Saturday, October 3, 2009

CPIC Reinstatement Petition

[Personal Note: I've been a member of CPIC, and have done lots of really great work because of the center. You can check out a slightly out of date webpage for CPIC here, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me in comments.]

Here is a petition to reinstate The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture (CPIC). I encourage you to sign the petition, and also to distribute it widely.

To: Binghamton University Administration/Binghamton Foundation

We, the undersigned, petition Binghamton University to reinstate the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture (CPIC) to its full standing.

CPIC is a research center devoted to non traditional scholarship, contributing to the attempt to decolonize subalternized knowledges at the tense intersection of multiple oppressions. These attempts emphasize recoveries of memory; ecological practices attentive to geopolitical differences; and knowledges and ways of thinking from various traditions. CPIC also recognizes the need for spaces where these attempts can enter into connections beyond disciplinary reductions and where our scholarship can come together with our concerns with social justice. Its mission is to provide institutional support and resources for ongoing trans-disciplinary research projects. CPIC supports attempts to disrupt recurrent distinctions between theory and practice, secular and sacred, thought and performance, knowledge and value, ethics and aesthetics, radical and self-critical forms of social understanding.

Binghamton University points to budgetary difficulties as one of the reasons for closing the center. The creation of a Humanities Center is also offered as a reason. The Administration implies that they are seen as exclusive of each other. CPIC was evaluated in 2006. The outside evaluators suggested that we are a unique research center, one that would be an original turn on a humanities center. We worry that the choice between CPIC and the Humanities Center follows a commitment to traditional, canonical, conceptions of the University and of research.

Collaborative research has been at the heart of the Center. The collaborations include scholars, activists, artists outside Binghamton University. We have established national and international networks. We organized twenty two events in the last three years: summer institutes, conferences, seminars, public talks that add to weekly or bi-weekly discussions. We publish regularly. For many people, including young researchers, this is a very hard blow to their careers, and it is a very hard blow for the collaborative research that we are doing nationally and internationally. In the bountiful years we receive $16,000 from Binghamton University [$3,000/year operating funds, and a half time secretary whose salary amounts to $13,000. Last year we only received five hours of secretarial service per week.]


The Undersigned