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CFP: Abolishing the University and Borders in Higher Education
Abstracts to be submitted by Friday 7th July 2023, to email@example.com
This call for papers (CFP) seeks submissions for an online, one-day conference hosted by the Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences, Northumbria University and ISRF Fellow Sanaz Raji, on Thursday 12 October 2023.
This conference will explore how migrant university workers and students, often called international students, navigate and create movements to address structural inequalities within neoliberal higher education, xenophobic and racist borders, and workplace exploitation they experience both within and outside of the university. The organisers seek to elevate a discussion about global migrant movements within higher education that connects discourses from border abolition to abolishing the university.
Contributions are particularly welcome from migrant organisers, migrant racialised students and scholars worldwide, who can expound upon the political and social activism of migrant students and migrant university workers in challenging inequalities within and and outside of the university. Examples include, but are not limited to, challenging increases to university tuition fee, visa fee, and other miscellaneous fee increases imposed by the government and university, resisting and challenging xenophobic and racist immigration and policing policies as exercised both in and out of university campus life, resisting and challenging discriminatory on and off campus housing related to their immigration status, in addition to organising against exploitative workplace conditions within the university sector and providing tangible solidarity and connections to the struggles of migrants outside of the university.
This conference is also interested in unpacking how migrants in the university, whether they are students, academics and workers, are perceived and seen by their non-migrant colleagues in struggles against exploitative practices within the university. The organisers also interested in how refugee, asylum seeker and undocumented students are challenging governments and universities in accessing higher education. Additionally, they seek to include discourses of how migrant, refugee, asylum seeker and undocumented students and workers through their activism are challenging the neoliberalisation of university-led decolonising, diversity, and inclusion programmes. These kinds of programmes deliberately gloss over universities and how they continue to be complicit in both exercising border controls on campus and also their links with industries and funders that are extending the border, prison and military-digital industrial complexes both at home and globally. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Bridging border abolition with abolishing the university. Thoughts and perspectives from migrant students and migrant university workers on methods on how we can abolish border infrastructure on campus with abolishing the neoliberal university structure.
Experiences of migrant students and university workers (those on visas, refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented) activism in resisting and challenging the neoliberal university through tuition fee increases, increasing TA salaries, addressing the lack of pastoral services, general debt-driven racial capitalism, or any other exclusionary measures.
Experiences of migrant students and university workers (those on visas, refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented) activism related to resisting and challenging internal border regime and surveillance on and off campus, in addition to how universities are funding prison, military and border infrastructures at home and globally.
Interventions against neoliberalism, extractivist structures and workplace exploitation from migrant academic staff and students within satellite campuses abroad (i.e. NYU in Dubai, University of Nottingham in China, etc).
Auto-ethnographic accounts from migrant students and university workers engaged in activism and movements on and off campus around issues related to the university. This section is interested in exploring, for example, migrant students and university staff involved in university strikes for better working conditions and/or activism related to those inside the university. Contributions can also include any of the following: anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and critical anti-racist resistance, in addition to resistance against fascist incursions on campus and creating linkages with other migrant workers and precarious migrants on and off campus, also challenging how the university exploits precarious immigration status.
Migrant students challenging neoliberal discourses and policies related to university programmes on decolonisation, inclusion and diversity. Can we decolonise a university when the university itself is a place of border imperialism and border enforcement? What would a decolonised university look like from the perspective of migrant students and migrant university workers?
The particular challenges of organising as migrant students and migrant university staff and workers within higher education and ways in which solidarity can be forged between local and migrant students and university staff in addition to all migrants studying and working in higher education, from cleaners to lecturers.
Exploring how the immigration system impacts upon the changing landscape of which migrants have access to study abroad. This section should expound upon class, race, and disability in relation to the kinds of students universities are eager to acquire and exploit within the system.
Activism in resistance to various forms of surveillance mechanisms employed to monitor both migrant students and university staff attendance within higher education for immigration monitoring purposes.
Please send a 500-word abstract and brief biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 7th July 2023.
About the convenor: Sanaz Raji is an Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) fellow at Northumbria University exploring the nexus between immigration and marketised higher education in the UK. She is also the founder and primary caseworker at Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC), a national campaign launched in March 2016 that works to end the hostile environment and border controls in UK higher education. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, Red Pepper Magazine, The Canary, LeftEast in addition to academic journals and edited books.