Reviewing the progress of the World Social Forum

The Colloquium on the Global South, based at York University, will present a seminar titled “The World Social Forum  – Five Years Later: Developments, Debates and Dilemmas” by Professor Janet Conway of Ryerson University. The seminar will take place Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 2:30 to 4:30pm in Room 341, Bethune College, Keele Campus.

The World Social Forum (WSF) is an annual meeting held by members of the alternative globalization movement to coordinate world campaigns, share and refine organizing strategies, and inform each other about movements from around the world and around many different issues. Conway will offer a historical overview of the WSF since its inception in Brazil in January, 2001, and will elaborate on the social forum as a political form and methodology, and its transformations over time. She will pay particular attention to the presence and significance of women/feminism, indigenous movements and non-Western discourses in the developments to date. She will also touch on major debates over the forum as “space” vs. the forum as “movement” and controversies over the governance of the process.

Conway teaches in social movements, feminism, and democratic theory in the Politics Department at Ryerson University. She is the author of Identity, Place, Knowledge: Social Movements Contesting Globalization (Fernwood Publishing, 2004). She is a long-time activist, most recently as an organizer of the Toronto Social Forum. Conway is currently engaged in a three-year research project entitled “The World Social Forum: Towards a New Democratic Imaginary.” For more information about this presentation and other events visit the Colloquium on the Global South Web site.

The Colloquium on the Global South provides an open space for debate and critical inquiry for students, faculty members, NGOs, social activists, and policy makers. It is presented by the University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS) at York University. Admission is free and no pre-registration is required. For more information e-mail Rhonda Dynes at or call ext. 55737.