University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Antifascism and Everyday Life

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
10:30am – 12:00pm

Storrs Campus
Austin, Stern Lounge

President Trump’s responses to the violence at Charlottesville highlighted how his presidency has normalized white supremacist mobilizations that observers thought impossible in the United States. In so doing, he also unwittingly brought another European import into mainstream U.S. political discourse: antifascism.

Antifascism is a set of politics directed at stopping the mobilizations of far right, but not in a way that restores the status quo. In attempting to seize fascism “by the roots” and create an antiracist, economically equal, and feminist democracy in its wake, it aims to create a new world in spaces reclaimed from the extreme right.

Sponsored by the UConn Campus Antifascist Network, this panel seeks to illuminate what antifascism can contribute to a broader campaign against racism. What is the relationship between racism – an everyday structure in liberal democracies – and the organized racism of fascism? How can a politics directed against the most extreme manifestations of racism alleviate the day-to-day experiences of racism faced by people of color? Such questions will be tailored to the college campus, a primary recruiting ground for the alt-right.

The panelists will be Chris Vials (Associate Professor, English), Jerry Phillips (Associate Professor, English), Bre Leake (Graduate Employee, English), and Fred Lee (Assistant Professor, Political Science). Vials will discuss the history of antifascism in the United States. Phillips will narrate the intimidation he experienced by the National Front in Britain as a son of immigrants, and the lessons he learned about appropriate and ethical responses to the far right. Leake will discuss antifascist pedagogy, while Lee will further outline the contours of an everyday antifascism.


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