Keynote Speakers


Ruth Rosen

Ruth Rosen, Professor Emerita of History, University of California--Davis, is author of the definitive book, The World Split Open:  How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America (2006), and an activist veteran of the student protest that rocked Berkeley in the Sixties. Read more.

Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden, former California state senator, is a long-time proponent of radical activism in the United States. An early member of SDS in Ann Arbor, he led the SDS community-organizing project in Newark, N.J., and became a prominent leader of the movement against the Vietnam War.  He was the principal drafter of The Port Huron Statement. Read more.



Ronald Aronson +

Ronald Aronson grew up in Detroit and was educated at Wayne State University and Brandeis University, where he studied with Herbert Marcuse. In the Swept up in the activism of the 1960s, he became a community organizer in the African American neighborhood of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and an editor of Studies on the Left.  He participated in the “Freedom School” organized in the aftermath of the student strike at Columbia University in spring, 1968. He taught at Wayne State University’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program, a college for working adults, which was abolished by the University’s Board of Governors in 2007. His books include Jean-Paul Sartre - Philosophy in the World, Sartre’s Second CritiqueStay Out of Politics: A Philosopher Views South AfricaAfter Marxism, Camus & Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It, and Living without God. Recently he has been active in the Huntington Woods Peace, Citizenship and Education Project and Occupy Detroit.

Devyn Spence Benson +

Devyn Spence Benson is Assistant Professor of History & Africana Studies, Williams College.  She received her PhD. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the field of Latin American History, where her research focused on racial discourses during the first three years of the Cuban revolution. Benson is currently working on her manuscript, Not Blacks, but Citizens: Race and Revolution in Cuba. The book examines the links between race and revolution in Cuba after 1959 and the effects those connections have had on Afro-Cuban lives. Using the voices of Afro-Cubans living with and having to compromise with the revolution, Benson’s research reconciles stories of post-1959 black censorship with narratives of revolutionary opportunity.  This project also has led her to explore connections between Cubans of African descent and African Americans before and after the Cuban Revolution.

Robin Blackburn +

Robin Blackburn (Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, and Visiting Professor of History at The New School for Social Research), a prominent member of the British New Left and former editor of New Left Review, is a distinguished historian of Atlantic slavery and modern social policy. His recent publications include The Making of New World Slavery: From Baroque to Modern, 1492-1800 (1997), Age Shock: How Finance is Killing Us (2006), and The American Crucible:  Slavery, Emancipation, and Human Rights (2011).

Casey N. Blake +

Casey Nelson Blake is Professor of History and American Studies at Columbia University.  In addition to his scholarly writings on U.S. intellectual and cultural history, he has published extensively in Commonweal, Dissent, Raritan, and other journals of opinion.  His essay, “Paul Goodman, Anarchist and Patriot,” appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Raritan and, in revised form, as an introduction to a new edition of Goodman’s Growing Up Absurd (New York Review of Books Classics, 2012).   

Mari Jo Buhle +

Mari Jo Buhle retired from Brown University in 2009, where she taught U.S. Women’s and Gender history.  She specializes in the history of the American Left and in the history of feminism in the U.S. She is co-editor of It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest (Verso 2012).  She is also a co-author of Out of Many: A History of the American People, a college-level U.S. history textbook, currently in its 7th edition.

Paul Buhle +

Paul Buhle, retired Senior Lecturer, Brown University, was an SDS member in Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; Storrs, Conn.; and Madison, Wisc.  He was a founder of Radical America, “an SDS journal,” published in Madison from 1967 to 1971 and then continued in Somerville, Mass, 1972-2000. He founded the Oral History of the American Left at New York University, and in later years, he published many volumes about radical history. Recently, he has edited radical comic art volumes including Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History. He was a founder of the “New SDS” and Movement for a Democratic Society project, 2006-08, unsuccessful in its effort to rebuild SDS in a new generation with its original ideals intact.

Dorothy Dawson Burlage +

Dorothy Dawson Burlage was born in Texas and raised in Mississippi and Texas. She attended the University of Texas where she first became active in the civil rights struggle in 1957. In 1960, she organized pickets in support of the sit-ins. In 1961, she raised money for SNCC, co-founded the Northern Student Movement, and joined SDS. In 1962, she began organizing with the Southern Project out of Atlanta and directed voter registration projects in North Carolina. She was one of the founders of SSOC. She worked in public housing and welfare rights in Washington, D.C. She became active in the women's movement and founded a women's center in Boston in 1972. She received a doctorate in psychology at Harvard in 1978 and did research, teaching, and clinical work there for 35 years. She is now in private practice in Newton, Massachusetts. 

Rita Chin +

Rita Chin teaches modern European History at the University of Michigan.  She is the author of The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany (2007) and coauthor of After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (2009).  She has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the German Fulbright Commission, and the American Council of Learned Societies, and been a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study.  She is currently working on a book about the postwar European Left and its engagements with “difference,” race, and immigration.

Alice Echols +

Alice Echols is the author of four books about the “long Sixties”: Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-75; Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin; Shaky Ground: The Sixties and Its Aftershocks; and Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture.  She is the Barbra Streisand Professor of Contemporary Gender Studies at University of Southern California, where she also holds appointments in English and History. She is working on a book about a Depression-era banking scandal involving her grandfather.  A family history illuminating everything from loan sharking to conservatism in the 1930s, it productively probes the workings of the American Dream.

Dick Flacks +

Dick Flacks is research professor of sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara, where he arrived in1969. He received his PhD (1963) in social psychology from University of Michigan and was assistant professor of sociology University of Chicago, 1964-69. Professor Flacks’s research has focused on understanding the roots, strategies and social impacts of social movements and on the social and academic engagement of students. His books include Making History: The American Left and the American Mind; Youth and Social Change; and Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the Service of Social Movements. He was a participant in the Port Huron convention and an early leader of SDS.

Mickey Flacks +

Miriam (Mickey) Flacks is a retired activist and biologist. Flacks was a founding member of SDS and active in the anti-Vietnam war movement. In Santa Barbara, Flacks has served on the board of directors of numerous citizen coalitions on the environment, housing, and transportation. She has also served as the editor of activist and community periodicals and sat on the board of directors for chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Jewish Foundation and Women’s Political Community. She received her BS from the City College of New York.

Andrea Friedman +

Andrea Friedman is Associate Professor of History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.  She is author of Prurient Interests:  Gender, Democracy and Obscenity in New York City, 1909-1945 (Columbia, 2000) and has published articles on cold war culture in Gender and History, American Quarterly, the Journal of American History, and MaComère.  Her article, “The Strange Career of Annie Lee Moss:  Rethinking Race, Gender, and McCarthyism” won the 2007 Berkshire Conference article prize.  Her current project, tentatively titled Democracy in Cold War America: Gender, Race, and the Problem of Citizenship at Mid-Century, is under contract with the University of Massachusetts Press.

Kevin Gaines +

Kevin Gaines is the Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, at the University of Michigan. He is author of Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture During the Twentieth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 1996).  His book, American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era (UNC Press, 2006) was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.  His current research is on African American history in global perspective. He is a past president of the American Studies Association (2009-10). 

Robert Genter +

Robert Genter teaches in the Department of History at Nassau Community College. He is the author of Late Modernism: Art, Culture, and Politics in Cold War America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), which traces the rise and fall of modernism in American intellectual circles after World War II. His current manuscript, Cold War Confessions: Speaking the Self in the Age of McCarthyism, explores the role of confession—political, therapeutic, and artistic—in American society in the 1950s. He was previously an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Michigan.

Todd Gitlin +

Todd Gitlin was the president of SDS, 1963-64; coordinator for the SDS Peace Research and Education Project 1964-65; and officer of Tocsin (Harvard/Radcliffe), 1961-63. Gitlin has authored several books, including The Whole World Is Watching; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Letters to a Young Activist; The Intellectuals and the Flag; and most recently, Occupy Nation:  The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.   He is Professor of Journalism and Sociology, and Chair, Ph. D. Program in Communications, Columbia University.

Ramón A. Gutiérrez +

Ramón A. Gutiérrez is Preston & Sterling Morton Distinguished Service Professor of American History, University of Chicago.  He received his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin in colonial Latin American History and has taught at Pomona College, the University of California, San Diego (where he founded the Ethnic Studies Department and Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity), and the University of Chicago (where he directed the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, 2006-2011).  He is the author of When Jesus Came the Corn Mothers Went Away; the editor of a number of works, including Mexicans in California: Emergent Challenges and Transformations; Contested Eden:  California before the Gold Rush; Festivals and Celebrations in American Ethnic Communities; Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage; and Mexican Home Altars.  He is currently working on a biography of Reies López Tijerina.

Al Haber +

Robert Alan (Al) Haber, cabinetmaker and activist in Ann Arbor, was the first national president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1960 and the key organizer of the 1962 convention that drafted The Port Huron Statement.  He played a leading role in subsequent SDS projects, such as the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP), Radical Education Project, and Radicals in the Professions.  After a 1967 fellowship at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., he worked as a free-lance “radical intellectual” in the anti-poverty, community economic development field in New York.  In 1969, having moved to Berkeley, California, Haber opened a collective shop of woodworkers and cabinetmakers known as the Splinter Group; in 1979, he commenced the activist center there, “The Long Haul,” which still thrives.  With his wife, Odile Hugonot, he has promoted the “Megiddo Peace Project” since 1987, traveling many times to Israel and Palestine to foster a citizen-initiated peace conference.  In recent years, back in Ann Arbor, he has worked with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Gray Panthers of Washtenaw, Imagine Warming Centers (a homeless community project), and the Library Green Advocates.  As part of the Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS), Haber has organized the Port Huron plus 50/Manifesto for Now initiative.  The product of this effort in “thinking together” will be made available at “A New Insurgency:  The Port Huron Statement in Its Time and Ours.” 

Barbara Haber +

Barbara Haber graduated from Brandeis University in 1960.  She was an organizer in the civil rights movement from 1960 to1962.  She attended the Port Huron convention in 1962, and she was active in SDS, the anti Vietnam war movement, and the women's movement throughout the 60s and early 70s.  Since then, she has been involved on and off in various progressive organizing.  She has practiced psychotherapy in Berkeley since 1984.  As a child and teen she studied art and hoped to be an artist.  She returned, happily, to painting and drawing in the late 90s.

Casey Hayden +

Casey Hayden, speaking as a white Southerner in support of the sit-in movement, brought down the house and swung campus politics left at the 1960 USNSA Congress of studernt body officicals. She spent the next six years in the Movement, with SDS and SNCC, co-authoring "Sex and Caste" for New Left women on her way out. She continued to organize, fund raise, and administer, without credentials, on behalf of women, children, holistic health, ecological sanity, a free press and Movement history. Initiating the book Deep in Our Hearts, and contributing to numerous anthologies, including Hands on the Freedom Plow, Being Bodies, the Radical Reader, and most recently Women in the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965, a book of oratory. She lives with her family in Tucson where she practices awareness and harvests rainwater, aloe vera, and mesquite beans.

Tom Hayden +

Tom Hayden drafted and finalized The Port Huron Statement in June 1962. He is editor of Participatory Democracy (Paradigm, 2012), and author of The Long Sixties, The Lost Gospel of the Earth, Street Wars, and The Zapatista Reader, among others. He served in the California Legislature (1982-2000), where he chaired committees on labor, environment and higher education. His writings are at tomhayden.com.

Paul Hebert +

Paul Hébert is a doctoral student in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. He holds BA and MA degrees from Concordia University. His dissertation project is titled, “‘A Microcosm of the General Struggle': West Indian Activist Intellectuals and Montreal, 1962-1970.”  His research examines the Caribbean diaspora in Canada and explores the links between black activism in Montreal and other Canadian cities and the development of leftist and Black Power movements in the Anglophone Caribbean. He has presented his work at conferences at the University of Michigan, University of Toronto, and at the Northeast Modern Languages Association.

Gloria House +

Gloria House, Ph.D. is Professor of Humanities and African American Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and Associate Professor Emerita in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department of Wayne State University. Dr. House earned her bachelor’s degree in French and Political Science and her master’s degree in Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley.  Her doctorate in American Culture was completed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a CEW Scholar and recipient of a Rackham Fellowship.  Since the 1960’s when she worked as a student in the Southern civil rights movement, Dr. House has been an activist in African American human rights struggles and international solidarity causes.  Her publications include three poetry collections, Blood River (Broadside Press, 1983), Rainrituals (Broadside Press, 1989), and Shrines (Third World Press, 2004), and a book of commentary on the political uses of environment in the United States, Tower and Dungeon:  A Study of Place and Power in American Culture.  She is also lead editor of the anthology, A Different Image: The Legacy of Broadside Press, selected as a Notable Book of Michigan for 2005 by the Library of Michigan. One of her recent publications is the essay, “We’ll Never Turn Back,” in Hands on the Freedom Plow:  Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC, University of Illinois Press, 2010.  Her most recent book is Home Sweet Sanctuary: Idlewild Families Celebrate a Century, a cultural history of the century-old African American resort settlement in Northern Michigan.

Brandi Hughes +

Brandi Hughes is an assistant professor of American Culture and History at the University of Michigan.  Her research and teaching examine the significance of Christianity in the cultural and political developments of African diaspora and the intersections of religion, race and gender in nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S. migration histories. Hughes is currently completing a manuscript, At the Cross: Redeeming Emancipation in the Mission Fields of African America. The study is a transnational history of Protestant African American missions to Africa from the time of U.S. Reconstruction through the end of World War I.

Frank Joyce +

Frank Joyce worked with the Northern Student Movement (NSM) and helped found People Against Racism (PAR) in the late 1960s and has been in involved in many labor, anti-racist, human rights and anti-war campaigns since that time.  He has won journalism awards in print, radio and television.  He was a member of the UAW International Union staff for eighteen years, including twelve years as director of the Public Relations and Publications Department.  Joyce is president of the board of The Working Group (TWG), a non-profit media production company that supports the anti-hate movement Not In Our Town (NIOT).  He has served for many years on the board of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR).  His writing has been published at AlterNet (www.alternet.org) and elsewhere.  He is working on a book on “the forces rocking society as it has never been rocked before.”  He appears every Sunday afternoon during the last hour of Dave Marsh’s Land of Hopes and Dreams radio program, which airs on SiriusXM radio channel 127 from 1-4 PM Eastern time. 

Paul Kramer +

Paul A. Kramer is an Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, with research and teaching interests in U. S. global histories since the mid-19th century. He is the author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines (University of North Carolina Press, 2006) and “Power and Connection: Imperial Histories of the United States in the World,” American Historical Review, December 2011, pp. 1-44.  He has received fellowships from Harvard University’s Warren Center, the Fulbright Program, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Council of Learned Societies.  He is co-editor of “The United States in the World,” a series published by Cornell University Press.  He is currently at work on a book-length project on the geopolitics of U. S. immigration policy across the 20th century.

Sonia S. Lee +

Sonia S. Lee is an Assistant Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis. Her areas of specialization include racial and ethnic identity constructions, civil rights, labor, immigration, and urban history. Her research analyzes the historical conditions that have facilitated and impeded the formation of multiracial and multiethnic coalitions in urban contexts. Her current book project, “Proud to be Maladjusted”: Puerto Ricans, Black Americans, and the Building of a Latino Civil Rights Movement, will be published with the University of North Carolina Press. It focuses on the civil rights struggles that Puerto Ricans and African Americans forged in New York City in the post-World War II era.

Sharon Jeffrey Lehrer +

Sharon Jeffrey Lehrer, a founder of SDS, is a visionary community organizer and non-profit organizational consultant, whose skills were honed at an early age in picket lines and union halls in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from University of Michigan, Sharon worked for the Northern Student Movement and SDS’s organizing project. As Executive Director of a community organization in Chicago, she lived and worked in an integrated community developing innovative projects to create unity.  After studies at Esalen Institute in California, and serving as Executive Director of the Center for Attitudinal Healing there, Sharon continues to consult for non-profits and individuals. She and her husband, Glenn, are partners in Lehrer Designs Inc. They live in San Rafael, California.

Sarah Leonard +

Sarah Leonard stands at the intersection of old and new left-wing publications in New York City. By day, she is associate editor at Dissent magazine, the storied political quarterly of the New York Intellectuals. By night, she co-edits The New Inquiry, a popular online journal of criticism. She has co-edited Occupy!: An OWS Inspired Gazette (Verso, 2011) with the literary magazine n+1, and she advises the young political magazine Jacobin. Her cultural and political criticism has been widely published. She graduated from Columbia University.

Daryl Maeda +

Daryl Maeda is Associate Professor and Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  His two books examining Asian American activism during the late 1960s and 1970s are Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and Reconsidering the Asian American Movement (Routledge, 2012).  He is an avid fan of University of Michigan football and basketball.  Go Blue!

Richard Mann +

Dick Mann returned to Ann Arbor in 1964 from Cambridge, MA, where he had been active in Boston CORE. In February, ’65 he joined Bill Gamson in organizing faculty to cancel classes and speak out against the war.  These plans changed and led to the first campus teach-in on Vietnam.  He later negotiated with the White House to plan the National Teach-In and the CBS debate with McGeorge Bundy.  He was involved in Vietnam Summer in ’67, in the faculty organized Radical College, and the Indochina Peace Campaign through ’75.

Brandon Mitchell +

Brandon Mitchell is a local activist, progressive Hip Hop lyricist and human behavior theorist. He speaks on topics such as, anti-racism, intersectional oppression and radical politics and strategy. He has participated in occupy general assemblies at U of M, and in Ann Arbor and Detroit and has spoken at a teach in at U of M. He is both self and collage educated in philosophy, psychology and social theory. At Easter Michigan University he studied contemporary European philosophy, personality, social and religious psychology, Afrocentrism, prejudice and discrimination, and feminist theory. He is self-educated in comparative religion, complex systems psychology, socio-cultural evolution and critical theory. As the progressive Hip Hop lyricist MC Kadence, he covers topics ranging from social-philosophy and cultural criticism to metaphysics and esoteric and occult symbolism

Marian Mollin +

Marian Mollin is Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech.   Her research explores the connections between gender, protest, activism and culture, with a focus on the history of American social movements.  She is the author of Radical Pacifism in Modern America:  Egalitarianism and Protest (2006), and is currently working on a biography of Maryknoll Sister Ita Ford, one of the four North American churchwomen murdered by the Salvadoran military in December 1980.  This new project explores the historical questions raised by Ford's life and death, placing her squarely within the context of postwar U.S. women's history, U.S. and Latin American Catholic history, transnational social movements in the "long global sixties," and the dynamics of the late Cold War.

Kim Moody +

Kim Moody is a Senior Research Fellow at the Work and Employment Research Unit at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, where he is also a lecturer in industrial relations. He currently lives in London with his wife Sheila Cohen. He was at the Port Huron convention and active in SDS from 1962 through 1965. He was a co-founder and for many years director of Labor Notes in the US and is author of U.S. Labor in Trouble and Transition (Verso, 2007); From Welfare State to Real Estate: Regime Change in New York City from 1974 to the Present (The New Press, 2007); Workers in a Lean World (Verso, 1997); and An Injury to All: The Decline of American Unionism (Verso, 1988). 

Aldon Morris +

Aldon Morris is the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. His interests include race, social inequality, religion, politics, theory and social movements. Morris is the author of the award- winning book, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1986, Origins won the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award by the American Sociological Association. He is co-editor of the volumes, Frontiers in Social Movement Theory and Opposition Consciousness. He has published widely on a variety of topics.  He is currently completing a book on the sociology of W. E. B. Du Bois and his role as a founder of American sociology. He is working on a volume on the civil rights movements throughout the United States rather than focusing exclusively on the Southern Civil Rights Movement. In 2009 Morris won the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award for a lifetime of research, scholarship and teaching from the American Sociological Association. Morris is a former Chair of Sociology, Director of Asian American Studies and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.

Kevin Mumford +

Kevin Mumford, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the author of several influential books on the history of race and sexuality:  Newark:  A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America (New York University Press, 2007), and Interzones:  Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century (Columbia University Press, 1997).  He received his doctorate in history from Stanford University.

Martha Prescod Noonan +

Martha Prescod Noonan was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, as well as a fundraiser and field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during her college years.  Fundraising in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan, she spent almost two years in the South, working on SNCC projects in Albany, Georgia, Greenwood, Mississippi, and Selma, Alabama. She has been both a student and a teacher of history, earning a Masters Degree in history from Wayne State University and pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan until a series of family emergencies interrupted her studies. Over a period of twelve years, she taught various courses in African- American history at Wayne State University, the University of Toledo, and the University of Michigan. Her post movement community activism includes developing and directing an anti-hunger project, a large inner city food buying club, and a supplemental educational program for young people with sickle cell disease.  During several periods of her adult life, she has also been a full time homemaker, raising three sons and caring for aging and infirm parents. She has made numerous presentations about the Civil Rights Movement at universities and historical gatherings and played major role in organizing more recent SNCC activities including the planning of several civil rights retrospective conferences and securing the release of a SNCC member imprisoned in Liberia. She is one of six co-editors of the recently released book, Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she is also the daughter and mother of University of Michigan graduates.

Christopher Phelps +

Christopher Phelps, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham, is a historian of American intellectual and political history.  He is the author of a biography of the early radical years of a New York intellectual who journeyed from left to right, Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist (2d ed., University of Michigan Press, 2005), and of articles in The Journal of American History, The Journal of the History of Sexuality, The Journal of American Studies, and other journals. He has written frequently for popular outlets, including The Nation.

Marge Piercy +

Marge Piercy is a poet, novelist, memoirist and political activist. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the New York Times bestseller, Gone to Soldiers; national bestsellers Braided Lives and The Longings of Women; and the classicWoman on the Edge of Time.  Piercy has published eighteen volumes of poetry, including The Hunger Moon and The Moon is Always Female, and a critically acclaimed memoir, Sleeping with Cats. Born in center city Detroit, and educated at the University of Michigan, Piercy has been a key player in some of the major progressive battles of our time, including SDS, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the women’s movement and, more recently, an active participant in the resistance to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Details about her work are available at: http://margepiercy.com/. 

Barbara Ransby +

Barbara Ransby received her B.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.  She is a historian, writer and longtime activist.  She is currently a professor in the Departments of African American Studies, History, and Gender and Women Studies (GWS) at UIC. She also serves as Director of GWS.  Dr. Ransby has published widely on issues of race, gender, social justice and the Black Freedom Movement.  She is the author of the award-winning biography, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, and numerous essays and articles. Her most recent book, Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson will be published by Yale University Press in January 2013. A consultant and board member of numerous non-profit organizations, documentary film projects and museums, Dr. Ransby is also a part of the editorial board of the London-based journal Race and Class and the online journal, The Black Commentator.  She is the new Editor in Chief of SOULS, an interdisciplinary journal focused on the African Diaspora and Black politics and history.

Bob Ross +

Robert Ross, Professor of Sociology at Clark University and Director of the International Studies Stream, specializes on the globalization of capital and labor. For 16 years he has done research and public speaking around the world about the resurgence of sweatshop conditions in the American global apparel industry. Ross is the author of Slaves to Fashion:  Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops (2004) and co-author of Global Capitalism: The New Leviathan (1990), and he has published in numerous academic and activist journals. Ross was Vice-President of Students for Democratic Society, 1961-62, and a member of the drafting committee of the Port Huron Statement. Ross received his BA from the University of Michigan and his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.  

Nikhil Pal Singh +

Nikhil Pal Singh is an Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University. He is the author of Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy, which was recognized as the best book in US civil rights history by the Organization of American Historians in 2005. His collection of the writings of legendary civil rights activist Jack O’Dell, Climbin’ Jacob’s Ladder, was recently published by the University of California Press. Singh is currently finishing a new book, Exceptional Empire: Race and War in US Globalism, forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Marina Sitrin +

Marina Sitrin holds a PhD in Global Sociology and a JD in International Human Rights. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at CUNY Graduate Center and the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina (2006: AK Press) and Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina (2012: Zed Press), Occupying Language: The Politics of Walking (2012: Adelante Alliance) and the forthcoming They Don’t Represent US! (2013: Verso Press). She is an active participant in Occupy Wall Street, and has also spent time with the new movements in Greece and Spain.

Paul Chaat Smith +

Paul Chaat Smith writes books and curates exhibitions on issues of Indian space and representation.  He is the author of Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong (University of Minnesota, 2009) and coauthor, with Robert Allen Warrior, of Like a Hurricane: the Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (New Press, 1996). A member of the Comanche Tribe of Oklahoma, he joined the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in 2001, where he serves as Associate Curator. Smith has no college or university degrees. 

Michael Szalay +

Michael Szalay is Professor of English at UC Irvine. He specializes in 20th- and 21st-century U.S. literature and culture. He is the author of New Deal Modernism (Duke, 2000) and Hip Figures: A Literary History of the Democratic Party (Stanford, 2012). He is now finishing a book on branding and finance within contemporary media conglomerates. Szalay has served as Director of the Humanities Center at UC, Irvine. He is also the coeditor of the “Post*45” book series recently launched by Stanford University Press.

Maria Varela +

Maria Varela was a Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee Field Secretary from 1963-1968 working in Alabama and Mississippi. She was invited to New Mexico in 1968 by land grant leader Reies Lopez Tijerina and worked with the Alianza Federal until 1969. She then worked in Northern Rio Arriba County from 1969-1997 helping to establish an agricultural co-op, health care clinic, and community based economic development corporation.  Awarded a National Rural Fellowship in 1980, Varela acquired a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts (1982). From 1982 to present, in addition to her organizing work, Varela has held adjunct professor positions at the University of New Mexico and The Colorado College. In 1990, Varela was awarded a MacArthur fellowship for her work in Southwestern community development. 

Michael Vester +

Michael Vester, Dr. phil. and prof. em.: 1939 born in Berlin; 1959-65 studying social sciences; 1960-61 vice president of German SDS; 1961-62 Fulbright scholar at Bowdoin and New Left activist in the U.S.; 1963-65 activist in German SDS (editor of its journal, chairman of the Frankfurt group) and in New Left internationalism; 1965 Diploma on C. Wright Mills in Frankfurt; 1965 assistant and 1971 professor of Political Science at University of Hannover (emeritus since 2005); activism, research and books on working class and labor history, the Portuguese agrarian revolution, participatory  movements and milieus in Germany, combining the New Left and Bourdieu approaches on social structural and mentality.

Louise Walker +

Louise E. Walker is Assistant Professor of History at Northeastern University.  Her first book Waking from the Dream: Mexico’s Middle Classes after 1968 (forthcoming with Stanford University Press in December 2012) tells the story of neo-liberalism and democracy in Mexico.  She is also co-editor of a forthcoming collection of essays on Latin America’s Middle Class, and co-editor of a forthcoming journal issue on Mexico’s recently declassified secret police archives.  Her current research interests include the history of conspiracy theories.  She received her PhD from Yale in 2008.

Stephen Ward +

Stephen Ward is Associate Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Residential College, University of Michigan. He serves as the Faculty Director of the University’s Semester in Detroit (SID) program and the Coordinator of the Urban Studies minor. He is also a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership (BCNCL) in Detroit. He is the editor of Pages from a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader (Wayne State Press, 2011) and is completing a dual biography of James and Grace Lee Boggs.

Leni Wildflower +

I am a university professor, consultant, and executive coach.  I currently live in London with my husband, Joe Treasure.  In 1965 I left Bennington College at age 19 to work full time for Students for a Democratic Society, initially in the Ann Arbor ERAP office and later in Chicago, Cleveland, and eventually in Appalachia for the Appalachian Volunteers.  Somewhere along the way I married Paul Potter and we moved to Los Angeles to work on the Tom Hayden for Senate campaign.  After the campaign, I worked for Planned Parenthood and later taught high school. Paul worked for the Health Systems Agency under President Carter. My books include Talking with Your Teenager: A Book for Parents; The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching:  From Theory to Practice; and The Hidden History of Coaching (to be published December, 2012, McGraw Hill)

Marilyn B. Young +

Marilyn B. Young received her Ph.D from Harvard University in 1963 and is currently Professor of History at New York University. Her first book, Rhetoric of Empire:  American China Policy 1895-1901 was an analysis of the beginnings of the American empire in Asia.  From 1969 to 1980 she taught at the Residential College, University of Michigan, teaching courses on U.S. foreign policy and the Chinese revolution. With Bill Rosenberg, she taught a course comparing the Russian and Chinese revolutions and together they wrote the book of the course,  Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggles in the 20th Century.  Her published work since then includes The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990 and has centered on the Vietnam War and its aftermath.