Category: Future of Art & Cultural Institutions

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

We ask you to kindly register here to allow us to better organize the meeting
and join us on Zoom platform on October 12 at 20:30 CET clicking on the following link

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 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 More information about the ReImagining Value Action Lab, which will launch September 2017, can be found at

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 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.

POPULAR EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN COMMONS | Mao Mollona & Rebecca Tarlau, Lea Ana Blaustein, Zeynep Tul Sualp, Alessandro Mariano

School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Future of Art & Cultural Institution. The online meeting is on Tuesday, July 21 at 16:00 CET; 10:00 US; 11:00 Argentina & Brasil; 18:00 Istanbul. Facilitated by Mao Mollona, with Rebecca Tarlau, Lea Ana Blaustein, Zeynep Tul Sualp, Alessandro Mariano
register here

This session will bring in conversation the radical pedagogies of the Bachilleratos Populares in Argentina, the Landless Movement in Brazil and the Academic Without Campus (Kampussuzler) in Istanbul for the construction of a common imaginary of horizontal, grassroots, post-capitalist and non-Eurocentric practices of learning and study. 

Epistemologies of the South are those ecologies of knowledge that exist outside the western, patriarchal and capitalist episteme. They are varied and different, but they are all born out of struggle. For de Sousa Santos, they are ‘diverse practical, empirical, popular and vernacular knowledges with one feature in common: they were not produced separately, as knowledge practices separated from other practices’ (de Sousa Santos, 2018). In them, theory is inseparable from the grassroots struggles for the socialization of knowledge and life. Militant knowledge production is production in commons and for the commons. Epistemologies of the south are not just struggle for liberation of knowledge, they are also sociologies of absence – investigations of the radical invisibility and irrelevance produced by western colonialist and capitalist episteme. But in parallel to such sociology of absences, epistemologies of struggle points also at radical emergences – the new possibilities and potentialities associated for instance, with the decolonizing, feminist, workers and landless movements.

This iteration brings in conversation three popular pedagogies – three post-capitalist and decolonised modes of study (Meyeroff, 2019): the Bachilleratos Populares in Argentina, the Landless Movement in Brazil (MST) and the Academic Without Campus (Kampussuzler) in Istanbul. These three pedagogies have emerged in liberated zones, outside state control and in connection with powerful social movements. Although their social constituencies vary – some are rural some urban, some deal with primary education and other with higher education –they are all connected to feminist, anti-capitalist and decolonial struggles. Some have been incorporated and perhaps also co-opted, into those progressive/populist states emerged from such counter-hegemonic struggles. Some have maintained autonomy or even a healthy collaboration with it. Lastly, radical pedagogies are not educational, as in the western ‘banking model’ (Freire, 1970). But they involve practices of restorative justice, aimed at healing, curing and reconnecting what it has been torn apart by capitalist and colonial enclosures.

The aim of this panel is first, to generate an intercultural translation between these different epistemologies and imagine their possible ‘unity in difference’ and second, to imagine how these radical pedagogies can be invoked to liberate the Eurocentric, capitalist and patriarchal imaginary associated with contemporary Western educational institutions.

In particular, the panel will address the following questions:

  • What is the relationship between radical pedagogy and social movement activism? How do these forms of militant engagement with the world, overlap, intersect and dialogue?
  • Do states enhance or stifle radical pedagogy? And what is the desirable relationship between nation-states and popular schools?
  • What are these schools’ central principles of governance, methodologies and curricula? 
  • What can our western education system learn from these militant modes of learning?
  • What has been the impact of the pandemic on these popular schools?

Mao Mollona 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.

Rebecca Tarlau is an Assistant Professor at The Pennsylvania State University affiliated with the Adult Education and Lifelong Learning program, the Comparative and International Education Program, and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. Her ethnographic research agenda has three broad areas of focus: (1) Theories of the State and State-Society Relations; (2) Social movements, Labor Education, and critical pedagogy; (3) Latin American education and development. She is the author ofOccupying School, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education (2019, Oxford University Press).

Ana Lea Blaustein is Professor of Literature and Linguistics graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), she is a PHD candidate in Education at the same institution. She is a member of the Group of Studies on Social Movements and Popular Education (GEMSEP) and lecturer in the research seminar “Popular Education and Social Movements in Latin America” (Sociology-UBA). She also teaches Spanish as a foreign language and works in teacher training institutes. She was part of a team responsible for a research project selected by CLACSO-TNI-IEALC grant “Support Programme for Engaged Research: Struggles over Public Sphere in Latin America and the Caribbean” (2016-2017). Her research interests include literacy practices, youth and adults’ education, popular education and social movements. She worked in Bachilleratos Populares (Secondary Schools for Youth and Adults) for nearly ten years.

Z. Tül Akbal Süalp has a BA degree in Psychology and studied Political Science, Cinema Studies and Sociology in New York and İstanbul in MA and PhD levels and taught cinema, media and cultural studies in various Universities in Istanbul.  Since 2016 Spring She has become part of the members of Academics with no Campus (KAMPÜSSÜZLER) Academics with No-Campus is an initiative mainly organized by people who have been dismissed from their university positions in Turkey because they signed a petition entitled “Academics for Peace–We will not be a party to this crime”We insist that learning could take place only through a process within which theory and practice reinforce and feed each other. We aim at the wholeness, mutuality and relationality at all stages of the formation and dissemination of knowledge.

Alessandro Mariano National Education Sector for the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement.