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Left Forum Conference 2018
Call for Panels and Workshops
June 1st to June 3rd 2018
Toward a Winning Strategy for the Left
The Trump presidency has brought the most dangerous and oppressive aspects of America — rapacious capitalism, foundational racism, and misogyny — out of the shadows and into a chillingly clear light. And we are seeing a rising tide of the reactionary right all over the western world.
Still, our own movements — for race, gender, and sexuality justice, workers’ power, ecological healing, anti-war, and a broad anti-white-nationalist front — are also on the rise while they are under attack. These are dangerous but invigorating times for a left resurgence. To make gains and to win battles, we must build a strong, unified left which moves beyond the constructed dichotomies of class and identity, violence and nonviolence, reform and revolution.
Fragmentation remains an obstacle to our power today. But we do not need a rigid consensus in order to build together. Unity allows for differences and embraces other voices — it does not squelch them. We do not have to block dissent and critical self-analysis. What we do need is to build broad coalitions for freedom and justice, and to strengthen each other in our efforts to push the reactionary demagogues back into obsolescence. The time for action is now.
And the Space for Left Unity and Power Building is Left Forum 2018.
The left has a uniquely robust power source gathering at the intersection of issues, identities, ideologies, and constituencies. There are many examples of this model of convergence and creative action today. This is the model on which we will come together to formulate new strategies for a new world. Left Forum 2018 will:
create generous, open, vibrant, interdisciplinary, and compelling spaces that will serve to transform ideas into action.
identify and expand the common ground among movements, constituencies, issues, and ideas in a forum where a broad range of minds, issues, communities, affinities, identities, and strategies converge.
enable the cross-pollination of academic research and field organizing.
organize panels and presentations as we have in the past. However, we will also achieve this through skill-shares, workshops, performances, network-building sessions, strategy roundtables, curated exhibits, screenings, and forecasting briefings.
extend our market/exhibitions to include more vendors.
be a place of friendship, exchange, and discovery, where we build our power to make radical change in a world on fire with both chaos and the opportunity for transformation.
All our enemies have is division and destruction. Left Forum can be a living example of the exact opposite: a new convergence and a space for possibility, for hope, and for power.
This Left Forum conference will occur on June 1st to June 3rd in New York, NY. We will soon announce the venue.
The conference registration fee for all three days and all event is in early bird rate $65, discount rates available for seniors and students. Ticket fee waiver can be requested at email@example.com. Ticket fees do not include food.
Requests to schedule sessions at particular times of the day cannot be guaranteed, but we will do what we can to accommodate your needs.One of the purposes of the conference is to bring together activists, scholars, and organizers from a variety of perspectives. There will be multiple opportunities for people to come together during and between the panels and workshops on campus. The venue will have spaces to meet where you can plan to share your breakfast, coffee breaks, and lunchtime with like-minded people. Please plan on spending the entire day at the conference; the main strength we have is our networks and organizations.
We welcome work from all strands of heterodox theory and practice. We are particularly interested in material from graduate students and young activists.
Submissions will be accepted beginning on January 15th, 2018 and the deadline for submitting proposals is Sunday, April 15, 2018 Extended to May 1st, 2018!. We welcome proposals for full-panel sessions, teaching workshops, research workshops, roundtables, and film screenings. Proposals for panel tracks which consist of more than one panel or workshop with a coherent theme are encouraged, especially those that are intersectional, reflecting multiple perspectives within the movement(s).
A complete panel usually has at least three different speakers/facilitators and all of their basic information. Workshops need three facilitators, film screenings and book readings at least one person who participated in the production of the film/book. Only complete event submissions will be vetted.
We will also accept incomplete panel/event proposals which can be updated. We will try to send out notifications to all incoming proposals, and we will get in contact with you if your proposal needs more information. Please note that if we do not get a response from you, we will withdraw/drop your proposal.
Anyone who needs an early decision on their submission to secure travel funding should indicate the need for an early decision as part of their submission.
Unlike at other conferences, we cannot deal with individual paper proposals. Individuals who want to participate as a speaker/facilitator need to connect with organizers/speakers at other events. After April 15th, they can review all the proposed events and let us know what they are interested in, and we will try to connect you with the event organizers.
We also want to reduce too many similarities. When we see proposals that are dealing with similar if not the same issues, then we will suggest to event organizers that we merge panels or we will propose creating panel tracks, which are panels scheduled back to back, giving the opportunity for even deeper conversations.
At Left Forum, around 60 events happen at the same time, so be prepared to promote your event (and the entire conference) by mobilizing your social media networks (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), poster hangouts, and flyers at your campus or workplace. Example — invite your Facebook friends to the conference using this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/885556694952192/.
Watch the video: "How to Invite All Your Friends at Once"
When you send photos and texts, we will help to create social media memes which can be used to invite your network.
All proposals should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the PDF Submission form. Your email subject should be titled using the corresponding event’s title name. Please also title the PDF document using the corresponding event’s title name as the file name.
Left Forum does not receive any institutional funding. We only function through some donations and the tickets sold for each conference. Every event participant is being asked to register, not just the attendees. We have various discounts in place and those who are dealing with financial hardship can request stipends or ticket waivers with an email to email@example.com. We hope that those who make a good income do not register at the lowest ticket levels … the more attendees who pay their fair share will ensure that we can afford to put on another conference next year!