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To download a pdf of the Fall 2020 series poster, click here.


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Thursday, February 11, 2021   4:00-5:30pm

“Abolition & the Ivory Tower: Cops Off Campus, Cops Off the Planet & Some Lessons from Black Study”

SA Smythe - University of California, Los Angeles

Crystal M. Fleming, PhD candidate in English, Respondent

The California Cops Off Campus movement coalesced in the wake of global pro-Black uprisings in summer 2020, the latest in a decades-long genealogy demanding an end to police brutality and the abolition of policing. The movement parallels and partakes in Black community demands and Black radical struggle against regimes of anti-Black captivity and dispossession. Smythe will talk about the growing national campaign to build a university system free of policing as integral to the project of Black Studies and our unprecedented struggle against carceral violence

Zoom Registration is required . Registration deadline February 10.

Click here to register.

To download the event poster, click here.

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Thursday, November 12, 2020    4:00-5:30pm

“Policing University Space: How Law and Order Infiltrated the Campus

Yalile Suriel, PhD candidate in History

Robert T. Chase, History Department, Respondent

As universities underwent demographic shifts in the 1960s and 1970s that resulted in a more diverse student body, universities were also facing tremendous internal and external pressure to police students that dared to be part of protest or social change. As a result, universities often toggled between embracing social justice discourses and constructing their own policing mechanisms, mainly university police departments. This talk examines how diversity narratives collided with punitive discourses at public universities. Zoom Registration is required. Registration deadline November 11.

Click here to register.

To download the event poster, click here.

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Faculty Reading Group: "Global Carceral States and Networks: Racialized Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Migrant Detentions"

5 Tuesdays during Spring 2021

12:00 PM to 1:45 PM, Mar 2, Mar 16, Apr 6 , Apr 20 & May 4

Co-led by Robert T. Chase/History and Zebulon  Vance Miletsky/Africana Studies

Discussing how racialized policing, mass incarceration, and migrant detentions and deportations constitute what the French theorist Michel Foucault named as a “carceral network”. Supported by CAS in collaboration with the Center for Changing Systems of Power. Zoom Registration is required.   Click here for details.


SA Smythe                                      

SA Smythe is a poet, translator, and scholar currently working as an assistant professor in the Departments of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA. Smythe’s first book manuscript, provisionally titled Where Blackness Meets the Sea: On Crisis, Culture, and the Black Mediterranean, studies literary and other cultural responses to colonial border regimes, citizenship, and other relational aspects of inequality and oppression between Europe (in particular, Italy), East Africa, and the Mediterranean. Smythe also engages black trans poetics as critic and practitioner politically invested in otherwise black belonging and nonbinary reading praxes. Forthcoming in that vein is a full collection of poetry, titled proclivity, which centers on a familial history of black migration (across Britain, Costa Rica, and Jamaica), trans embodiment, and emancipation. Smythe is also the editor of Troubling the Grounds: Global Configurations of Blackness, Nativism, and Indigeneity, a special issue of Postmodern Culture. Smythe is a coordinating committee member of the faculty wing of the California Cops Off Campus Coalition (UCFTP) and organizes with other abolitionist/anti-carceral groups both across Turtle Island and in Europe.

Crystal Fleming

Crystal M. Fleming  is Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies and Associate Faculty in the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University. Her latest book,  How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide, combines memoir, critical race theory, social commentary and satire to debunk common misconceptions about racism. Her first book,  Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France, builds on her award-winning dissertation and marshals ethnographic data, archival research and in-depth interviews with French activists and descendants of slaves to examine how commemorations of enslavement and abolition both challenge and reproduce the racial order. Her scholarship appears in journals such as  The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic and Racial StudiesPoetics,  Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race and  Mindfulness. Her essays and op-eds can be found in popular venues like  Vox, The Root, Everyday Feminism, Black Agenda Report, Black Perspectives and  Huffington Post. 

Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies and History at Stony Brook University. His articles have appeared in the Trotter Review, the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, and the Journal of Urban History. His book, Before Busing: Boston’s Long Freedom Movement in the ‘Cradle of Liberty’ is forthcoming by the University of North Carolina Press in February 2021.

Robert T. Chase

Robert T. Chase is an is a scholar of 20th century American history whose research fields include U.S. politics and state-building; civil rights, Black Power and the Chicana/o Movement; and, the history of policing, incarceration, and migrant detention. His two books are We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America (UNC 2020) and Caging Borders and Carceral States: Incarcerations, Immigrant Detentions, and Resistance (UNC 2019).

Lea Borenstein                                                                                            

Lea Borenstein is a doctoral candidate in the English department, although she belongs more properly in cultural studies. She is interested in 19 and early 20th century Black American cultural production, especially in how the space between high art and pop culture can register both resistance and possibilities for common purpose across class divisions. She is currently pursuing projects around blackface minstrelsy, early Black Broadway productions, and Jean Toomer’s ecological modernism.

Yalile Suriel                                                                    

Yalile Suriel is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Stony Brook University. Her research examines the intersections between mass incarceration and higher education. Her dissertation explores how public universities have been shaped by the rise and formation of a carceral state. She is a Turner fellow and an AERA fellow. Her work has been featured in the Activist History Review  and in AAIHS.