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From Chicago to Caracas: Framing education as a liberatory practice to end...

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Kimmel Center For University LIfe

60 Washington Square South New York, New York 10012

CMEP Lounge Room 804/805

New York, NY 10012

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The French Marxist Louis Althusser theorizes the State as an apparatus of powerful interests, used to dominate the masses into subservience or annihilation through systems of social repression: surveillance, legal prosecution, police and vigilante violence, incarceration, and military intervention. For Althusser, this weaponization of the State against its very people operates on the level of ideology, or what he sees as “the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.” Ideologies do not exist in the form of “ideas,” but rather in the scripts of behavior governed by their dispositions within material existence. That is, "every ‘subject' endowed with a ‘consciousness’ and believing in the ‘ideas' that his ‘consciousness’ inspires in him freely accepts, must act according to his ideas.” Thus, the space where sanctioned violence is maintained by State is between subject and consciousness, belief and practice, shaped fundamentally in the mind.


If Althusser is right, there can be no policy solution resolving the current crises of state-sanctioned violence aimed at vulnerable people around the globe until there is an education solution. Students in the next generation, as they learn to challenge the oppressions that link the violence sweeping through Chicago to the violence erupting in Caracas, will need to learn to tackle society’s most pressing issues, giving educators the critical task of preparing and empowering them to make positive social change. In this event, we focus on bringing light to the struggles of human suffering at the hands of the State (both in the U.S. and in Latin America), centering the platform of education as crisis intervention--a tool to raise awareness of global issues where educators and their students become positioned as agents for peacebuilding.

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. David E. Kirkland, Executive Director, NYU Metro Center
  • DeRay McKesson, Host, Pod Save The People
  • Dr. Alejandro Velasco, Associate Professor of Modern Latin American History, NYU
    • María Ignacia Curiel, PhD student of Political Science, NYU
  • Pamela D'Andrea Montalbano, Research Associate, NYU Metro Center

#chicagotocaracas

#chicagotocaracas

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Kimmel Center For University LIfe

60 Washington Square South New York, New York 10012

CMEP Lounge Room 804/805

New York, NY 10012

View Map

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