(Scroll down for the Conference Program)

Poster by Amanda Priebe

Video recordings of the conference are available here:

Day 1

Day 2

Whose Crisis? Whose University?

**Please join co-conveners, Abigail Boggs, Eli Meyerhoff, Nick Mitchell, Wahneema Lubiano, and Zach Schwartz-Weinstein, at the Franklin Humanities Institute for “Whose Crisis? Whose University? Abolitionist Study in and beyond Global Higher Education,” a conference in Durham, NC on Oct. 11-12.**

We think it’s time to take up an abolitionist approach to the university. We can’t do it without you.

Abolition, we believe, offers the occasion for thinking about the university in ways that the institution itself might otherwise render impossible. And in doing so it may provide an opportunity to trouble the institution as we know and inhabit it—and as it inhabits us. Inspired by radical scholars and organizers in and outside of universities, we embrace abolition as a generative rather than merely negative project. We aim to build relations that steal the sheen from the university’s romanticized history and to repurpose its resources, capacities, and function of reproducing sociality with and for other ways of being, other ways of living. In coming together, we take up the question, What would an abolitionist approach to the university say yes to?

For an extended discussion of what we imagine is at stake in this encounter, please see our invitation here.

Towards this end, we invite you to gather with us at Duke University on the afternoons of October 11th and 12th for a public conference organized around the theme of abolitionist university studies. Over the course of these two afternoons, scholars from across the continent will consider new modes for thinking the university through an abolitionist frame. We will discuss broad questions regarding the historical and geographic borders and boundaries for work on the university. Speakers will open up and break down key concepts including abolitionism, internationalization, labor, and accumulation. And we will ask what it means to bring abolitionism to the university and how we might take up this work in our engagement in and work on these institutions.

To allow the conference planners time to plan for accessibility needs, please be sure to RSVP.

Events are free and open to the public. RSVP is preferred but not required, however, since we are working to allocate funds and gauge space-needs based on the response here, we do ask that you only RSVP if you are planning to attend. Information from and about the event, including any updates on video documentation, will be made available via the event facebook page and the https://abolition.university website. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Conference Program

Duke University, October 11th and 12th 2019

Location: Richard White Lecture Hall 1308 Campus Dr, Durham, NC 27705

Parking will be available (for free) at Epworth Dorm Lane, Durham, NC 27705. (Tell the attendant you are there for this conference). It should be just a 3-4 minute walk between the parking lot and the lecture hall.

Day 1: Friday October 11th | 2pm – 5:30pm

2:00 – Welcome 

Session I – 2:15-3:45 – Beyond Nostalgia and Nationalism: Expanding the Spatiotemporal Borders of University Studies

Moderator – Nick Mitchell

  • Settler Colonialism
    •  Sandy Grande with response from Bayley Marquez
  • The Universities Studying Slavery Consortium and the Drive to Reconciliation
    • Vineeta Singh with response from Sheeva Sabati
  • Labor Organizing at Duke
    • Jess Issacharoff with response from Matthew Taft
  • The Ivory Tower is Dead: Rethinking Town and Gown into Today’s UniverCities
    • Davarian Baldwin with response from Laura Goldblatt
  • On the University as Global
    • Isaac Kamola with response from Neha Vora 

Break – 3:45-4:00

Session II – 4:15- 5:30 – Grounding/Grounded Concepts/Keywords

Moderator – Abigail Boggs 

  • Abolitionism –Erica Meiners
  • Abolitionism in/as Pedagogy – Sharon Stein
  • Labor and Accumulation – Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
  • Care with Dual Power – Jennifer Doyle
  • Land, Scyborg, Third University – K. Wayne Yang

Day 2: Saturday October 12th | 1pm – 5:15pm

1:00 – Welcome 

Session I – 1:15-3:00 – Bringing Abolitionism to University Studies

Moderator – Eli Meyerhoff

  • Abolishing Left Patriarchy – Eli Thorkelson
  • Fraternization and Captive Study – Meghan McDowell
  • Debt – Morgan Adamson
  • Abolition on the Right? – Liz Montegary
  • The Feminist Coven in the University – Lauren Hudson

Session II – 3:15-5:00 – Using University Resources / Inhabiting the University

Moderator – Zach Schwartz-Weinstein

  • Diversity/ Multiculturalist White Supremacy – Dylan Rodriguez
  • The Relationship Between Carcerality and Education – Gillian Harkins
  • Respectability – Curtis Marez
  • Sex, Labor, Consent, and Settler Universities – Rana Jaleel
  • Dreaming/walking together for abolition and decolonization in Canada’s most racist city – Max Haiven
  • Militant Co-Research – Erin Dyke

5:00-5:15 – closing remarks


John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University; Wesleyan University
Co-sponsors at Duke:
Social Movements Lab; Kenan Institute for Ethics, African & African American Studies; International Comparative Studies; Literature; Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies; Religious Studies; Cultural Anthropology; Education; Philosophy; English; Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; From Slavery to Freedom Lab; Forum for Scholars and Publics; Center for Arts, Digital Culture & Entrepreneurship; Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences