‘Where Have All the Leaders Gone?’

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Each year, we continue to witness the eruption of “leaderless” social movements. From North Africa and the Middle East to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia, movements have left journalists, political analysts, police forces, and governments disoriented and perplexed. 

Activists too have struggled to understand and evaluate the power and effectiveness of horizontal movements. Why have the movements, which express the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and a more just society?

Many assume that if only social movements could find new leaders they would return to their earlier glory and be able to sustain and achieve projects of social transformation and liberation. Where, they ask, are the new Martin Luther King Jr.s, Rudi Dutschkes, Patrice Lumumbas, and Stephen Bikos?

On Friday, October 27, The Center for Cultural Studies and the Institute for Humanities Research will present Where Have All the Leaders Gone?—a guest lecture by Duke University professor Michael Hardt, on campus at Kresge Town Hall, beginning at 4 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. 

Hardt is co-director of the Social Movements Lab at Duke University. He is the author of Gilles Deleuze and co-author--with Antonio Negri--of six books. Their Empire trilogy (Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth) analyzes the contemporary capitalist global order and investigates the existing resources for creating alternatives oriented toward democracy and liberation. 

Hardt and Negri’s most recent book, Assembly, explores how social movements today can enact lasting political transformations. In this lecture, Hardt will use examples from past theory and practice to situate and clarify some of the issues and alternatives involved in the organization of social movements today.

For more information about this event, call (831) 459-1274.