Centre for World Environmental History

Academics and Activists International Forum

The two-day workshop and public talks was held at the University of Sussex on the 12-13 September 2014

Event description

The two-day conference aimed to bring Academics and Activists from various parts of the world to join their colleagues in Europe in reflecting upon academic pursuits and forms of knowledge production, and establish working links between those working against the impacts of cuts to university budgets and increasing privatisation of services and the extractive industries, including damage to communities, ecology, democracy and governance. The first day was devoted to discussion of case studies and the second day will be for working on research and campaigning issues geared towards strengthening links upon the more solid foundations of practical link-networking solidarity.

The keynote speaker, renowned scholar Joan Martinez Alier, author of Environmentalism of the Poor (2002), Ecological Economics: Energy, Environment and Society (1990) and other works, was be joined by scholars and activists from Ghana, Ecuador, and India. Workshop were led by members of the organising committee, staff members from Sussex and activists from Sussex and London. Local activists in attendance included representatives of the campaign against ‘fracking’ (extraction of natural shale gas through drilling) in Sussex and members of the London-based campaign group Foil Vedanta (including Zuky Seper, who facilitated the network). The event was attended by several early careers researchers (post-doctoral fellows, temporary and early stage lecturers) from the University of Sussex, from other universities in the region, notably SOAS, and from further afield. Future events and ongoing networking between the participants are hoped to enable other such collaborations to develop in future.  

As well as the British Academy, the event was supported by the Holly Hill Trust and the Centre for World Environmental History at Sussex. Professor Simon Schaffer kindly gave his support to the event as a Fellow of the British Academy.


Reflective academia (Facilitated by Vinita Damodaran)

Grassroots international solidarity: an alternative to the NGOisation of resistance (facilitated by Miriam Rose and Samarendra Das)

Using social media for mobilization (Facilitated by Mika Peck)

Education and Gender in Activism and Academic Intersections for Cognitive Justice (Facilitated by Kofi Mawuli Klu and Sumana Nandi with Malia Bouattia, Esther Standford-Xosei and Tom Gillespie as Lead-Discussants)

British Academy logo

Contact: actacdforum@sussex.ac.uk

Supported by: British Academy, Sussex University, Centre for World Environmental, Foil Vedanta, Holly Hill Trust