LLC Graduate Student Conferences

#IntellectualActivistMovement(s): Reconnecting University Scholarship and Community Action
2nd LLC Graduate Student Conference


We are proud to report the success of the 2nd LLC Gradate Student Conference: #Intellectual Activist Movement(s): Reconnecting University Scholarship and Community Action.

At least 50 people participated in a conversation on the value of being an intellectual/activist: on lessons learned, on unanswered questions, on how changing socio-cultural landscapes interact with our work, and on what it means to be an intellectual activist in 2016 in Baltimore, the U.S., and internationally.

Each of the panels and the papers presented allowed participants to explore topics such as, promises on teaching and education, memory, the resilience and construction of communities, language, diversity, and power. These topics made attendees think about the need to constantly analyze, critique and act upon structures that maintain and separate the daily experience of individuals and communities.

At the same time, the micro-talks session allowed the audience to engage in debates about the evolving LGBT+ language in digital spaces; the untapped radical potential of Disability Studies to confront inequities of oppression in the university; the presence and action of social movements on campuses, and the reflection on how teachers are intellectual/activists in their daily labor.

Finally, our successful Art as Protest session included powerful performances that reflected upon community, race, gender, and memory. Each performance executed a critique of power, and examined ways of resistance.

Thanks to our presenters, collaborators, and attendees. This conference would not have been possible without the support from the following departments and organizations: The Language, Literacy and Culture Doctoral Program, The LLC GSO, B’PAR GSO, the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, the Department of American Studies, the Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communications Department, and the Student Life’s Mosaic: Center for Culture and Diversity.

To learn more about the conference, please visit the 2nd LLC Conference website

Some pictures taken at the conference are available here: 

“Rethinking Intellectual Activism” The 1st Annual LLC Graduate Student Conference at UMBC

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review By K.A. Wisniewski*

On April 12th, 2014, Emek Ergun and a committee of doctoral students in the Language, Literacy, and Culture PhD Program at UMBC held our first annual graduate student conference: “Rethinking Intellectual Activism.”

The conference explored the potential meanings and practical implications of “intellectual activism,” which as a political praxis of knowledge production, validation, and distribution, can take many different forms. By focusing on the notion of intellectual activism, the conference aimed to open a critical discursive space to question and re-imagine the role of the university in maintaining and/or disrupting the systems and operation of power within and through which the institution functions.

kaye_whiteheadDr. Kaye Wise Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Communications at Loyola University Maryland and graduate of the LLC program, gave an inspirational keynote talk centered around the term “magis” and asking us all, “What kind of scholar, what kind of person, do you want to be?”

Papers at the conference varied in topic from service learning and participatory action research to research on social justice movements and critical perspectives on race, gender, and ethnicity.

In addition, there were roundtables addressing issues and best practices for critical pedagogy and performances that asked attendees to reconsider not only how to talk about politics and how we live it, but, more broadly, what else can be done in the classroom (and beyond–as one dance by MICA’s OluShola Cole demonstrated by taking her dance outside of the classroom, into the atrium and finally out of the building altogether) as well as what counts as scholarship.

A complete program of the conference is available here: Intellectual Activism Conference Program.

Some pictures taken at the conference are available here (thanks to Dr. Bill Schewbridge and the New Media Studio): LLC Conference Pictures

* This review appears originally on K.A. Wisniewski’s blog