Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Religion Seminar: The Global Center for Advanced Studies

1010197_264315870410690_259011654_n (1)God, No-God, Non-God, God’s negation of God, Human’s negation of God, God’s negation of humans–Why do we keep repeating this “a/theological” symptom?–a perversion to be sure.  But repetition, as Professor Caputo reminds us via Kierkeggard, only ever repeats its own unrepeatability.  And it is with this perverse-pleasure that John D. Caputo, Thomas Altizer, Clayton Crockett, Peter Rollins & Jeffrey W. Robbins will lead a seminar from the “Death of God” theology, made famous in the 1960s, to our contemporary moment in the wake of Derrida and Zizek’s return to religion and beyond.   You can read the syllabus here:  http://www.globaladvancedstudies.org/2014/02/ctpe-840-contemporary-philosophy-of.html

Here is the schedule:

March 6: “Death of God” theology (guest Thomas Altizer). Required Reading/Viewing.

  1. The New Gospel of Christian Atheism, Thomas Altizer.http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Gospel-Christian-Atheism/dp/1888570652
  2. Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps:
 March 13: “The Return to Religion” (Derrida/Zizek). Required Reading.
March 20: “The New Materialism”. Required Reading.

  1.  Clayton Crockett & Jeffrey W. Robbins, Religion, Politics & The Earth: The New. http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Politics-Earth-Materialism-Theologies/dp/1137374217/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393531389&sr=1-1&keywords=Crockett+The+New+Materialism(Introduction, Chapters 1, 2 & 3)
March 27: “The Caputo Twist” (John D. Caputo & Peter Rollins). Required Reading:

  1. John D. Caputo, The Insistence of God: A Theology of Perhaps (Chapters 1, 2, 7, 11-12). http://www.amazon.com/Insistence-God-Theology-Philosophy-Religion/dp/0253010071/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393531482&sr=1-1&keywords=John+D.+Caputo
  2. Peter Rollins, Insurrection: To Believe is Human to Doubt Divine.http://www.amazon.com/Insurrection-Believe-Human-Doubt-Divine/dp/1451609000/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393531570&sr=1-1&keywords=Peter+Rollins

Into the Abyss: We Go Together

The nagging, a tickle, the haunting of some other voice.  A trace.  But you have developed ways to repress this secret voice calling you with its faint barely audible voice.  But it lingers still.  What to do?  Ignore it?  Too late: you can only do this for so long.  Reject it as irrational?  But it remains there all the same.  Irrational or not, there is a calling from the abyss that no language however analytic and clear can finally do away with it once and for all.  Finally, one must confront it, to acknowledge it and engage it–to tarry with the negative.

Recently, about 70 students signed-up to the inaugural Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) seminar, “Introduction to Political Economy: The Crisis in Higher Education” and we immediately found ourselves opening up our lives with one another even before our first meeting.  We opened with the freedom to voice a fundamental contradiction found within the heart of each and everyone’s experience as we traversed through the “educational” process.  What we found was that although we were being “educated” we found something wanting in that experience.  We all passed the “tests” we all achieved the “success” of degrees (BAs, MAs even PhDs) attached to our names, but in the very appearance of the these letters we realized we had lost something too.  What did we loose?

There is a sense in which what we have lost was something much more profound, something barely audible–a whisper even.  I think, and I am summarizing here, that what is lost is that we had to put aside the fire and inspiration of the joy of collectively arriving at something as like a journey whose destination is the journey itself.  In short, this contra-voice emerges at the precise moment when the degree is granted and the journey is hijacked by the socially marked terminal point of a “degree”!  Congrats!  You have made it!  But in the “making it” to an end–we’re realizing a great dissatisfaction that we have been made premature “masters” of a subject whose end can never be arrived at.  We have come to realize that in the journey of learning there is an infinite endeavor that keeps requiring our lives, our attention, our desire.  It requires something more than ourselves.

In short, all I wish to say is that it is a joy to be part of a community, a mere seminar whose aim is not just about achieving something great, but more importantly it is a joy found in each other, and to realize that you are no longer alone.

A Student’s Interview on Why He Joined the GCAS

Sergio Andrés Rueda

Sergio Andres Rueda

Sergio Andres Rueda

What is it that attracted you to study at the GCAS?

A1: This question could only be properly answered with: everything.

We can then try to separate this answer into parts:

Part of it is the globally renowned faculty, which allows us to engage in a critical dialogue with the thinkers that we would normally read, and then bring this back to our home countries and environments, some of which desperately need this sort of intervention.

Another part of it is the ideals of the GCAS, as it is the first institution of higher learning in the world whose ideas about education coincide perfectly with the claims of millions of disenfranchised people in Latin America and in the entire world that are dissatisfied with an educational model created by and for the wealthy to maintain their structural position through the segregation of students into functional stratums.

What program are you studying at the GCAS?

A2: I’m going to start by transferring credits to my home institution towards the completion of my BA. This will provide the double opportunity of being both in a global environment (the GCAS) and local activism. This will include courses on the Crisis of Higher Education and Critical Theory.

What research goals are you seeking to accomplish at the GCAS?

A3: I hope to research mainly three areas:

  • The philosophical foundations of the category of Ideology in order to understand the way in which societies, such as Colombia, are fundamentally divided by a constitutive antagonism that is expressed through both discourses and material practices. This would help me explain a conflict of over 50 years which still divides most of the population and the causes the perpetuation of violent political imaginaries.
  • The possibility of access to the absolute through the materialist defense of a mathematical ontology.
  • The Colombian Armed and Civil Conflict itself in order to end the silence and invisibility of its victims.

What opportunities are you seeking after you graduate from the GCAS?

A4: I hope to be able to return to Colombia with better tools to continue working for the transformation of our society into a tolerant and peaceful community, where we can start the long work ahead of mending our differences, forgiving the culprits and joining the international community in our common responsibility to protect the Amazon and build a better world.

Concretely, I hope to work towards the creation of an open access editorial in order to combat a situation in which people can only access texts through piracy and photocopying, which is illegal, thereby criminalizing a population that wants to learn. Furthermore, after the end of the conflict, it will be necessary for the democratic and social forces of Colombia to unite for our common ideals, although it is still unclear exactly how.

Finally, we must document every painful episode of our past, not only our current civil war, but also the previous ones that go all the way back to the colony.

Here’s the Spanish:

P1: Esta pregunta sólo se puede responder correctamente de la siguiente manera: ¡todo!

Podemos, entonces, tratar de separar esta pregunta en varias partes:

En parte es por tener una facultad de renombre global. Esto nos permite  encontrarnos en un dialogo crítico con los pensadores que usualmente leemos, para entonces traer  todo esto de vuelta a nuestros países de origen y a sus ambientes, algunos de los cuales necesitan desesperadamente de este tipo de intervención.

Otra parte de ello son los ideales del GCAS, dado que es la primera institución de educación superior en el mundo cuyas ideas acerca de la educación coinciden perfectamente con el reclamo de millones de personas excluidas en América Latina y el mundo entero que están insatisfechas con un modelo educativo creado por y para mantener su posición estructural a través de la segregación de los estudiantes en estratos funcionales.

P2: Me gustaría empezar transfiriendo créditos hacia mi alma máter para la terminación de mi grado universitario. Esto proveerá la doble oportunidad de estar tanto en un ambiente global (GCAS) y el activismo local. Esto incluiría cursos sobre la crisis de la educación superior y la teoría crítica.

P3: Espero investigar tres áreas principalmente:

  • Los fundamentos filosóficos de la categoría de la ideología para poder entender la manera en la cual las sociedades, como en Colombia, están fundamentalmente divididas por antagonismos constituyentes que se expresan tanto a través de discursos como de prácticas materiales. Esto me ayudaría a explicar un conflicto de más de 50 años que todavía divide a la mayor parte de la población y causa la perpetuación de imaginarios políticos violentos.
  • La posibilidad de acceder al absoluto a través de la defensa materialista de una ontología matemática.
  • El Conflicto Civil y Armado Colombiano en sí mismo para ponerle un fin al silencio y la invisibilidad de sus víctimas.

P4: Espero poder volver a Colombia con mejores herramientas para continuar trabajando por la transformación de nuestra sociedad en una comunidad tolerante y pacífica, donde podamos comenzar el largo trabajo que nos resta para sanar nuestras diferencias, perdonar a los victimarios, y unirnos a la comunidad internacional para trabajar por nuestra responsabilidad común de proteger el Amazonas y construir un mundo mejor.

Concretamente, espero trabajar hacia la creación de una editorial de acceso-abierto que pueda combatir la situación en la cual el pueblo solo puede acceder a los textos a través de la piratería o las fotocopias- lo cual es ilegal- y por ende criminaliza a una población que quiere aprender. Más aún, tras el fin del conflicto, será necesario que las fuerzas democráticas y sociales de Colombia nos unamos por nuestros ideales comunes; aunque todavía es incierta la manera en que esto ocurra.

Finalmente, debemos documentar cada episodio doloroso de nuestro pasado, no solo en nuestra guerra civil actual, sino a través de todas las anteriores que se remontan hasta la colonia.

What is the Global Center for Advanced Studies?

CFASbannerwwJust five months ago my friends and I began organizing a new school, which took on the name, The Global Center for Advanced Studies, (now directed by Jason Adams and me).   But why a new graduate and undergraduate school?  When something new happens it is a response to the present situation, a situation which gives birth to needs that are not available.  When you look at the culture of colleges and universities today you will immediately notice several very disturbing trends.

1- Skyrocketing tuition costs: rising 1,120% since 1978, while real income has declined.

2- Skyrocketing student loan debt: now over $1,000,000,000.

3- Skyrocketing postgraduate unemployment: 53.6% are now unemployed or underemployed.

4- Skyrocketing use of adjuncts: 75% of faculty are now low-paid and temporary.

5- Skyrocketing use of administrators: administrators now outnumber professors by 125,000.5 6- Skyrocketing pay of administrators: most are now paid between $300,000-3,000,000/yr.6.

When you take these basic facts into consideration there is only one reasonable conclusion:  Not only is higher education in the United States in crisis (this is a conclusion everyone agrees with), but it is, for the most part a very dangerous institution.  Yes, it turns out that entering through the gates of most (but not all) universities in the United States is toxic and dangerous not only to the individual student who participates and reproduces this crisis (i.e., by taken out student loans etc.), but also for the kind and quality of education with which a graduate acquires.  And here is the simple reason why:  Education in America has been radically reduced to acquiring one thing:  a job.

Getting a job of course is meritorious, but the problem is that colleges have radically shifted their courses to a business and vocational model, especially since the financial crisis of 2008.  Again this is not a bad thing per se’ but where it has become a problem is that colleges and universities are no longer places that inspire, but have become vocational technical schools.  Again this is not a problem, but the overwhelming trend is that these colleges are competing with each other, and with tuition being so out-of-reach for average Americans, colleges are forced to give students job skills and have increasingly no time or resources for fostering creativity, critical thinking, writing skills etc., that is to say the basic skills to be an informed citizen.  In short, colleges and universities are literally training a public to not acquire the essential skills to become fully developed human beings equally unable to engage in reproducing a free and open democratic society.  The graduate may have job skills, but they are neither able to create their own jobs nor their own future.  And they are increasingly unable to work with social diversity and no longer have the skills for creating solutions to the fundamental problems that confront us today such as an impending ecological disaster (food, water and energy shortages), new forms of poverty in the first not to mention the second and third worlds, skyrocketing unemployment, new forms of apartheid, persistent gender inequality, and new dictatorships forming  around the world at an alarming rate including the unchecked power of multinational corporations.  This with the growing disparity between the rich and the middle, working, and poor class in America can only spell one thing: doom.

Stop to think about this: if the very means of making one’s life better via education is compromised by undermining the educational sector (i.e., by only training students to become good workers without giving them a means of empowerment and inspiration) then what you end up with is a very dangerous trend that further compromises democracy, free speech, justice, not to mention foreclosing giving students the resources for creating new healthier and peaceful ways of living.  The upshot is that nearly all forms of education happening in America are so uncreative,  so servile and because it has lost it’s imagination and vision it has fallen prey to the fear and enslavement of the existing job market (that can’t even employ nearly half of college graduates anyway).  The upshot here being, something different needs to happen.

So the GCAS began putting together a new model for a school, a model that would address each of these problems confronting the toxic-wasteland of what amounts to the majority of the education sector in America and now rapidly spreading across the globe making the prospects of democracy daunting indeed.

-1 Tuition:  The tuition costs for attending the GCAS is 1/8 the cost of attending comparable universities.  The ultimate goal of the GCAS is to provide a free education for everyone and thereby not discriminate against one’s economic class.  And let’s face it: despite the claim that universities don’t discriminate, they do in fact because you can’t attend unless you are in a certain economic class.  And if you’re not, you take out loans thereby enslaving yourself to banks and corporations and you do so most likely for the rest of your working life.  Think about the intimate relationship between banks (the wealthy class) and universities and colleges and you can’t tell me they’re not working intimately together to enslave their very students.  Student debt is the physical means of enslavement to the wealthy and “Ivory-Tower” class.  Your education is about enslavement not empowerment; about indebtedness not about freedom; about getting a predetermined job and not about creating your own life.  What’s more, the GCAS  has financial aid and work -study programs that allow students to work off their tuition.  This is provided by generous donations to our non-profit organization.

-2 Faculty:  We have recruited what is widely believed to be the world’s best faculty in the humanities (philosophy, literature, critical theory, theology etc.).  Studying with world experts, poets, artist, theorist that foster creative energies that we have been taught not to believe in.

-3 Living Life: The GCAS is already a global community in which to forge exciting and new networks and be encouraged that to believe in a different future is a healthy way to live and learn.  Think about what a community can produce when it gives joy to different ways of thinking, new ways of being and acting in our world.  The opportunities are immeasurable and exciting.

-4 We don’t believe in using unqualified teachers to make a profit for the owners of universities and colleges; indeed the GCAS is a non-profit in the truest sense:  We are not out to make students into reified alienated commodities only hoping, praying for mercy that some wealthy, white man or corporation will have grace on them and grant a job.   We believe jobs are for humans not the other way around.  The priority of this must be turned upside-down.

-5 Everyone  of our administrators are first and foremost professors, and will never be compromised into fulfilling an administrator’s role which in today climate amounts to enacting the dirty work of the rich boards of directors (lawyers, bankers etc.) looking to make more and more money.  Our administrators from the President, Dorothea Olkowski, to the Vice-President, Azfar Hussain are committed to the vision of GCAS to provide the best education for little or no tuition.  We are committed to Justice in Education!

-6 Hybrid courses (distant & in-residence).  I was totally skeptical of any on-line learning until I realized that the GCAS is able to connect up with hundreds of students around the world who are reading and discussing what it means to be human in our time.  Yes, there are weaknesses in distance learning, but there are strengths too.  Furthermore, students are required to take courses in residential seminars that are organized around the world from Mexico to Europe, from Istanbul, North to South America, and from Africa, Asia, Australia to New Zealand.  In other words, just as elite universities are quickly jumping on the trend for on-line learning, so are we.  The only difference is that we are not making a profit off of it, but rather actually empowering people from around the world who would otherwise have no access to education.

Last week we officially became a school and now we already have over 160 students enrolled (half of which are from the developing world).  And one amazing lesson I’ve learned as I’ve help organized this school is that it is already so much more than a school–it is a movement that’s fighting against the injustice of our educational system, the injustice that is the lack of access to education that systematically oppresses people, opportunity, freedom, and the joy of life.  Some of the letters Jason and I have received have opened our eyes to the need for uniting all peoples around our fragile planet in the spirit of democratic empowerment–of learning together who we are and refusing to be determined as merely an indentured slave to the 1%.  I cannot share with you some of these letters, but here are two passages  from two enrolled students from Colombia and Asia responding to the question:  What will you do with an education from GCAS?:

“I hope to be able to return to Colombia with better tools to continue working for the transformation of our society into a tolerant and peaceful community, where we can start the long work ahead of mending our differences, forgiving the culprits and joining the international community in our common responsibility to protect the Amazon and build a better world.”

And another letter from Asia said, “Silenced are the women in my country.  Men do not allow education for us.  I hope I can be educated in your centre so I too can educate girls to be strong.”

So as we embark on our first seminar  in just 10 days on “Crisis of Higher Education” with world renowned experts (Andrew Ross, Diane Ravitch, and Henry Giroux).  And we hope to open up a new world through the emerging community of learners committed to the idea that humanity still exists and we no longer have to be determined by old ideas, but can live for a better future a better life together.

Why is Philosophy Sick?

Creston Davis is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Skopje. He is the coauthor (with John Milbank and Slavoj Zizek) of Paul’s New Moment: Continental Philosophy and the Future of Christian Theology; coeditor (with John Milbank and Slavoj Zizek) of Theology and the Political: The New Debate; editor of John Milbank and Slavoj Zizek The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic? and author of the forthcoming novel, Ghostly Icons.  He has recently co-founded, The Global Center for Advanced Studies.

Creston Davis

Why is Philosophy Sick?

Peter Sloterdijk's new book on Philosophy

Peter Sloterdijk’s new book on Philosophy

What is wrong with philosophy today?  On the face of it, unlike other disciplines in the academy, the very nature of philosophy inherently resists a foolproof definition.  Of course that’s not to say it hasn’t been defined.  From the birth of the academy in both ancient Greece and the Middle Ages, philosophy has always been at the heart of any education worthy of its name.  For example, when I was an undergraduate at Oxford this lesson became eminently clear when I stood in the center of the Bodleian library quadrangle (1613-1619) and the Tower of the Five Orders from which four of the main exit doors were devoted to the core subjects that comprise philosophy: Schola Metaphysicae, Schola Naturalis Philosophiae, Schola Moralis Philosophiae, and Schola Logicae.

Philosophy, in other words, was irrefutably foundational to the very existence of university education.  When you compare this to the contemporary academy that purports to be devoted to the liberal arts (i.e., the arts that free us vis-à-vis the servile arts, such as pluming and business) you would be lucky to locate a department that does not reduce philosophy to little more than business ethics.  This raises the question: What’s wrong with philosophy especially if its nature is completely unrecognizable within university settings today?

One explanation is that it’s simply outdated, and like modern theology will dissolve into the dustbins of history out of sheer irrelevance.  Philosophy, so this stance believes, is antiquated because it is redundant as it only teaches students ancient techniques of logical thinking and analyses, which, so administrators argue, can easily be acquired in a single humanities course.

The problem with this explanation is that it misconstrues philosophy by reducing it to an anemic skill sets all made relevant if and only if they enhance a student’s ability to get a job.  So it is not difficult to see why philosophy is dying (along with the humanities) because it is inversely related to the dogma of corporate culture.  Moreover, this trend has the unfortunate consequence of forcing philosophers to create courses that are relevant to getting a job.  In short, philosophy becomes enslave to corporate culture.

But should philosophy fold so easily to this prosaic corporate totalitarianism that has subverted all non-corporate methods of thinking and practice?  Think of the two basic functions in which the academy has traditionally served a free democratic society: one is negative and the other positive.  The negative service provides free and independent critiques of the inevitable abuses of power (both political and economic) that threatened the security of a democratic society.  And as the corporate financial crisis in 2008 proved beyond a shadow of doubt unchecked greed threatens the founding truths of democracy: of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Seen in this way, independent journalists and filmmakers also provide this “watch-dog” service protecting us from the abuses of barbaric greed mongering.  This is why a professor’s tenure was so crucial because they were protected and could thus publish their independent and objective research recommendations without fear of being fired.

On the positive side, academia once served a free society through its independent research that can give genuinely new and creative solutions to the rudimentary problems facing our planet such as, among many other problems, ecological sustainability, imperialist power, and the waging of unjust wars.  For example, an independent professor would recommend solutions to obverting ecological catastrophes by inventing new energy, economic, and political possibilities in order to avoid totalitarian greed from taking hold like the kind that corporate capitalism has installed in the United States in the 21st Century.  And this does not even touch one the psychological tyranny that the government and employers use when they violate our basic privacy rights by monitoring our intimate conversations from our mobile phones, to our emails and other social networking communications.

This gets us back to the question:  What’s wrong with philosophy today? Why is it sick?  Pondering this it becomes clear from the above analysis that the problem with philosophy is that it has forgotten it original modus operandi namely, the freedom to arrive at solutions to our existential situation. This is why philosophy must live into its truth so that it can arrive at new possibilities and alternative worlds unencumbered by the political and economic tyrannical powers that seek to protect their own interests at the cost of enslaving the majority of the population to the servile arts (i.e., enslavement to making money).  And here I’m not even mentioning governmental and corporate surveillance on the populous.  This is why philosophy’s genius is found in its infinite procedure, and this is because the ability to think, act, and invent is infinite in nature (i.e., free) which is why philosophers from Heraclitus to Diogenes, and from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle couldn’t draw a hard and fast demarcations between the disciplines distilled in the modern academy we see today from economics to politics to ethics.  And the reason for this is because the disciplines were all grounded in living a life for freedom and justice geared toward the search for wisdom and truth, and not, as is the case today, where everyone is taught to seek out their own wealth at the cost of dissolving social unity.

The illness of philosophy today is all too evident when viewed as a discipline that is wholly enslaved to the corporatized academy.  That is, the academy has become an extension of the corporate workforce precisely because the latter has determined not only what subjects are taught but also how those subjects are taught.  In other words, the corporate world has literally redefined the learning and discovery process thus undermining new and creative ways of thinking and living that would provide us with a healthier peaceful future.

Therefore, the days of an independent academy as the watchdog over potential totalitarian regimes are over.  This is especially evident with the recent publication of a “major report” in the New York Times in which professors argue that the humanities are worth saving basically because they teach students the skills essential to getting a job in the corporate world.  You know it’s over when humanities professors gut and sacrifice their subjects to the god of capitalism.

In light of this, it is now time to return to philosophy’s true nature devoted to freedom and justice for all.  Perhaps embodying a “Robin Hood pedagogical ethic” in educational process might be one means of stealing from the rich and giving a life back to the poor.  And what would a professor or teacher steal exactly?  It would steal back the possibility of freedom that has been hijacked from our youth preventing them from exploring alternatives futures other than the greed of capitalism, which turns our students into monsters.  It is time to free philosophy and the other subjects in the humanities from the chains of the corporate world and the administrators and lawyers who peddle them. The fact that philosophy remains indefinable to the bane of many gives us hope that this revolution is already afoot and that is taking place concretely by the opening of a independent graduate and post-graduate school, The Global Center for Advanced Studies.  

Distinguished Harvard Professor Joins our Faculty

Professor Jackson

Professor Jackson

Distinguished Professor at Harvard University, Dr. Michael Jackson says: “This Global Center for Advanced Studies is what many of us, languishing in established academic institutions, have dreamed of for many years. I will seize the opportunity to show how the intellectual life can be engaged in the life of the world, how scholarship can escape the sclerotic and alienated language it passes off as edifying, and how critical thought can develop new forms of writing that speak to those outside of the academy and to those inside it who have been waiting, like pupae, for spring.”

Professor Jackson will teach a seminar with us in May.   If you would like to reserve a seat in the seminar please contact my assistant.   Details forthcoming.  

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Professor Jackson.

Michael D. Jackson (born 1940) is a New Zealand poet and anthropologist who has taught in anthropology departments at Massey University, the Australian National UniversityIndiana University Bloomington, and the University of Copenhagen. He is currently distinguished professor of world religions at Harvard Divinity School.

Jackson is the founder of existential anthropology, a non-traditional sub-field of anthropology using ethnographic methods and drawing on continental traditions of phenomenology, existentialism, and critical theory, as well as American pragmatism, in exploring the human condition from the perspectives of both lifeworlds and worldviews, histories and biographies, collective representations and individual realities. The struggle for being involves a struggle to reconcile shared and singular experiences, acting and being acted upon, being for others and being for oneself. But rather than polarize subject and object, Jackson emphasizes the intersubjective negotiations at the heart of all relationships – whether between persons, persons and things, persons and language – and shows that being-in-the-world consists of endless dilemmas and constant oscillations in consciousness that admit of only temporary, imagined, narrative or ritualized resolutions. Insofar as anthropological understanding is attained through conversations and events in which the ethnographer’s prejudices, ontological assumptions, and emotional dispositions are at play, the ethnographer cannot pretend to be an impartial observer, producing objective knowledge. Jackson’s published work fully discloses the contexts in which understandings are negotiated, arrived at, or, in some instances, unattainable.[1]

Jackson’s recent books have explored diverse topics such as well-being in one of the world’s poorest societies (Life Within Limits), the relation between religious experience and limit situations (The Palm at the End of the Mind), the interplay between egocentric and sociocentric modes of being (Between One and One Another), and writing as a technology for creating connections that transcend the limits of ordinary communication (The Other Shore).

Introducing The Global Center for Advanced Studies

Fight for freedom in Education

Fight for freedom in Education

Along with a former professor of Harvard University, Dr. Patrick Provost-Smith, I have co-founded a new graduate school.  This new school was created to overcome the impending crisis of in higher education dominated and determined by the corporate takeover of the academy.  We have assembled the best faculty in the world and have already partnered with many institutions of higher education around the world committed to fight for free thinking, non-corporate research, and creative expression for both the faculty and the students.   You can find more information on The Global Center for Advanced Studies‘ BLOG and our Facebook page.  We are not only meeting the demands for the best graduate and post-graduate education in philosophy, theory, film, music, architecture, art & art history, media & communications, and literature, but doing so by giving our members the freedom to create new possibilities for humanity, for the planet and our common future.

Join with us in fighting back against the tyranny of administrators, lawyers, and corporate interests that have commodified the learning process by turning students into commodities and pandered to the interest of the wealthy elites while failing to commit the educational process to the basic principles of community, justice, and the relentless pursuit of truth.

Vattimo & Zabala on the New Graduate School

Vattimo and Zabala

Vattimo and Zabala

“In an age where schools, colleges, and universities are framed, that is, controlled by the dominant corporate paradigm, independent graduate schools have become necessary to defend thought’s freedom, strength and creativity. This new graduate school is not simply another institution where students can obtain MA and PhD’s under the guidance of distinguished academics and thinkers from all over the world, but also where these same intellectuals can teach independently of those cultural frames they contributed to overcome. As ‘hermeneutic communist,’ or better, anarchic interpreters striving to change the world, we are honored to be part of its faculty.”

Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala

A New Graduate School

A new day is coming, and very soon in which we are risking a pedagogy of thinking, of poetry, of love which is not conditioned on treating students as commodities–and thus reducing thinking itself to a pointless corporate exercise, that only ever reproduces itself.

Our new pedagogy unites thinking and action that believes thinking cannot be sequestered by a corporate culture, but is an act of freedom itself. Our model is unlike anything the world has seen, and we are risking this for the sake of an idea, of poetry, of love above all.

Our new Graduate School in Critical Theory will be going public in a few days in which we are offering an MA/PhD featuring a faculty that is capable of making this pedagogical revolution a reality.  Our faculty includes:

Alain Badiou
Daniel Barber
Agata Bielik-Robson
Ward Blanton
Bruno Bosteels
Arianna Bove
Rosi Braidotti
Drew Burk
Erik Bullot
Rex Butler
Ania Chromik
Joan Copjec
Simon Critchley
Clayton Crockett
Creston Davis
Farhang Erfani
Bracha L. Ettinger
Rocco Gangle
Mike Grimshaw
Dave Hale
Adrian Johnston
Athina Karatzogianni
Catherine Keller
Katerina Kolozova
François Laruelle
Paul Livingston
Catherine Malabou
Jeff Malpas
John Milbank
Tracy K. McNulty
Antonio Negri
Dorothea Olkowski
Michael O’Rourke
Marcus Pound
Patrick Provost-Smith
Joshua Ramey
Carl Raschke
Kenneth Reinhard
Jeffrey W. Robbins
Laurie Rodrigues
Mary-Jane Rubenstein
Kenneth Surin
Victor Taylor
Tzuchien Tho
Peter Thompson
Noelle Vahanian
Gianni Vattimo
Hent de Vries
Janell Watson
Rachel K. Ward
Margaret Young
Santiago Zabala
Slavoj Zizek