To the Editor:
The press has the capacity to relativize power through dissenting narratives and histories. The visual arts are necessarily subversive to the logics of production and consumption as written by neoliberal corporatism and globalized capitalism. By its existence alone, the ILA critiqued the prevailing organization of the academy and called into question attendant hierarchical politics.
In closing or downsizing the journalism major, visual arts department, and the ILA, the Emory administration has preemptively attacked potential zones of dissent on campus. Students, faculty and staff of these disciplines: the Dean’s decision was a statement of value, which put your institutional homes in foreclosure by the Emory-Forman Bank. Resist and obstruct your own evictions and the evictions of your neighbors and colleagues. You should know, better than many on campus, the practice of dissent.
Without a department of educational studies, learn the history of liberation schools. Teach one another courses in guerrilla art and the practice of an independent press. Learn from the interdisciplinarians how to write a new economics, complex enough for the PhD, which imagines interconnected, riotous, loving humans in place of rational utility maximizers. Learn the languages that fueled revolutions, not just market expansion. Call on physical education students, faculty and staff for their embodied knowledge, since our bodies know well the ruthless colonialism of corporate power.
If realized, Dean Forman’s decision will institutionally absent voices and practices that threaten hegemony on campus. These decisions are calculated to ensure that the Emory brand appears seamless. We must create autonomous zones to dislodge and disrupt that monolithic branding. Well disciplined in our disciplines of dissent, we must reject the values by which we are devalued.
Class of 2014