ECS-forum of the Education, Culture & Society Research Group location:Leuven, België date:7 October 2016
Education has been often conceived as part of a larger societal structure that shapes certain subjects making them fit for a life of obedience and consumerism. We can only think of the famous critique of Ivan Illich about school as the system which turns free people into helpless subjects. Illich thinks that the only real thing one learns in school is to become dependent on other systems. As such, education can be conceived as the major system which turns humans into operators or functionaries inside a system they cannot control. However, this story has a counter-image in the works of Flusser and Agamben. Agamben proposes the image of the counter-apparatus and later that of a form-of-life, while Flusser speaks of the possibility of a trans-apparatus life. The main question of this forum is whether (university) education is an apparatus or rather an alternative to the apparatus, something like a form of sabotage?
We will try to answer this question together by making an experiment in thinking collectively about an issue at hand. The first part of the seminar I will present the notions of apparatus, counter-apparatus and trans-apparatus. In the second part, by using these newly acquired conceptual tools, we examine together different paradigmatic situations of university experiences. The audience is expected to participate and engage actively with the topic at hand.