Category: Public Conversations (page 1 of 1)

Antonio Gramsci and the Current Conjuncture

Saturday, December 2, 2023

A conference at UC Berkeley co-hosted by the Trinity Social Justice Initiative, the Department of Geography and Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley, and the International Gramsci Society

Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci developed his spatio-historical method of conjunctural analysis during the rise of fascism in Italy. He sought to understand the relations among political, economic, ideological, and military forces that were giving rise to this emergent movement and regime. Gramsci’s conjunctural analysis has become newly relevant to our own moment. Our conjuncture has been marked by multiple colliding crises, from relentless racism and vigilantism, gender violence, climate chaos, social polarization, structural unemployment, mass migration, resurgent militarism, the rise of the far right across the world, and a crisis of hegemony and for capitalism on a global scale. The challenge for scholars at present is to comprehend Gramsci’s conjunctural analysis in his own time while also “translating” his insights to confront the crises of our own.

This one-day, in-person symposium, hosted by the International Gramsci Society, the Trinity Social Justice Institute, The Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the UC Berkeley Department of Geography considers historical, spatial, and theoretical provocations posed by the Gramscian tradition in order to advance political and social theory for the present. In dialogue with scholars from across the disciplines, we will consider how we might produce spaces for conjunctural analysis and theoretical production adequate to the current conjuncture.

9:30am | Welcome

  • Michael Watts (UC Berkeley)

9:45am – 11:00am | Panel 1—Gramsci’s Relevance

  • Marcus E. Green (Pasadena City College), “Gramsci and Subaltern Social Groups and Classes”
  • Renate Holub (UC Berkeley), “Gramsci in the North-American Worlds”
  • Gillian Hart (UC Berkeley), “Gramsci in McCone Hall”
  • Chair: Jordan T. Camp (Trinity College)

11:00am – 11:30am | Break

11:30am – 12:30pm | Panel 2—Borders, Migration, and Uneven Development in the Mediterranean

  • Ilaria Giglioli (University of San Francisco), “Bordering and Solidarity Across Multiple Souths”
  • Lauren Pearson (UC Berkeley), “Many Small Fires: Uneven Development in Mezzogiorno Italy”
  • Chair: Camilla Hawthorne (UC Santa Cruz)

12:30pm – 1:30pm | Lunch

1:30pm – 2:45pm | Panel 3—Geographies of Racial Capitalism and Imperialism

  • Jennifer J. Casolo (Ch’orti’-Maya Pluriversity, University of Antwerp, Nitlapan Universidad Centroamericana), “Gramsci, Indigenous Praxis, and the Southern Question”
  • Sharad Chari (UC Berkeley), “Gramsci at Sea”
  • Jennifer Greenburg (University of Sheffield), “Gramsci, Imperial Feminism, and U.S. Hegemony”
  • Chair: Cihan Tugal (UC Berkeley)

Jennifer Casolo delivered her presentation remotely, which you can watch below.

2:45pm – 3:00pm | Break

3:00pm – 4:15pm | Panel 4—Law, the State, and Social Movements

  • Christina Heatherton (Trinity College), “Gramsci, Flores Magón, and the Question of Alliances”
  • Zachary Levenson (Florida International University), “Gramsci’s Integral State”
  • John Whitlow (CUNY Law), “Gramsci, the Law, and the Real Estate State”
  • Chair: Dylan Riley (UC Berkeley)

**Due to technical difficulties, the video for this panel is not available.**

4:15pm – 4:30pm | Break

4:30pm – 5:45pm | Panel 5—Reading Gramsci in the South

  • Mary Jirmanus Saba (UC Berkeley), “Mahdi Amel and Hegemony in Colonial Contexts”
  • Ayyaz Mallick (University of Liverpool), “Times and Spaces of Hegemony in Gramsci and Fanon”
  • Jordan T. Camp (Trinity College), “Southern Questions: W.E.B. Du Bois, Antonio Gramsci, and the Geography of Fascism”
  • Chair: Michael Burawoy (UC Berkeley)

**Due to technical difficulties, the video for this panel is not available.**

6:00pm | Reception

History, Democracy, and the vocation of the black intellectual: challenges for our times

A Black Students Union leader addresses a crowd of demonstrators in December 1968.

Education Must Be Defended 
Keynote Lecture by Anthony Bogues

Friday, March 3, 2023
4-6:30 p.m. 

Rittenberg Lounge, Mather Hall, Trinity College and online

Watch the video here

Hosted by the Trinity Social Justice Initiative and the Smart Cities Lab, Trinity College, and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University 

In the 1960s and 70s global anticolonial revolutionary thinkers were in open revolt against nationalist-driven racist attacks. Adjoining the major political campaigns of their day, they formed critical collaborative spaces of research, writing, and thinking. Participants included radical thinkers working outside the academy as well as those who considered themselves “in but not of” it. These included Cedric Robinson and Ambalavaner Sivanandan at the Institute of Race Relations in London, Sylvia Wynter at Atlanta’s Institute of the Black World, and Walter Rodney at Tanzania’s University of Dar es Salaam. The legacy of this generation informs this event, “Education Must Be Defended.”

This one-day conference, organized by the Social Justice Initiative and the Smart Cities Lab at Trinity College and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, considers the spatial, institutional, and pedagogical provocations posed by this tradition for the present day. Inspired by an earlier generation of radical intellectuals we will think together about how we might hold critical space for research and pedagogy amidst multiple colliding crises at present. 

Image: A Black Students Union leader addresses a crowd of demonstrators in December 1968. Credit: Associated Press.

Dismantling Racial Capitalism

Convening at NYU Law School
December 1, 2022

The inaugural Dismantling Racial Capitalism convening at NYU, hosted by Urban Democracy Lab, Center for Race, Inequality and the Law, the Action Lab, and the Initiative for Community Power at NYU Law, aspired to create space to develop and sharpen our understanding of racial capitalism, how it functions, its horrific consequences, and, most importantly, how we can challenge and dismantle it. Academics, organizers, policy-makers, students and change-makers came together for a deeply-rooted examination of how racial capitalism drives inequality, exploitation, and destruction, and how we can catalyze change. Details here.

Opening plenary with DaMareo Cooper (Center for Popular Democracy), Christina Heatherton (Trinity Social Justice Initiative), and Lester Spence (Johns Hopkins), moderated by Joo-Hyun Kang (The Action Lab).
Closing plenary with Jordan Camp (Trinity Social Justice Initiative), Ntanya Lee (LeftRoots), and Nara Roberta Silva (Brooklyn Institute for Research), moderated by John Whitlow (Initiative for Community Power).

On Making (Art) Work

Latinx Art Production and Curatorial Practice

A Conversation with Claudia Zapata

EVENT HELD ON FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2022, IN AUSTIN ARTS CENTER AND VIA ZOOM.

This conversation is also available to view on the Trinity website here.


Flyer for On Making (Art) Work Conversation

Thirteen Jealous Republics

The Myth of American Genesis

EVENT HELD ON SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2022, IN AUSTIN ARTS CENTER AND VIA ZOOM.

Mike Davis reads from his book-in-progress, Star Spangled Leviathan: An Economic History of American Nationalism. Also available to view on the Trinity website here.


Invisible Suffering

A Conversation with Scholar and Artist Diana Aldrete

Event Held on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, in Austin Arts Center and via Zoom

Diana Aldrete and Christina Heatherton, “Invisible Suffering,” Austin Arts Center at Trinity College, November 9, 2021. Also available to view on Trinity website here.


Image Credit: Diana Aldrete

No One Is Watching: Jail Expansion in Upstate New York

A Conversation with Geographer and Photographer Jack Norton

Event held on Wednesday, November 3, in Austin Arts Center and via Zoom

Jack Norton and Jordan T. Camp, “No One is Watching: Jail Expansion in Upstate NY,” Austin Arts Center at Trinity College, November 3, 2021. Also available to view on Trinity website here.


Image Credit: Jack Norton

How to Abolish Prisons: Lessons from the Movement Against Imprisonment

A Conversation with Activist and Author Rachel Herzing

Event held on Wednesday, October 27, in Austin Arts Center and via Zoom

Rachel Herzing and Jordan T. Camp, “How to Abolish Prisons: Lessons from the Movement Against Imprisonment,” Austin Arts Center at Trinity College, October 27, 2021. Also available to view on Trinity website here.


Image Credit: Fernando Martí, “Amapolas/Poppies” https://justseeds.org/artist/fernandomarti