Making the Co-operative University conference report

Dr Joss Winn has recently written an opinion piece for the Times Higher Education website, reporting on the recent conference, Making the Co-operative University.  In part, the conference builds on research that Joss and Prof. Mike Neary have been undertaking into co-operative higher education since 2010.

“Last week, the Co-operative College, established in Manchester in 1919, hosted a conference on ‘Making the Co-operative University’ with the intention of exploring its role in supporting and co-ordinating a federated model of co-operative higher education.

Throughout the day, there was a sense of anticipation and historic responsibility among the 90 delegates who were told that in 1909, W. R. Rae, Chair of the Co-operative Union educational committee, had addressed the Union and stated that “What we want and seek to obtain is a co-operative journey that will end in a co-operative university”.  Writing at a time when there were only 15 universities in the UK, Rae saw the development of a co-operative university as another example of members providing for themselves where the State did not: “So long as the State does not provide it, we must do, as we have in the past, the best we can to provide it ourselves.””

Read the full article on Joss’ blog and further reports from the conference on the Co-operative Higher Education bibliography.


Reading Group: Scholarship in societies of control & the ‘data university’ – 28 June

Scholarship in societies of control: understanding and resisting the ‘data university’
28 June, 1:00–2:00pm, DCB1107

Everyone is welcome to this reading and discussion group. Please read.

We are reading: The Analogue University (2017) ‘Control, resistance and the “data university”: towards a third-wave critique’,, 31 March,

‘[…] In this short intervention, we want to explore the possibilities for a third wave of critique related to the changing nature of academia. More specifically, we argue that we are now witnessing the emergence of the “Data University” where the initial emphasis on the primacy of data collection for auditing and measuring academic work has shifted to data coding itself as the new exchange value at work and productive of new subjectivities and freedoms. This third wave critique requires drawing a schematic line that now takes us beyond the intensification of neo-liberalisation, the internalisation of market values and associated affective structures of feeling to understanding our new digital and big data world. Influenced by Deleuze’s (1992) work on new societies of control, we argue that the genesis of the “Data University” lies in our active desire for data and its potential to mediate human relations and modulate our freedoms. This is absolutely central to our schematic for a third wave of critique: compared to older disciplinary societies like the school or prison institution (see below), today individuals both desire and are controlled through the active generation of proliferating data streams. […]’

‘Reading Capital’ – John Holloway in Lincoln – 16 June

16 June 2017

Professor John Holloway will be speaking about his new work, ‘Reading Capital: wealth in-against-and-beyond value’ at the University of Lincoln, on 16th of June.

“John’s reading and writings on Marxist social theory are highly influential as a way of rethinking Marx in terms of ‘Change the World Without Taking Power’ (2005) and abolishing the social relations of capitalist production through acts of resistance, as ways to ‘Crack Capitalism’ (2010). In this new work ‘Reading Capital’ John points out that Capital does not start with the commodity, as Marx and probably all commentators since Marx have claimed. It actually starts with wealth: “The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an ‘immense collection of commodities’ …” Seeing wealth and not the commodity as the starting point has enormous consequences, both theoretically and politically. To say that Capital starts not with the commodity but with wealth is both revolutionary and self-evident. The challenge is to trace this antagonism through the three volumes of Capital. This is the theme of the talk. Free Buffet lunch is included.”

Register for this event


Reminder: ‘Pedagogies of Inclusion & Equality in the Performative Society’

Pedagogies of Inclusion and Equality in the Performative Society
7 June, 12:30–1:30pm, DCB1107

Working lunch conversation and research/workshop planning

What does it mean to educate for inclusion and equality in the performative society? More than ten years after Stephen Ball published his seminal paper ‘The teacher’s soul and the terrors of performativity’, teachers in English schools, colleges and universities are struggling not ‘to set aside personal beliefs and commitments and live an existence of calculation’ within systems of marketisation, managerialism and accountability. Yet while this is a shared struggle with personal and social consequences, there are few spaces in which teachers can collectively share their unspoken knowledges, develop critical understandings about the conditions of their work, learn about trends in today’s progressive education movements, develop effective strategies of resistance to the marketisation of education, and imagine alternative educational futures. Such space is urgently needed, particularly by those who are working the with children, young people and adults whom ‘the market’ most devalues, damages and excludes. The aim of this conversation is to make a start on creating it.

If you are working in this field, please join us to share your research and help us design a workshop for educators! Bring your own lunch! For more information, contact Sarah Amsler (

Academic Freedom in the UK – new report


Academic Freedom








A new report on academic freedom in the UK, commissioned by the University and College Union on behalf of its members, has determined that ‘the levels of both the de jure and de facto protection for academic freedom are lower in the UK than in the other EU nations’.

The report, which which was produced by Professor Terence Karran and Ms. Lucy Mallinson of the University of Lincoln School of Education, calls for raising academics’ awareness about the legal meaning of academic freedom and its protection in other parts of the world, and for promoting changes in university policy and UK law in order to facilitate and guarantee this protection. UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt has said:

We believe a free society is one that is defined by robust self-governing institutions that regulate themselves within the law, but outside government influence. The launch of the report at UCU Congress also represents the start of a wider debate on what academic freedom is and how universities must defend it. This is a debate we hope the entire sector will get involved in.

Click on here for key findings of the report, or click on the image above to read the full report.