Mark Paschal

has written for Reclamations Journal, and is a member of University Research Group Experiment (URGE). He is also a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz.

Towards a History of the Professional: On the Class Composition of the Research University

Towards a History of the Professional: On the Class Composition of the Research University

The intro­duc­tion of research into the mis­sion of high­er edu­ca­tion, a trans­for­ma­tion which took place first in Ger­many and Scot­land, had pro­found and last­ing effects; prin­ci­pal among them was pro­vid­ing a means by which fac­ul­ty in the Unit­ed States (where the state was far weak­er than it was in Europe) could pro­fes­sion­al­ize, orga­nize, and cre­ate a new insti­tu­tion­al form – a hybrid of Euro­pean and US high­er edu­ca­tion now hailed as the Amer­i­can Research Uni­ver­si­ty.

Against Humanities: The Self-Consciousness of the Corporate University

Against Humanities: The Self-Consciousness of the Corporate University

A stan­dard fea­ture of the hand-wring­ing asso­ci­at­ed with the cri­sis of the uni­ver­si­ty is a fix­a­tion on the human­i­ties. After all, for those of us in the so-called cre­ative and crit­i­cal fields, illus­trat­ing, visu­al­iz­ing and – dare we say it – brand­ing the cri­sis is a new and unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to show off. This is what we went to school for, isn’t it? Take a recent event at Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty, which dra­ma­tized the ques­tion with the fol­low­ing thought exper­i­ment: after some sort of mar­itime dis­as­ter (details are scarce), a group of under­grad­u­ates com­man­deers a life raft. As luck would have it, they have a bit of space left – but, trag­ic twist of fate, the only peo­ple left to save are pro­fes­sors. Instead of giv­ing up the seats to their elders, our clever young nar­cis­sists make the pro­fes­sors present a case as to why they deserve the remain­ing spot on the life raft.

A Small Taste of Student Fists: The UCSC Campus Shutdown

A Small Taste of Student Fists: The UCSC Campus Shutdown

Leg­end has it that the cam­pus of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San­ta Cruz was designed by a prison archi­tect who, in response to stu­dent riots at UC Berke­ley, cre­at­ed a cam­pus grid with­out a cen­tral point. Lack­ing a major quad or lawn, demon­stra­tions would be dis­persed to the indi­vid­ual col­leges, defused and con­trolled. While this leg­end is cer­tain­ly not true – UCSC was con­ceived of as an exper­i­ment in “human-scale” edu­ca­tion whose exis­tence was to chal­lenge the dehu­man­iz­ing size of state uni­ver­si­ties – the lay­out of UCSC does present this chal­lenge to stu­dent activists. 

Hostile and Notorious: The Conditions of Private Property

Hostile and Notorious: The Conditions of Private Property

Fol­low­ing the recent four-day occu­pa­tion of an emp­ty bank build­ing at 75 Riv­er Street in San­ta Cruz and the attempt­ed occu­pa­tion of an emp­ty ware­house in Seat­tle, the con­tro­ver­sial tac­tic of attempt­ing to seize and hold vacant pri­vate prop­er­ty has been tak­en up as a new front of a sprawl­ing social move­ment. These actions move beyond protest­ing the enclo­sure of pub­lic space and sti­fling of free speech; they aim to expand the scope of cri­tique to the role that pri­vate prop­er­ty plays in our cur­rent cri­sis. This change in scope has not been lost on the land­lords. “I’m def­i­nite­ly not in agree­ment with this group tak­ing over pri­vate prop­er­ty,” a local prop­er­ty own­er told the Mer­cury News.

A House Is a Home (with the help of bolt cutters): on occupation and its potentialities

A House Is a Home (with the help of bolt cutters): on occupation and its potentialities

Occu­py-relat­ed protests have steadi­ly increased in num­ber and mil­i­tan­cy, and so has the result­ing police repres­sion. This has only made it more urgent to to iden­ti­fy and under­stand recent impor­tant steps in the trans­for­ma­tion of the move­ment. These steps were most vis­i­ble in the gen­er­al strike in Oak­land, and the lat­er occu­pa­tion of the Traveller’s Aid build­ing, and they have begun to expand through­out the coun­try.

Strike, Take Over, Occupy Everything! The Story of the Bank of America 95

Strike, Take Over, Occupy Everything! The Story of the Bank of America 95

Get­ting arrest­ed, at least in my case, was slow and phys­i­cal­ly drain­ing. Before con­tin­u­ing, I should note that I draw no anal­o­gy between my expe­ri­ence of polit­i­cal arrest and the con­stant harass­ment and deten­tion that accom­pa­ny life on the mar­gins. I am not one of the men­tal­ly ill who are removed from pub­lic sight to make com­merce safe; one of the drug addicts who some­times pound their heads against the pad­dy wag­on walls until blood flows; one of undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants who now pop­u­late bank-owned, for-prof­it pris­ons; or one of those who attract the police because of the col­or of their skin. I was also not beat­en by the police or held with­out charges. Arrest for polit­i­cal offense, in my case, meant sit­ting for a long time in Bank of Amer­i­ca on Novem­ber 16, hav­ing ABC Live lit­er­al­ly watch my back, and wait­ing in a cold seat in an impro­vised pen for two hours. That day-after sore­ness from hav­ing my hands cuffed behind my back was my biggest phys­i­cal or emo­tion­al com­plaint tes­ti­fies to this dif­fer­ence.