The Schizoid Dialectic Theses on winning the Union back

Anderson, Gary and Shakespeare, Steven and Bennett, John (2017) The Schizoid Dialectic Theses on winning the Union back. Performance Research, 21 (3). pp. 115-121. ISSN 1352-8165 (Accepted for Publication)

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Bringing together Anderson's work as a cultural activist in performance (the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home ( and his role as Branch Chair of his institution's union for teaching staff (University and College Union), this performative paper will argue that a dialectical, agonistic blurring of boundaries across the borders of conflicting identities and interests is not only productive and desirable, but also liberatory and could constitute a small act of social justice. From lived experience the paper stages a series of arguments - in dialogue form - between Gary the anarchist art-activist and Gary the reformist trade unionist branch chair. Whilst both would agree that social justice is the 'bottom line' neither would agree that the task of institutional transformation is in part to recognise the dialectical flux inherent in their (Gary's) conflicting identities. Yet, this is what emerges when these identities are juxtaposed to engage in agonistic debate. The dialogues focus on the institutional context of higher education in particular, and suggests that agonistically robust debate produces not a winner and a loser, but a dialectical schizoid (Deleuze and Guattari, 2004 Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari (2004) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia, London: Continuum Impacts. [Google Scholar]) who occupies both positions, more or less, simultaneously. The dialogues deploys two texts: Karl Marx's Theses on Feuerbach (1845) - of which the union chair is enamoured - and the rewritten Theses on Winning the Union Back - which the art-activist performance artist has vandalised. The paper contains the full text of the rewritten Theses on Winning the Union Back.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Drama,Dance and Performance Studies (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Gary Anderson
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2017 01:15

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