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January 21, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Join us for an online book launch for Teaching the Actuality of Revolution: Aesthetics, Unlearning, and the Sensations of Struggle, with author Derek R. Ford. Exploring the nexus between aesthetics, pedagogy, and politics illustrates the central role education plays in reproducing injustice and inhibiting confidence in revolutionary struggle. Demonstrating how capitalism and its attendant forms of oppression are not merely cognitive but perceptual, Ford proposes that revolutionary education demands the production of aesthetic experiences through which we sense the possibility and actuality of alternative worlds. To create such encounters, they develop a praxis of teaching and a pedagogy of unlearning that, in our current conjuncture, creates conditions for encountering what Jennifer Ponce de León calls “an other aesthetics.” Mapping contemporary capital as a perceptual ecology of structures, social relations, beliefs, and feelings, Teaching the Actuality of Revolution provides an extensive new set of concepts, practices, and readings for revolutionaries to better plan, enact, reflect on, and refine our organizing efforts. Derek will be joined in conversation with political scholars and organizers Jennifer Ponce de León, Summer Pappachen, Gabriel Rockhill, Michelle Kurta, and Kym Smith. You can purchase or download the book here: https://www.iskrabooks.org/teaching-the-actuality.
Jennifer Ponce de León is an organizer and interdisciplinary scholar who works across studies of contemporary visual arts, literature, and performance; transnational Latinx and Latin American studies; and Marxist aesthetics and social theory, including anticolonial and postcolonial thought. She is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania where she is also faculty in Latin American and Latinx Studies and Comparative Literature and affiliated faculty in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and Cinema Studies. She is the author of Another Aesthetics is Possible: Arts of Rebellion in the Fourth World War.
Summer Pappachen is a second year PhD student at Northwestern University. She studies and teaches in political theory and international political economy, and researches in feminist theory and critical race theory. She has also written for Liberation School and Breaking the Chains magazine, and recently published a book chapter in Bioinformational Philosophy and Postdigital Knowledge Ecologies. Summer organizes with the Ana For Ward 45 campaign in Chicago, where they are fighting against police brutality, fascism, and corruption.
Gabriel Rockhill is a philosopher, cultural critic and activist. He is the Founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique and Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. He has published nine books, as well as numerous scholarly and journalistic articles, including most recently Contre-histoire du temps present (2017; available in English as Counter-History of the Present), Interventions in Contemporary Thought (2016), and Radical History & the Politics of Art  (2014). For more information: https://gabrielrockhill.com.
Kym Smith is a mom, popular educator, organizer,  cultural worker, southern scholar, trekkie and up and coming theologian. Born and raised in West Columbia, South Carolina, Kym loves reading, studying and learning and redefining what and who is an intellectual and what’s considered theory.
Michelle Kurta is an educator, facilitator, and new mother working in the dynamic intersections between teaching/learning, healing, and liberation. Through her current collaborative project of Meaning Makers Collective, Michelle engages and amplifies insights and practices for disrupting the explicit and unconscious patterns of systemic inequity and attending to the wisdom of our bodies in service of personal and collective healing and transformation. Michelle earned a BA in Peace Studies from Goucher College, a Masters degree in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and an M.Ed in Urban Education and Single-subject Teaching Credential from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program. Michelle taught Language Arts at the School for Visual Arts and Humanities in the LAUSD and has worked as a peer coach and facilitator of trauma informed and healing centered practices with K-12 educators.
Derek R. Ford is a teacher, educational theorist, and organizer currently working as an associate professor of education studies at DePauw University. They’ve authored 8 books, including Encountering Education: Elements for a Marxist Pedagogy and Politics and Pedagogy in the “Post-Truth” Era: Insurgent Philosophy and Praxis. In addition to their popular writing, which has appeared in outlets such as Black Agenda Report, Monthly Review, and Orinoco Tribune, they hosted the podcast series, Reading Capital with Comrades. Ford is the editor of Liberation School and associate editor of Postdigital Science and Education, as well as an organizer with the Indianapolis Liberation Center and ANSWER Coalition.
Maia Villalba (she, they) is a 21-year-old Chinese Cuban communist, organizer, and abolitionist from Lower Manhattan. At New York University, she concentrates in Social and Cultural Analysis at the College of Arts and Sciences and serves as the President of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Positive Club (SRH+). As an organizer, she develops political education and cultural programming to cultivate solidarity between the New York City community and the Young Lordes Collective, a local youth organization working at the intersection between activism and artistry. Featured in Vogue, Nowness, and Peace, Land, and Bread, Maia is a budding voice of contemporary communist scholarship from the Marxist-Leninist perspective. In her most recent work, Wretched Women: A Manifesto on Abolition, Anti-Globalization, and the International Struggle for the Commons, she exposes the dark underbelly of global corporate development and explains how social practices, acts of provisioning, and forms of peer governance offer practical tools of resistance against the forces of late stage capitalism. Her manifesto is set for publication by Iskra Books in 2023.
Co-sponsored by The Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique, The Hampton Institute, The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, The People’s Forum/1804 Books, Iskra Books, Midnight Books, and May Day Books.


January 21, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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