The Party: Do We Need It? If So, What Does It Look Like? How Do We Get It?

Host/Sponsor: 
Socialism and Democracy
Room: 
1.92
Timeslot: 
SATURDAY June 3rd Session 3: 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Abstract: 
Historically, socialist and communist movements have viewed the party as essential to their movements. Recently, that assumption has become open to dispute. This round table conversation examines the part that a political party may play in organizing resistance and building alternatives. Neither an abstract nor original question, there are many approaches and conversations about this topic. Our round table gets beyond familiar dilemmas and platitudes by bringing together organizers from different parts of the socialist movement. Each has years of exemplary practice and/or theorizing about “the party” while actively building transformative left-wing institutions – from media, to the solidarity economy, to local government, to formal parties. In addition to the listed speakers, the round table includes Robert Caldwell (a member of Solidarity and coordinator for the Left Elect Network), Matt Nelson (Presente.org), and Suren Moodliar (encuentro5; Socialism and Democracy).
Reading List: 
Update forthcoming: Jacobin (2016) "The Party We Need" https://www.jacobinmag.com/issue/the-party-we-need/ / Georg Lukacs (1924) "The Vanguard Party of the Proletariat" https://www.marxists.org/archive/lukacs/works/1924/lenin/ch03.htm
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker First Name: 
Victor
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Last Name: 
Wallis
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Affiliation: 
Socialism and Democracy
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Biography: 
Victor Wallis is the managing editor of Socialism and Democracy. His activism dates from the early 1960s. He taught political science for many years in Indiana, and currently teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is the author of Toward a Livable Future: The Politics and Technology of Ecosocialism (forthcoming from Political Animal publishers, in Toronto).
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator First Name: 
Nicole
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Last Name: 
Aschoff
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Affiliation: 
Jacobin Magazine
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Biography: 
Nicole Aschoff is the author of The New Prophets of Capital and is on the editorial board of Jacobin magazine.
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator First Name: 
Kali
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Last Name: 
Akuno
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Affiliation: 
Cooperation Jackson
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Biography: 
forthcoming
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator First Name: 
Johanna
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Last Name: 
Fernandez
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Socialism and Democracy
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Biography: 
Johanna Fernández is a professor of history at Baruch College (CUNY) where she teaches 20th Century US history and the history of social movements. She is currently finishing a book on the Young Lords, the Puerto Rican counterpart to the Black Panther Party. In 2014, Fernández filed a lawsuit against the NYPD that led to the recovery, in 2016, of the "lost" Handschu files, the largest repository of police surveillance records of New York activists, dating back to 1955. She is the editor of Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal (City Lights, 2015). With Mumia Abu-Jamal she co-edited a special issue of the journal Socialism and Democracy, titled The Roots of Mass Incarceration in the US: Locking Up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor (Routledge, 2014). She is the writer and producer of the film, Justice on Trial: the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (BigNoise Films, 2010). She is on the board of Socialism and Democracy and is a leading member of the movement to free Mumia and all US-held political prisoners.
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator First Name: 
Gerald
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Last Name: 
Meyer
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Vito Mercantonio Forum & Socialism and Democracy
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Biography: 
Gerald Meyer, a founding member of the faculty of Hostos Com. Col. (CUNY) is the author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, 1902-1954 (which is in its fourth printing) and with Philip Cannistraro, co-editor of The Lost World of Italian American Radicalism. He has had published eighty articles and reviews on a wide range of subjects including intersection of radicalism and immigrants, culture and the Left. Gerald Meyer serves on the editorial boards of Socialism and Democracy and Science & Society, appears in documentaries, reviews manuscripts for publication, and lectures widely. Since 2011, he has served as co-chair of the Vito Marcantonio Forum.
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator First Name: 
Sarika
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator Last Name: 
Chandra
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Wayne State University
Speaker 5/Sixth Facilitator Biography: 
Sarika Chandra teaches in the areas of globalization studies, American studies, race and ethnic studies. She is the author of "Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism" (Ohio State University Press, 2011). Her current work is related to questions of capitalism, imperialism, racism, food, and agriculture.
Panel/Workshop Organizer First Name: 
Suren
Panel/Workshop Organizer Last Name: 
Moodliar
Panel/Workshop Organizer Affiliation: 
Socialism and Democracy
 

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