Every year since 1991, York University has hosted the International Political Economy and Ecology (IPEE) Summer School organized by the Department of Geography, the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change. Professor Leo Panitch of the Department of Politics, who passed away in late 2020, was among the founders of the IPEE Summer School, an event that presents a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for graduate students at York – but also for students and activists across Canada and beyond – to investigate a salient issue within the field of political economy and ecology.
This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the IPEE Summer School at York University, which will feature a dynamic panel of artists and scholars exploring social, political, historical and cultural topics. This year’s guest professor for the seminar titled “Freedom Dreams: Approaching the Transnational Political Economy of Race” is Robin Davis Gibran Kelley, a Distinguished Professor of History and the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. In addition to Kelley, a number of prominent scholars of the global political economy of race will be giving presentations that will be recorded for public viewing, including Himani Bannerji (York), Tony Bogues (Brown University), Glen Coulthard (University of British Columbia), Andrea Davis (York), Vijay Prashad (Tricontinental Institute), Rhoda Reddock (University of the West Indies) and Alissa Trotz (University of Toronto).
On Reparations and Decolonization
On June 29 at 7:30 p.m., Kelley will give a public lecture via Zoom, titled “On Reparations and Decolonization.” Troubled by how the current discourse or “plans” for reparations do not, for the most part, challenge the terms of racial capitalism, Kelley will revisit the question of reparations, which he examined in his book Freedom Dreams two decades ago. Following a brief discussion of the history of reparations movements, he will explore how, as the reparations movement becomes legitimized, its scope may be narrowed to be consistent with neoliberal thinking and capitalism, including the logic of property rights and compensation without radical transformation. As such, reparations discourse may exclude Indigenous dispossession, potentially derailing struggles for decolonization. He will also explore the meaning of decolonization and the larger question of repair: What is required to reverse 500-plus years of history and to make a new world? How may we think of reparations and decolonization as processes complimentary to one another, rather than at odds?
This event is free and all are welcome to attend. To register, visit yorku.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcvdOmpqzsuHt1PmfHjTFr5SLq2ReJl7DrX.
Visualizing Freedom Dreams
On July 8 at noon, join Kelley, whose book Freedom Dreams explores the Black radical imagination, in conversation via Zoom with Ghanaian British filmmaker and artist John Akomfrah, creator of Vertigo Sea – a stunning meditation on the whaling industry, the slave trade and the current migrant crisis – and Canadian multidisciplinary artist Bushra Junaid, whose piece Two Pretty Girls… brings to life the entanglements between Newfoundland and the legacies of plantation.
In a public dialogue titled “Visualizing Freedom Dreams,” moderated by Julie Crooks, head of the department of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), they will explore what it means to visualize freedom dreams, placing their own contemporary work in dialogue with historical images contained in the Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs recently acquired by the AGO.
This free event is produced in partnership with the AGO and the Montgomery Collection. All are welcome to attend. To register, visit ago.ca/events/art-spotlight-visualizing-freedom-dreams.
For more information about the IPEE Summer School, visit political-science.gradstudies.yorku.ca/ipee-summer-school.