About the event

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?


9:30am–10:00am | Welcome

10:00am–12:00pm | Internationalism

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?

Panelists: Christina Heatherton, Rob Robinson, Cindi Katz, Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Moderator)

12:00pm–2:00pm | Money

Money mediates our lives and structures our relationships. Under capitalism, money is not politically neutral. This panel explores money and the institutions to which it is attached. Juan De Lara, Peter Hitchcock, and David Stein discuss money: who has it and who does not, who controls it, and how that control is maintained and reproduced.

Panelists: David Stein, Peter Hitchcock, Juan De Lara, David Harvey (Moderator)

3:00pm–5:00pm | Whose Movement?

This panel explores the trend of foundation funding, the increasing use of market language, and the transformation of social justice movements into individual, business-based models. We will discuss the development of an anticapitalist critique of “social justice” business-like/entrepreneurship models, and we will hear from worker-led movements who have navigated the shifting political landscape to build their organizations. We will also hear from movements outside the U.S., where large foundations have less influence and workers are shaping the direction of their movements through mass mobilization and political education.

Panelists: Joyce Khadijah Romain, Mahoma López, Carolina Bank Muñoz, Sandra Neida Robles, Sujatha Fernandes (Moderator)(Moderator)

5:30pm–7:30pm | 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?

Panelists: Jesse Quizar, Sujatha Fernandes, Miguel Robles-Duran, Wendy Cheng, Peter Hitchcock (Moderator)

This event is presented as part of Narrating Change, Changing Narratives, an interdisciplinary research group that employs public humanities practices and explores narration as a guide for social change. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email [email protected].

Cosponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; The Narrating Change Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research; Advanced Research Collaborative, Graduate Center, CUNY