Academia encantada, 2018 © Gelen Jeleton.


The past decade has been an active witness to numerous ongoing gestures of collective dissidence evidencing a critical commitment to public services against the threat of neoliberalism and its structural violence. Universities and museums, as public institutions involved in the production of knowledge, have been subjected to unrelenting intervention by the austericidal polices of states that, in conjunction with private corporations, have progressively turned to debt as a means of disciplining subjectivity. In parallel to this, the introduction of the point-based system for the accreditation of academic merits has resulted in CVs motivated by the logic of accumulation. What this amounts to is the official standardization of knowledge, promoting a form of learning based on a series of economic interests that have tied research to production-based development and innovation.

Alongside these structural transformations with major biopolitical consequences, society has been organizing itself to create countless initiatives brought to life by civil servants, underpaid interns, students and neighborhoods proposing different ways of doing things based on alternative temporalities. These movements have forged spaces for empathy, creating emotional connectedness and offering new forms of critical coexistence. The defense of public services and institutional reform have become pressing matters in the academic world, where different forms of knowledge and “indisciplines” from inside and outside academia have been shown to complement one another.

In this issue we hope to reposition the sciences within a broad conception of knowledge that includes artistic research, citizen labs and ways of generating knowledge that are directly in tune with groups that have been ostracized by the logic of academic capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy. The university and the institutions legitimated as the repositories of knowledge cannot and should not be understood as exclusive spaces where scholarship is produced and archived. Rather, they should be understood as places for direct action, where these marginalized, forgotten and destabilized ways of knowing are listened to, engaged with and included.

 The questions we will be asking are:

 - What are the effects on critical writing and research, understood in artistic research as a form of direct action, of systems such as the Bologna Process, national accreditation boards, indexed journals, impact factors, the APA Style, and the number of citations and patents?

- What are we talking about when we talk about academia? What are the academias we would like to see? What other academias exist depending on their geographic location?

- What sort of life model does academia promote/shape?

- If the institution/academia is in crisis, and if it will require other forms of knowledge in order to survive/function/continue under different, previously excluded and/or forbidden forms, and if these forms are already entering, how are they entering and how can their entrance be negotiated? (For example practices such as self-publishing, with the incorporation of zines or self-run publications in institutional zine libraries and their archives.)

- Reflections concerning disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, extradisciplinarity and the undisciplined.

Since its creation, the journal Re-visiones has conceived of itself as a space to present ways of thinking in and through images, specifically based on situated knowledge. In this context, writing is understood as an incarnated practice intended to generate critical thought, and as a place for epistemological experimentation. Because we are aware of the framework of recognition that the journal Re-visiones offers, based on its indexation and standing, in this issue we wish to employ the journal itself as a strategic forum in which to debate these issues. In short, we hope to elicit critical theory- and practice-based proposals that are capable of subverting the rules of standardization in research.

 To do so, we propose following in the footsteps of academic activism manifested through writing, such as Gloria Anzaldúa’s “autohistoria,” Lynn Margulis’s collaborative experiments in “symbiogenesis,” Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s call to the “undercommons,” Sara Ahmed’s “cultural politics of emotion” or Athena Athanasiou’s “dispossession” as an epistemological operation.