Through a discussion of selected guerilla performances, Internet pranks, and ironic manifestos created by the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP), this essay focuses on the ways student activists at the University of California have turned to satiric performance as a mode of critique and mobilization against the controversial budget cuts to public education in California. UCMeP's playful yet earnest performative manipulations of the discourses and rituals of authority staged by the UC administration take the rhetoric and proposals for privatizing public higher education to their logical extremes. Be it raising money for the UC Board of Regents, renaming campus buildings in honor of administrators, or auctioning off prominent campus landmarks to the highest bidder, UCMeP employs a performance-based strategy of satiric overidentification that ridicules the authoritative discourses used to legitimate austerity measures and criminalize dissent. Moreover, tactics like those used by UCMeP complement other forms of campus activism by adding fun to the hard work of movement building.
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Eric Cheyfitz Shari M Huhndorf N. Bruce Duthu N. B Duthu
Research Article| April 01 2011
Michael Shane Boyle; Privatize Now! Ask Questions Later: UCMeP's Unauthorized Performance of Administrative Authority. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2011; 110 (2): 570–575. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-1162624
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