Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation
Monday, May 17, 2021
12:30–1:40 pm CDT
Drawing on ideas from a broader book project on the politics of occupation in Brazil, this paper addresses the wake of the mass protests by the Movement for Black Lives that shook the US last summer. 2020 presented itself as a moment of tension, for both the justice system and for academic disciplines in the social sciences and humanities with two possible paths forward: a return to normalcy or a radical break.
This talk asks what it would look like for disciplines like Fogarty-Valenzuela’s own discipline of Anthropology (but also other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences), to build themselves anew after such a radical break. In order to do so, it turns to a set of events that ran parallel to the uprisings: namely, a series of protest occupation movements—encapsulated by the CHOP/CHAZ encampments in Seattle, but also by the school occupations Fogarty-Valenzuela researched during fieldwork in Brazil. Examining student activists’ collective-oriented approach to organizing, their collaborative approach to teaching and learning, and their efforts at integrating their school with the community, this talk theorizes the occupation as a collective, pedagogical, and political space. Charting a path forward for a disciplinary practice informed by protest occupations that is aligned with decolonial and multimodal scholarship, he shows how anthropology can learn methodological and conceptual lessons from student activists.
Natalie Arsenault, Associate Director, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Chicago