cover of book

Bridging Scholarship and Activism: Reflections from the Frontlines of Collaborative Research
edited by Bernd Reiter and Ulrich Oslender
Michigan State University Press, 2015
Paper: 978-1-61186-147-1 | eISBN: 978-1-60917-434-7
Library of Congress Classification HM881.B75 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 300.72

This timely book brings together activist scholars from a number of disciplines (political science, geography, sociology, anthropology, and communications) to provide new insights into a growing trend in publicly engaged research and scholarship. Bridging Scholarship and Activism creatively redefines what constitutes activism without limiting it to a narrow range of practices. Acknowledging that the current conjuncture of neoliberal globalization has created constraints on as well as possibilities for activist scholarly engagement, the book argues that racism and its intersections with gender and class oppression are salient forces to be interrogated and confronted in the predicaments and struggles activist scholarship targets. The book’s ultimate goal is to create a decolonized and democratized forum in which activist scholars from the Global South converse and cross-fertilize ideas and projects with their counterparts from the United States and other North Atlantic metropolitan-based academy. The coeditors and contributors attempt to decenter hegemonic knowledge and to create some of the necessary (if not sufficient) conditions for a more pluriversal (rather than orthodox “universal”) context for producing enabling knowledge, without the naiveté and romanticism that has characterized earlier projects in critical and radical social science.

Introduction, Ulrich Oslender and Bernd Reiter
Part One. The Promises and Pitfalls of Collaborative Research
  • Of Academic Embeddedness: Communities of Choice and How to Make Sense of Activism and Research Abroad, Bernd Reiter
  • New Shapes of Revolution, Gustavo Esteva
  • The Accidental Activist Scholar: A Memoir on Reactive Boundary and Identity Work for Social Change within the Academy, Rob Benford
  • Leaving the Field: How to Write about Disappointment and Frustration in Collaborative Research, Ulrich Oslender
  • Invisible Heroes, Eshe Lewis
Part Two. Negotiating Racialized and Gendered Positionalities
  • El Muntuen America, Manuel Zapata Olivella
  • Activism as History Making: The Collective and the Personal in Collaborative Research with the Process of Black Communities in Colombia, Arturo Escobar
  • Out of Bounds: Negotiating Researcher Positionality in Brazil, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman
  • Between Soapboxes and Shadows: Activism, Theory, and the Politics of Life and Death in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Christen A. Smith
  • State Violence and the Ethnographic Encounter: Feminist Research and Racial Embodiment, Keisha-Khan Y. Perry
  • The Challenges Resulting from Combining Scientific Production and Social-Political Activism in the Brazilian Academy, Fernando Conceição
  • The Challenge of Doing Applied/Activist Anti-Racist Anthropology in Revolutionary Cuba, Gayle L. McGarrity
  • Conclusion, Ulrich Oslender and Bernd Reiter
  • About the Authors
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