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

Politics with Sober Senses: Conditions for Labor Renewal

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Sam Gindin
“The Myth of American Decline”
Tuesday, April 14, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
“Barriers to Union Renewal”
Wednesday, April 15, 6pm, Madison Labor Temple
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty & Public
Thursday, April 16, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

SAM GINDIN is a Canadian who got his MA in Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1970s and spent most of his working life (1974-2000) as the Research Director of the Canadian Auto Workers (and since 1985 as an Assistant to the President). From 2000-2010, he led the position of Visiting Packer Chair in Social Justice at York University. He remains active in the labour and social movements.  His writings have focused on the CAW, the auto industry, the crisis in organized labour in Canada and the US, and the political economy of American capitalism. His most recent and most ambitious project was, with his co-author Leo Panitch, of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire

Contemporary Latino Politics from DREAMers to Voters

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Melissa R. Michelson
“Mobilizing Inclusion: Getting out the Latino Vote”
Tuesday, April 21, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
“Living the DREAM: The Political Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth”
Wednesday, April 22, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty & Public
Thursday, April 23, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

MELISSA R. MICHELSON is Professor of Political Science at Menlo College. She received her B.A. in political science from Columbia University in 1990, master’s degrees from Yale University in 1991 and 1994, and her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1994. Her major strands of research include Latino political incorporation, field experiments in voter mobilization of ethnic and racial minorities, and field experiments on fostering attitudinal change on polarized political issues such as same-sex marriage. She is co-author of the award winning book Mobilizing Inclusion: Redefining Citizenship through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), as well as Living the Dream: New Immigration Policies and the Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth (Paradigm Publishers, September 2014). She is currently working on another book manuscript, Listen, We Need to Talk, contracted with Yale University Press, which uses field experiments to explore how to generate attitudinal change on contentious political issues such as same-sex marriage. She has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and a dozen chapters in edited volumes. In her spare time Dr. Michelson knits and runs marathons.

THE FIRE THIS TIME

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Colin Gordon
"The Fire This Time: Ferguson, St. Louis, and the American City"
Thursday, April 23, 4pm, Location TBA

COLIN GORDON is Professor of History and Public Policy at the University of Iowa.  He is the author of Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City, which traces the transformation of metropolitan St. Louis in the 20th century, focusing on local regulation of land use, including restrictive deed covenants, real estate restrictions, and municipal zoning; and most recently, Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality, which traces the causes and consequences of economic inequality in the United States. Previous books include New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics, 1920-1935; and Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America. He is a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project, for which he has written a number of reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions (including the biennial State of Working Iowa series).  He received his PhD (History) at the University of Wisconsin and previously taught at the University of British Columbia.