"What’s Going On?” Imperialism and the Current Crisis

Room: 
1.99
Timeslot: 
SATURDAY June 3rd Session 1: 10:00am - 11:50am
Abstract: 
“What’s Going On?” Imperialism and the Current Crisis. Over the last several months, in attempting to comprehend the current articulations of late capitalism, much of the attention has been devoted to the election of Donald Trump, the fallout from Brexit, and the ongoing war in Syria. Even as these events dominate the headlines and have important ramifications for all of us, we need to explore the continuing everyday mechanisms and contradictions of imperialism and the multiple ways in which capital moves across the globe, leaving in its wake devastated communities and resources. Are the appellations of the “New Imperialism” or neoliberal capitalism useful ways to characterize or understand the transnational extraction of surplus value and the continuing exploitation of the global proletariat? With the bulk of the super-exploited living in the global South, what challenges do we face in terms of the widening class struggle via “new” forms of working-class collectivity and action? How might the growing power of the BRIC nations upset our understanding of the imperial categories of North and South? How has the combination of authoritarian, strictly policed states and over 65 million refugees who have been forced to flee their homes complicated the present state of capitalist development? How might movements across borders, such as Black Lives Matter or the continuing struggle for Palestinian sovereignty address the current manifestations of imperialism? How have certain economic conditions contributed to particular manifestations of white supremacy, xenophobia, and racism? This roundtable will address some of these questions, always keeping in mind the immense potential for internationalism and solidarity movements across multiple lines of struggle.
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker First Name: 
Kanishka
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Last Name: 
Chowdhury
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Affiliation: 
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator First Name: 
John
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Last Name: 
Maerhofer
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Affiliation: 
CUNY
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Biography: 
John Maerhofer is an educator and activist based in NYC. He teaches English and interdisciplinary studies at CUNY. His first book, Rethinking the Vanguard, was published in 2009.
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator First Name: 
Joe
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Last Name: 
Ramsey
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Affiliation: 
UMass, Boston
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Biography: 
Joe Ramsey is an educator, organizer, and activist based in Boston. He teaches English and American Studies at UMass Boston, where he was recently elected to the executive committee of the Faculty Staff Union and where he is active in the anti-austerity Coalition to Save UMB. He recently edited a double-issue of Works & Days, entitled Scholactivism: Relfections on Transforming Praxis in and beyond the Classroom. His present research focuses on recovering the critical communism of Richard Wright.
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator First Name: 
Nino
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Last Name: 
Brown
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Coalition to Organize and Mobilize Boston Against Trump (C.O.M.B.A.T.)
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Biography: 
Nino Brown is a Dorchester, Massachusetts resident and branch organizer for the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He is also a volunteer organizer with the ANSWER coalition in addition to being an active member of Coalition to Organize and Mobilize Boston Against Trump (C.O.M.B.A.T.) He focuses mainly on anti-war work and building multinational unity and mass organizations to fight and replace Trump and the system of imperialism that gave rise to him.
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator First Name: 
Mela
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Last Name: 
Heestand
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Biography: 
Mela Jones Heestand earned her PhD from the University of California, Davis in Comparative Literature in 2014. Her area of specialization was South American and French Caribbean literature. Currently, Mela lives in the Boston area and works as a writer and independent scholar
Panel/Workshop Organizer First Name: 
Kanishka
Panel/Workshop Organizer Last Name: 
Chowdhury
Panel/Workshop Organizer Affiliation: 
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
 

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