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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 12, 2006
Latest Update: January 12, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Call for Papers on Collective Activism in Social Justice

What makes together? notes on the life of political collectivities CASAZine #3: Borders, Markets, Movements

"Through the work of listening to others, of hearing the force of their pain and the energy of their anger, of learning to be surprised by all that one feels oneself to be against; through all of this, a ‘we’ is formed and an attachment is made." -Sarah Ahmed

The focus of this issue emerges from the 2005 Cultural Analysis Summer Academy (CASA) international meeting in Amsterdam organized around the themes of “Borders, Markets and Movements”. CASA addressed a variety of topics from immigration policy to working conditions to the democratization of education. What united this wide range of interests was a commitment to raising questions of social responsibility, along with a desire for collective analyses and collective solutions for confronting and countering oppressions.

From this shared commitment, CASA 2005 became a space for telling stories of our political successes and failures in organizing, of our hopes and yearnings for a more just world, as well as of our daily negotiations with both privilege and marginalization in the places where we work and live. The conversations, narratives and anecdotes exchanged at CASA reflect broader issues that people working toward social justice consider in everyday life.

Call for Papers

Editors of what makes together?, the 3rd issue of CASAZine, invite proposals that investigate the commitments, relationships and attachments involved in working collectively. We seek experiential writing that critically reflects upon issues of the political, ethical and emotional labour involved in imagining, enacting and sustaining political collectivities that work toward the creation of social justice.

Whether engaged in solidarity projects seeking justice for refugees, localized struggles for worker’s rights or international movement building around democratized education, all of this political organizing demands constant and critical reflection regarding the processes of working collectively to enact social change.

Focused on what we can gather from listening to each other, we envision this collection as an “ethics of tactics” rather than a guidebook or instruction manual. Instead of telling each other what to do, we see this ethics of tactics as an opening to what each other has to tell, and as a proper listening that can create the force and formation of a ‘we’. Toward this aim, we seek writing that interrogates and expands upon questions such as:

  • How does the collective emerge?
  • What are the dangers of romanticizing the ‘birth of the collective’?
  • What is it that holds people together in a collective?
  • How do we think of our commitments and attachments to a collective?
  • How do our political investments shape our participation in collective resistance?
  • How is our investment in the collective different from our commitments and attachments to our cause?

  • How can we better address and incorporate the failures of our organizing?
  • How do we assess conflict and communication failure?
  • How does critique function in the collective?
  • How do we create spaces for the cross-pollination of knowledges and tactics?
  • What kinds of responsibilities do we ‘voluntarily’ take on and what kinds of stresses can and does this produce?
  • What kinds of conditions can and do we endure for the sustained existence of the collective?
  • How do obligations form and arise?
  • How do the bureaucratic structures we critique in other social institutions creep into our own organizing?

  • What happens when a collective member inserts something ‘new’?
  • What is the importance of spontaneity in collective organizing?
  • What kinds of new languages can and do creative tactics and strategies generate in collectivities?
  • What is the role of pleasure and desire in collective politics?
  • What can we learn from the energy and occurrences that escape the plans of our actions?
  • How do we generate collective resistance that is both hard and joyful?
  • What does it mean to leave a collective?

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be between 500-3,000 words. We are open to various writing styles and encourage creativity and experimental forms.

Send email queries and submissions (as Word documents) to

Deadline: Feb 15th, 2006


CASA offers a platform for people to discuss and combine efforts and information working towards social transformation. For more information on CASA 2005 Borders, Markets, Movements and to find out about the summer meeting CASA 2006: Constructing Social Change go to

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