On July 18, 2013, the UC Regents appointed Janet Napolitano, former head of the US Department of Homeland Security, as the next President of the University of California. Napolitano’s nomination has already been met with protest and criticism: for the secretive process by which it was made, for her her lack of academic experience, for the possibility that she will intensify campus surveillance and remold university research and instruction according to the interests of the security apparatus, and for her involvement at DHS in an historically unprecedented deportation regime. Her ascension has also prompted a number of brief genealogical essays that have considered her nomination in relation to previous UC administrators’ complicities with state power. Should Napolitano’s appointment be seen as marking a rupture with past models of University management, or should her appointment be understood as relatively continuous with previous administrative entanglements in the business of security and surveillance? What does her appointment signal in terms of the securitization of life on and beyond campus? What does her appointment tell us about the relationship between and trajectories of austerity politics, privatization, and securitization?
The editorial collective of Reclamations Journal plans to publish a pamphlet on histories and futures of securitization at the University and on struggles against emergent forms of state repression. We hope to have the pamphlet ready by the end of the summer, so that it can be passed out during campus orientations and potentially folded into the organization of protest movements over the course of the coming year.
The Reclamations collective is seeking essays, narratives, photo montages, poems, and other sorts of contributions on any of the topics outlined below. Please submit full-length contributions or abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15th. [Just to be safe, if you know one of their email addresses, please also send submissions to one of the Reclamations Journal editors.]
Online Surveillance / Online Education
§ The technological crossovers that link online education projects, weapons manufacturing, and state and corporate surveillance techniques. How are online education projects potentially generative of the bodily capacities and forms of knowledge upon which surveillance and military apparatuses increasingly depend?
§ Recent revelations about online surveillance by the NSA and other state and corporate institutions in relation to online education projects and university web services. The EdEx code has recently been shared publicly; are there any details of the code that would make possible the surveillance of online learning environments?
§ The Department of Homeland Security’s recently established “National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies” (NICCS), which involves work “with partners in academia … to develop the next generation of cyber professionals to protect against evolving cyber threats.” Napolitano’s involvement in this program, and her possible role in expanding UC’s participation in NICCS.
Anticolonial and Immigrant Rights Activism
§ The imbrications of US border enforcement with the surveillance and policing of university students and workers. New opportunities and challenges for immigrant rights activism on UC campuses.
§ Recent antagonisms around the surveillance and prosecution of Arab and Muslim students.
§ Genealogies of anti-imperialist struggle on university campuses.
The Military / Academic Complex
§ The involvement of universities in the training of soldiers and mercenaries, through ROTC and other programs. Conflicts over the presence of military recruiters, including after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
§ How academic research has historically been molded to state interests, war economies, and regimes of surveillance.
§ Histories and ramifications of university contracts to oversee weapons laboratories.
§ Genealogies of the military / academic complex. Crossovers between university and state bureaucracies, weapons manufacturing and research initiatives, the regulation of academic research critical of state institutions and practices, etc.
Debt and Risk Management
§ The emergence of new discourses of management at the university, including the framework of “Enterprise Risk Management,” which is drawn from the logistics industry and entails techniques—including new forms of surveillance—designed to shield just-in-time production processes from disruption.
§ Technologies of debt enforcement.
§ “Health and safety” as a category of administrative power; possibilities for critical biopolitics on and beyond campuses.
Policing and Surveillance
§ The regulation of campus space and time through policing and surveillance techniques; genealogies of resistance to such regulation.
§ Universities and the policing and/or gentrification of urban space.
§ Campus police training practices, including participation in Urban Shield and other martial training initiatives.
§ Homeland Security grants for the militarization of local and campus police forces.
§ Assessments of existing and possible sites of resistance to securitization both on and beyond the university.