Renewing Radical Scholarship Conference

MAY 27-29, 2011

It is hardly worth repeating that the “end of history,” announced with much fanfare, has not transpired. On the contrary, perhaps more than at any other time for a generation, history is announcing to the world that it is alive and well, and that it refuses to be ignored: on the one hand, chronic economic crisis, the evisceration of the modern welfare state, increased exploitation, and impending environmental catastrophe; and on the other, a wave of pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East, spirited resistance against neoliberalism and austerity in Europe, and the potential rebirth of the labor movement in the American Midwest. These trends, among others, place new demands on – and offer new opportunities for – social scientific inquiry. Scholarship, as the old maxim goes, must always try to be as radical as reality itself.

In recognition of these demands and opportunities, and also of the need to build lasting connections and networks among radical thinkers, graduate students at UW-Madison and NYU have organized the RENEWING RADICAL SCHOLARSHIP conference. The conference will be held on the weekend of May 27-29, 2011 at Upham Woods, a beautiful retreat owned by the University of Wisconsin on the Wisconsin River north of Wisconsin Dells. The conference also serves as the capstone event to a year-long series (Renewing Socialism for the 21st Century: Alternatives to Capitalism and How To Get There) organized by Sociology graduate students at UW in conjunction with the Havens Center, which brought radical scholars to campus to engage in dialogue about how the core ideas of socialism might inform a new generation’s challenge to capitalist crisis, exploitation, oppression and violence. We invite interested graduate students and researchers to take part in Renewing Radical Scholarship.

Relevant scholarship will facilitate broad discussion of radical debates, strategy, and social science. Relevant themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • Development and changes in the welfare state
  • States and economic development
  • Social movements and resistance
  • The Social Economy
  • Theories of race and racial stratification
  • Economic restructuring and economic crises

Much of the conference will be organized around the on-going research of the graduate students participating in the event. Anyone interested in presenting their research at the conference should contact Patrick Barrett at before April 25, 2011. Abstracts for individual papers should be between 250 and 500 words, including the names, positions, affiliations and contact details of all contributors.

If you would like to attend the conference, whether you plan to present a paper or not, please send an email to Patrick Barrett at The cost of the conference is $80. This includes conference registration, seven meals, two nights lodging, and canoing and other recreational activities. Attendees who will be flying to Madison will have their costs substantially subsidized (and perhaps waived entirely depending on the availability of funds). Spouses/partners and children are also welcome to come for the weekend – there are nice activities in the area for children while the workshop will be in session. For more information on Upham Woods, please visit the following link: Upham Woods.

Additional information will be made available soon.

We look forward to seeing you at the Renewing Radical Scholarship conference.