Faculty Video: Empire in Crisis: a Teach-In and Symposium on U.S. Imperialism Today

In Empire in Crisis, a two-day teach-in and symposium (October 22-23) organized by the Colombe Foundation and Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, leading scholars, journalists, and activists gathered to explore the scope, function, and possible futures of U.S. imperialism. Across a series of text-based learning sessions and panel discussions, participants asked: Why do we fight “endless wars”? How does U.S. imperialism connect with the global economy? In what ways has American life been militarized? How do we resist?

On day one, BISR faculty Suzanne Schneider and Anthony Alessandrini conducted a learning session on “Empire, Pandemic, and Crisis,” a survey of the state and scope of U.S. militarism and a discussion of the concept of “organized abandonment.” Shortly after, BISR’s Adam Elliott-Cooper and Ajay Singh Chaudhary presented on “Colonialism and Social Control: the Boomerang Effect,” with reference to works by Frantz Fanon, Stuart Schrader, and Achille Mbembe, among others. Finally, in day 1’s closing panel, Suzanne Schneider, Adam Elliott-Cooper, Jodi Byrd, Nikhil Pal Singh, Benjamin Schrader, and Catherine Lutz gathered for a discussion of “Imperialism and American Life: Culture, Politics, and Resistance.”

On day two, BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Lygia Sabbag Fares led an opening learning session on “Empire and Capital: Policing Global Production.” Next, BISR’s Suzanne Schneider and Nara Roberta Silva taught on “Interrogating Endless War: Violence and Great Power Politics,” with reference to a range of primary and secondary sources, from the Iraq War resolution to the National Defense Strategy Summary. Finally, in our closing panel, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Suzanne Schneider, Vijay Prashad, Laleh Khalili, Sara Salem, Jeanne Morefield, and Tobita Chow will gathered for a discussion of “American Imperialism: Present and Futures.”

Complete video of both days is below. A detailed schedule of sessions can be found here, and readings for every session can be accessed here.

Day One | The Imperial Boomerang: Militarizing American Life

Day Two | Understanding American Empire: Military Power and Global Control

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