Collective Action—An Obermann Conversation

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Iowa City Public Library
Linn Street
Iowa City, IA 52242

The term collective action gets a lot of airplay in these politically charged times, but what is it and how does it differ from an individual action, or a mere adding-up of many individual actions (e.g., everyone switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs)? If the difference is to be spelled out in terms of shared intention, what makes an intention shared as opposed to merely similar? In what way can we do things together and still have individuals who remain free, autonomous, and un-coerced? And if doing things together is so important, then how do we teach it?

Speakers will include Jennifer Kayle (Dance, CLAS), Ali Hasan (Philosophy, CLAS), local climate change activist Peter Rolnick, and activist scholar Damita Brown.

Jennifer Kayle is an associate professor and co-director of the MFA program in the UI Department of Dance. Her choreography is deeply informed by collaborative process as a form of collective knowledge-production. Together with The Architects, she is founder of Movement Intensive in Compositional Improvisation, a professional laboratory dedicated to ensemble improvisation. Her creative research examines issues of power, equity, and liberty. 

Ali Hasan is an associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Philosophy. His research and teaching interests include epistemology, philosophy of mind, and early modern philosophy with an emphasis on issues related to perception and perceptual knowledge. He is also interested in ethics, including such topics as moral epistemology, ethical intuitionism, and the ethics of belief. 

Peter Rolnick co-leads the Iowa City Climate Advocates, the Iowa City Chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby.  He is a professor emeritus of physics at Truman State University, as well as a musician. 

Damita Brown has been involved in social change for most of her adult life as an activist scholar interested in the relationship between identity and social agency. She currently serves as the founding director of Midwest Telegraph, which is dedicated to building community-based cooperation dedicated to challenging injustice and the undue influence of corporate media. Her Urban Retreats promote grassroots civil engagement, leadership skills, and the protection of democratic rights. She is an Iowa native, artist, and freelance writer for the Iowa City Press-Citizen

Co-sponsored by Little Village and the Iowa City Public Library