[P2P-F] [commoning] The Co-operative University

Joss Winn jwinn at lincoln.ac.uk
Mon Dec 16 11:10:17 CET 2013

(sorry, somehow this discussion is spread across two very similar mailing
lists! Here's my reply to the commoning list just now).

On 15/12/2013 18:03, "anna at shsh.co.uk" <anna at shsh.co.uk> wrote:

>I certainly don't want to criticise the idea of a cooperative university
>and all the work you are doing at the SSC. However the fundamental
>distinction between students and teachers is that the former have to pay
>and the latter get paid. In my work as a professional this was a barrier
>I found I could not overcome. My time was valuable, my clients time was
> I'm just wondering if there is room to add on, perhaps as an option, a
>space where students and teachers merge, where students are in charge of
>what they learn, and may teach the teachers.  Eg

This is very much what we're working on at Lincoln, both inside and
outside the university.

Students in the UK and elsewhere are continually being reconfigured into a
peculiar kind of consumer who co-produces themselves as 'human capital' -
an 'improved' form of the labour-power commodity.

We've been working on a critique and an affront to this for a few years
now. You can read about 'Student as Producer' here:


If this is of interest to you, I'd suggest reading this book chapter:

The student as producer: reinventing the student experience in higher

and then more of Mike Neary's later work to develop it:

Student as producer: an institution of the common? [or how to recover
communist/revolutionary science]

                                        Pedagogy of Excess: an alternative political economy of student life

                                        Student as Producer: A Pedagogy for the Avant-Garde; or, how do
revolutionary teachers teach?

The Social Science Centre, Lincoln, take the ideas and the pedagogy of
Student as Producer out of the university and, in one sense, is an attempt
to develop it without the constraints of existing institutional forms.
It's an experiment:


As for co-operatives as a new model for higher education, I think it's
worth pursuing this as a transitional model to a post-capitalist form of
higher education institution. I've been trying to think about 'academic
labour' and the university as a 'means of production' and extending this
idea to co-operation. I posted some thoughts here:

The association of free and equal producers


Notes towards a critique of Labour Managed Firms


What is Academic labour?


My friend, Richard Hall (cc'd), also writes about this stuff, too:


All the best,

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