christmas concert

Image: C. Cagnin


Celebrations that extend the mantle of resignation and strengthen the supposedly harmonious spirit among us

Two specters prowl the University.

One of them goes by the name of Concerto Natalino. Like the specials that are repeated, almost identically, on TV stations, at the end of the year, the institution smiles in a Santa Claus costume, while ignoring the demands of its teaching and non-teaching staff for better working, studying and research conditions. The purpose is obvious: to reiterate the importance of celebrations that extend the mantle of resignation and strengthen the supposedly harmonious spirit among us.

Strictly speaking, there is not much difference between the concerts of the “king” (spokesperson for the military since the 1970s) and the promotion of solemn ceremonies, which celebrate the birth of a biblical character in the environment dedicated to science and the formation of the critical spirit. Both spaces, television and university, share the same hypocrisy: celebrating a Christian date in the country that, formally, separated Religion and State since the Constitution of 1891; preserve the “tradition”, turning a blind eye to the poor living conditions of the community that bears the company or university logo.

The other ghost is that of entrepreneurship. For example, when the bank names a teaching space and its logo rhymes with “empreender”. It follows that this slogan, riddled with common sense, becomes a dogma: “the way, the truth and the life” of the student eager to become an individual, but also the goal of the teacher who sees no problem in submitting his didactic project to the managerial logic. “Who can go to the bank to finance my project?”.

I answer: the same evil that exists in reducing the institution's responsibility to look after its own and commit itself to the fight for funds that ensure the effective articulation of the teaching, research and university extension tripod. The more we work in overcrowded classes; cover “holes” in the curriculum; take classes from dead or retired colleagues and resign ourselves to hiring colleagues on a temporary basis, the more we will widen the gaps for the university to impose the so-called “entrepreneurial spirit”, as if it were an institutional safeguard, but also an extra obligation (raising resources ) for those who teach, research, guide, issue opinions, disseminate research and edit books and magazines.

There is another factor common to the king's concerts on TV and the Christmas concerts at the university: both reproduce old and meaningless formulas, amid the omnipresent discourse of innovation... Someone will object, now, now, that contradictions are inherent to changes. I will reply: try sounding contradictory to test the ethos benefit of the institution. Since when did the teacher come to be seen as a servant of clients, avid not for knowledge or forms of knowledge, but for profit and financial emancipation?

Perhaps it was a case of asking: “Who best understands symbolic thrones?”. The king or his compulsory audience? The dean or his subjects in precarious working conditions? Someone needs to tell these beings that the classroom can discuss everything, including ways to do research, cooperate with society and even undertake. What we cannot accept is the avalanche of pseudolectures with bizarre titles that underestimate the sensitivity and intelligence of its students, employees and professors.

The classroom is not a forum for the modeling of self-employed entrepreneurs and devotees of uptight teachers. coach. The university would gain much more if it re-discussed the primacy of common sense; the hecatomb caused by pseudo-academic utilitarianism; the formative values, embedded in the diploma that she hands out to her students, in formal and boring ceremonies, each semester.

*Jean Pierre Chauvin He is a professor at the School of Communication and Arts at USP.


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