Left Forum 2008

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KeyWiki has information on Left Forum conferences held in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Left Forum is the new name for the Socialist Scholars Conference.

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Left Forum 2008 took place March 14-16 at The Cooper Union, New York City. The event was themed "Cracks in the Edifice".[1]

What is the nature of the emerging crises in global political economy? How can the Left confront its current challenges to build stronger anti-capitalist movements? If another world is possible, what will it look like?

Left Forum Board of Directors

Board of Directors, 2008:[2]

Panels

LF Brochure-1.jpg

Africa

Cracks in the Edifice:

Resistance is fertile: Changing the World from the Ground Up:

Popular Struggles for Democracy in Kenya: Lessons from the 2007 Elections:

  • Mukoma wa Ngugi of the University of Wisconsin: "African Leadership in Crisis"
  • Caroline Elkins of Harvard University: "Historical Legacies and Kenya's Contemporary Crises"
  • Micere Githae Mugo of Syracuse University, "What went wrong? A class analysis of the pitfalls of the democratic project in Kenya"
  • Tavia Nyong'o of New York University, "Perverse Neoliberalism"
  • Moderator: Horace G. Campbell of the Syracuse University, "Kenyan political struggles and political transformation in Africa"

The African Crisis: Politics, Philosophy and Social Movements: A Roundtable: Contributing authors to the November 2007 special issue of Socialism and Democracy will exchange ideas about the current prospects for popular progressive and revolutionary movements in Africa.

Southern Africa - Southern African Feminist Review (SAFERE), Zimbabwe:

Speaking Truth to Power: Africa's Independant Media and its Relationship to Democratic Struggles around the Continent: How does the traditional press and new media forms, including blogs, websites, and text messaging, contribute to democracy movements on the continent and among the diaspora?

Political Violence in Darfur

This panel will focus on the debate around how to understand the political violence in Darfur since the start of the February 2003 rebellion.

Racism

Race & Racism: Reimagining 1968: The Black Power Movement and its Legacies: This panel critically analyzes the way in which Black Power radicalism impacted the local, national and international events of 1968.

Harlem is Seized!: How do land issues manifest within black communities, what are their commonalities to other liberation struggles, what is the relationship between the struggle for specific local reforms such as tenants rights and the liberation of the ìimagined community", in what ways is Harlem a new manifestation of the diaspora of folks of African descent.

Radicalizing Human Rights: Bringing Human Rights Home: In recent years, important sectors of the feminist movement and the left have adopted a strategy of using the language of international human rights to mobilize people for economic and social justice within the US; in what ways is this approach useful in winning reforms and building a movement and what are its possible limitations in terms of a radical strategy?

Race and Ethnicity in America: A Left Perspective: An author/critic discussion of Stephen Steinberg's provocative new book, Race Relations: A Critique, which argues that social science has been complicit in advancing "an epistemology of ignorance" that glosses over racial oppression and denies the reality of a "dual melting pot" one for peoples of African descent, the other for everybody else, including Asians and light-skinned Latinos.

Why Have the Women's and Blacks' Movements Stalled? What Can Be Done to Restart Them?:

Sports and the Culture Wars:

In a world where coverage of sports is increasingly pervasive, this panel examines the way that popular journalism address issues of race, gender and culture.

Non-Degreed Theorizings are Possible, Non-Traditional Revolutions are Necessary, Music is the Weapon: Lyrical Resistance/Action Planning: Fighting the criminalization of black youth. An interactive dialogue of artists and activists on the criminalization of black youth and how art intersects with scholarship to fight these racist ideologies, the potentials available in revolutionary music to mobilize communities and students to resist the criminalization and mass incarceration of black people.

The Thousand-Yard Stare: Public Health on a Corrupt Trajectory: We propose that AIDS prevention and treatment have failed in the US as a consequence of the harms to thinking systems that resulted from the US original sin of counting African Americans as 3/5ths of a man.

Racial Justice and Public Education: Panelists will discuss the ways in which different communities are addressing the challenges they face fighting for decent and equitable education, how they have resisted and organized, and how their particular struggles speak to the larger political climate of the US.

Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the DeMobolisation of African Voters: New voters are trouble, so it is more efficient to work to suppress opposition voters, and blacks are the usual target of vote suppression, a tactic is used both by the Republican and the Democratic parties.

Beyond Walls and Cages: Linking Immigrant Rights and Prison Abolition Movements: The criminalization of migration builds on the nearly three-decade long project of mass incarceration. How can we understand how walls and cages target different groups of people, yet with similar effects, and how can the prison abolition and immigrant justice movements learn from and support each other?

International

Neoliberalism, Citizenship, and Land Wars in the "New India": As the Indian state attempts to bring into being a new consumer citizen, farmers, workers and cultural activists fight to retain a democratic notion of citizenship, located within specific political spaces and practices.

  • Leela Fernandes, Political Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick "The Political Economy of Lifestyle: Consumption, India's New Middle Class and Changing Development Regimes"
  • Dolly Daftary, Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, "Morphing dryland communities into 'India Shining': A critique of participatory democracy, watershed development and the postcolonial state"
  • Moderator: Kanishka Chowdhury, English, and Director of the Program in American Culture and Difference, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, "Contesting Claims: Land Acquisition and Dispossession in Bengal"

Marxism, Feminism and Critical Theory In Contemporary China: A discussion of recent trends in Chinese philosophy and social theory, with participants from China and the US.

  • He Ping of Wuhan University, China, Gender in China
  • Wu Xinwei of Wuhan University, China, Purdue University, ìGramsci in Chinaî
  • Li Dianlai of Wuhan University, China, Purdue University, ìHabermas in Chinaî
  • Wang Xinyan of Wuhan University, China, "Keeping a Foothold on Concrete Reality in Chinese Marxist Philosophy"
  • Discussant: Peter Hudis of Oakton Community College
  • Moderator: Kevin B. Anderson of Purdue University
  • Moderator: Josh Howard of the Graduate Center, CUNY

China: Economic Crisis, Environmental Collapse, and Workers Struggles in Chinas' Market Stalinism: The introduction of market reform in China has installed economic forces that are savaging Chinese society and driving the country toward ecological collapse ó trends which are exacerbated by Chinaís hybrid capitalist-communist social structure which has defeated all efforts at reform but provoked growing resistance from workers and farmers.

  • Richard Smith, Author, ìChinaís Capitalist Catastrophe
  • Stephen Philion, Sociology, St. Cloud State University, "The Ideology of Rights and Workers Resistance to Privatization in China"
  • Yan Sun of Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY, "Corruption, growth and reform, the Chinese enigma"
  • Moderator: Magali Sarfatti Larson of Temple University (emerita)

Tariq Ali on Pakistan:

Culture

Sports and the Culture Wars: In a world where coverage of sports is increasingly pervasive, this panel examines the way that popular journalism address issues of race, gender and culture.

Literature and Politics: A Session in Memory of Annette Rubinstein: Marxist literary historians and theorists will discuss the red line of literary history and the continuing necessity for historical materialism in literary criticism and cultural critique.

Left Perspectives on Psychoanalysis:

  • Isis Leslie, "Romantic Individualism, Existentialism, and Melancholia: The Case of Richard Wright"
  • Stanley Aronowitz of the Graduate Center, CUNY, "Can We Grasp the Social World with Psychoanalysis?"
  • David N. Smith - ìResistance of the Wrong Kind: Probing the Psychological Roots of Resistance to Psychology"
  • Richard Lichtman - Critical Theory in Psychology, Sacramento, California, ìPsychology and Torture: Their Long Dark Historyî
  • Moderator: Harriet Fraad - Psychologist

Closed Doors: Household Exploitation and the Struggle for a New Society:

The hidden class struggles that occur within contemporary households and their implications for understanding social change and politics today.

  • Harriet Fraad, a Psychotherapist, New York, "The Class Analysis of Caring Labor"
  • Rick Wolff, Economics, University of Massachussetts, Amherst, "Households and Families, Class Analysis, and Revolutionary Strategy Today"
  • Moderator: Graham Cassano, Sociology, Oakland University, Michigan

Political Satire: Speaking Spoof to Power

If you're tired of Leftists over-analyzing everything, and just want a good, pain-filled laugh, see comics, writers and filmmakers present their ingeniously outraged work, inspired by what the US government is doing to us and to the world. Billionaires for Bush

Transformative Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and the Future of Capatilism: What role can indigenous or "precapitalist" forms of knowledge and spirituality play in this transformation, and what are the politics of mobilizing them, and does the recent (re)turn to consciousness mark a significant break from the distinction between idealism and materialism? *Jack Z. Bratich of Rutgers University

The Left Analyzes Everyday Life:

Non-Degreed Theorizings Are Possible, Non-Traditional Revolutions are Necessary: Music is the Weapon: Lyrical Resistance/Action Planning: Fighting the criminalization of black youth. An interactive dialogue of artists and activists on the criminalization of black youth and how art intersects with scholarship to fight these racist ideologies, the potentials available in revolutionary music to mobilize communities and students to resist the criminalization and mass incarceration of black people.

Ecology and Environment

Water Privatization: The Ultimate Theft: The campaign to make clean water accessible to all brings together socialists, environmentalists, wealthy suburbanites and the poorest people in the world in a fight that may save the planet.

Daniel Singer Essay Prize: Eco Socialism in the Time of Global Warming: The panel will feature comments on the essay of Arthur Mitzman, Dutch professor and the winner of the 2007 Daniel Singer Prize, on the theme of his paper, "The Eco-Socialist Challenge."

Radical Approaches to Global Warming: Global Warming is not a technical problem, and cannot be solved within the terms of capitalism; we need, rather, a massive uprising and joining together of movements from below, dedicated to keeping carbon within the ground, and to the transformation of society accordingly.

China: Economic Crisis, Environmental Collapse and Worker's Struggles in China's Market Stalinism: The introduction of market reform in China has installed economic forces that are savaging Chinese society and driving the country toward ecological collapse ó trends which are exacerbated by Chinaís hybrid capitalist-communist social structure which has defeated all efforts at reform but provoked growing resistance from workers and farmers.

  • Richard Smith, Author, China's Capitalist Catastrophe
  • Stephen Philion, Sociology, St. Cloud State University, "The Ideology of Rights and Workers' Resistance to Privatization in China"
  • Yan Sun, Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY, "Corruption, growth and reform, the Chinese enigma"
  • Moderator: Magali Sarfatti Larson, Temple University (emerita)

Corporate Vs. Popular Solutions To the Climate Crisis: In a warming world, corporate intransigence and government dithering are getting heat from grassroots movements around the world mobilizing to stop climate catastrophe.

Education

Racial Justice and Public Education: Panelists will discuss the ways in which different communities are addressing the challenges they face fighting for decent and equitable education, how they have resisted and organized, and how their particular struggles speak to the larger political climate of the US.

Between Teaching, Facilitating and Promoting: What Kind of Worlds do Teachers Envision?: Examining the Friere, the Free School and the Zapatista models, and questioning the responsibilities of teachers to students, this panel will explore these questions through both personal experience and professional critique, calling on those who work in all levels to participate in this critical discussion.

Education Vs. Schooling - The Roles of the Political Intellectual In and Out of Academia:

Electoral Politics

Left Political Parties, Left Electoral Successess and the Strategic Challenge of NeoLiberalism and Right Wing Populism:

Electoral Reform in the US: The elections of 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 cast a spotlight on serious distortions in the American electoral system, exposing problems so serious that the term "vote suppression" had become commonplace in the press.

The Interplay of Movements and Electoral Politics in the US: Focusing on particular movements, the perennial dichotomy between doing electoral work or movement work will be examined, as will what can we learn about the impact of electoral politics on political movements, and the impact of political movements on electoral politics.

Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the Demobolization of American Voters: New voters are trouble, so it is more efficient to work to suppress opposition voters, and blacks are the usual target of vote suppression, a tactic is used both by the Republican and the Democratic parties.

Anarchism and the 2008 American Elections: Can anarchists shrug off the end of the Bush era and this particular U.S. presidential election as just the same old statecraft - and proceed to "shut down" the conventions - or do the race (Obama), gender (Clinton), and "hope" factors problematize our usual responses?

Looking Presidential? Symbols and Substance, Obama and Clinton:

How race and gender have been used, abused and misunderstood in the primaries.

Europe

Building the Left in Northern Core Capitalist Countries:

  • Frank Deppe, Political Science, University of Marburg, Germany, "The crisis of neoliberal hegemony and the emergence of authoritarian capitalism"
  • Javier Navascues, Management Science and Industrial Organisation, University of Seville, Spain, "United Left in Spain - Its current difficulties and former successes"
  • Mimmo Porcaro, Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, "Building a new Left party into a populist society: Is the 'Italian Case' back?"
  • Thomas Seibert, Interventionist Left, Germany, "Party and movements, moderates and radicals. Lessons learned from Cologne 1999 to Heiligendamm 2007"
  • Moderator: Rainer Rilling, University of Marburg, Germany

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin

The Balkans in Crisis: 1990 - 2008

This panel will examine the history of the dismantling of Yugoslavia and the politics of "humanitarian intervention" and capitalist transition as seen "from below" through the struggles of workers, students, Roma and other political activists in the region.

Understanding Class Dynamics, State Restructuring and Political Alternatives: An examination of the recent dynamics of Turkish capitalism in terms of the accumulation process, social classes and the state, with a specific focus on the post-2001 period.

  • Fuat Ercan, Economics, Marmara University, Turkey
  • Selime Guzelsari, Department of Public Administration, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Moderator: Sebnem Oguz, Trent University, Canada

Left Political Parties, Left Electoral Successes and the Strategic Challenge of Neoliberalism and Right Wing Populism:

  • Michael Krotke, Political Economy, University of Amsterdam, "The Origins of the Success of the Dutch Socialist Party"
  • John Sanbonmatsu, Philosophy, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, "Building the Left in the United States"
  • Ingar Solty, Political Science, York University, Toronto, "Neoliberalism, Right-Wing Populism and Neosocialism: The Significance of the New German Left Party"
  • Asbjorn Wahl - Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, "The Origin of the Success and the Experience With the Government Participation of the Norwegian Left Party"
  • Moderator: Leo Panitch, York University, Toronto, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin

Kosovo Independence: Timely or Absurd?

Women, Gender & Sexuality

What Would a Feminist Left be Like?: The next wave of the left must integrate the experience and ideas of the feminist and queer movements with an understanding of class and race in order to build a social justice movement that is not only progressive but humane, and able to address people's real life concerns.

The Pleasure Frontier: An Intergenerational Dialogue On Sex in Feminism: An interrogation of sex and sexuality through various generations of feminisms

Dangerous Liason: Feminism and Neo-Liberalism: This panel explores the unexpected ideological and political points of convergence — in the US, Europe, and the Third World — between the economic orthodoxy of free market neoliberalism (privatization, welfare cuts, free access for capital everywhere) and mainstream feminism (individualism, women's autonomy).

  • Hester Eisenstein, Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY, "Feminism Seduced? The Uses Of Feminist Ideology For Corporate Elites In The Age Of Terror"
  • Iris Nowak, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, "About the conservative German Secretary of Family Affairs and other feminists. Why feminism is (not) a Left issue"
  • Kornelia Hauser, University of Innsbruck, Austria, Sociology of Education, Gender Studies, "Neocapitalistic Construction of the Self in Third Wave Feminism"
  • Moderator: Soniya Munshi, Queens College, CUNY
  • Moderator: Steve Brier, Graduate Center, CUNY

Advancing a Left Feminist Agenda: This panel seeks to create an intergenerational, multiracial, multicultural left feminist analysis of global capitalism and patriarchy including intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, nationalism, sexuality, and class and to focus on the relationship between theory and practice and the need to build a broad-based feminist movement for social justice.

Sex Work, Trafficking and Left Politics: Towards a New Vision on Prostitution and Justice: This panel will unite sex workers, rights activists and professional intellectuals working on queer theory, feminism and progressive sexual politics to discuss the relationship between sex work and the Left.

Is a Radical Homosexual Agenda Possible?:

A Labor Movement for the 21st Century: What kind of labor movement is needed to deal with 21st century conditions of globalization, labor migration, widespread unemployment and a huge but largely unorganized service sector; and how do womenís rights and workersí rights, workplace issues and community issues, come together to build this kind of movement?

Why Have the Womens and Blacks Movements Stalled? What Can be Done to Restart Them?:

Marxism, Feminism and Critical Theory In Contemporary China: A discussion of recent trends in Chinese philosophy and social theory, with participants from China and the US.

  • He Ping, Wuhan University, China, "Gender in China"
  • Wu Xinwei, Wuhan University, China, Purdue University, "Gramsci in China"
  • Li Dianlai Wuhan University, China, Purdue University, "Habermas in China"
  • Wang Xinyan, Wuhan University, China, "Keeping a Foothold on Concrete Reality in Chinese Marxist Philosophy'
  • Discussant: Peter Hudis, Oakton Community College
  • Moderator: Kevin B. Anderson, Purdue University
  • Moderator: Josh Howard, Graduate Center, CUNY

Organising For Tax Justice:

Healthcare

Not Politically Feasible? Not so Fast!: Organising For Single Payer Health Care in an Election Year:

The Thousand Yard Stare: Public Health on a Corrupt Trajectory: We propose that AIDS prevention and treatment have failed in the US as a consequence of the harms to thinking systems that resulted from the US original sin of counting African Americans as 3/5's of a man.

Labor

Reorganising the Working Class: The panel will address the profound crisis within the labor movement and the strategic dimensions of its potential revival as an oppositional force. Kate Bronfenbrenner - Labor Education Research, Cornell University, The Impasse in Unions and Union Organizing

In the Shadow of the Anti-Labor Law: This panel examines the state of US labor law 60 years after the passage of Taft-Hartley through critique and assesses alternative means of establishing a just labor law through innovative political and activist strategies by workers.

Gender, Ethnicity and Culture: Organising on the Margins: In the context of the steady decline of organized laborís white male workers manufacturing jobs, this panel shifts the focus to organizing precarious employment and immigrant labor in an increasingly anti-immigrant climate.

  • Jennifer Klein, History, Yale University, "We Were the Invisible Workforce: Low-wage Labor in the American Welfare State"
  • Graham Cassano, Sociology and Anthropology, Oakland University, "Republicanism, class war, and the cultural struggle: Lou Dobbs and the new nativism"
  • Troy Rondinone, History, Southern Connecticut State University, "Republicanism, class war, and the cultural struggle: Lou Dobbs and the new nativism"
  • Nicole Trujillo-Pag·n, Sociology, Wayne State University, "Limits to Solidarity: The Case of Latina Organizers of Male Casual Laborers in Post-Katrina New Orleans"
  • Moderator: David Fasenfest, Editor, Critical Sociology, Sociology, Wayne State University, Critical Sociology

A Labor Movement For the 21st Century: What kind of labor movement is needed to deal with 21st century conditions of globalization, labor migration, widespread unemployment and a huge but largely unorganized service sector; and how do womenís rights and workersí rights, workplace issues and community issues, come together to build this kind of movement?

US Manufacturing: Restructuring Or Disappearing?: The hollowing out of American manufacturing is an article of faith in much left analysis, but the truth is more complex and this has important organizing, bargaining, and political implications

  • Mark Brenner, Labor Notes, “Overview of job loss and restructuring in US manufacturing”
  • Nicole Aschoff, Sociology, John Hopkins University, "New data on the net flow of jobs out of and into the US auto industry”
  • Stanley Aronowitz, Graduate Center, CUNY, long-time labor activist, “The shift to high tech manufacturing and the implications for organizing”
  • Moderator: Sam Gindin, York University, former Assistant to the President of CAW, Socialist Register

Precarious Work, Precarious Lives:

How Can Studying Workers Class Consciousness Help To Raise It?: An attempt to combine our research interests on this important topic with our political ones.

  • Bertell Ollman, New York University, "Are Class Interests Part of What Workers Are or Part of What They Know (Or Don't)?"
  • Howard Horowitz, Howard Horowitiz Associates, "Report on Two Focus Group Studies on Workers' Class Consciousness]]
  • Lee Levin, Public Administration, Baruch College, "Problems of Class Consciousness in Working Class Women]]
  • Moderator: Michael Zweig, Economics, SUNY, Stony Brook

Sex Work, Trafficking, And Left Politics: Towards a New Vision on Prostitution and Justice: This panel will unite sex workers rights activists and professional intellectuals working on queer theory, feminism and progressive sexual politics to discuss the relationship between sex work and the Left.

China: Economic Crisis, Environmental Collapse and Workers' Struggles in China's Market Stalinism: The introduction of market reform in China has installed economic forces that are savaging Chinese society and driving the country toward ecological collapse, trends which are exacerbated by China's hybrid capitalist-communist social structure which has defeated all efforts at reform but provoked growing resistance from workers and farmers.

  • Richard Smith, Author, "China's Capitalist Catastrophe"
  • Stephen Philion, Sociology, St. Cloud State University, "The Ideology of Rights and Workers' Resistance to Privatization in China"
  • Yan Sun, Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY, "Corruption, growth and reform, the Chinese enigma"
  • Moderator: *Magali Sarfatti Larson, Temple University (emerita)

Latin America

Militant Puerto Ricans: Diaspora, Struggle & Political Prisoners:

This panel focuses on the role of the Diaspora in the struggle for Puerto Rican national liberation describing and evaluating the radicalization of communities, the differing forms of struggle, political prisoners and use of the grand jury today.

The Latin American Right: Much attention in recent years has been devoted to the Latin American ìleft turnî with little attention focused on how right-wing politics has adjusted to meet new challenges to its dominance.

New Participatory Working Class Movements Challenge Left Reformism in Latin America

Confronting Left Reformism in Latin America: Non-hierarchical, democratic, and participatory working class movements present challenges to social democratic and centrist governments

  • Jack Hammond, Sociology, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, "Popular Movements and Left Governments: Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Chile"
  • Peter Ranis, Political Science, Graduate Center and York College, CUNY, "Struggles of Worker Recuperated Enterprises and Cooperatives in Argentina"
  • Nancy Romer, Psychology, Brooklyn College, CUNY, "Indigenous and Workers Organizations in Bolivia"
  • Moderator: Renate Bridenthal, History, Brooklyn College, International Committee of PSC-CUNY, AFT, Local 2334))

Evaluating Chavez From the Left: The international Left must address whether we should line up behind Chavez, is he a populist and/or a revolutionary, and is the opposition in Venezuela, perhaps, correct?

Moderator: *Olivia Burlingame Goumbri, Director, Venezuela Information Office

Urban Roots of Resistance And the New Left in Latin America: The historical antecedents of many of the leftist movements coming to power across Latin America today, the relationships of social movements with new Left leaders, and the current social movements and their historical roots will be examined.

Changing the World by Taking Power? Challenges Facing the Latin American Left: Leftists have come to power in governments throughout Latin America, from Venezuela to Brazil to Cuba and beyond, and questions of the relationship between state power and social movements are a subject of heated debates: How do left forces relate to questions of electoral struggles, executive power and its contestation, parliamentary reform and revolutionary movements, socialism from above and below?

Marxism & Theory

No Neoliberalism Without 1968? The Contradictory Legacy of the Cultural Rebellion:

Is it possible that the cultural upheavals of the 60s paved the way for neoliberal policies to be not only implemented but accepted widely?

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin

Towards a Synthesis of Anarchism and Marxism?:

  • Dave Berry, European Studies, Loughborough University, UK, "Towards a libertarian communism? Daniel Guerin and the synthesis of marxism and anarchism"
  • Ruth Kinna, Politics, Loughborough University, UK, "Bridging Differences Through Revolutionary Action: Aldred on Anarchism and Marx"
  • Moderator: Laurence Davis - Founding member, Anarchist Studies Network, "Anarchism, Marxism, and the Ends of Revolution"

Dialectics of Liberation: Praxis For a New Century?: Utilizing over 90 years of collective movement experience, participants in this conversation will discuss using dialectics to explore ways that theorizing social change must change to fit the 21st Century.

Real Utopia: Participatory Society For the 21st Century:

This panel engages visions for what a future participatory society may look like while looking at real world examples in the US, Asia and Latin America, and the strategy and activism needed to take us there.

Lenin's Return?: While many have proclaimed Goodbye to Leninî since Communismísm's collapse, discussions and debates are re-emerging regarding his historical meaning, contemporary resonance and future relevance.

Connecting Globalization and Revolution: Marx's slogan about "workers of the world unite" was premature such that only today are the conditions in place to make that possible, and how does contemporary globali==tion repose anew the strategic question, "Reform and/or Revolution?"

  • Maliha Safri, Drew University, "The Global Household: Immigration and Economics in Transnational Families"
  • John Manley, Political Science, Stanford University, 'Globalization: Precondition of Socialist Revolution?"
  • Rick Wolff, Economics, University of Massachussetts, Amherst, "Reaction to Global Neoliberalism: Reform or Revolution?"
  • Moderator: Cathy Mulder, Economics, Washington College

Rethinking Marxism and the Future Of Global Struggles: Class Theory, Political Subjects and Contemporary Capitalism:

Scholars associated with Marxism and with Rethinking Marxism will interrogate the journal's goals and accomplishments, Marxism's history in relation to political transformations in the world over the last 20 years, and the future of Marxism in the United States and abroad, as both a scholarly discourse and a form of political practice.

How Can Studying Workers' Class Consciousness Help to Raise It?: An attempt to combine our research interests on this important topic with our political ones.

  • Bertell Ollman, New York University, "Are Class Interests Part of What Workers Are or Part of What They Know (Or Don't)?"
  • Howard Horowitz, Howard Horowitiz Associates, "Report on Two Focus Group Studies on Worker's Class Consciousness"
  • Lee Levin, Public Administration, Baruch College, "Problems of Class Consciousness in Working Class Women"
  • Moderator: Michael Zweig, Economics, SUNY, Stony Brook

Beyond the Inarticulate: A "Conversation" With Staughton Lynd On Anarchism and Marxism and History From the Bottom Up

An exploration of the contributions of historian and organizer Staughton Lynd.

Marxism, Feminism and Critical Theory In Contemporary China: A discussion of recent trends in Chinese philosophy and social theory, with participants from China and the US.

  • He Ping, Wuhan University, China, "Gender in China"
  • Wu Xinwei, Wuhan University, China, Purdue University, "Gramsci in China"
  • Li Dianlai, Wuhan University, China, Purdue University, "Habermas in China"
  • Wang Xinyan, Wuhan University, China, "Keeping a Foothold on Concrete Reality in Chinese Marxist Philosophy"
  • Discussant: Peter Hudis, Oakton Community College
  • Moderator: Kevin B. Anderson, Purdue University
  • Moderator: Josh Howard, Graduate Center, CUNY

Media

Speaking Truth to Power: Africa's Independent Media and its Relationship to Dmocratic Struggles Around the Continent: How does the traditional press and new media forms, including blogs, websites, and text messaging, contribute to democracy movements on the continent and among the diaspora?

Unembedded From Corporate Journalism At Home - Grassroots Media-Making: Panelists will share video and radio examples as they discuss media-making as a critical component of their community organizing, analysis and communications.

Middle East

The Iran Crisis: Continuing Threat of War, Post-National Intelligence Estimate: Our panelists will explore US-Iran relations and questions raised by the striking US Intelligence turnaround by looking at domestic politics in the US and Iran, the effects of trade sanctions on Iran's economy and its people, the connection to the war in Iraq, and the long-range energy ambitions of the US.

Lessons of the Iraq Occupation: This panel will explore a broad range of issues, from mercenaries and outsourcing to counterinsurgency warfare in Iraq and the impact of the ongoing occupation for other conflicts, as well as the anti-war movement.

Oil and Politics in a Neoliberal World Economy: The political economy of the international oil industry in the neoliberal world economy with special foci on the consequences of the rising cost of oil extraction and nationalization of the oil industry for Middle East politics and US foreign policy.

  • Michael Klare, Peace and World Security Studies, Hampshire College, "Oil, War, and Geopolitics: The Struggle Over What Remains"
  • Max Fraad Wolff, International Affairs, The New School, "Rising Petrol Prices and Redistribution"
  • Irene Gendzier, Political Science, Boston University, "Past Tense, Present Sense: Reflections on US Oil Policy and Middle East Politics from the start of the Good Old Days"
  • Moderator: Adolfo Doring

The Backlash Against Dissent on Israel - Strategies For Response: Drawing upon their own experiences, panelists will address how dissenting voices on Israel have been suppressed or silenced, and ways to respond politically to the backlash that is taking place against dissent on Israel.

Movement Building

Whither the World Social Forum?: This panel will reflect on the World Social Forum process over the last 8 years in terms of challenges, successs, ideologies and future possibilities.

Usable Pasts: Approaches to Movement Histories For Today's Struggles:

This panel, featuring a range of younger scholar-activists, will stimulate discussion around creatively and critically bringing movement histories into contemporary struggles.

  • Sean Burns, History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Maia Ramnath, History, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Marina Sitrin, New College of California
  • Eddie Yuen, San Francisco Art Institute
  • Moderator: Chris Dixon, History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz

Poverty and Poor People's Movements - Social Analysis and Reflections on Strategies:

This workshop analyzes the political economy of todayís poverty and discusses the potentials and difficulties of re-igniting sustainable poor peopleís movements today, looking at theoretical debates and the experiences of current anti-poverty movements in the US.

Real Utopia: Participatory Society For the 21st Century:

This panel engages visions for what a future participatory society may look like while looking at real world examples in the US, Asia and Latin America, and the strategy and activism needed to take us there.

Organizing For Tax Justice:

Towards a Revolutionary Student Movement: Organization, Vision and Strategy For a Revitalized Left: This panel is an opportunity for young radicals in the student movement to discuss and share their views on the role students can play in confronting the new challenges our society is faced with, how to transcend the errors of previous generations of revolutionaries, and the difficulties in creating a new new left.

The Evolution of Revolutionary Theory and Practice: Detroit City of Hope campaign points the way for twenty-first century cities.

Study Groups in Search of the Questions: This panel is composed of several actual study groups who have been trying to confront the really difficult questions of revolution around consciousness-raising, organizational structure, ideology and the intersections of identity, class-race-gender-place and what ìif notî revolution as we have understood it.

Movement-Building: Finding Common Ground:

Drawing on organizing experience across race, ethnic, gender, and generational lines, panelists will discuss what kind of movement we need to build, how we can bridge theory and practice, how to raise difficult issues, and how older activists can make themselves useful to the young.

Radicalizing Rights: Bringing Human Rights Home: In recent years, important sectors of the feminist movement and the left have adopted a strategy of using the language of international human rights to mobilize people for economic and social justice within the US; in what ways is this approach useful in winning reforms and building a movement and what are its possible limitations in terms of a radical strategy?

Re-Constructing Solidarity: Often invoked, rarely examined, this panel addresses the concept of solidarityówhat it is, why itís important, and the various reasons why it is blocked or flourishes in particular instances.

Autonomy, Social Change and the Global Justice Movement: Panelists will present on urban and rural movements in Europe and North America, discuss how these local activities are linked to larger movements, and then raise questions about the modalities of feminist, anti-racist, and anticapitalist social change being offered by these actors that are both antagonistic and transformative.

Building the Left in Northern Core Capitalist Countries

A Labor Movement For the 21st Century: What kind of labor movement is needed to deal with 21st century conditions of globalization, labor migration, widespread unemployment and a huge but largely unorganized service sector; and how do womenís rights and workersí rights, workplace issues and community issues, come together to build this kind of movement?

The Solidarity Economy as a Path Towards Radical Economic Transformation

Speakers from the US and Canada, representing five different solidarity economy networks, including the recently founded US Solidarity Economy Network, will introduce the solidarity economy framework and debate key aspects of solidarity economy organizing.

Political Economy

Building the Left in Northern Core Capitalist Countries:

Oil and Politics in a Neoliberal World Economy

The political economy of the international oil industry in the neoliberal world economy with special foci on the consequences of the rising cost of oil extraction and nationalization of the oil industry for Middle East politics and US foreign policy.

Decline of the Dollar: Decline or Flexibility of the Empire?

The Solidarity Economy As a Path Towards Radical Economic Transformation: Speakers from the US and Canada, representing five different solidarity economy networks, including the recently founded US Solidarity Economy Network, will introduce the solidarity economy framework and debate key aspects of solidarity economy organizing.

The Housing Meltdown: Panelists review the massive house price inflation (2001-2007), withdrawal of money and eventual decline of home prices, wealth and ownership.

The Coming Depression?:

The Political Economy of Oil, Energy and the Environment

How the changing oil industry affects recession in the US economy, energy politics, and the growing US inequality of income and wealth.

Organising For Tax Justice:

Dimensions of the Financialization Crisis

  • David McNally, York University, Toronto, "Global Finance, the Current Crisis, and Challenges to the Dollar"
  • Michael Krotke, University of Amsterdam, "The Financial Crisis has arrived in Europe - Europe`s share in the international bubble economy"
  • Bill Tabb, Economics, Queens College, CUNY, "The Minsky Moment and the Structure of Contemporary Finance"
  • Jane D'Arista, Financial Markets Centre, "Broken Systems: the US Financial and Monetary Policy Framework"
  • Moderator: Rainer Rilling, University of Marburg, Germany

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Belin

Up to Our Eyeballs: America's Unfolding Crisis of Personal Debt: An unregulated lending and financial services industry, crying out for rules far tougher than our political leaders (with their Wall Street bankrollers) will propose, will be examined, and solutions discussed.

Religion & Spirituality

Transformative Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and the Future of Capitalism: What role can indigenous or "precapitalist" forms of knowledge and spirituality play in this transformation, and what are the politics of mobilizing them, and does the recent (re)turn to consciousness mark a significant break from the distinction between idealism and materialism?

The Radical Roots of Theology: What Left Movements Can Learn From Religion: Left movements tend to be skeptical (typically for good reasons) about religion, but are there theological approaches within contemporary religions that can not only be compatible with left politics but can contribute to leftistsí ability to understand the world and create social change?

Racial and Religious Solidarity: Breaching the Barriers: What keeps religious leftists and secular leftists from building coalitions, what keeps white religious leftists and religious leftists of color from true dialogue and understanding?

United States

Left Perspectives on Immigration Controversies: This panel will focus on the impact of immigrant workers on the political and economic realities facing the US working class today.

The Battle For Immigrant Rights: From Dialogue To Action: Join us for a dialogue exploring how we can respond effectively to tough questions about immigration, chip away at the anti-immigrant attitudes being amplified by the media, and support immigrants who are organizing against deportation, defending their labor rights and building community power.

Torture and the Decline of the American Empire: Torture yields intelligence of dubious value, but its development and use is increasing by the US government as its grip on empire is challenged.

The State of the Anti-War Movement: There is an urgent need for analysis as to why the anti-war movement has faded from public view despite the fact that it was the burning issue of the 2006 election and that nearly 70 percent of Americans support a US withdrawal from Iraq. Also, we will discuss how the movement can get back on track and make an impact in 2008 and beyond.

Beyond Walls and Cages: Linking Immigrant Rights and Prison Abolition Movements: The criminalization of migration builds on the nearly three-decade long project of mass incarceration. How can we understand how walls and cages target different groups of people, yet with similar effects, and how can the prison abolition and immigrant justice movements learn from and support each other?

  • Andrew Burridge, Geography, University of Southern California, "Might a theory and politics of open borders manifest themselves spatially and challenge current forms of border securitization and militarization?"
  • Trishala Deb, Audre Lorde Project, "The intersections of racism, transphobia, and homophobia for immigrant community members, particularly around issues of enforcement and incarceration"
  • Micol Seigel, African American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, American Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, "Zero Tolerance Goes South: focus on the international police consulting of former NYPD and current LAPD Police Chief William Bratton"
  • Seth Freed Wessler - Research associate, Applied Research Center
  • Fahd Ahmed, DRUM, Desis Rising Up and Moving
  • Moderator: Lisa Bhungalia, Geography, Syracuse University
  • Moderator: Jenna Loyd, Syracuse University

Soldiers Resist: Organizing Against War: This panel features the testimonials of activists employing diverse viewpoints and strategies in order to rebuild a vibrant anti-war movement.

Is the Christian Right Dead?: The coalition between economic and social conservatives seems kind of rocky coming out of the Bush Presidency that brought them together. Is the Christian Right dead?

Anarchism and the 2008 Presidential Elections: Can anarchists shrug off the end of the Bush era and this particular U.S. presidential election as just the same old statecraft - and proceed to "shut down" the conventions - or do the race (Obama), gender (Clinton), and "hope" factors problematize our usual responses?

The Arrival of the American Police State: However narrow and restrictive American bourgeois democracy was before 9/11, its juridical and institutional underpinnings have been transformed by the Bush administration (with the complicity of the Democratic Party) into what can now most accurately be described as a police state.

Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the Demobolization of American Voters:

New voters are trouble, so it is more efficient to work to suppress opposition voters, and blacks are the usual target of vote suppression, a tactic is used both by the Republican and the Democratic parties.

Urban Issues

A Right to the City!: Communities throughout New York City are coming together to create a proactive, unified and strategic community-based response to gentrification and displacement, including through the development of a local and national alliance, Right to the City, that is working to build a broad-based urban movement fighting for housing, education, health, racial justice, and democracy.

Homelessness & Resistance In New York City: An interactive discussion around critical themes relating to homelessness, housing exclusion and the housing market, and the implication for strategies of resistance in terms of race, class and gender.

Rogers - Housing Campaign, Picture the Homeless

Harlem Is Seized!: How do land issues manifest within black communities, what are their commonalities to other liberation struggles, what is the relationship between the struggle for specific local reforms such as tenants rights and the liberation of the ìimagined community", in what ways is Harlem a new manifestation of the diaspora of folks of African descent.

The Evolution of Revolutionary Theory & Practice: Detroit City of Hope campaign points the way for twenty-first century cities.

1968 - 40 Years Later

Reimagining 1968: The Black Power Movement & Its Legacies: This panel critically analyzes the way in which Black Power radicalism impacted the local, national and international events of 1968.

No Neoliberalism Without 1968? The Contradictory Legacy of the Cultural Rebellion: Is it possible that the cultural upheavals of the ë60s paved the way for neoliberal policies to be not only implemented but accepted widely?

Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Legacy of '68:

Movement-Building: Finding Common Ground: Drawing on organizing experience across race, ethnic, gender, and generational lines, panelists will discuss what kind of movement we need to build, how we can bridge theory and practice, how to raise difficult issues, and how older activists can make themselves useful to the young.

Migration

The Battle for Immigrant Rights: From Dialogue To Action: Join us for a dialogue exploring how we can respond effectively to tough questions about immigration, chip away at the anti-immigrant attitudes being amplified by the media, and support immigrants who are organizing against deportation, defending their labor rights and building community power.

Gender, Ethnicity and Culture: Organizing on the Margins: In the context of the steady decline of organized laborís white male workers manufacturing jobs, this panel shifts the focus to organizing precarious employment and immigrant labor in an increasingly anti-immigrant climate.

  • Jennifer Klein, History, Yale University, "We Were the Invisible Workforce: Low-wage Labor in the American Welfare State"
  • Graham Cassano, Sociology and Anthropology, Oakland University, "Republicanism, class war, and the cultural struggle: Lou Dobbs and the new nativism"
  • Troy Rondinone, History, Southern Connecticut State University, "Republicanism, class war, and the cultural struggle: Lou Dobbs and the new nativism"
  • Nicole Trujillo-Pag·n, Sociology, Wayne State University, "From 'Gateway to the Americas' to the 'Chocolate City': The Racialization of Latinos in New Orleans"
  • Moderator: David Fasenfest, Editor, Critical Sociology, Sociology, Wayne State University, Critical Sociology

Left Perspectives On Immigration Controversies: This panel will focus on the impact of immigrant workers on the political and economic realities facing the US working class today.

Reorganizing The Working Class: The panel will address the profound crisis within the labor movement and the strategic dimensions of its potential revival as an oppositional force.

A Labor Movement For the 21st Century:

What kind of labor movement is needed to deal with 21st century conditions of globalization, labor migration, widespread unemployment and a huge but largely unorganized service sector; and how do womenís rights and workersí rights, workplace issues and community issues, come together to build this kind of movement?

Beyond Walls and Cages: Linking Immigrant Rights and Prison Abolition Movements: The criminalization of migration builds on the nearly three-decade long project of mass incarceration. How can we understand how walls and cages target different groups of people, yet with similar effects, and how can the prison abolition and immigrant justice movements learn from and support each other?

  • Andrew Burridge, Geography, University of Southern California, "Might a theory and politics of open borders manifest themselves spatially and challenge current forms of border securitization and militarization"
  • Trishala Deb, Audre Lorde Project, "The intersections of racism, transphobia, and homophobia for immigrant community members, particularly around issues of enforcement and incarceration"
  • Micol Seigel, African American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, American Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, "Zero Tolerance Goes South: focus on the international police consulting of former NYPD and current LAPD Police Chief William Bratton"
  • Seth Freed Wessler, Research associate, Applied Research Center
  • Fahd Ahmed, DRUM, Desis Rising Up and Moving
  • Moderator: Lisa Bhungalia, Geography, Syracuse University
  • Moderator: Jenna Loyd, Syracuse University

References