ABOLITIONISM: TOWARDS ALTERNATIVE MODES OF STUDY | Mao Mollona & Eli Meyerhoff, Max Haiven, Abigail Boggs, Nick Mitchell, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein

The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Future of Art & Cultural Institution, holds this online meeting on Monday 12 OCTOBER at 20:30 CET, 19:30 London, 2:30 EST. Facilitated by Mao Mollona, with Eli Meyerhoff, Max Haiven, Abigail Boggs, Nick Mitchell, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein

Abolitionism in university follows the movement to abolish prisons and police, seeing these violent institutions as continuations of slavery by another name. Left abolitionism is both destructive—dismantling racial capitalism—and constructive, building alternatives, seeking to replace the prison-industrial complex which is the foundation of our capitalist system with alternative practices of community accountability, safety, and transformative justice. The Left abolitionist approach to universities also brings these two paths at once: reckoning with universities’ complicity with a carceral, racial-capitalist society while creating an alternative, mode of study and enquiry. 

Abolitionist University Study An Invitation
Questions upon reading Abolitionist University Study – Max Haiven


Mao Mollona co-founder of the Institute of Radical Imagination is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths’ College, London. His work focuses on politico-economic anthropology and film, especially on ideas of participation, labor, class and activism. He has done extensive fieldwork and several film projects in Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Eli Meyerhoff (Duke University) – Eli has taught in Duke University’s International Comparative Studies Program, Education Program, and Literature Program. He works as the lab manager of Duke’s Health Humanities Lab, and is also a Visiting Scholar at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. His book, Beyond Education: Radical Studying for Another World was published with the University of Minnesota Press in 2019. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals (available for download at his Academia.edu page), including Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics, ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, The Journal of Environmental Education, and Cultural Politics. He is involved in many collaborative projects, including the collective of an open access journal, Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics, and a collective around Abolitionist University Studies.

Max Haiven (lakehead University) – Associate ProfessorCanada Research Chair. Broadly speaking, Max research focuses on the power of the imagination as a cultural, political, economic and sociological force. One dimension of his work is dedicated to understanding the role of the imagination in the reproduction of global capitalism, in particular the realm of finance and “fictitious capital.” I also look at how critical and radical artists approach money. A second dimension of his work focuses on social movements and, in particular, the radical imagination that animates the struggle for a better world. Max is currently working on a book on revenge. More information and regular updates can be found at http://maxhaiven.com More information about the ReImagining Value Action Lab, which will launch September 2017, can be found at http://rival.lakeheadu.ca

Abigail Boggs (Wesleyan University) –

A scholar of feminist and queer studies with a focus on the transnational dimensions of the contemporary United States university, Abigail Boggs joined the Wesleyan Sociology Department in the fall of 2016. She is currently revising her first book manuscript, “American Futures: International Students and the U.S. University,” which provides a critical genealogy of the figure of the international student in university policy, federal immigration law, and U.S. popular culture. She is also working with Eli Meyerhoff, Nick Mitchell, and Zach Scwartz-Weinstein on a project developing a framework for abolitionist  university studies (more information at abolition.university). Her writing has appeared in the Barnard Center for Research and Women’s Scholar and the Feminist, American Quarterly, and Feminist Studies as well as the edited collection Mobile Desires: The Politics and Erotics of Mobility Justice. She is on the editorial board for Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics and has served on the steering committee for the Five College Center for Research on Women and the American Studies Association’s Program Committee. Boggs earned her B.A. in Women and Gender Studies from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of California, Davis. Before returning to Wesleyan she taught in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst.

Nick Mitchell (University of California Santa Cruz) – Trained in critical theory, black radical thought, and feminist theory at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where Nick received a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness with an emphasis in Feminist Studies and served as a founding coordinator of the Black Cultural Studies Research Cluster and the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Graduate Collective. After two years as faculty in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, Nick returned to UCSC as faculty in 2015. Mitchell’s research and teaching explore the social arrangements of knowledge and the ways that knowledge and its institutional practices arrange social worlds. Currently at work on two books. The first, Disciplinary Matters: Black Studies, Women’s Studies, and the Neoliberal University (under contract, Duke University Press), places the institutional projects of black studies and women’s studies not at the margins but the heart of the consolidation of the post-Civil Rights U.S. university.  The second book, The University, in Theory: Essays on Institutional Knowledge, grows out of conversations that have developed in recent years in the field of critical university studies.

Zach Schwartz-Weinstein   is an independent scholar who writes about universities and labor. He received his PhD in American studies from New York University in September.