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Dissent in Disruptive Times: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Rise (and Fall) of the American Empire

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A discussion with Zachariah Mampilly, Marxe Endowed Chair of International Affairs, CUNY

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Professor Mampilly will discuss W.E.B. Du Bois’s work in the first part of the 20th century during the period of America’s rise onto the global stage and Du Bois’s legacy in an era when the US is no longer uncontested globally. He will address the current wave of global uprisings and look to past writings by figures like DuBois and others across the Third World for ways to understand the current moment. Professor Mampilly argues that those figures were uniquely situated to answer the question of “Who is the revolutionary class today?”. He will further explore this question by looking at how the current phase of global capitalism is shifting the context away from traditional liberal (Middle Class) and Marxist (Proletariat) modes of political change.



Zachariah Mampilly is the Marxe Endowed Chair of International Affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, CUNY and a member of the doctoral faculty in the Department of Political Science at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the Co-Founder of the Program on African Social Research.

Previously, he was Professor of Political Science and Director of the Africana Studies Program at Vassar College. In 2012/2013, he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

He is the author of Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War (Cornell U. Press 2011) and with Adam Branch, Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (African Arguments, Zed Press 2015). He is the co-editor of Rebel Governance in Civil Wars (Cambridge U. Press 2015) with Ana Arjona and Nelson Kasfir; and Peacemaking: From Practice to Theory (Praeger 2011) with Andrea Bartoli and Susan Allen Nan. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Jacobin, The Hindu, Africa's a Country, N+1, Dissent, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and elsewhere.

He has held fellowships with the Institute for Advanced Study (New Jersey), the Open Society Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Fulbright Program.



Kal Raustiala holds the Promise Institute Chair in Comparative and International Law at UCLA Law School and is a Professor at the UCLA International Institute, where he teaches in the Program on Global Studies. Since 2007 he has served as Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. From 2012-2015 he was UCLA’s Associate Vice Provost for International Studies and Faculty Director of the International Education Office. Professor Raustiala's research focuses on international law, international relations, and intellectual property. He is currently writing a biography of the late UN diplomat, civil rights figure, and UCLA alum Ralph Bunche for Oxford University Press.