Abolitionist/Decolonial Politics at WPSA 2015

I’m proud to announce that the preliminary schedule for the Abolitionist/Decolonial Politics Conference within a Conference at the 2015 annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association has been released. Stay tuned for more updates here.


  • Theories and People in Motion in the Age of Global Coloniality
      • Albert Ponce – “Decolonizing Immigration Law”
      • Cary Nuñez – “Decolonizing Knowledge and Being: Asylum and the Colonizing Forces of Dissident Sexuality”
      • Kathleen Arnold – “The Creative Tension of Sanctuary”
      • Alfonso Gonzales – “Mexicans, Central Americans and the Construction of the Refugee Crisis in the Age of Global Coloniality”
      • Sandra Alvarez – “Reworking Sovereignty: An Indigenous Decolonial Approach”
      • Chair: John LeBlanc; Discussant: Julie Mostov
  • Contemporary Decolonization
      • Carissa Tsosie – “Decolonization of Indigenous Nations through the Archival Record: Information Sovereignty”
      • Benjamin Pillet – “Visions of radical democracy: Warriors, Philosophers, Pariahs”
      • Gabriel Mares – “Just War Theory After Colonialism and the War on Terror”
      • Genie Cuester, Marcus Cleveland, and Kevin White – “Resource Sovereignty: Lessons from the Navajo Nation to Understand Electrify Africa”
      • Vincent Gawronski and Luis Fernandez – “the Politics of Fear and Subjugation in Arizona and Alabama: Arriving at SB 1070 and HB 56”
      • Kevin Bruyneel – “Race, Colonialism, and the Politics of Indian Sports Names and Mascots: The Washington Football Team Case”
      • Chair and Discussant TBA
  • International abolitionist/decolonial struggles
      • Robin Turner – “Peace-building without Western Saviors? A Decolonial Approach to Teaching African Gender and Sexuality Politics to American Students”
      • Casey McNeill – “Defamiliarizing security studies: problems and prospects for research on African”
      • Joshua Kurz – “Abolishing Global Apartheid: Border Mobility as Technology of Apartheid, No Borders as Anti-Apartheid Response”
      • Charmaine Chua – “Logistics Leviathan: Non-places of circulation in the maritime supply chain”
      • Chair and Discussants TBA
  • Roundtable: Political Scientists for Justice in Palestine
    • Charmaine Chua
    • Adam Dahl
    • Eli Meyerhoff
    • Heike Schotten
    • Luis-Georges Schwartz


DAY 2 – FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2015

  • Abolitionist Theory and Methodology
      • Zhivka Valiavicharska and Brian Whitener – “The Category of Social Reproduction: Historical and Contemporary Uses”
      • Alexander Livingston – “A Contempt More Fatally Expressed: Consent and Non-Cooperation in Thoreau’s Political Thought”
      • Craig Fortier – “‘Not of here, Not of there’: methodological approaches to studying decolonization among non-indigenous radicals”
      • Johnathan Abreu – “Frontiers Beyond Abolition: The Legacy of Quilombos After Slavery in Pará and Maranhão, Brazil”
      • Chair and Discussants TBA
  • Contemporary Abolitionism
      • Justin Strong – “I Don”t Want To Be A Citizen of This Country!: Abolition, Social Exclusion, and The Incarceration-Citizenship Regime”
      • Jasmine Yarish – “Losing Home: Toni Morrison and the Abolitionist Imaginary”
      • Justin Mueller – “A typology of zealotry: distinguishing between fanaticism, extremism, zealotry, and radicalism”
      • Corey Snellgrove – “No Future: The Destruction of Settler Colonialism as the Preconditions of and for Co-existence”
      • Chair and Discussants TBA
  • Land, Colonialism, and the Constitution of the Anglo-American World
      • Aziz Rana – “Colonialism and Constitutional Memory”
      • K-Sue Park – “The Mortgage and the Conquest of America”
      • Robert Nichols – “Land and ‘True Colonialism’ in the Anglo-Settler World”
      • Adam Dahl – “The Tocquevillean Moment: Settler Colonialism and the Democratic Social State”
      • Chair: Kevin Bruyneel; Discussants TBA
  • Book Roundtable on ”Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life across the Border of Settler States,” by Audra Simpson and ”Red Skins, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition,” by Glen Coulthard
    • Chairs: Kevin Bruyneel and Rita Dhamoon
    • Discussants: Jane Gordon, Duncan Ivison, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark



  • Animals, Abolition, and Activism
      • Sean Parson – “For Truth, Justice and Animal Liberation?: Untangling the difficulties in constructing an animal abolitionist superhero in Grant Morrison’s Animal Man”
      • Amanda Zeddy and Brian Lovato – “Abolition, Not Advocacy: America’s Wild Horses and the Politics of Solidarity”
      • Emily Howard – “Thinking like a Wolf: Animal agency in the biopolitical apparatus and in popular imagination”
      • Adalet Begum – “Forensic Evidence: Trust and Testimony in ‘New Materialisms’”
      • Chair and Discussant: Judith Grant
  • Interdependent Epistemologies of Critical Animal Studies
      • Carrie Daneilson – “Decolonizing Knowledge and Food”
      • Carissa Tsosie – “Food In(ter)dependence as Indigenous Sovereignty”
      • Mara Pfeffer – “Decolonizing Total Liberation”
      • Bethany Richter – “Bodies in Resistance”
      • Discussants: Carrie Daneilson, Carissa Tsosie, Mara Pfeffer, and Bethany Richter
  • Prison Abolition
      • Steve Martinot – “The US prison system and the prison abolition movement”
      • Tommy Curry – “Lost in a Kiss? Using Eldridge Cleaver’s Book of Lives, James Baldwin’s ‘Going to Meet the Man’, and the Rape of Willie McGee”
      • Christopher Berk – “On Self-Governance: Participation in Prisons, Asylums, and Boarding Schools”
      • Wendy Wright and Mark Sanders – “The Prison and the Battlefield: Technologies of Control and the Rise of Crisis Policing”
      • Sarah Pemberton – “Abolishing carceral mentalities”
      • Chair and Discussants TBA
  • Riots and Rebellions
    • Jason Smith – “From Riots to Insurrection”
    • George Ciccariello-Maher – “The Politics of Riots and Revolution”
    • Chaz Briscoe – “The White Response to Mike Brown”
    • Kirstine Taylor – “Racial Innocence, Racial Rebellion, and the Politics of Risk”
    • Discussion facilitator: Wendy Wright

Conditional Acceptance

My article, tentatively titled “New Forces of Resistance: Multiplicities, Intersectionalities, and Marxist Theory”, has been accepted subject to revisions by Rethinking Marxism. The reviewers comments were very helpful and will hopefully assist in sharpening my argument. Abstract below:

One criticism of Marxism, as advanced by post-Marxist critics Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, is that, around the turn of the twentieth century, working class fragmentation forced an unresolvable crisis upon Marxist theory and practice.  This crisis revolves around Marxist theory’s notion of the working class as the revolutionary subject and the problem that arises when this notion fails to materialize in the real world. While taking this criticism seriously, I also explore the question of whether or not this crisis is in fact unresolvable and inherent to Marxist theory as such. This is accomplished by turning to the thought of two non-academic, Marxist thinkers, C. L. R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya. Ultimately, this article points toward possible alternative conceptions of Marxism’s revolutionary subject(s).