Past Events

Frances Fox Piven: The contemporary relevance of “Regulating the Poor”

Frances Fox Piven: The contemporary relevance of “Regulating the Poor”

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Room 6107

Join us for a conversation on the contemporary relevance of

Regulating the Poor


Frances Fox Piven

Distinguished Professor of Political Science
The CUNY Graduate Center

December 2, 2011 | 2-4pm
The Center for Place, Culture and Politics | Room 6107
The CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue, NYC

This conversation will be the first in a series bringing together scholars, graduate students and activists to talk about their work on poverty and the contemporary welfare state.  The format is intended to be a discussion, so please come and be part of the conversation.  For more information on the series, check out http://opencuny.org/welfarestudies/

Readings: Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare, Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, Pantheon Books, 1971.

Introduction, Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race, Joe Soss, Richard Fording and Sanford Schram. University of Chicago Press, 2011

For access to the readings, please email Maggie Dickinson at Maggie.dickinson@gmail.com

Free and open to the public.

Arundhati Roy: Walking with the Comrades

Arundhati Roy: Walking with the Comrades

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Proshansky Auditorium

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She has worked as a film designer and screenplay writer in India. Roy is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide.

She has written several non-fiction books, including The Cost of Living, Power Politics, War Talk, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, and Public Power in the Age of Empire. Roy was featured in the BBC television documentary Dam/age, which is about the struggle against big dams in India. A collection of interviews with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian was published as The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. Her recent work includes Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, and a contribution to the forthcoming anthology Kashmir: The Case for Freedom. Her latest book, Walking with the Comrades was just published by Penguin Books. Roy is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

Patrick Bond: Discussing Climate Justice Strategy

Patrick Bond: Discussing Climate Justice Strategy

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Room C201

South African Climate Justice activist Patrick Bond will be leading a discussion of Climate Justice (CJ) strategy for the upcoming United Nations Conference of Parties Summit (COP17) in Durban, South Africa regarding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol […]

Max Rameau: Take Back the Land

Max Rameau: Take Back the Land

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

Max moved from Washington, DC to Miami, FL in 1991. As the devastating impacts of gentrification began to take root, Max shifted his attention to the subject and in the summer of 2006 helped found the organization which eventually became known as Take Back the Land. In October 2006, Take Back the Land seized control of a vacant lot in Miami and built the Umoja Village, a full urban shantytown

West Papua Independence Teach In @ #OccupyWallStreet

West Papua Independence Teach In @ #OccupyWallStreet

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Zuccotti Park

Two weeks ago thousands of people peacefully gathered in West Papua to demand their independence from Indonesia. Some 500 Indonesian police and military personnel surrounded the gathering with a cordon of armored cars and began firing assault weapons as the delegates started to disperse. During this crack-down by the security forces, at least three people were killed and dozens were injured. Witnesses report numerous gunshot wounds. Scores of demonstrators were beaten and pistol whipped. Three hundred people were detained, in a move that the President of Indonesia justified by reference to the NYPD mass arrests of Occupy Wall Street protestors.

Conference: Black American Popular Religion

Conference: Black American Popular Religion

11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Martin E. Segal Theatre




Click here to view videos of the event!


Friday, November 4th, 2011
11.00 am – 7.00 pm
The Martin E. Segal Theatre
CUNY Graduate Center | 365 Fifth Ave @ 34th Street

Free and open to the public

Josef Sorett (Columbia University)

11a – 12.30p: Spirit in the Art(s): Black Religion and the Problem of the Popular
Respondent: Adrienne Lotson


Michael Eric Dyson (Georgetown University)

2p – 4p: God Complex, Complex gods, or God’s Complex? Jay Z, Poor Black Youth, and Making ‘The Struggle’ Divine
Respondent: Bryan Turner


Marla Frederick (Harvard University)

5p – 7p: Colored Television: Black Religion in Global Context
Respondent: Mara Einstein

Josef Sorett is assistant professor of Religion and African-American Studies at Columbia University.  An interdisciplinary historian of religion in America, Sorett’s work addresses black communities and cultures in the United States. His research and teaching interests include American religious history; African American religions; hip hop, popular culture and the arts; gender and sexuality; and the role of religion in public life. Josef earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Harvard University; and he holds a B.S. from Oral Roberts University and an M.Div. from Boston University.  Josef has received fellowships from the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, The Fund for Theological Education, Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for American History and Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies. He has published essays and reviews in Culture and Religion, Callaloo, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and PNEUMA: Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. Josef’s current book project, That Spirit is Black: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics (under contract with Oxford University Press) illumines how religion has figured into debates about black art and culture.  He is also editing a volume exploring the sexual politics of black churches.

Michael Eric Dyson is an academic, author, social activist, Baptist minister, and preacher and radio host. Dyson is Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has so far authored and edited 17 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye, Nas’s debut album Illmatic, Bill Cosby, and Hurricane Katrina. Dyson has won numerous prestigious honors, from an American Book Award to NAACP Image award that he received twice. His 1994 book Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X became a New York Times notable book of the year. His 2005 New York Times bestseller Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? helped to jump start a national conversation on the black poor. In his 2010 edited book Born to Use Mics, he focused on how the current US penal system disfavors young black males more than any other segment of the population. Dyson hosted a radio show, which aired on Radio One, from January 2006 to February 2007. He was also a commentator on National Public Radio and CNN, and is a regular guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. Beginning July 2011 Michael Eric Dyson became a political analyst for MSNBC.

Marla Frederick is Professor of African and African American Studies and the Study of Religion at Harvard University, and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion. She is the author of Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith, an ethnography of the complex lives and faith commitments of women in rural North Carolina. Her co-authored book, Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests and Private Politics, won the 2008 Best Book Award from the Society for the Anthropology of North America. Frederick’s research addresses the intersections of religion, race, gender, media, politics and economics. She is currently completing an ethnography entitled, “Colored Television: Religion, Media and Racial Uplift in the Black Atlantic World”, teasing out a triangulated approach to understanding how African American producers, distributors and consumers of religious broadcasting approach and make meaning of mediated religion. It addresses concerns related to the rise of prosperity ministries in poor communities as well as the dramatic rise of African American religious broadcasters on television. She is also co-authoring a manuscript with anthropologists John Jackson and Carolyn Rouse, entitled “Televised Redemption,” on how Black Muslims, Christians and Hebrew Israelites use media in the strategic deployment of their racial, economic and religious views of social uplift.

Vinay Gidwani – Gramsci at the Margins: A Pre-History of Nepal’s Maoist Movement

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Science Center, 4th Floor

Vinay Gidwani is a Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota and The CUNY Graduate Center. He is also a former member of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center.

This talk, titled “Gramsci at the Margins: A Pre-History Nepal’s Maoist Movement” was given at the CUNY Graduate Center on November 1, 2011 as a part of the Geography Colloquium Speaker Series, sponsored by the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program and the Provost’s Office.

The paper by Vinay Gidwani and Dinesh Paudel can be downloaded by clicking here: “Gramsci at the Margins”


Bird on Fire: Lessons from the world’s least sustainable city with Andrew Ross

Bird on Fire: Lessons from the world’s least sustainable city with Andrew Ross

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Room 9206/9207

Focusing on areas such as water supply, metropolitan growth, renewable energy, downtown revitalization, immigration policy, and patterns of pollution, the book argues that urban managers have to base policy on combating environmental injustices in order to avoid replicating the condition of “eco-apartheid” that prevails in Phoenix and other major urban areas […]

#OccupyWallStreet Demands Working Group Panel

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
New School Room 407

The Demands Working Group of Occupy Wall Street unanimously endorsed and is circulating for discussion the following PROPOSED demand, which will be submitted to the General Assembly of OWS […]

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