Purpose of the lectures

We, as citizens, academics, and members of the 99%, would like to contribute to the conversation taking place at Occupy Boston about how to make a better, more equitable world for all of us. In the radical and participatory spirit of Occupy Boston and similar radical movements of the past, we see our role, as Giovanni Arrighi once argued, as helping the movement to develop its  “own autonomy through an understanding of the broader processes, both national and global, in which their struggles [are] taking place.”[1] We wish to participate in the movement not from a position of authority, but one of mutual dialogue. While people know their situation much better than we ever will, as academics we are better positioned “to understand the wider context in which it develops”.[2] For this reason we wish to create a series of lectures in which academics lead a dialogue with Occupy Boston participants on issues of economic, political, and social justice. We propose to call these lectures the Howard Zinn Memorial Lectures at Occupy Boston in honor of the late, great Boston Historian. We envision the lectures as follows: A 20-minute introduction by the academic speaker followed by a dialogue/question and answer session of approximately the same length.  In the spirit outlined above, we see our role as facilitators who will find academics that can address topics and questions that participants deem important.

[1] Quote from interview with Giovanni Arrighi. The Winding Paths of Capital. New Left Review 6, March-April 2009 (Also available on ZNET).

[2] Ibid.


2 thoughts on “Purpose of the lectures

  1. Pingback: Noam Chomsky to speak on Saturday at 5:30 | zinnlectures

  2. Pingback: Noam Chomsky to speak on Saturday at 6:00 | zinnlectures

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