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Michael Hardt

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Thursday, January 18, 2018, 4:30-6:00pm

Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Wilder House

Please join 3CT for a lecture by Michael Hardt, in which he will use examples from past theory and practice to situate and clarify some of the issues and alternatives involved in the organization of social movements today.

We continue to witness each year the eruption of “leaderless” social movements. From North Africa and the Middle East to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia, movements have left journalists, political analysts, police forces, and governments disoriented and perplexed. Activists too have struggled to understand and evaluate the power and effectiveness of horizontal movements. Why have the movements, which express the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and a more just society? Many assume that if only social movements could find new leaders they would return to their earlier glory and be able to sustain and achieve projects of social transformation and liberation. Where, they ask, are the new Martin Luther King Jr.s, Rudi Dutschkes, Patrice Lumumbas, and Stephen Bikos?  Where have all the leaders gone?

Michael Hardt teaches at Duke University, where he is co-director of the Social Movements Lab.  He is co-author (with Antonio Negri) of the Empire trilogy (EmpireMultitude, and Commonwealth) and, most recently, Assembly. Michael Hardt also currently serves as the editor of The South Atlantic Quarterly.