The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies will look at the roots of the Occupy movement, the Wisconsin 2011 political protests, and other activist movements on Friday, April 13. The “Pre-Occupy Symposium” will start at 1:30 p.m. in room 175, Curtin Hall, 3234 N. Downer Ave.
Presentations will discuss how Oakland’s Oscar Grant protests and the 2011 protests in Wisconsin contributed tactics, sites and momentum to the Occupy movement, including Occupy Wall Street. Grant was an unarmed black man shot by a white Oakland transit police officer on Jan. 1, 2009. His shooting was a catalyst for political action – riots, protests and the building of activist coalitions – some of which continue to this day, according to conference organizers.
Presenters are George Ciccariello- Maher, professor of history and politics at Drexel University; Joshua Clover, professor of English at the University of California, Davis; and Dan S. Wang, professor of fine art at Columbia College.
Ciccariello-Maher’s talk, “From Oscar Grant to Occupy: The Long Arc of Rebellion in Oakland,” will address how Oakland became a central site in the Occupy movement. He has published in CounterPunch, MRZine, ZNet, Venezuela Analysis, AlterNet, MediaLeft, the San Francisco Bay View and WireTap magazine, as well as in academic journals.
Clover will look at how Occupy Oakland differed from earlier Occupation movements in California. Clover is a scholar, poet, cultural critic and contributor to The New York Times Book Review and The Nation. He will give a poetry reading the following day, Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E. Locust St.
Wang will reflect on how the Wisconsin protests helped accelerate the Occupy movement. He is a writer, artist, activist and printer who has given lectures at the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore), Kansas City Art Institute, Salzburger Kunstverein (Salzburg, Austria), Art Institute of Chicago, Depot for Kunst and Diskussion (Vienna), Documenta 12 (Kassel, Germany), Wuhan University and the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing).
There will be time for discussion and questions after the presentations. The event is free and open to the public.