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

Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter

Jordan T. Camp
"Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter"
Thursday, September 29, 7pm, Atrium Community Room, Village on Park Shopping Center, 2300 S. Park Street

On-site parking available in the shopping center lot.

JORDAN T. CAMP is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown. He is the author of Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State (University of California Press, 2016), co-editor (with Christina Heatherton) of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), and co-editor (with Laura Pulido) of Clyde A. Woods’ book, Development Drowned and Reborn: The Blues and Bourbon Restorations in Post-Katrina New Orleans (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has previously held teaching appointments, postdoctoral fellowships, or visiting positions at Princeton, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, California State University-Long Beach, and UCLA.

Considering the World-Making Possibilities of Wild Refractions

Adela Licona
"Fear-Inflected Imaginaries: A Focus on the Rhetorical Force & Function of the Non/Image"
Tuesday, October 4, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
"Feeling Photography: Revisioning Ecological Violences and Cultural Erasures as Always Racialized Processes"
Wednesday, October 5, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, October 6, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

ADELA C. LICONA is Associate Professor of English and Interim Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona. Her research and teaching interests include non/dominant rhetorics, cultural, ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies, social justice media, critical youth studies, community literacies, action-oriented research, borderlands studies, environmental justice, and feminist pedagogy. She is co-editor of Feminist Pedagogy: Looking Back to Move Forward (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) and author of Zines In Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric (SUNY Press, 2012). She has also published in such journals as Antipode, Transformations, Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and Critical Studies in Media Communication. 


Race, Class and the Making of Postcolonial Britain

Satnam Virdee
Workshop on “Racism, Capitalism and the Struggle to be Human”
Thursday, October 13, 6pm, Offices of Freedom Inc., 1810 Park Street
"Racial Formation and the Crisis of Welfare Capitalism"
Monday, October 17, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
"Antiracism and Stretching the Language and Politics of Class"
Tuesday, October 18, 4pm, 3401 Sterling Hall

Co-sponsored by Freedom Inc. 

SATNAM VIRDEE is Professor of Sociology at the University of Glasgow and founding Director of the Centre for Research on Racism, Ethnicity and Nationalism (CRREN). He is a historical and political sociologist with research interests in racism, class and historical capitalism. He is the author and co-author of 5 books, including most recently Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He will publish a co-authored volume in 2017 (with Stephen Ashe and Laurence Brown) entitled: Britain’s Civil Rights Movement: Black Activism and the Mobilization of Changing Ethnic Identities and a co-edited collection (with Brendan McGeever) entitled Socialism and Antisemitism, 1880-1917


The Macro-Sociology of War

Michael Mann
“The Causes of War”
Tuesday, November 1, 4pm, 3401 Sterling Hall
“Has War Declined Through Human History”
Wednesday, November 2, 4pm, 3401 Sterling Hall
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, November 3, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

MICHAEL MANN is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Honorary Professor at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Incoherent Empire (awarded the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Prize), The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (recipient of the ASA’s Barrington Moore Award), Fascists, and most notably the multi-volume The Sources of Social Power, the last two volumes of which (Global Empires and Revolution 1890-1945 and Globalizations 1945-2011) were published by Cambridge University Press in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The Future of Struggle: The Changing Repertoires of Collective Action

Joshua Clover
"Political Economy of Riot 1347-2015"
Monday, November 7, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
"Poetics of Riot, 1967-68"
Tuesday, November 8, 4pm, 6191 Helen C. White
"Insurrection and Communist Strategy" (Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public)
Wednesday, November 9, 12:00 noon, 8108 Social Science

JOSHUA CLOVER is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. He specializes in 20th/21st century poetry and poetics, Marxism, political economy, world-systems analysis, crisis theory and cultures of finance, with an interest in environment, feminism, and political struggle in literature. A widely published and translated essayist, poet, and cultural theorist, his most recent books are Red Epic and Riot.Strike.Riot: The New Era of Uprisings, a theorization of riot as historical phenomenon which opens onto a revised history of capital accumulation (forthcoming from Verso in 2016).

“A New Origin Narrative”: African American and Latina/o Histories in an Age of Neoliberal Crisis

Ortiz publicity photo.jpg
Paul Ortiz
"The Mexican War of Independence and US History: Tearing Down American Exceptionalism and Moving Forward in the 21st Century"
Tuesday, November 15, 4pm, 3401 Sterling Hall
“'Killed Helping Workers to Organize': African American and Latina/o Narratives in the Century of Jim Crow/Juan Crow"
Wednesday, November 16, 4pm, 3401 Sterling Hall
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, November 17, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science

PAUL ORTIZ is Associate Professor of History and the Director of the award-winning Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. His publications include the Emancipation Betrayed, a history of the Black Freedom struggle in Florida, and the co-edited volume, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Jim Crow South, which recently went into its 4th printing. His forthcoming monograph is titled: Our Separate Struggles Are Really One: African American and Latino Histories. He is also co-author (with William H. Chafe) of the forthcoming book, Behind the Veil: African Americans in the Age of Segregation, 1895-1965.