents, invocations, manifestos and other forms of engagement. These alt-classes are provided by faculty in solidarity with the student action, in an effort to maintain access to education for all, and to participate in building sites of unity (‘uniEs’), recognizing the radical potential of pedagogy, but extending beyond the university.
Monika Kin Gagnon, Anna Kruzynski, Krista Geneviève Lynes, Liz Miller, Geneviève Rail, Kim Sawchuk and Jeremy Stolow