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Learning As Rebellion: Resisting Right-Wing Attacks on Higher Ed Across the Americas

From Brazil to Puerto Rico to the United States, conservative politicians have set their sights on schools as key ideological battlegrounds. And when vulnerable students and scholars are targeted for their identities and/or politics, universities often fail to protect them for fear of alienating donors or powerful political allies. What can we do to fight back and protect one another?

As right-wing forces work to dismantle accessible education and limit academic freedom in countries across the Americas, join us for a virtual roundtable inspired by Lorgia García Peña’s recent book, Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color. In conversation with García Peña, scholar-activists Luciana Brito and Geo Maher, with moderation by Marisol LeBrón, will discuss the recent wave of attacks on education across the Americas and envision how to build liberatory spaces of learning and transformation.


Luciana Brito is a historian and professor at the Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia-Brasil, specializing in the history of slavery and abolition in Brazil and the United States. She is member of the Executive committee of ASWAD (Association for the Worldwide Diaspora), is columnist of Nexo Jornal and has been publishing a lot of academic and non-academic articles about race, gender, class and inequality in the Americas. She is the author of the book Fears of Africa: Security, Legislation and African Population in 19th Century Bahia. Instagram: @lucianabritohistoria

Marisol LeBrón is associate professor in Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is author of Against Muerto Rico: Lessons from the Verano Boricua/Contra Muerto Rico: Lecciones del Verano Boricua (Editora Educación Emergente, 2021) and Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (University of California Press, 2019) and co-editor of Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm (Haymarket Books, 2019).

Geo Maher is a Philadelphia-based writer and organizer, and Visiting Associate Professor of Global Political Thought at Vassar College. He has taught previously at Drexel University, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas, and has held visiting positions at the College of William and Mary's Decolonizing Humanities Project, NYU's Hemispheric Institute, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He his co-editor of the Duke University Press series Radical Américas and author of five books: We Created Chávez (Duke, 2013), Building the Commune (Verso, 2016), Decolonizing Dialectics (Duke, 2017), A World Without Police (Verso, 2021), and Anticolonial Eruptions (University of California, 2022).

Lorgia García Peña is the author of Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color and is a first generation Latinx Studies scholar. Dr. García Peña is the Mellon Associate Professor of Race, Colonialism and Diaspora Studies at Tufts University and a Casey Foundation 2021 Freedom Scholar. She studies global Blackness, colonialism, migration and diaspora with a special focus on Black Latinidad. Dr. García Peña is the co-founder of Freedom University Georgia and of Archives of Justice (Milan-Boston).

This event is sponsored by Haymarket Books and NACLA. While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of our important publishing and programming work.

  • Community as Rebellion

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