Workshops Knowledge Production

(24-7-2010) The Workshops have ended. The results were presented in a closing teach-in on the 15th of June. Two presentations can be found here in the form of essays: Introduction: Current Situation“, by Herman van Veelen & “Presentation on the improvement of higher education”, by Jasper Ligthart.

January 13, 20 and 27, Zaal B – Ruppert gebouw Uithof, Utrecht 19.00 — 21.30.

To test our proposals for more democracy in education in practice, there will be a series of workshops in 2010 on the 13th, 20th and 27th of January at the University of Utrecht, resulting from a cooperation between professor of anthropology Fabiola Jara Gómez, philosophy teacher Jos Scheren and Kritische Studenten Utrecht. These workshops serve two goals. One is to feed back the results of these workshops, whatever they may be, as much as possible to the university community to contribute to a necessary and critical discussion about our higher education. Another goal is to try out a very different, more horizontal, more democratic, way of education which opens the door to more students’ participation inside the classroom and gives them more say about the way they wish to participate in a course. We invite all interested, students or non-students, to sign up.


Producing something new is a joyful event, which comes from a continuous composition of ideas between brains. This living knowledge escapes somewhere and somehow measurement and control. But despite its nature, knowledge in universities is today trapped into the rigid organization of curricula, measured through multiple-choice question exams and study points, and research subordinated to immediate application and profitability.
These workshops will provide the tools to understand how knowledge is produced in common and how — and to what extend — it can be captured by controlling powers.
Furthermore, the seminar itself will be an attempt to observe living knowledge in action. Think of the word ‘brainstorm’. If you try to understand and change the situation you are in and you need to invent something new, it will always be storming in your body. This continuing storm is what makes knowledge live. The seminar is an effort to organize, to construct the storm.

  • 13/01 The art of living knowledge: common notions*. Dr Fabiola Jara, Universiteit Utrecht
  • 20/01 The possibilities and impossibilities of capturing living knowledge*. Jos Scheren, free-lance filosoof
  • 27/01 The construction of the common*. Matteo Pasquinelli, Queen Mary University London

*Scroll down to read about the content of each workshop in more detail

For university bachelor students it is possible to attend the workshops and get credits (ECT’s) a minimum of 1.5. It is possible to add more credits (with a maximum of 7,5) after consult with the coordinator of the workshop Dr. Fabiola Jara Gomez. Your ECTS will depend on your participation; you can, for example, choose to give a presentation, write extra material, invent your own assignment, or only participate in the workshops.

For every session the participants are expected to read a short list of articles and book extracts. The texts will be made digitally accessible to you once you have sent us the inscription form.

Zaal B — Ruppert gebouw, Uithof, Utrecht

Sign up!
To attend the seminar please fill in and send the inscription form bellow to the coordinator of the workshop:

Name and surname:
E-mail address:
Postal adress:
Telephone number:
If student:
University affiliation:
Student registration number:

*The workshops; in more detail

January 13
The art of living knowledge: common notions.

Dr Fabiola Jara, Department of Cultural Anthropology Utrecht University

It’s an art to combine an idea that you made for a particular situation with a new idea that also may come up. You have to improvise because you are getting into new land and you have to improvise consistently. This consistent improvisation is needed to protect yourself against what is threatening you and what you have made in common with others. How to protect yourself and at the same time how to create, that is an art. And it is an art that can help you to free yourself from the deadly quantified knowledge production of the academic world.
So the first workshop will be about how to become an artist, a craftsman in the art of living knowledge. A partial suggestion how to get there, will come from one the greatest and sweetest philosophers of the world, Spinoza. Fabiola Jara will try to provide answers to the rest of the questions.

January 20
The possibilities and impossibilities of capturing living knowledge.
Dr. Jos Scheren, non academic philosopher.
There is always something like living knowledge active, you may not even know. But almost as active as the living knowledge is its capturing by powers that do not produce but want to own. They — and they that is all kinds of academic bureaucracies- limit, interrupt, quantify, steal the stream of living knowledge.
So this workshop is about our adversaries, how they work, how they organize their power, how they dispossess. In other words, the workshop is about something frightening. It is about capital. We will try to construct in this workshop a useful concept of capital that might help us to develop a better understanding of our actual situation. Partly will that bring us to an old comrade by the name of Marx. We will borrow from him whatever we need and we will use him selfishly.
And for the rest, we have to go beyond him.

January 27
The construction of the common.
Matteo Pasquinelli, Queen Mary University London
We are all familiar with the word ‘common sense’, i.e, something that goes for most of us without saying. Something that we do not have to explain or justify. The concept of the ‘common’ is certainly related to ‘common sense’, however the ‘common’ as a concept is also a bit richer. It means something that people have constructed together, that they made in common that is not completely or almost not given in certain situations. You can think of a workshop like this, space that students take back from the university, a band that produces its own music and organizes its distribution, a network etc
The concept of ‘ common’ can help us to avoid the dated dichotomy of private and public. It is the effort to create a commonwealth against the worn out channels of governments, governance and political parties.
Matteo Pasquinelli will share with you his thoughts about the above mentioned. He published recently a book about the subject: Animal Spirits. A bestiary of the commons.

720 thoughts on “Workshops Knowledge Production

  1. Pingback: Workshops: Kennisproductie, januari 2010, aan de UU – Schrijf je in! « Kritische Studenten Utrecht | 2009

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