Self-described Marxist to deliver keynote at campus event

The conference aims to "recover the histories and possible futures of anti-imperialist struggle.”

Other participants include University of Colorado-Boulder professor Cheryl Higashida and University of California, Riverside gender and sexuality studies professor Melanie Yazzie.

A self-described Marxist will give the keynote speech for a "Global Radicalism" conference hosted at Barnard College on Saturday.

Barnard College professors in New York City will examine “decolonized feminist futures,” “Black Marxism,” and the “centrality of feminist organization to mass protest” against the Trump administration during an event on Saturday. 

The conference, titled “Global Radicalism: Solidarity, Internationalism, and Feminist Futures,” aims to “recover the histories and possible futures of anti-imperialist struggle.” Participants “will unearth hidden legacies of internationalist movements and reveal the potentials of decolonized feminist futures.”

The event is sponsored by the Racial Capitalism Working Group (Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University), Barnard’s New Directions in American Studies, and The People’s Forum, a group that describes itself as “movement incubator for working class and marginalized communities.”

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Included in the event program is a panel entitled “Black Left Feminist Internationalism.” Attendees of this session will examine “the radical anti-racist, anti-colonial, socialist internationalist, and feminist visions of social change” and “consider how Black Marxist feminists like Louise Thompson Patterson, Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, and others confronted racism, patriarchy, Capitalism, and imperialism in their own times.” 

Participants in the panel include University of Colorado-Boulder English professor and author of Black Internationalist Feminism: Women Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995 Cheryl Higashida and Saint Mary’s University history professor John Munro, who wrote The Anticolonial Front: The African American Freedom Struggle and Global Decolonisation, 1945–1960. They will be joined by social justice activist Mariame Kaba, whose work focuses on “dismantling the prison industrial complex.”

The “Decolonized Feminist Futures” panel will stress the importance of feminism in eroding cultures of imperialism and war and link the movement to protests of President Donald Trump’s administration. It will feature a discussion between co-chair of the New York State Poor People’s Campaign and social justice advocate Claudia De la Cruz, anti-militarist activist and leader Chantelle Bateman, and University of California, Riverside gender and sexuality studies professor Melanie Yazzie, who specializes in “indigenous feminist and queer studies.”

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Global Radicalism’s keynote speaker will be historian and self-described Marxist Vijay Prashad. Prashad will present “What is the meaning of the left?” Prashad is a retired Trinity College professor and the Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.  His published works include The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.

“Barnard College is committed to academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas,” Barnard College spokeswoman Alli Cooke told Campus Reform.  “It is our hope that all members of the Barnard community, from students to guests, will attend any events that resonate with their academic or personal interests.”

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