Talk explores how the Landless Workers Movement transformed Brazilian education

Over the past 35 years the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the largest social movements in Latin America, has become famous globally for its success in occupying land, winning land rights and developing alternative economic enterprises for over a million landless workers. The movement has also linked education reform to its vision for agrarian reform by developing pedagogical practices for schools that foster activism, direct democracy, and collective forms of work.

Rebecca Tarlau
Rebecca Tarlau

On Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., guest presenter Rebecca Tarlau will present a lecture titled “Occupying Schools, Occupying Land.” In her presentation, Tarlau will explore how MST activists have pressured municipalities, states and the federal government of Brazil to implement their educational program in public schools and universities, affecting hundreds of thousands of students. Contrary to the belief that movements cannot engage the state without demobilizing, Tarlau shows how educational institutions can help movements recruit new activists, diversify their membership, increase technical knowledge and garner political power.

Tarlau’s lecture, which is part of the Global Labour Speaker Series, will take place in Room 626, Kaneff Tower and is free and open to the public.

Tarlau is an assistant professor of education and labor and employment relations at the Pennsylvania State University, affiliated with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Comparative and International Education program and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. She is the author of the book Occupying Schools, Occupying Land (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Her ethnographic research agenda has three broad areas of focus: the theories of the state and state-society relations; social movements, critical pedagogy, and learning; and Latin American education and development.

For more information:

The Global Labour Speaker Series is organized by the Global Labour Research Centre at York University and is co-sponsored by the School of Social Work, Faculty of Education, Department of Equity Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Department of Geography, Social and Political Thought Program, Department of Philosophy, Department of History, Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law program, Department of Politics, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Department of Social Science and the School of Human Resource Management.