The UCLA Center for Social Theory and Comparative History aims to encourage the development of social theory that is historically rooted and of comparative history that is theoretically informed.
The core of the Center's intellectual work is the biweekly colloquium series, which runs more or less every other Monday during the Winter and Spring quarters. Each year the colloquium series is organized around a single theme, with each session intended to build upon the previous one. The colloquia have, from the start, succeeded in attracting top scholars in the relevant fields from around the globe. In recent years, the colloquium series has focused on contemporary issues in historical context. Its themes have included: recent global social movements, the 2008 economic crisis and its after effects, and the evolving geopolitics of the post-Cold-War world.
Instead of endless military engagements, stationing of combat forces across the globe, and the deployment of economic sanctions as war by other means, what would a left US foreign policy consist of? Can radicals in the US offer a positive overseas agenda, not just critiques of militarism, imperialism, and war? In order to succeed politically, does a left-wing movement have to accept the idea of the US as “the indispensable nation”? What does the rise of far right authoritarian populist governments across the world imply for a radical US overseas strategy? Can the left provide a foreign policy agenda that actually meets the challenge of rapid climate change?
Jair Bolsonaro campaigned as a murderous, homophobic, anti-feminist, declaring open season on the organized working class, the left, and the Amazon rainforest. He won election in the wake of the shipwreck of the Workers Party (PT), after its successor presidents Lula and Dilma were forced to the sidelines. Can Bolsonaro put through a neo-liberal, politically repressive program with little popular appeal? Can the PT remake itself? Is democracy or military rule in the offing?
Since 2016, the Democratic Socialists of America has transformed itself beyond recognition. Its membership has exploded past 50,000. A dynamic far left tendency has arisen inside the Democratic Party. Half the electorate below age 35 calls itself “socialist”. But success has bred confusion. Will DSA really stay independent of the Democrats? What weight for electoral work versus labor and social movement activity? What does socialism actually mean for DSA?
The LA Teachers’ Strike was an historic moment in US labor history.
UTLA put the demands of students, parents, and the community first and won the overwhelming support of Los Angelenos. It unleashed a strike the likes of which had not been seen in decades, and won a smashing victory.
Our speakers will explain how the teachers did it and how they plan to take the struggle to the next level.