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

BISR Facebook Page (facebook.com/TheBrooklynInstitute)

Signs of U.S. imperialism are omnipresent: from trillion-dollar defense budgets to fighter jet flyovers at professional sporting events; from “endless war” abroad to local police, in military kit, beating, gassing, and shooting protestors at home. How can we understand the U.S. empire in all its gargantuan totality—as the expression of American international power, a guarantor of global capital, and a structural factor of domestic American life? Where does the U.S. state, culture, and economy end, and the empire begin?

In Empire in Crisis, a two-day teach-in and symposium organized by the Colombe Foundation and Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, leading scholars, journalists, and activists will gather to explore the scope, function, and possible futures of U.S. imperialism—both its power and the points at which it can be resisted. Across a series of text-based learning sessions and panel discussions, we will ask: 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?

Empire in Crisis: a Teach-In and Symposium on U.S Imperialism Today will take place Thursday and Friday, October 22nd and 23rd. Participants will include BISR faculty, Nikhil Pal Singh, Jodi Byrd, Jeanne Morefield, Laleh Khalili, Catherine Lutz, Tobita Chow, Benjamin Schrader, Sara Salem, and Vijay Prashad. During the learning sessions, BISR faculty will teach from specific texts, which viewers can access and read in advance by RSVPing below. (The readings for the learning sessions are listed here.) The event is free to attend, and can be viewed, regardless of whether you have a Facebook account, on the BISR public Facebook page (and we encourage attendees to submit questions and comments in the comment section). 

Empire in Crisis is being held in partnership with Justice is Global, Veterans for Peace, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the DSA International Committee, IfNotNow, National Lawyers Guild, Verso Books, n+1, and Brown University’s Costs of War Project.


Thursday, October 22nd | The Imperial Boomerang: Militarizing American Life
11:30am-12pm | Opening Remarks

12-2pm | Learning Session 1: Empire, Pandemic, and Crisis | Suzanne Schneider and Anthony Alessandrini

2-4pm | Learning Session 2: Colonialism and Social Control: the Boomerang Effect | Adam Elliott-Cooper and Ajay Singh Chaudhary

4-6pm | Panel: Imperialism and American Life: Culture, Politics, and Resistance | Suzanne Schneider (moderator), Adam Elliott-Cooper, Nikhil Pal Singh, Benjamin Schrader, Jodi Byrd, and Catherine Lutz

Friday, October 23rd | Understanding American Empire: Military Power and Global Control
12-2pm | Learning Session 1: Empire and Capital: Policing Global Production | Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Lygia Sabbag Fares

2-4pm | Learning Session 2: Interrogating “Endless War”: Violence and Great Power Politics | Suzanne Schneider and Nara Roberta Silva

4-6pm | Panel: American Imperialism: Present and Futures | Rebecca Ariel Porte (moderator), Suzanne Schneider, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Jeanne Morefield, Tobita Chow, Sara Salem, Laleh Khalili, and Vijay Prashad

Event Schedule

Thursday, 11:00am-6pm EST
October 22 — October 23, 2020


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