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May 9, 2024

Call for Submissions: Future Café Post-X #5

clock mounted on a yellow cinder block wall covered with a protective grid

Future Café student organizers invite submissions from UChicago undergraduates for the fifth issue of its zine, Post-X, which takes as its subject the future of the university:

The aesthetics, demands, culture, and perception of a university rule life within it. As higher education becomes increasingly corporatized and expensive, learning, access, and physical university landscapes change in tandem.

The corporate university entangles knowledge and growth with capitalism and hierarchy. As the model and priorities of higher education shift, some institutions may face declining enrollment rates or pressure from state governments, while others only continue to grow in wealth and influence. The university itself is also an ecosystem of people with a relentless lifecycle; cycling students, faculty, and staff in and out at a rapid pace. Some universities become gentrifying and displacing forces, leaking over their borders in detrimental ways. Others are integral parts of the communities they inhabit, and their loss would be deeply felt.

Post-X: The University encourages you to think about the long-term future of higher education. Are we beholden to past and present models? How will life in academia shift in the coming years and beyond? What are the implications of running a university like a business? What would education look like without capitalism? What is the cost of maintaining the exclusivity of an institution? How will small colleges maintain themselves, and what will happen if they cannot? Can the university be more than just another corporate institution ruling our lives?

Contributions can be UChicago-specific or removed from UChicago, exploring your fears, anxieties, hopes, and visions. We accept poetry, photography, visual art, personal essays, QR codes, short stories, playlists, investigations, dreams, prophecies, or any other genre you may choose. We accept submissions of new or existing work from all UChicago undergraduates.

This year’s theme is related to 3CT’s broader investigation into the Corporate University: for inspiration, see past and upcoming events at the link below, where you can also find links to the first four issues of Post-X.

Please submit your work here. Submissions are due Monday, July 1, 2024, and the zine will be launched in the fall. 

Image: detail from Time, by K80 Ambrose, featured in Post-X #3.