Thursday, June 4, 2020
With financial support from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Aid for Interdisciplinary Sessions Fund.
This session is inspired by Marcelo Vieta’s book, Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina: Contesting Neo-liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión (Brill, 2020, https://www.vieta.ca/newbook). The book hones in on the emergence of Argentina’s worker-recuperated enterprises, a workers’ occupy and self-management movement that surged at the turn of the millennium in the thick of the country’s neo-liberal crisis. To date, over 16,000 workers in Argentina have converted over 400 firms across its urban economy to worker cooperatives. Engaging in a collective transnational dialogue, the session considers the lessons of the Argentine case as documented in Vieta’s research for the struggle for economic justice in Black and marginalized communities, for saving and re-inventing jobs in light of the cyclical crises of neo-liberal capitalism, and for expanding the social and solidarity economy via conversions of workplaces and other community spaces to cooperatives in the global North. At the same time, the research work and theoretical approaches of Prof. Gordon Nembhard and Prof. Sitrin collectively embrace critical race theory, economic justice, social movement theory, sociological and anthropological methods, and political economy.
The session will bring these traditions into dialogue, directly and indirectly relating these traditions and approaches to the contemporary debates proposing pathways to economic democracy and socio-economic justice. The panelists will actively respond to the Prof. Vieta’s key finding from his book – that workers that struggle to convert capitalist firms to worker cooperatives not only radically transform their subjectivity and organizations, but also help create more economically inclusive local communities. Inspired by this, the panelists will collectively consider if and how similar bottom-up initiatives could take root in the global North.
This event will take place in Eastern Daylight Savings time.
- Marcelo Vieta, Assistant Professor in the Program in Adult Education and Community Development and the Collaborative Program in Workplace Learning and Social Change at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
- Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development, Chair of the Department of Africana Studies, and Director of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at John Jay College, City University of New York (CUNY)
- Marina Sitrin, Assistant Professor in the department of Sociology at SUNY Binghamton