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2nd Biennial Conference of Activist Scholars


East Side Freedom Library, Saint Paul, Minnesota


The East Side Freedom Library (see strives to be a space
where such knowledge can be produced, shared, and deployed. Our mission is to inspire
solidarity, advocate for justice, and work towards equity for all. ESFL has collected and
cataloged 20,000 books on the histories of labor, immigrants, and LGBTQIA and feminist
experiences, popular education and the arts, and the ways these stories have been told in poetry,
fiction, theater, visual art, and more. We are also in a partnership with the Hmong Archives. We
have become an educational and cultural gathering place, where students and scholars use our
resources and participate in our programs, and where members of diverse communities build
bridges with each other.
The East Side Freedom Library invites to send proposals for presentations of all sorts – papers, panels, poetry, video,
performances, workshops – through which you are able to share your practice of activist
scholarship. All fields are welcome. Keep in mind that you will be presenting to an engaged
audience of activists, academics, NGO workers, artists, librarians, and community learners. We
will not host simultaneous sessions, so that all participants can share their work and ideas

The East Side Freedom Library considers activist scholarship to include:

  • University and community based research that offers critical perspective and/or actionable
    knowledge on issues of social equity, the climate emergency, and racial justice.
  • Knowledge generated through direct student and faculty engagement with labor, community,
    identity, and issue-based and social movement organizations.
  • Community-based and participatory research that involves workers, immigrants, LGBTQIA,
    and communities in the definition and redress of critical social issues.
  • Pedagogical strategies that engage students in critical reflection and open dialogue on key
    social issues and developments.
  • Theater, dance, poetry, spoken word, and other forms of artistic presentation that explore, express and embody social agency and human dignity.
  • Creation of public forums and spaces for critical dialogue on issues of social, racial, and economic equity.

The East Side Freedom Library imagine that proposals might address:

  •  U.S. and international case studies of im/migration flows, perils, and resistance;
  • Transnational, multi-lingual networks against fascism;
  •  New analyses and strategies of climate emergency activists;
  •  Alternative formations and solidarities in labor organizing and workplace actions;
  •  How to expand shrinking bandwidth for structural/systemic analyses in the noise of celebrity
  •  Instances, community-building benefits and/or tactics of arts activism;
  • Historical instances of taking on Goliath, with lessons for today;
  •  Reports from slow, local, lazy, non-aligned, and other refusenik movements;
  •  Contingent labor, precarious labor, and other forms
  •  Public Health projects
  •  Science for the People project
  •  And many others


Please send 250 word proposals for your presentations, as individuals or as groups, to Include short presenter bios. Send by October 15, 2019. You
will hear from The East Side Freedom Library by December 1.

The East Side Freedom Library is working on raising funds so that it can subsidize
travel and lodging for participants who need it. 

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