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Thu, Nov 02

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Location is TBD

Roundtable Discussion: Paths Toward an Ethics of Solidarity in Participatory Action Research

The qualitative research team for the Reshaping Prosecution Initiative has organized a roundtable on Participatory Action Research for the upcoming American Studies Association Conference in Montreal on Nov. 2nd  from 12 pm-1:40 pm.

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Roundtable Discussion: Paths Toward an Ethics of Solidarity in Participatory Action Research
Roundtable Discussion: Paths Toward an Ethics of Solidarity in Participatory Action Research

Time & Location

Nov 02, 2023, 12:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. EDT

Location is TBD

About the Event

Paths Toward an Ethics of Solidarity in Participatory Action Research

Thu, November 2, 12:00 to 1:40pm, TBA

Session Submission Type: Non-Paper Session: Roundtable Format

Abstract This panel’s theme examines the limitations and possibilities for abolitionist praxis in Participatory Action Research (Lawson et al. 2015), or PAR, when conducted within the confines of neoliberal institutions and the shadow state (INCITE! 2007). Non-profit (Zhandarka and Jarrod 2021) and academic institutions (Harney and Moton 2013; Meyerhoff 2019) that claim to be the authorities on addressing the various social, political, and economic injustices of our time often coopt or outright reject the language of abolition in piecemeal reform efforts that perpetuate forms of coercive violence that target poor, racialized, and minoritized populations thus maintaining and expanding regimes of neoliberal governance (e.g. mass incarceration, gentrification, mass deportation, land/resource privatization, medical apartheid, etc.). Under the legitimizing guise of neoliberal progressivism, their political and capital interests are protected. This roundtable represents a growing number of researchers, scholar-activists, and PAR practitioners who, by using PAR in their work, seek to shift power to marginalized communities through PAR’s collaborative and democratizing nature. It gives attention to power, privilege, and vulnerabilities in research that can nurture and expand abolitionist modes of knowledge production. Through doing research not on people but in reciprocity with people, PAR presents an opportunity for solidarity, redistribution of resources and redefinition of established narratives that reinforce the social order of racial capitalism. But what are the limitations of PAR when funded by neoliberal institutions (e.g. universities, non-profits, foundations, etc.)? Furthermore, how does a PAR practitioner’s proximity to research communities (Miller 2021) – who might be neighbors, friends, family members, lovers, political allies, etc. – complicate the relational ethics of PAR work that are inherently hierarchical? How are we answerable to the experience of both structural and interpersonal harm that continues to thrive under traditional research and unethical PAR practices? How do we more effectively shift ownership and control of the master’s tools to the marginalized communities who are the true experts and authorities on their lives and crafting solutions toward liberatory futures? Members of this roundtable will share and grapple with their attempts, failures, and successes of confronting and resisting the harms of the neoliberal institutions from which they conduct their work and what solidarity can look like through PAR. Longing to be not just researchers but co-conspirators, we seek to define an abolitionist politic of love within the context of community-centered research. Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2013. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (Ed). 2007. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. Cambridge: South End Press. Lawson, Hal A., James C. Caringi, Loretta Pyles, Janine M. Jurkowski, and Christine T. Bozlak. 2015. Participatory Action Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Meyerhoff, Eli. 2019. Beyond Education: Radical Studying for Another World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Miller, Reuben Jonathan. 2021. Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Zhandarka, Kurti, and Shanahan Jarrod. 2021. "Carceral Non-Profits and the Limits of Prison Reform." ACME an international e-journal for critical geographies, 20 (6):597-617.

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