UW School of Music: Carillon TowerEstablished in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984, the A. E. Havens Center for Social Justice is dedicated to promoting critical intellectual reflection and exchange, both within the academy as well as between it and the broader society. The Center is named in honor of the late Professor of Rural Sociology, A. Eugene Havens, whose life and work embodied the combination of progressive political commitment and scholarly rigor that the Center encourages.

The traditional tasks of critical social thought have been to analyze the sources of inequality and injustice in existing social arrangements, to suggest both practical and utopian alternatives to those arrangements, and to identify and learn from the many social movements seeking progressive social and political change. These tasks are as relevant today as ever. Indeed, we face a variety of challenges, both new and enduring, that demand creative critical reflection. These include the increasingly integrated and global character of capitalist economic development, the durability of racial and gender oppressions, the threats of global environmental catastrophe, and the failure of many traditional models of progressive reform.

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Upcoming events

Award For Lifetime Contribution To Critical Scholarship

Tariq Ali
"Street Fighting Year: The Importance of 1968, Fifty Years On"
Monday, April 2, 2018, 7PM, Elvehjem L160 (Philips Auditorium)

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the UW History Department

TARIQ ALI is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London. His nonfiction books include Pirates Of The Caribbean, Conversations with Edward Said, Bush in Babylon, Clash of Fundamentalisms, The Obama Syndrome, and The Extreme Centre: A Warning. His most recent book, The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution, was released in April 2017.

The Political Economy of Liberation Struggles

Jeffery Webber 2016.jpg
"The Rise and Decline of Latin America’s Pink Tide"
Tuesday, April 3, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
"Class Struggle and Social Movement: Totality, Production, and Social Reproduction"
Wednesday, April 4, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, April 5, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program

JEFFERY R. WEBBER is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. He sits on the editorial board of Historical Materialism and is the author of The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left (Haymarket 2017), Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America, with Todd Gordon (Fernwood, 2016), Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia (Haymarket 2012), and From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales (Haymarket 2011).

Dates TBA


PAUL MASON is a British commentator, radio personality, author and playwright. He was Culture and Digital Editor of Channel 4 News, becoming the programme's Economics Editor on 1 June 2014, a post he formerly held on BBC Two's Newsnight programme. He is the author of several books, including most recently PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future, and a visiting professor at the University of Wolverhampton.