Stellan Vinthagen

Workshop Leader

Stellan Vinthagen

Stellan is professor of sociology, a scholar-activist, and the Inaugural Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he directs the Resistance Studies Initiative. He is also Co-Leader of the Resistance Studies Group at University of Gothenburg and co-founder of the Resistance Studies Network, as well as Editor of the Journal of Resistance Studies, and a Council Member of War Resisters International (WRI), and an academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). His research is focused on resistance, power, social movements, nonviolent action, conflict transformation and social change. He has since 1980 been an educator, organizer and activist in several countries, and he has participated in more than 30 nonviolent civil disobedience actions, for which he has served in total more than one year in prison.

The Gathering Room


The Gathering Room

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Aug 24 2020 - Nov 20 2020


See "Register" for info on times
All Day


Free; there will only be a fee if UMass credits are desired

Constructive Resistance: Building a New Society Out of the Ashes of the Old

We are delighted to offer you this free opportunity to attend an online course offered by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s Resistance Studies Initiative headed by Professor Stellan Vinthagen. 

This course focuses on movements and communities that apply “constructive resistance” or build new societies while simultaneously resisting the existing oppressive systems. Constructive resistance stands in contrast to “protest”, “demands” or “respectability politics” by activists who want to compel or force the state, elites or others to create the change. The course will show how  the ‘private’ or ‘personal’ can be political, and explores the creativity of ‘cultural resistance’. Special attention is given to the ‘intersectionality’ of both domination and resistance in everyday life, and students will be asked to consider how resistance cannot only liberate, but also recreate domination. 

The course consists of some introductory lectures, and mainly student-led literature seminars and course paper discussions. Examination is done through active participation, presentations, a book review and a course paper in which students chose a topic of interest relevant to the course

Space is limited. You must apply for this course. Priority will be given to participants with an acceptable knowledge of English and experience of activism in social movements coming from a country or situation where it is difficult to get access to a university in the U.S. They also want to have participants coming from a variety of class backgrounds. There will only be a fee if UMass credits are desired. Non-credit students will get a certificate. 

Hurry! DEADLINE September 3, 2020. Classes are from August 24 to November 20.