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About the event

Given the political challenges of the present, the necessity for radical solidarity appears more pressing than ever. Yet while an understanding of solidarity has been pivotal to social change since at least the Haitian Revolution, how it is articulated has never been less than problematic. Is it a process of political change? Is it its goal? How does solidarity define what it is against without excluding forms of political difference that might enhance it?  What can be learned from solidarity in the past, especially when contingent solidarity in the present regards such a history with justifiable incredulity? There can be no doubt that notions of solidarity continue to impact creatively how one understands political opposition and change, how one interrogates constituency and allies, goals and timelines. The differences of solidarity and a respect for the specificity of particular struggles clearly invigorates how solidarity is now engaged, but solidarity can also be more than negotiated coalitions and fragmented alliances. This conference brings together activists, scholars, activist scholars, and radical thinkers all to consider the meanings of solidarity for political work. What makes solidarity insurgent? Is it its composition or the kind of change it struggles to affect? What are its scales and modes and what are their significance today?  

The Spring 2018 the Center for Place, Culture and Politics conference invites presentations on crucial aspects of solidarity that include examples of its historical prescience, current formations, and ideas for its future elaboration. Individual political movements continue to provide a powerful inspiration for other activists, and perhaps by discussing them a further solidarity may be implied, but in general the conference wants to encourage creative dialogue over gestural affiliations. The conference will be composed both of panels that introduce positions on these questions, and break-out sessions that will permit all attendees to more actively engage in their articulation. The goal is not to codify what might constitute insurgent solidarities, but is to actively encourage their possibility.  

This conference is free and open to the public. The conference will run from 12:00 am to 7pm on Friday, April 13th, and on Saturday, April 14th it will run from 10 am to 5pm.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics; the Center for Humanities, the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY.