Call for Papers: Organizing Equality: International Conference
Western University, 24 – 26 March 2017
Proposals due 1 June 2016
Organizers and advocates for local and global social justice are the lifeblood of solidarity movements worldwide that disrupt historic projects of exploitation, violent dispossession and social fragmentation. Social and economic inequality is a global challenge of the 21st century. The Global North’s Occupy and anti-austerity movement spoke back to the 2008 financial crisis. They now confront the urgent, mass scale migrations of peoples from the Global South to the North, fleeing a colonial legacy deprivations, militarization, wars and land grabs. Settler societies are also experiencing Indigenous re-centerings, from #IdleNoMore to the Truth and Reconciliation process, and the #BlackLivesMatter cry to enfranchise African diasporas.
It is now increasingly recognized that rising levels of inequality are linked to poverty, discrimination, illness, environmental degradation, and social unrest. It is further recognized that inequality, in turn, is conditioned by and contingent on a range of other factors, including citizenship rights, gender, race, ethnicity, age, location, and education.
But despite this recognition, social movements contesting inequality face serious problems of organization, strategy and tactics. Recent years have shown the limits of traditional trade unionism, occupy and assembly movements, vanguards and new electoral parties alike. They have also shown that anti-racism, anti-violence, LGBTQ and migrant rights movements, to name a few, face major challenges organizing in the face of violence, xenophobia, marginality, impoverishment and under threat of criminalization. Across the board, movements have to reckon with the unprecedented levels of surveillance of the digital networks which have become an important part of their organizing practices.
This conference therefore asks what forms of organization might, in today’s conditions, be most useful to movements for equality. It especially seeks contributions willing to explore new possibilities for the organization of equality struggles.
Organizing Equality is an international conference hosted by members of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and the Initiative for the Study of Social and Economic Inequality at the University of Western Ontario, and planned for 24 – 26 March 2017. Its goal is to bring organizers, scholars, public educators, artists, media producers and advocates together from around the globe to build local and global capacity, share theories, strategies, experiences, and insights about efforts to address inequality and develop new kinds of theory/practice to guide and build future struggles. Our goal is to strengthen connections regionally, nationally and internationally, and to develop new forms of knowing, thinking and acting together between and across politics, sectors and communities of interest. To this end, we solicit scholarly presentations, organizing and dialogue sessions, workshop proposals, art performances/installations, radical media teach-ins and more, addressing a wide variety of themes related to the worldwide struggle for equality.
These themes include, but are not limited to:
- indigenous reconciliation and reclamation
- opposing violent policing and the carceral state
- worker organizing, in and beyond unions
- social media, digital technologies and global resistance networks
- intersectional decolonial community and scholarly praxis
- migrant justice and networks of support
- decolonial/liberatory cultural production and praxis
- gender, sexuality, anti-violence and community solidarity
- struggles for access and equality in education
- environmental and climate justice and sustainability
- anti-austerity mobilization and cooperativism
- health and food security organizing
- social and community housing movements
- strategies for digital protections and privacy from surveillance
Proposals for papers and sessions should be limited to 250 words. The deadline for the submission of abstracts for 20-minute presentations is 1 June 2016. Please include with your paper or session proposal, your name, e-mail address, institutional or group affiliation, and a short CV or biography. Abstracts should be e-mailed to the organizing committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information and conference updates, please visit the conference website: organizingequality.com.
Travel bursaries are available for participants from the global south. Please indicate in your submission if you would like to be considered for financial assistance.
Joshua D. Lambier
Director, The Public Humanities at Western
Department of English and Writing Studies
Arts & Humanities Building, Room 2G02
1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario, N6A3K7