This paper is a partly autobiographical reflection on an attempt to practice the work of the university differently. It is the early story of a sort of ‘research institute’ which is attempting to take the problems of its city region seriously and find ways to connect the resources of a large elite university to many other organizations in its locality. In theoretical terms, the paper uses the idea of ‘infrastructure’ as a way of thinking about we might characterise the ways that any institution operates beyond its imagined boundaries. My concern is how the institution might become more distributed, less concentrated in particular places and times, and more permeable to different sorts of interests.
How to attend this seminar
We welcome you to join us online on Wednesday 8 February 2023 at 12pm.
This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.
Martin's research and writing widens the scope of business and management studies, whether in terms of particular sorts of organisations (the worker co-op, circus, zoo etc), or ways of representing organising (in art, cartoons, films etc). I'm also interested in the philosophy of the concept 'organization', and how it can be understood in relation to social justice, digitization and distribution across time and space.
His recent writing has been about ‘alternative’ organisation in two senses. One is work on local money, worker self-management, alternative finance and so on. The other is on different ways of thinking about what ‘organisation’ means, so he has written about angels, shipping containers, art galleries, as well as books on outlaws and Daniel Defoe. His most recent books were 'Life After Covid 19' and 'Anarchism, Organization and Management', and the previous one was 'Shut Down the Business School'. He was the lead for the Bristol Inclusive Economy Initiative and a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute.
He is also very interested in how academics write, and how they might cultivate new audiences for their ideas, and he writes journalism as regularly as he can.
His plans for the next few years include pieces on academic activism, sociodigital organization, Andy Warhol, comic book villains and the history of journals.