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About the event

The profound contemporary alienations shaped by long-term crisis require revolutions in the nature of struggle in order to consciously change the external world. Education is central to such change. Our conference combines militant scholars and scholarly militants to share knowledge, resources, history, and practices related to the role of pedagogy for developing consciousness in the present moment. We focus on ad hoc and insurgent educational form-and-content: survival schools in the Dakotas (including the one recently at the Standing Rock #NODAPL occupation; the PAIGC educational program that unrolled during the 1961–1974 war of liberation in Guinée-Bissau; “pop up” universities organized by young militants in conjunction with housing, anti-police, and other struggles in Portugal’s immigrant communities; research-center interventions in established universities such as CUNY, University of Quito, and elsewhere; union- and worker-center based political education in apartheid South Africa and neoliberal USA; and the purpose and ambition of current school strikes and uprisings in India, South Africa, Brasil, and beyond.

SCHEDULE

Friday, May 5th, 2017
9:30am to 6:30pm, Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016

9:30am–10:00am | Welcome

10:00am–12:00pm | Contemporary Alienations: Roots and Branches

This panel looks at the different ways in which resistance proceeds within and between grassroots activism and national and international configurations of opposition. What lessons can be learned from Black labor organization or Kashmiri insurgency in this regard?  How can feminist political consciousness be enhanced at different scales?  How do past struggles continue to inspire present contingencies? By considering crisis across different political formations, this panel hopes to generate a significant crosstalk about the roles of activist consciousness in contemporary solidarity.

Shehla Rashid Shora, James Kilgore, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Steven Pitts, and Robyn Spencer (moderator) 

12:00pm–2:00pm | Genealogies of Militancy: From Alienation to Action

This panel traces out insurgent educational practices in Portugal, India, and Brazil with an eye toward understanding how people confront and obstruct traditional societal institutions in order to reveal existing problems, bring to light alternatives, and/or embody the solution to a social issue. We will discuss how liberation movements use popular education to establish counter-narratives that restore people’s ability to determine their own life and destiny, define their relationships to other people, and to own their own labor and labor production. We will share movement lessons across historical-geographical conditions on three continents in order to conceive together transnational forms of popular education for the struggle against the rapid rise of authoritarian populist rule in the world.

Maria Luisa Mendonça, Alf Nilsen, Rui Estrela, Anjuli F. Raza Kolb, and Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper (moderator)

2:00pm–3:00pm | Lunch Break

3:00pm–5:00pm | Education Pending Revolution

This panel explores how liberation movements from different socio, cultural, and political backgrounds around the world organize themselves in order to create alternative and educational liberatory spaces towards emancipation and revolution. We will discuss, from historical and contemporary perspectives, the social and political circumstances that lead liberation movements to create such spaces as well as their objectives. We will also discuss the impact of these educational initiatives at the individual and collective levels. Departing from the experience and practices of these liberation movements we intend to create a dialogue that can help us to rethink the current state of education (its dangers and challenges), and the ways we can use education toward consciousness and long term revolution. 

Marcella Gilbert, Flávio Almada, Ricot Jean-Pierre, Mary Philips, and Sónia Vaz Borges (moderator)

5:30pm–6:30pm | Keynote: Forms of Confronting 

Mariame Kaba

Saturday May 6th, 2017
9:30am to 4:00pm
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, Second floor, New York, NY 10011

Organization of day-two will be around multiple strategic discussions and breakouts with invited speakers and conference attendees.

This conference was organized with the loving collective labor of: Ujju Aggarwal, Sónia Vaz Borges, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, David Harvey, Peter Hitchcock, Malav Kanuga, Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper, and Mary N. Taylor.

**The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Admission will be granted on a first come, first served basis.  

**Please contact us at contact us at pcp@gc.cuny.edu if you plan to bring children and would like to learn about accommodations (for Saturday
only).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Place Culture and Politics; the Graduate Center, CUNY; and Parsons First Year Program, The New School.

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