Hi everyone,

We will meet for the final exam session on Thursday from 12:50 – 2:50. 


It is very important that you are there. This is when we will discuss grades. 

Also, please be in class this Friday to continue our collective thought-experiment.

Please attend this week!

Hi everyone,

This is our final week of class. We’ll be finishing up our discussion of anxiety and reflecting on what worked/didn’t work in the class. Please attend, no matter which track you are on. 

Folks from track 2, please get me your papers as soon as possible. Folks from track 1, we’ll talk tomorrow.


Instead of class…


On Friday, there will be a March against Debt!

I’ll be there, you are all welcome (though not required) to join. I can pretty much guarantee it will be fun and exciting.

It begins at 12:50 outside the Student Center, right next to Faner. Then it begins again at 1:50 at the front entrance of the Library.


Hope to see you there! Track 2 folks, you can hand me your papers if you come, or you can email them to me.

Next week, we will finish up the Six Thesis on Anxiety text. It would be good if everyone from both tracks attended class next week.





Last Friday, we all sat in a circle and read the final chapter of Declaration out loud. I thought this was fun, and I hope helped people understand the text a little better. 

This week, I’d like to try this again with a new text — it just came out last week and I’m curious about what your thoughts are! 

Its called “We are all very anxious: Six thesis on anxiety…”

Here’s the link:

Try to read the text in advance. Things like this usually take a few readings to grasp.

Please bring a copy of the text with you to class (can be on your phone or computer) so that you can read along. We’ll read and discuss together 🙂


Hey ya’ll, here is something to read about the Debtor’s Assembly (not required, but might just be worth your time). The next assembly is Thursday at 3 on the north side of the student center

Midwest Campus Crisis

Photos Provided by Jake Haines Photography Photo Provided by Jake Haines Photography

By Strike Debt Carbondale

We held a Debtors’ Assembly on April 10 outside of the Student Center on Southern Illinois University campus. Inspired by Strike Debt, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, our only plan for the assembly was to come with some personal stories about how debt affects our lives and our visions for the future, and to invite others to share their own thoughts on these topics.

Speaking at the assembly, one organizer confessed that during the planning, he found himself at a loss as to what kind of “personal story” to share at the assembly.

So he called his mother.

Mom taught literature at a junior high school in rural Illinois for more than 20 years. She also raised two kids, with some financial help from grandma, a little from dad and a lot from loans.

Stress, mom said, is inseparable…

View original post 513 more words

Class; Assignment for Track 2; Projects for Track 1

Hi everyone,

1. So I’ve really been enjoying the open discussion format we’ve been doing this week. I think one more day of that before we finish Declaration will be helpful. For Monday, please read chapter 3 of Declaration.

Also, a number of people have asked about assignments. Thank you! I’ve been trying to think up what kind of writing assignment will best fit with the tone of the course. Here is my current idea for Track 2 folks:

2. Track 2 Final Essay (DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 25): Please select (at least) two readings from the course that you have found especially helpful/interesting/challenging. 

Part 1: the mainstream view. In 2-3 pages, try to summarize, as best you can, your own thoughts about the theme of the reading that you held at the start of the class, or that you think are common among people like you in our society. For example, if you were to choose Angela Davis’ “Prisons and Globalism,” you would use part one to write about what “most people think” about prisons, and elaborate on why you thought (or still think!) this way. How did you come to the assumptions you have? Through personal experience? Through media images? Through simple reflection? Try to identify what the core assumptions of the position are: for example, you might suggest that one core assumption about the mainstream view of prisons is that “breaking the law always means one has done something wrong.” Try to identify as many core assumptions about the mainstream view of your selected topic(s) as possible.

Part 2: summary of the reading. In 2-3 pages, give a clear, concise summary of the argument of the reading. This should answer the following questions: what is the author’s thesis in the piece? What are the arguments the author deploys to defend that thesis? What facts or statistics does the author use to support those arguments? How do these arguments challenge (or confirm) the mainstream view?

Part 3: Critical reflection. In 2-3 pages, please reflect on how this reading (or our class discussions of it) either challenge or confirm your own position. To what extent has your own way of thinking about this issue changed over the course of our readings and discussions?

Part 4: Action. What do you want to do about it? 

3. Track 1 Projects: By next Friday, April 18, please provide me with some written summary of your project so far. For most folks, we’ve discussed a writing assignment. Please have something for me to show you have been reflecting on these issues. If your assignment was not written, please write me up a summary of what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been thinking about it. NOTE: if you haven’t done anything at all, do not beat yourself up and freak out! Just write what you wanted to do and why you think you haven’t done anything. Its cool, just be honest and thoughtful.

Assignment: Declaration, ch.1

Hi all,

For Wednesday, please read chapter 1 of Declaration. If you did not read the “opening,” please do so.

Today, we discussed the “Opening” of Hardt and Negri’s Declaration. There were four broad themes covered:

1. “Declaration,” not manifesto.

For H&N, recent social movements do not need prophets — the people themselves are expressing what kind of world they want through their revolt and rebellion. The aim of intellectuals like H&N, therefore, is not to describe what the new world must be like, but to interpret the actions of the social movements that are creating a new world.

2. The movements of 2011

2011 saw a global wave of revolt, from Tunisia to Egypt to Spain to Greece to Wisconsin to Occupy Wall Street. Each of these moments was different — there were different local concerns. But, for H&N, there are deep similarities as well. Further, many of these movements were in communication, playing off one another, “passing the baton.”

3. the “forms of subjectivity” of neoliberalism — and the possibility of inverting them through revolt and rebellion.

“Forms of Subjectivity” here means “ways of being a self.” For H&N, who we are is deeply affected by the relations of power in society. They will discuss for forms of subjectivity appropriate to neoliberalism: the Indebted, the Mediatized, the Securitized, and the Represented. For example, to be in debt is to be in the world in a different way from those who aren’t — our perception, our worries, our thoughts are different from how they would otherwise be.

The book will also talk about how in the process of participation in social movements, these subjectivities change and even “invert.”

4. principles of a new constituent power.

The book will propose a set of principles that the authors find in contemporary movements which could serve as the guiding framework for a different society, one with a different conception of what our “inalienable rights” are.

If you didn’t make it today, I think its safe to say you missed a bunch. But we’ll spend some time going through this book.