[In this moment of remarkable pressure
being experienced by teachers / being
leveraged on teachers to do a good job to
deliver the experience / pressure to
compensate for the present / pressure to
show your work show your worth / the
sense that people are going into this
semester with a different kind of
vulnerability / in this season of endless
prompts : this title and the following
question-statements (as well as much of
their key language) are drawn from the
event and text “the university: last words”a two-hour period of Q&A between Fred
Moten and Stefano Harney and a Zoom
audience hosted by FUC on July 9, 2020]
How Do We Comport Ourselves
Everything can be used / except what is wasteful / (you will need / to remember
this when you are accused of destruction).
– Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism”
What is the dare of the present.
Who and what is daring, and what is being dared in the sense of bold attempt.
What is the dare of the present for teachers. What isn’t the dare of the present for teachers.
What kinds of weird is the present of your writing.
What kinds of weird is the present of your teaching.
What are you doing with your words.
What energy is expressed by your attention.
What power seeks the energy of your attention.
When is your teaching expressed as a habit. When is your teaching expressed as a practice. How does the difference involve other people.
What are your fantasies about institutions. Are they practical.
Is your pragmatism fantastic.
What kinds of imaginary ownership do your fantasies entail.
Do you imagine yourself owned in your deserving. Do you experience yourself as owned in your individuation.
Are there pockets of grief all over your life, all over your teaching.
Teacher, what are you "doing to people as it is being done to [you]."
What regulates you. And what are you regulating. Why.
What purpose does your sorting serve.
How does what you answer to
define your self, your subject.
Who or what answers to you. How do you define the shape and limits of their answers.
When do policies occupy the place of questions.
Is consultation your fetish.
Is confrontation your kink.
Has accreditation really earned your faith.
What if your living questions led.
What if you only feel alive when you’re opposing power.
When governance is extractive. When governance is abusive.
How much of your imagination is y/ours.
How much imagination does it take to mutually recognize the living and the dead.
How much of your imagination is consumed by institutional upkeep and demand.
How much of your imagination has been consumed by institutional belonging.
How much imagination does it take to make institutional criteria "real."
What disorganization are you covering for in your organization.
How is calling bullshit different than anti-intellectualism.
What vital things have been crowded out by apparatus.
What apparatus do you initiate to compensate for what has been crowded out by apparatus.
When does it all feel like apparatus.
Is it what it is.
What is experience that is "necessarily shared."
How does the "experience economy" of the institution "individuate" by "stratification."
What is the “necessarily shared experience” that we (students and faculty) “subordinate” to the “collective individuation machine” of “the experience economy.”
What is your “feel for work,” for “practice.”
Does love run too many games, is love called by too many names to be the answer.
When do you get lost in the desire for purity.
Are you “sick of feeling the desire to be included in institutions.”
How do you admit to the incentives to individuate and claim ideological ownership.
When did you choose to forget that you believe that inaccessibility invents worth.
How often do you think about leaving. What presence is this.
How often do you think about leaving but continuing the work. What presence is this.
How do you refuse to come when called by the institution.
What calls do you answer. What fires cue your fire.
What objects demand degeneration.
What are these “afformative blows” that release the object of the blow as focal point.
What are the means of intellectual production that faculty and students and staff have. How will you carry them when you leave.
With what incompleteness do we cultivate the wealth of our needs.
Do we need institutions to admit we need each other.
When you imagine abolishing (recognizing the nature of) the institution of the self, what becomes possible.
When you imagine abolishing (recognizing the nature of) the institution of the artist, what becomes possible.
When you imagine abolishing (recognizing the nature of) the institution, what becomes possible.
Where do you find people of radical ideas risking something.
What are the uses and limits of “radical complicity.”
What keeps you from the “general strike.”
What entanglement. What entanglement.
How do you “learn how to want to be some other way.”
What will you practice of and with and for.
Voices (my thanks to): Ari Banias, Jess Barbagallo, Shyanne Bennett, Emily Brandt, Venn Daniel, Amy Erickson, Ren Evans, Ariel Goldberg, Laura Henrikson, Jenny Hsiao, Liz Kinnamon, Matthias Kodat, Hana van der Kolk, Gabe Kruis, Ben Krusling, Karen Lepri, Lara Mimosa Montes, Maryam Parhizkar, Lana Povitz, Kaitlin Rees, Sara Jane Stoner, Morgan Vo, Ariel Yelen.