Social Movements

Objective: To define social movements as a useful category for thinking about social change.

This 6-session course examines how social movements emerge and impact societies. It distinguishes social movements from other important social categories, e.g. political parties, social movement organizations, campaigns, social classes, race, gender, liberation movements. Participants are expected to bring their knowledge of and experiences with social movements, including the #Occupy movement. In addition to the latter, the experience of the gay rights, peace, anti-racist, feminist, national liberation and democratization movements will discussed. Specific movement experiences include the rise of ACT-UP (1980s), clinic-defense movements (1980s & 90s), South Korean democratization (1988), Indian anti-caste organizing on a global scale (since 2000), the French anti-nuclear movement (1970s), the slut-walk debate (2011), the Gaza Freedom Flotillas (2011), the Internet and the Arab Spring (2011).

Benefits: Participants will review recent social scientific and activist approaches to the study and organization of social movements. Participation will increase literacy about social movements and facilitate more informed interventions in social movement activity. Useful sources and materials (including digital art) for the study and practice of social movement organizing will be identified and used.

Participants may also utilize the course as part of an Encuentro 5 internship and/or negotiate formal university credit with interested faculty at other schools including Boston College, Northeastern University, Suffolk University and Mass. College of Art.

Schedule: The course will be divided in 3, 1-week segments of 2 meetings each. The first segment will meet during the week of February 6; the second meets during the week of March 5; the last segment meets during the week of April 2, 2012. A supplemental web-based forum will facilitate between-meeting conversations.

A minimum of 6 participants in addition to the seminar organizer will be needed in order to launch the series. Register online at any of the following sites: Corvid College's enrollment's page, or Du Bois Forum.

Organizer: Suren Moodliar
Location: encuentro 5

Materials: Core readings will consist of magazine-style articles, short academic journal papers and web-based content.

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