Join our teach-in on 1st March!

UCU members and students have out together an exciting programme of teach-ins, celebrating the role of the university as a space for provocation, thought and reflection on key social justice issues of our day.

After the rally with UCU President Vicky Blake, come join us for a fascinating series of 5–10 minute provocations followed by Q&A and discussion at The Up in Arms Pub.

All staff, students and members of the public welcome. Pizza (including vegan option) available for £5 from 12–3pm.

Teach-In Schedule — Tuesday, March 1st

Post UCU-Rally. People will likely start to arrive from 1:00. Events will start once people have been able to grab a bite or a drink – as things settle.
The Up in Arms Pub, 241 Marston Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0FN
This event will be composed of two mini-panels consisting of twp discussants (or provocateurs) per panel followed by Q&A. As the aim of this event is to generate discussion and dialogue, discussants will limit their provocations to 5–10 minutes.

Panel One

Stuart Whigham, Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work
Sport, political protest, and social change — the need for public intellectuals
Although many social conservatives have long argued that ‘sport and politics shouldn’t mix’, sport has long been a domain in which political protests have been evident, albeit with varying degrees of success. More recently, the cases of Marcus Rashford, Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe, amongst others, have illustrated the potential for sportspeople to act as what Gramsci described as ‘public intellectuals’ in using their platform to gain popular support to enact social change. This discussion will focus on the lessons that can be gleaned from sport for other political protest movements in other domains of society.
Jill Millar, Business School
Is strike action ethical?
This provocation will ask the following:

  1. What are the ethical issues raised by strike action? (Such as withdrawing labour; not delivering needed services, or services that stakeholders are entitled to; potential for exploitation if strikes not permitted)
  2. How would I justify strike action from an ethical point of view? What principles am I relying on?

Panel Two

Tim Jones, School of the Built Environment
Why is the climate emergency a union issue?
Tim Jones (OBU UCU Green Rep) will talk about why the climate emergency is a union issue and what members of UCU and the NUS can do to get involved in addressing it.
Ben Kenward, Centre for Psychological Research
Has the world already been taken over by artificial intelligence?
Some people worry that intelligent machines with conflicting interests to people could take over. But what if intelligent non-human entities already exist, made out of people and infrastructure? This session takes a psychological and evolutionary approach to discuss the argument that some organisations (such as fossil fuel companies) are best seen as non-human entities making decisions that no human would make, and already “outwitting humanity”.