Past Events

“Disaster anarchism & Occupy Sandy: Critiquing and resisting the de-politicisation and state exploitation of mutual aid”

 

University of East London

“Anarchist Pedagogy Against Disaster Capitalism”

https://icce2018.wordpress.com/ 

Abstract

Anarchist social movements have played an important role in disaster relief efforts in the last five years. The first major anarchist-inspired relief effort to hit the headlines in recent years was Occupy Sandy (OS). OS was a relief effort organized on anarchist principles to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy, which hit Northeast United States in October 2012. OS is widely accepted to have organized relief more effectively than federal agencies or NGOs. This supports the anarchist view that given common need people organize mutual aid without hierarchy. Anarchist-inspired mutual aid disaster relief is an emergent political phenomena which has rarely been studied. Other examples include the Common Ground Collective which organized relief during Hurricane Katrina and the Direct Action Bike Squad from Charlotte, NC who organized a bike team to travel to Puerto Rico to deliver supplies to the mountainous regions after Hurricane Maria. Recently, the grassroots direct action network Mutual Aid Disaster Relief has set up an online presence to provide informational and training materials for activists and communities. This phenomenon has been of interest to government agencies. The Department for Homeland Security (DHS) published a report: ‘The Resilient Social Network’ which praises OS and other emergent relief groups, acknowledging that certain features of anarchist organization such as the network form, adaptability, social media use and local connectedness are highly effective. The report suggests that the government learn from and facilitate such groups in the future. This paper argues that anarchist relief efforts offer more than simply an effective practical form of relief: rather they operate as critical pedagogies against the inequalities that lie at the heart of the ongoing disaster that is capitalism. Mutual aid is a highly politicized phenomenon which links non-hierarchical organization to structural critiques of disaster capitalism and climate change, which tend to impact unequally on the most oppressed groups in society. This paper considers why organizational features of disaster anarchism must not be emptied of their political and pedagogical elements. The paper draws on interviews with OS activists taken in New York on the third anniversary of the hurricane, and analysis of government documents.

 

Cass School of Education and Communities Research Day, with public talk by Jasmine Rhamie

Details here:

https://uelresearch.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/cass-school-of-education-and-communities-research-seminar-wednesday-21st-june-2017-4-15-5-15pm/

 

12 June 2017

Professor Mike Neary: Pedagogy of Hate

Organized and Convened a seminar presentation by Professor Mike Neary in the ICPuP (International Centre for Public Pedagogies) series. Mike Neary is Professor of Sociology at the University of Lincoln in the School of Social and Political Sciences.

Details here:

https://uelresearch.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/cass-school-of-education-and-communities-seminar-date-monday-12-june-2017-16-00-18-00/

 

Cass School of Education and Communities Research Seminar

Occupy Sandy: How the state tried to de-politicise anarchist mutual aid practices

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine tensions between state and anarchistic responses to ‘natural’ disasters, through the case of Occupy Sandy. Occupy Sandy was an organized relief effort, with anarchistic principles, created to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which hit north-eastern United States in October 2012. The paper draws on interviews undertaken with Occupy Sandy activists in New York in 2015 on the third anniversary of the hurricane. The movement is widely accepted to have been more effective in organizing disaster relief than any traditional federal relief agencies like FEMA or NGOs like the Red Cross. This echoes arguments from anarchist thinkers that, given a common need, people will tend to organize collectively and mobilize resources to meet their needs through mutual aid without externally imposed hierarchy and control. Mutual aid is a highly political and affective phenomenon, which can be hindered by government agencies: for example local responses to hurricane Katrina were violently quashed by the military. With this background, the US federal response to Occupy Sandy was bewildering: on-the-ground, government agencies appeared suspicious yet tolerant, whilst undertaking covert surveillance. Afterwards, the Department for Homeland Security published a report: “The Resilient Social Network” which actively praises the movement and suggests government agencies work with grassroots mutual-aid groups in the future. I argue that despite appearing benevolent, the DHS attempt to de-politicise and co-opt mutual aid represents a continuance rather than weakening of social control, in the context of neoliberal ‘disaster capitalism’.

 

30 March – 2nd April 2017

Feminist Utopias: Transforming the Present of Philosophy

I presented: “Somatic pedagogies: Critiquing and resisting the affective discourse of the neoliberal state from an embodied anarcho-feminist perspective”

at the conference Feminist Utopias: Transforming the Present of Philosophy,

 

14-16 September 2016

Anarchist Studies Network: 4th International Conference

Central theme: Anarcha-feminism

Loughborough University

I presented my paper co-written with Dr Andrew Robinson: “For a Revival of Feminist Consciousness Raising: Horizontal Transformation of Epistemologies and Transgression of Neoliberal TimeSpace”

For more details: http://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/

 

February – December 2016

Critical Theories, Critical Cultures Reading Group

Myself & my colleague Silhouette Bushay hosted a reading group.

Critical Theories, Critical Cultures reading group flyer.

Critical Theories, Critical Cultures reading group flyer.

7 July 2016

Myself and My colleague Dr Terri Kim organized the Cass School of Education and Communities Research Day. In the first part of the day, colleagues from the school presented their research. In the afternoon we hosted a Roundtable from 3:30-5pm where four reknowned experts discussed the topic:

TEF and REF: What are the Effects on Teachers, Researchers, Students and Higher Education?

Event Details here: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Events/2016/5/REF-and-TED-roundtable

Times Higher writeup: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/teaching-excellence-framework-is-about-much-more-than-teaching

CelebYouth.org writeup: http://www.celebyouth.org/university-audit/

 

 

29 June 2016

University of East London Research Conference 2016

I will present my paper co-written with Dr Andrew Robinson: “For a Revival of Feminist Consciousness Raising: Horizontal Transformation of Epistemologies and Transgression of Neoliberal TimeSpace”

Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uel-research-conference-2016-tickets-23033566016

 

 

2-8 March 2016

ElevateHer 2016 organized by my colleague Silhouette Bushay:

ElevateHer 2016 - call out

 

 

18th September 2015

I was part of a team who orgaized Beyond the Neoliberal University: Critical Pedagogy and Activism, Coventry University,

Richard Hall’s blog post

Robert Farrow’s blog post

 Beyond the Neoliberal University!

Beyond the Neoliberal University!

 

7 July 2015.

Invited Roundtable participant, Living Maps 2015 Final Seminar, “The Map and the Territory: Concepts and Contestations”, The Young Foundation

event page

 

19-21 June 2015

Invited Keynote “Temporal Utopianism and Immanent Revolution”, and workshop “Feminist Body Mapping”, VI. Forschungswerkstatt Kritische Geographie (6th workshop of critical geography), Bonn, Germany,

organisers’ page (German)

VI. Forschungswerkstatt Kritische Geographie

VI. Forschungswerkstatt Kritische Geographie flyer

 

 

25 April 2015

Workshop co-ordinator “Hackney Wick and Fish Island: Future(s) Perfect”, in collaboration with Public Works and Wick Sessions as part of the Living Maps Seminar Series, Stour Space, Hackney Wick,

event page on r-urban

draft of uchronian map

article on workshop

uchronie

uchronian map from workshop

 

 

22-24 March 2015.

“Monsters Take To The Streets: Monstrous Street-Art as Pedagogy of Resistance to Post-Olympic Gentrification in Hackney Wick”, Monstrous Geographies: 4th Global Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 

[proceedings to follow: publishers page]

 

“Somatic Pedagogies”, London Conference in Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University 27-28 June 2014.

 

“Somatic Pedagogies”, University of East London Research Conference, 25 June 2014.

 

“Anarchy in the Maproom? 56a infoshop maps and pedagogy, Map is not Territory Living Maps Series, Birkbeck University, 10 June 2014.

 

“Pedagogies of the Body: Somatherapy and overcoming psychological, social and ecological alienation”, De Montfort University Media Discourse Seminar Series, 5 March 2014

 

“Organizational Strategies: Beyond Horizontalism”, invited roundtable participant at Generations of Protest?: Marxism Matters, De Montfort University, Leicester, 20-21 November 2013

 

“History and Theory of Anarchism” and “Critical Cartography” workshops held at 195 Mare Street Squatted Social Centre, 18 November 2013

 

“Critical Cartography as Anarchist Method? 56a Infoshop Maps, Utopian Extrapolation and Pedagogy”, Cass School of Education and Communities Research Seminar Series, 14 November 2013

 

“Critical Cartography as Pedagogical Methodology”, British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2013, University of Sussex, 3rd – 5th September 2013.

 

“Critical Cartography as Anarchist Method?: Utopian Extrapolation and Pedagogy”, Softening the Urban Fabric: Encounters, Spaces, Subjectivities, University of East London, 12 July 2013

 

“Towards a Utopian and Pedagogical Methodology”, London Conference in Critical Thought, Royal Holloway University of London, 6th – 7th June 2013.

 

“Wednesday Walkthrough”, invited talk at Piero Gilardi and John Newling Exhibition, Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, 3rd April 2013. Video here

 

“Pedagogy of, and as, Utopianism”, Cass School of Education and Communities Internal Research Conference, University of East London, 13th February 2013.

 

“Embodied Cartographies”, Anarchist Studies Network Conference 2.0 ‘Making Connections’, with Dr Andrew Robinson, 6th September 2012.

 

“Critical Utopian Pedagogy: Imagining spaces and methods for a praxis of imagination”, Centre for Advanced Studies seminar series, University of Nottingham 25th April 2012.

 

“For the Past Yet to Come: Utopian Conceptions of Time and Becoming”, CSSGJ Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, 13th February 2012.

 

“Our Bodies, Our Selves: Art and Mapping”, a women-only workshop conducted with activist group Autonomous Nottingham, 3rd December 2011.

 

“Transgressive Citizenship: Beyond Utopian Urbanism”, Spaces of Alterity: Conceptualising Counter-Hegemonic Sites, Practices and Narratives, University of Nottingham, 27th-28th April 2011.

 

“Utopian Conceptions of Time and Becoming”, Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice seminar series, University of Nottingham, 13th February 2011.

 

“Deterritorialized Citizenship”, The Politics of Space and Place, Fourth International Interdisciplinary Conference, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, University of Brighton, 16th -18th September 2009.

 

“Locating Citizenship: Utopianism and Territory”, Alternative Futures and Popular Protest, Annual International Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, 15th -17th April 2009.

 

“Utopian Spaces: Account of Fieldwork”, Alternative Futures and Popular Protest, Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, 17th -19th March 2008.

 

“Utopian Citizenship”, ESRC Practical Utopias and Utopian Practices Seminar Series: Citizenship, Kent University, Panel with Professor Engin Isin, 23rd February 2008.

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