The Unifactory of Amsterdam

Renske van Bronswijk

Experiences in teaching and hour allocations In an informal conversation with a member of my management team, I recently received confirmation of what had long been suspected, but not admitted officially: the hours allocated for teaching and research are not based on any relevant information related to these activities, but rather on how much money […]

26 April 2015 – 15:13 | Comments (4)

Profiler 2016

Natalie Scholz

Prologue The following text was written in November 2014. At that moment, the dean had just announced the heaviest budget cuts that the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam had to face in decades. After discussions in the faculty, the birth of Humanities Rally, petitions, rallies, the birth of De Nieuwe Universiteit, an […]

26 April 2015 – 14:11 | Comments (1)

The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Umut Kibrit

ReThink UvA spontaneously emerged after a meeting of staff members in the Maagdenhuis on the first Saturday of the appropriation. It started as a collective of staff members without an organizational structure, leaders, and clear distribution of tasks. Yet, in a matter of weeks, ReThink UvA has evolved into a full-fledged movement with several hundreds […]

20 April 2015 – 20:08 | Comments (8)

Andere Top… Onveranderde Basis van Bestuursstructuur

Tjebbe van Tijen

<< Zo wordt nu vooral de top verwisseld, terwijl heel de piramide van een complexe instelling als de Universiteit uiteen genomen en  – samen met de basis – van de grond af in een nieuw verband opgebouwd zou moeten worden. >> Een hoofd van een Stads-Universiteit die haar toevlucht moet zoeken bij de Burgemeester van […]

19 April 2015 – 21:46 | Comments (1)

Why economists should engage with ReThink

David Hollanders

Few of my fellow economists have engaged in ReThink thus far. This is –I feel- a  mistake. Especially economists should stand up against market failures, of which there are indeed plenty in academic life as well as in education more generally. There are, no doubt, many reasons for the absence of economists in the debate, […]

19 April 2015 – 09:17 | Comments (25)

Wij zijn niet bang

Judith Baten

Lieve medestudenten, docenten, sympathisanten, maar bovenal vrienden, Dat ik hier sta is niet vanzelfsprekend. Ik ben 1 van de 10 mensen die zaterdag is opgepakt. 5 van deze helden zitten nog steeds vast. Ikzelf ben opgepakt terwijl ik iemand een knuffel gaf. Ik gaf iemand een knuffel op het Spuiplein, ver buiten het Maagdenhuis. Wij zijn […]

17 April 2015 – 21:38 | Comments (0)

Werd het onveiliger in het Maagdenhuis? Integendeel. Nog enkele feiten.

René Hulst

Wat mij heeft gestoord in de afgelopen dagen is dat de UvA zijn toevlucht heeft genomen tot fabuleren  om onze studenten als vernielzuchtig en onverantwoordelijk te framen. In de aanloop naar de ontruiming  is er door het CvB herhaaldelijk gesteld dat het steeds onveiliger werd in Het Maagdenhuis. In het pleidooi van de UvA advocaat […]

17 April 2015 – 14:36 | Comments (0)

Wat gebeurde er na de rechterlijke uitspraak vrijdagnamiddag?

René Hulst

Contacten met burgemeester, loco-burgemeester en politiek: niemand verwachtte een ontruiming 1. Vrijdagavond heeft een student tussen 19.00 en 20.00 Van der Laan gebeld. De student beschikte over het rechtstreekse nummer. Van der Laan zat in Zuid-Frankrijk. De student maakte duidelijk dat de studenten zouden vertrekken op zondagavond of maandagmorgen. Toen viel de verbinding weg. Drie […]

17 April 2015 – 00:48 | Comments (5)

Teachers and Students Together

Julie McBrien

I arrived at the Maagdenhuis. The students were packing up the few personal possessions they had. No one, myself included, seemed to know what we should do. Prof G and Assistant Prof E arrived. E got us some coffee. We began talking with the students. We decided that the festival would go on but now […]

16 April 2015 – 12:18 | Comments (0)

Food for thought

Sabine Geers

This is a short post on trust and a goodbye letter to a polarizing debate. Last Tuesday evening I wrote my goodbye letter to the UvA employees who have been involved in the current protest from the beginning – 7 weeks ago. Ironically, right after I pressed the send button, I heard about a counter […]

16 April 2015 – 10:22 | Comments (3)

We are the university, Louise

Amade M’charek

Short speech given by Prof.  Amade M’charek (Anthropology, ReThink) on April 13th, 2015 Dear colleagues, dear students. Thank you for being here in such large numbers. We are 3.000 people here. This is truly amazing! I read this as a defeat for the CvB And a victory for us, the University. For we are the university, Louise. We are here today […]

15 April 2015 – 20:51 | Comments (0)

An election campaign without elections

Martijn Hesselink

[The following was sent as a postscript to the open letter previously written to the ReThink UvA/FdR mailing list. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission.] In a more democratic university, a call for resignation of the board would amount to – or be phrased as – a call for elections. The election of […]

15 April 2015 – 10:28 | Comments (0)

A helpful clarification of the petition in support of CvB

Gijs van Donselaar

Volgend op de verschijning van een open brief en een petitie waarin het huidige CvB bekritiseerd wordt, is er sinds gisteravond ook een petitie waarin juist steun aan het huidige bestuur kan worden betuigd. UvA-medewerker en universitair docent Gijs van Donselaar (Filosofie) geeft hieronder zijn persoonlijke weerwoord op de acht punten die door de initiatiefnemers van de petitie […]

15 April 2015 – 09:38 | Comments (6)

Moving Beyond the Current CvB: Culture above Structure

Guy Geltner and Sanli Faez

The UvA CvB has brought about a bitter and violent escalation by ordering the recent eviction of the Festival of Science and Humanities at the Maagdenhuis (11 April 2015). As a flurry of petitions and letters seeking the board’s resignation have underscored, and as the numerous participants at yesterday’s march have shown, that outrageous move is […]

14 April 2015 – 22:27 | Comments (3)

“The UvA needs a CvB that can reform our university”

Martijn Hesselink

[this letter to the ReThink UvA/FdR mailing list is reproduced here with permission of the author] Dear all, As many of you know, over the past few weeks (ie since day 1, talking to the students in the MH) I have been trying to convince everyone that the current CvB is not the problem and […]

14 April 2015 – 16:22 | Comments (2)

“On Horseshit, On Silence” speech

George Blaustein

I am not really a radical, although I admire radicals. It isn’t my temperament. I feel odd speaking here because this is one of the first times I’ve really spoken in these protests. My small contribution has been to write a chronicle of these events for people elsewhere, to make the protest legible abroad. It was also […]

14 April 2015 – 14:12 | Comments (0)

Photo Report of our Academic Protest March

Dan Hassler-Forest

The academic protest march, organized jointly by ReThink UvA, De Nieuwe Universiteit, Humanities Rally, and University of Color, was a huge success. Over 1500 members of Amsterdam’s academic community gathered on the UvA’s REC complex for a short series of speeches, then peacefully made their way towards the city center and the university’s Binnengasthuis area. These […]

14 April 2015 – 00:37 | Comments (0)


Josef Früchtl


11 April 2015 – 13:35 | Comments (0)

Out of the backroom

Sanli Faez and Guy Geltner

Backroom dealing is a phenomenon to be discouraged in any public institution. It limits participation by perpetuating the concentration of power in few hands and stifles open discussion by effectively widening the gap between the desire of constituencies and their leaders’ agendas. Perhaps more importantly, it creates distrust, encourages protectionism, and in extreme cases it […]

9 April 2015 – 23:55 | Comments (0)

Hoe gevaarlijk zijn onze studenten?

Joost de Bloois, Dan Hassler-Forest en Tashina Blom

[Dit opiniestuk is geschreven naar aanleiding van de publicatie van een interview met hoogleraar politicologie Jean Tillie in Het Parool op 2 april 2015. Het onderstaande stuk is in verkorte vorm op 9 april in diezelfde krant gepubliceerd.] Wat moet Jean Tillie bang zijn: hij geeft dagelijks college aan levensgevaarlijke radicalen. De bezetters van het Maagdenhuis zijn […]

9 April 2015 – 21:24 | Comments (2)

First We Take Amsterdam, Then The Hague

Nicholas Vrousalis, Robin Celikates, Johan Hartle, and Enzo Rossi

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win You know the way to stop me, but you don’t have the discipline How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin Leonard Cohen, ‘First we take Manhattan’ […]

3 April 2015 – 22:29 | Comments (0)

Who represents “the whole academic community”?

Sanli Faez

While the dust of the much-polarizing Maagdenhuis rally is settling down, a certain group is emerging as the unrivaled champion of the last eventful five weeks; a celebrated group  called “the whole academic community” (“de gehele academische gemeenschap” in Dutch). From challengers (De Nieuwe Universiteit, Manifest) to the incumbent (De 10 punten van het CvB), […]

2 April 2015 – 20:17 | Comments (1)

A call to the future: Student activism at the UvA

Touraj Eghtesad

   The Mayor of Amsterdam and recent press articles claim that ‘professional activists’ have taken over the Maagdenhuis Appropriation while students have become a minority. The few students who are left, according to this narrative, are looking to get away with their irresponsible behaviour by seeking ECTS study credits instead of doing their coursework. This […]

1 April 2015 – 16:07 | Comments (0)

Ending the tragedy of the commons

Pieter Pekelharing

My impression is that many of our goals are ‘glocal’, i.e. local as well as global in character. Hence it is no coincidence that many of them have directly been taken over by protests at other universities. Not only that. Many professionals in other public sectors recognize our problems as similar to theirs. Everywhere the […]

31 March 2015 – 19:55 | Comments (0)

Ibn Khaldûn in het Maagdenhuis

Rudi Künzel

Het Maagdenhuis zoals het nu is, is een goede plek om na te denken over de vraag hoe het komt dat een bepaalde maatschappelijke orde langdurig kan voortbestaan, maar ook, en soms onverhoeds, radicaal kan veranderen [1]. Een van mijn lievelingsschrijvers, de filosoof, socioloog en historicus Ibn Khaldûn (1332-1405) heeft hierover langdurig nagedacht. Hij had […]

30 March 2015 – 19:03 | Comments (2)

A society out of balance (in Dutch)

Sabine Geers

Het is inmiddels een maand en twee dagen geleden dat ik het maagdenhuis binnenstapte voor de eerste meeting van het toen nog naamloze Rethink UvA. Enigszins huiverig voor de ongewassen hippies die ik dacht aan te treffen, wachtte ik rustig af hoe de eerste staff meeting zou verlopen. Ik was nieuwsgierig, maar ook een tikkeltje […]

30 March 2015 – 09:39 | Comments (2)

Dear Maagdenhuis, can we please get our shit together?

Donya Alinejad

I confess, from the first time I was awkwardly hoisted in through the back window of the occupied Bungehuis, I was already in love. Since the cleaners’ strike and occupation of the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam in 2011, I had started to see the university in a whole new light: as a site of impressive […]

28 March 2015 – 19:37 | Comments (0)

On personal responsibility

Touraj Eghtesad

   There is a lot of talk about responsibility in the academic world these days. After a teach-in I did at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, one member of the Executive Board spoke to De Nieuwe Vrije Universiteit about the issues facing higher education. He kept on emphasising the fact that ‘students need to take responsibility’, which […]

27 March 2015 – 00:50 | Comments (0)

The Maagdenhuis as an “Elsewhere” space

Renske van Bronswijk

The Maagdenhuis as an “elsewhere” space: Q&A with Jacques Rancière Today, the French philosopher Jacques Rancière came to speak at the Maagdenhuis. Rancière would be an honour to have at any event, but his presence is particularly apt in the context of the current Maagdenhuis appropriation and student protests. A former student of Althusser, he […]

25 March 2015 – 20:29 | Comments (3)

Aan burgeRmeester (1) van der Laan

Tjebbe van Tijen

Als voormalig archivaris en conservator van de afdeling Documentatie Moderne Sociale Bewegingen van de Universiteits Bibliotheek Amsterdam (UBA) later overgegaan naar het Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis (IISG) in de periode 1973-1998, waarbij ik ook het archief over/van de Maagdenhuisbezeting in het jaar 1969 onder mijn beheer had, wil ik het volgende onder de aandacht […]

22 March 2015 – 09:01 | Comments (0)