“The Center for Place, Culture and Politics”

Friday, May 13th, 2016
9:30am to 7:30pm

Elebash Recital Hall


The complex and dynamic relationship between consciousness and revolution is essential to the strategic analysis of the hegemonic forms of politics, economics, thought, and action we are currently caught in. It is also central to the collective imagination and realization of other worlds. This conference reflects on legacies of revolutionary thought and practice and considers how these can be reimagined and reenergized within current contingencies. How has internationalism come to terms with new regimes of globalization and polity? How do the logics of financialization, the working of institutions, and money itself mediate our daily lives and sense of possibility with regard to social change? With major foundations investing in and influencing struggles for social justice, the question arises, who owns these movements? What does an anticapitalist critique of “social justice” entrepreneurship models look like? How are we, activists and scholars alike, forging new connections between consciousness and revolution building?

What are the varied political consistencies of internationalist consciousness? What revolutionary assumptions underlie “internationalism”—a term coined in the early nineteenth century by Jeremy Bentham during the rise of liberalism, but taken up most forcefully in twentieth century liberation struggles? What general principles can we discern from multiple topographies, and between and across different scales of the capitalist space-economy?

Money mediates our lives and structures our relationships. Under capitalism, money is not politically neutral. This panel explores key questions about money and the institutions to which it is attached: who has it and who does not, who controls it, and how that control is maintained and reproduced.

Whose Movement?
This panel explores worker-led resistance to the trends of strategic philanthropy, market language, and entrepreneurial projects, each of which has influenced worker organizations in the U.S. over the last fifteen years. Worker organizers will discuss the development of an anti-capitalist critique of “social justice” entrepreneurship models, and how they have navigated this shifting political landscape to build their own organizations. We will also hear from labor leaders outside of the US, where philanthropy has had less influence, and workers are shaping the direction of their movements through mass mobilization and political education.

Consciousness and Revolution
The relationship of consciousness to revolution has often been at its most creative in grassroots organization and activism. This panel will not only explore its current parameters but also imagine how it might be rearticulated for the future. What do contemporary practices suggest?

Speakers include:
Christina Heatherton
Rob Robinson
Juan De Lara
Domestic Workers United
Laundry Workers Center
Sandra Neida Robles
Jesse Quizar
Sujatha Fernandes
Miguel Robles-Duran
Wendy Cheng
David Stein
Carolina Bank Munoz
Peter Hitchcock


This daylong conference is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, the Center for Humanities, Advanced Research Collaborative, Graduate Center, CUNY.



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