RLS–NYC AT THE LEFT FORUM 2017
June 2-4, 2017 - John Jay College, New York
For photos from this event, go to our Flickr page.
This year’s Left Forum, the largest annual leftist gathering in North America, will be taking place from June 2-4 in New York City. This year’s Left Forum comes at a particularly important political moment, as different forms of right-wing nationalism take hold not just in the US but across the world. In support of alternative political visions from across North America and Europe, we’ll be hosting the following five panels this year:
Mapping the Left in Europe and North America
Saturday, 10:00am-11:50am, Room 1.107
Recent euphoria, particularly over the rise of SYRIZA and PODEMOS in Europe and the Bernie Sanders campaign in the US, has quickly turned to despair for many on the left. How might we characterize the current state of the left in Europe and North America? How can we build our strength and position ourselves to win while simultaneously fighting ongoing neoliberal austerity and the rise of the nationalist right?
Catarina Príncipe (Bloco de Esquerda-Left Bloc, Portugal)
Cornelia Hildebrandt (RLS–Berlin)
Ethan Young (Left Labor Project, New York)
Albert Scharenberg (RLS–NYC), chair
After the Women’s March: Next Steps Toward a New Feminist Movement
Saturday, 10:00am-11:50am, Room L2.84
The women’s march that followed Trump’s victory was hugely impressive and even historic. On the heels of a presidential campaign marred by overt sexism as well as an overly narrow vision of elite feminism, what can we make of this recent upswell in feminist organizing? How we can support a new feminism that embraces all oppressed minorities while basing itself in a material notion of class politics?
Sarah Leonard (The Nation magazine)
Maria Poblet (LeftRoots, Bay Area)
Carla Murphy (Echoing Ida, New York)
Stefanie Ehmsen (RLS–NYC), chair
Sanctuary Cities for Whom? Racial Justice Movements in Montreal, Berlin & New York
Saturday, 5:20pm-7:10pm, Room L2.85
The idea of the “sanctuary city” has taken hold across North America since the election of Trump. However, it remains unclear just what a sanctuary city is, and what are its possibilities in the service of defending civil and social rights and implementing radical reform. Will the sanctuary city movement embrace empty cosmopolitan rhetoric, or can it move us toward a more radical vision of racial justice in the city?
Tahir Della (Initiative for Black People in Germany)
Will Prosper (Montréal Noir)
Shatia Strother (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Brooklyn)
Kazembe Balagun (RLS–NYC), chair
Karl Polanyi’s Socialist Vision
Saturday, 3:30pm-5:15pm, Room 1.121
Commonly heralded as a champion of liberal thought, many are surprised to find that Karl Polanyi, writer of The Great Transformation, actually considered himself a socialist. How should we understand his contributions to socialist thought in the current conjuncture, particularly as this relates to his notion of “freedom in a complex society”?
Michael Brie (RLS–Berlin)
Margaret Somers (University of Michigan)
Nikil Saval (N+1 magazine)
James Hare (RLS–NYC), chair
The Final Frontier: Deep-Sea Privatization and Local Resistance
Saturday, 3:30pm-5:15pm, Room 1.65
Deep-sea mining is at the cutting edge of economic exploitation of the oceans, with coastal communities in the global South being used as testing grounds. The ecological, social, economic hazards remain unknown. Facing these risks, local communities are leading the resistance and demanding a stop to such extractivism unless suitable social and ecological standards are met.
Kai Kaschinski (Fair Oceans)
Christoph Spehr (DIE LINKE, Germany)
Christina Tony (Bismarck Ramu Group, Papua New Guinea)
Natassa Romanou (NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies), chair
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The Russian Revolution is usually considered a watershed between the “long” 19th and the “short” 20th century. What Eric Hobsbawm referred to as the “Age of Extremes” was consequently initiated by the events in Russia that obviously had a tremendous impact on the United States as well; especially when it comes to the U.S. perception of revolutions and communism as two determining and “dangerous” factors......
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