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

On Political and Cultural Subjectivity

Stanley Aronowitz
“The Politics of Subjectivity and the Future of the Labor Movement”
Tuesday, October 6, 6pm, Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., Room 201C
“Cultural & Psychoanalytic Aspects of Political Subjectivity”
Wednesday, October 7, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, October 8, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the South Central Federation of Labor

STANLEY ARONOWITZ is distinguished professor of Sociology and urban education at CUNY Graduate Center. A former steelworker and union organizer, he is the author or editor of 27 books and over 200 articles. His latest books are Against Orthodoxy: Social Theory and its Discontents; The Death and Rebirth of American Labor: Toward a New Workers’ Movement; and Taking it Big: C.Wright Mills, and the Emergence of Political Intellectuals.

The Case for Coercion

Jane Mansbridge
“Why We Need Coercion by the State”
Tuesday, October 13, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
“How to Get Legitimate Coercion”
Wednesday, October 14, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, October 15, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Regional and International Studies

JANE MANSBRIDGE is Charles F. Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values. She is the author of Beyond Adversary Democracy, an empirical and normative study of face-to-face democracy, and the award-winning Why We Lost the ERA, a study of anti-deliberative dynamics in social movements based on organizing for an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She is also editor or coeditor of the volumes Beyond Self-Interest, Feminism,Oppositional Consciousness, Deliberative Systems, and Negotiating Agreement in Politics. She was President of the American Political Science Association in 2012-13.  Her current work includes studies of representation, democratic deliberation, everyday activism, and the public understanding of free-rider problems. 

Turning a Moment into a Movement

Max Rameau
“How Social Movements Change Society”
Tuesday, October 27, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
“Black Community Control over the Police”
Wednesday, October 28, 7pm, Elvehjem L160, 800 University ave.
Organizing Workshop
Thursday, October 29, 7pm, UW South Madison Partnership, 2312 South Park Street

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Regional and International Studies

MAX RAMEAU is a Haitian born pan-African theorist, campaign strategist, organizer and author. He is co-founder of Take Back the Land, an organization dedicated to addressing issues of land, self-determination and homelessness in the black community. Rameau is the author of Take Back the Land, which recounts the experiences and political theory behind the Umoja village in the Liberty City section of Miami. Since 2013, he has been building the Center for Pan-African Development, a pan-African think tank, and the Positive Action Center, which provides movement theory, support and training to organizations engaged in anti-police brutality campaigns and the emerging demand of black community control over the police.