Creative Activism Thursdays with the Yes Labs

Announcing the Yes Lab’s Spring 2012 lineup!  Stay tuned for additions. All lectures are at 7pm at 20 Cooper Square, 5th floor, unless otherwise noted. 

Come meet the revolutionaries who have changed or are changing the world, and those who study them. We’ll be meeting many Thursdays for a series of lectures, workshops, and other events focusing on the potential for societal change, and what we can do to bring it about through creative tactics and strategies.

Revolutionaries Live! (aka Creative Activism Thursdays) is co-sponsored by NYU Dean for Social Science, the Hemispheric Institute, the Yes Lab, the Humanities Initiative at NYU Working Research Group on Artistic Activism, CAA, and Not an Alternative. Speakers also attend following Yes Lab Friday.

February 9 | Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn: “Occupy this and that! Revolution here and there.”

Introduced by Sam Green, director of The Weather Underground
Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are two former leaders of the Weathermen, a splinter faction of Students for a Democratic Society that eventually turned to violence and went underground. This talk is especially apropos at a time when many in the Occupy movement are debating the strategic value of “non-violence” versus “diversity of tactics.”
Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the founder of the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, and has taught and written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is married to Bernadine Dohrn.
Dohrn is a Professor of Law at Northwestern University, the founder of the Children and Family Justice Center and co-founder of the Center on the Wrongful Convictions of Youth, serves on the Board of the National Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and is working to abolish the sentence of life without possibility of parole for juveniles in Illinois.

February 16 | Frances Fox Piven

The author of Poor People’s Movements and a prominent target of the lunatic right, Frances Fox Piven has written extensively on how movements—from that of the 1920s unemployed to Occupy—can engage in disruptive tactics to achieve change. She is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center.

February 23 | What is Revolution? Richard Schechner, Yotam Marom, and others

What is revolution? Is OWS a revolution? Stay tuned!

March 8 | David Graeber

David Graeber is an eminent anthropologist and anarchist who has been politically active for a long time, and active in the Occupy movement since its proto-beginnings in June 2011; he has called Occupy “the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire.” His most recent book is Debt: The First Five Thousand Years. David teaches at Goldsmiths College, London. He will discuss culture as creative refusal—how what we think of as primordial “cultures,” historically, can just as easily be conceived as social movements which were to some degree successful in achieving their aims.

March 22 | Matt Smucker

Matt Smucker is a grassroots organizer, trainer, strategist, and writer.  He is the director of Beyond the Choir, an online space for sharing practical strategies, tactics and tools with activists. He will discuss humor, revolution, and the Occupy movement.

April 19 | Steve Lambert

Steve Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. He has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done).  He is on the faculty of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Steve will discuss making engaging, funny, relevant art and how it can help effect change.

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