UW School of Music: Carillon TowerEstablished in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984, the A. E. Havens Center for Social Justice is dedicated to promoting critical intellectual reflection and exchange, both within the academy as well as between it and the broader society. The Center is named in honor of the late Professor of Rural Sociology, A. Eugene Havens, whose life and work embodied the combination of progressive political commitment and scholarly rigor that the Center encourages.

The traditional tasks of critical social thought have been to analyze the sources of inequality and injustice in existing social arrangements, to suggest both practical and utopian alternatives to those arrangements, and to identify and learn from the many social movements seeking progressive social and political change. These tasks are as relevant today as ever. Indeed, we face a variety of challenges, both new and enduring, that demand creative critical reflection. These include the increasingly integrated and global character of capitalist economic development, the durability of racial and gender oppressions, the threats of global environmental catastrophe, and the failure of many traditional models of progressive reform.

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Upcoming events

Capital Accumulation, Reproduction and the Reconstruction of the Commons

Feminism and the Politics of the Commons
Tuesday, February 20, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Reproduction and Capital Accumulation: Past and Present.
Wednesday, February 21, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, February 22, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the UW Center for Humanities, the UW Gender & Women Studies Program and the UW Geography Department

SILVIA FEDERICI is a long-time feminist scholar, activist, and teacher. She is Professor Emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University, and co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, the Radical Philosophy Association Anti-Death Penalty Project, and the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa. She is the author of numerous books and essays on feminist theory and history and political philosophy, including Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Capital Accumulation; Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle; Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and its Others (edited); and A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in Afican Universities (co-edited).

Shadow World

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Wednesday, February 21, 6:45pm

Union South Marquee Theatre (1308 W. Dayton, Madison, WI)

Company Town

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Wednesday, February 28, 6:45pm

Union South Marquee Theatre (1308 W. Dayton, Madison, WI)

The Urgency of Making Workers Citizens

"The Situation Today: Firms are Political Entities"
Tuesday, March 6, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
"Facing Corporate Despotism: The Proposal of the Bicameral Firm, as a Transition toward Economic Citizenship"
Wednesday, March 7, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, March 8, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

ISABELLE FERRERAS is a tenured fellow (Checheure qualifiée) of the Belgian National Science Foundation (F.N.R.S., Brussels). She is a professor of sociology at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) where she teaches at the Department of Social and Political Sciences, at the Institut des sciences du travail and at the Economics School of Louvain. Isabelle is involved as a permanent researcher of the CriDIS (Centre de recherches interdisciplinaires Democracy, Institutions, Subjectivity). Since 2004, she has been an associate of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA) where she is now a Senior Research Associate. In the Spring 2017, Professor Ferreras was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts of Belgium, Class Technology and Society. She is the author of Firms as Political Entities. Saving Democracy through Economic BicameralismCritique Politique du TravailGouverner le Capitalisme? Pour le Bicamérisme Economique; and Travailler à l'heure de la Société des Services.


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Wednesday, March 7, 6:45pm

Union South Marquee Theatre (1308 W. Dayton, Madison, WI)

Chicana Artivistas: East LA Trenches, Transborder Tactics

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"Collective Songwriting: Theory and Knowledge Production"
Tuesday, March 13, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
“Agonistic Harmony and Transformation”
Wednesday, March 14, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, March 15, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

MARTHA GONZALEZ is a Chicana artivista (artist/activist) musician, feminist music theorist and Assistant Professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies at Scripps/Claremont College. Her academic interest has been fueled by her own musicianship as a singer/songwriter and percussionist for Grammy Award winning band Quetzal. Quetzal has made a considerable impact in the Los Angeles Chicano music scene. The relevance of Quetzal’s music and lyrics have been noted in a range of publications, from dissertations to scholarly books. Together with her partner Quetzal Flores, Gonzalez has been instrumental in catalyzing the transnational dialogue between Chican@s/Latin@ communities in the U.S and Jarocho communities in Veracruz, Mexico. Gonzalez has also been active in implementing the collective songwriting method in correctional facilities throughout California and Seattle WA. Gonzalez is currently working on a book manuscript, Chican@ Artivistas: East Los Angeles Trenches, Transborder Tactics.

A Plastic Ocean

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Wednesday, March 14, 6:45pm

Union South Marquee Theatre (1308 W. Dayton, Madison, WI)

I Am Evidence

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Wednesday, March 21, 6:45pm

Union South Marquee Theatre (1308 W. Dayton, Madison, WI)

"1968: Fifty Years Later"

Tariq Ali
"1917-2017: Wars and Revolutions"
Monday, April 2, 2018, 7PM, Elvehjem L160 (Philips Auditorium)

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the UW History Department

TARIQ ALI is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London. His nonfiction books include Pirates Of The Caribbean, Conversations with Edward Said, Bush in Babylon, Clash of Fundamentalisms, The Obama Syndrome, and The Extreme Centre: A Warning. His most recent book, The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution, was released in April 2017.

The Political Economy of Liberation Struggles

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"The Rise and Decline of Latin America’s Pink Tide"
Tuesday, April 3, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
"Class Struggle and Social Movement: Totality, Production, and Social Reproduction"
Wednesday, April 4, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, April 5, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program

JEFFERY R. WEBBER is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. He sits on the editorial board of Historical Materialism and is the author of The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left (Haymarket 2017), Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America, with Todd Gordon (Fernwood, 2016), Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia (Haymarket 2012), and From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales (Haymarket 2011).

Dates TBA


PAUL MASON is a British commentator, radio personality, author and playwright. He was Culture and Digital Editor of Channel 4 News, becoming the programme's Economics Editor on 1 June 2014, a post he formerly held on BBC Two's Newsnight programme. He is the author of several books, including most recently PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future, and a visiting professor at the University of Wolverhampton.