Resistance Studies Network

Supporting critical studies on resistance, organised by scholars at Gothenburg, Sussex & UMass Universities

Category: Resistance Studies (page 1 of 9)

The New Journal of Resistance Studies is calling for papers

? Journal of Resistance Studies

The New Journal of Resistance Studies is calling for papers.

This call is for the two issues to be published in 2015.

Journal of Resistance Studies is a new international, interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed scientific journal that explores unarmed resistance. The articles we want to publish focus on critical understandings of resistance strategies, discourses, tactics, effects, causes, contexts and experiences. Our aim is to advance an understanding of how resistance might undermine repression, injustices and domination of any kind, as well as how resistance might nurture autonomous subjectivity, as e.g. constructive work, alternative communities, oppositional ways of thinking. We invite journal articles or book reviews and debate contributions.

The Journal of Resistance Studies is searching for texts with critical reflections, evaluations,theoretical developments or more empirical based analysis. We encourage a broad and critical discussion on the possibilities, forms, and conditions, as well as problematics of ‘resistance’. We avoid dogmatic agendas and do not favor any particular framework, and encourage a debate on definitions of ‘resistance’.

Our long term ambition is to further the development of a heterodox scientific field of ‘resistance studies’, a field that critically engages with and learns from other relevant fields that discuss similar phenomena while using other key concepts, such as e.g. activism, contention, deconstruction, disengagement, disobedience, disruption, encroachment, identity politics, insurgency, mimicry, multitude, performativity, protest, queering, rebellion, refusal, riot, revolution, social movement, or other relevant concepts.

1. Articles are restricted to a maximum of 12000 words, including all elements (title page, abstract, notes, references, tables, biographical statement, etc.).

2. Comments column with research-based policy articles and comments to articles published in earlier issues of JRS. These are up to 5000 words.

3. Book Reviews are up to 3000 words, normally shorter.

4. Short reviews (of books, movies, web-sites etc) are up to 400 words. Articles, Comments, and Book Reviews are peer-reviewed.

Deadline for the Spring issue is March 1 and for the Autumn issue September 1.

All questions regarding the journal should be directed to:

We appreciate any help to circulate this call.


Written by Tova Crossler Ernström, student at the undergraduate course Power, Resistance and Change, University of Gothenburg

In What’s fat activism? (2008) Charlotte Cooper describes a dominant model for talking about and understanding fatness in the 21st century that she claims isn’t seen as a model at all in Western society, but simply as common sense, as the truth. This model poses fatness as a problem and links it to things like disease, greed, laziness, ugliness and underclass. Even though the model has it’s roots in medicine, it is maintained by several different power structures, and stakeholders such as drug companies, food retailers, the fashion industry, diet industries, advertising and government policymakers. Cooper describes fat activism as ways of challenging this model.

As the spread of the model is so extensive, it can be challenged at many different sites, and with a great varierty of methods. As Jennifer Lee puts it: ”There are different approaches to fat activism, from community building and trying to change fat people’s attitudes towards their own bodies, to changing institutional policies and getting voices heard in the media” (Lee, 2012).

Fat activism can be a fat person wearing a bikini in public or using the word fat without shame or any pejorative connotations (Revolting fatty, n.d.). It can be putting size acceptance bookmarks in magazines in the store, deciding not to make negative comments about other people’s bodies, or boycotting all diet products (either as an individual decision or by organizing a collective boycott) (Chastain, 2012, August 1st). It can also focus on legal rights, like working to pass an ordinance against height- and weight related discrimination (Schuyler, 2003).

What all of these things have in common is that they are done with the purpose of challenging the dominant way of thinking about fat and fat people – and/or the discrimination that follow from it.

Fat studies

Closely tied to fat activism is the academic field of fat studies. Within this field researchers and students use an interdisciplinary approach and take a ”questioning view of dominant paradigms relating to fat” (Cooper, 2008, p.18). It is also a field with a pronounced aim for social justice, and many of the people doing research in the field are also well-known fat activists. In fact, engaging in fat studies may itself be a type of fat activism. On her blog Obesity timebomb, Cooper describes a fat activist as someone who ”thinks about fat in ways that challenge, question and critique most mainstream thinking about fat” (Cooper, 2013, May 1st). As scholars of fat studies examine and question medical and other discourses on fat, they are doing the type of critical thinking (combined with expression and sharing of these thoughts) that is often described as central to fat activism.

Chastain, Ragen. (2012, August 1st). Three dangerous fat activism myths [Blog post].
Retrieved October 6, 2013, from

Cooper, C. (2008). What’s fat activism? (University of Limerick Department of Sociology Working Paper Series, WP2008-02). University of Limerick.

Cooper, C. (2013, May 1st). The Basics: What is a Fat Activist? [Blog post].

Retrieved October 7, 2013, from

Lee, J. (2012). A big fat fight.

Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

Revolting fatty. (n.d.) What revolution?

Retrieved October 2, 2013, from

Schuyler, N. (2003). Living large. Stanford magazine, august/july 2003.

Retrieved October 3, 2013, from

Lecture: The Art of Not Being Governed; A History of State Evasion

Welcome to an unique opportunity

A world-leading resistance researcher gives a public lecture at the University of Gothenburg

The Art of Not Being Governed; A History of State Evasion

James C. Scott,
Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University

At 14.00-16.00, May 14, 2013, at room 220, Annedalsseminariet, School of Global Studies, Campus Linné, University of Gothenburg.

This lecture deals with the challenging reinterpretation Scott makes of Southeast Asian ‘ethnic’ groups or ‘indigenous’ as stateless resistance cultures, rather than fixed and traditional identities. In his book The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2009), Scott wrote: ‘Zomia’ is a new name for virtually all the lands lying above roughly 300 meters all the way from the Central Highlands of Vietnam to northeastern India and traversing six Southeast Asian nations. It is an expanse of 2.5 million square kilometers containing about 100 million minority peoples of truly bewildering ethnic and linguistic complexity. My thesis is simple, suggestive, and controversial. Zomia is the largest remaining region of the world whose peoples have not yet been fully incorporated into nation states. These hill peoples are best understood as runaway, fugitive, maroon communities who have, over the course of two millennia, been fleeing the oppressions of state-making projects in the valleys slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labor, epidemics, and warfare. Virtually everything about these people’s livelihoods, social organization, ideologies, and even their illiteracy, can be read as strategic choices designed to keep the state at arms length. Their physical dispersion in rugged terrain, their mobility, their cropping practices, their kinship structure, their pliable ethnic identities, and their devotion to prophetic, millenarian leaders are designed to avoid incorporation into states.

A limited number of places will be available at a restaurant afterwards for the post-seminar social gathering from 16:30. Please register at

Map/info of the Campus area: communication/

James C. Scott is Sterling Professor of Political Science, professor of anthropology, and codirector of the Agrarian Studies Program, Yale University, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (For more info on Scott, see the next page)

All identities, without exception, have been socially constructed: the Han, the Burman, the American, the Danish, all of them…. To the degree that the identity is stigmatized by the larger state or society, it is likely to become for many a resistant and defiant identity. Here invented identities combine with self-making of a heroic kind, in which such identifications become a badge of honor. (pp. xii-iii.)

A short bio

James C. Scott is s Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University, and the director of the Program in Agrarian Studies. Scott’s work focuses on the ways that subaltern people resist dominance. His original interest was in peasants in the Kedah state of Malaysia. During the Vietnam War, he took an interest in Vietnam and wrote The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Subsistence and Rebellion in Southeast Asia (1976). In Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (1985) Scott expanded his theories to peasants in other parts of the world, and in Domination and the Arts of Resistance: The Hidden Transcript of Subordinate Groups (1990) he argued that all subordinate groups resist in ways similar to peasants. Scott’s theories are often contrasted with Gramscian ideas about hegemony. Against Gramsci, Scott argues that the everyday resistance of subalterns shows that they have not consented to dominance.

Selected bibliography:

  • Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton University Press, 2012.
  • The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press, 2009.
  • Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press, 1998.
  • Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. Yale University Press, 1990.
  • Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. Yale University Press,


  • The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. Yale

    University Press, 1979.

On May 24: A double-seminar on Resistance and Social Movements

On May 24 the Resistance Studies Network (RSN) and Forum for Social Movement Studies (CSM), University of Gothenburg,
invite to a double-seminar:

Thursday 24 May 13.15-15
‘Resistance’ vs. ‘Social Movements’ – a Conceptual Discussion
Mona Lilja & Stellan Vinthagen, Resistance Studies, and Håkan Thörn & Åsa Wettergren, Forum for Social Movement Research
Room: 419, Annedalsseminariet, Campus Linné
The seminar is based on two papers (attached), one on ‘resistance’, one on ‘social movements’

Thursday 24 May, at 15.15-17.00
‘Every movement claims it reinvents democracy’
Indignados, mobilisers, experts and transition activists and their claims for democracy

By Geoffrey Pleyers, FNRS & University of Louvain
Among his latest books are ‘Alter-Globalization. Becoming Actors in the Global Age’ Polity, 2011
The seminar is based on a paper that will be available one week before the seminar at
The seminar is at Annedalsseminariet, room 419, at Campus Linné, location descriptions at

Radikala nätverket: Historiska perspektiv på politisk radikalism

Ur Radikala nätverkets program på Lunds universitet våren 2012:

“History from the Inside Out: The Amistad Africans and their Struggle against Slavery while in Jail, 1839-1841”

28 maj, 14.15-16.00, Sal 3, Historiska institutionen, Lund

Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh
This presentation will explore the well-documented experience of thirty-six African rebels who were incarcerated in American jails after a successful uprising on the Cuban slave schooner Amistad in 1839. Against a fiery backdrop of slave rebellion around the Atlantic in the 1830s, how did African insurrectionists and American abolitionist reformers work together, inside the jail, to build a legal defense campaign, a network of support, a political alliance, and a social movement?

Radikala nätverket är en plattform för forskare intresserade av politisk radikalism i det förflutna och idag. Med ”radikal” menar vi alla grupper som försökt att revolutionera – snarare än reformera – hegemoniska sociala och politiska institutioner, vare sig de har befunnit sig till höger eller till vänster på den politiska skalan, eller har verkat för förändring med våldsamma eller icke våldsamma medel.

Radikala nätverket arrangerar två till fyra seminarier per termin. För att bli medlem av Radikala nätverkets e-postlista, kontakta magnus.olofsson [at]

Seminars at Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research (CSM), Department of Sociology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

CSM Seminars Spring 2012

Welcome to seminars at Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research (CSM), Department of Sociology

Wednesday 15th of February 9.50 -16.30

Linnésalen, Mediehuset, Seminariegatan 1B, Campus Linné


Paris 2005, Athens 2008, London 2011 – What’s next?

Friday 2 March 14.15-16

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with Sociology of Emotions seminar)

Jonas Lindblom, Gothenburg University


Tuesday 13 March, 14-15.30

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with GCGD)

Mats Fridlund, Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg


Wednesday 21 March 13.15-15

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with Sociology of Emotions seminar and Allmänna Seminariet)

Helena Flam, University of Leipzig


Thursday 19 April 15.15-17

Clare Saunders, University of Southampton


Monday 21 May 9.00-17


Wednesday 23 May 13.15-15)

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with Allmänna Seminariet)

Thomas Olesen, University of Aarhus:


Thursday 24 May 13.15-15

Mona Lilja & Stellan Vinthagen, Resistance Studies, and Håkan Thörn & Åsa Wettergren, CSM

’Resistance’ vs. ’Social Movements’ – a Conceptual Discussion

Room: 419, Annedalsseminariet, Campus Linné

Tuesday 5 June 13.15-15

Room F417, Skanstorget 18

Rick Fantasisa, Smith College, USA


Visit CSM:s homepage:

Urban Uprisings in Contemporary Europe

FSSK, CUS and CSM invite you to a conference day:
Urban Uprisings in Contemporary Europe
Paris 2005, Athens 2008, London 2011 – What’s next?

When: Wednesday 15th of February 2012. 9.50am -16.30 pm
Where: Linnésalen, Mediehuset, Seminariegatan 1B, Campus Linné

A Spectre is stalking Europe – the spectre of suburban youth revolts. Europe is a
continent marked by growing inequality, racism and social tensions. In recent years we
have seen battle like pictures on TV from Paris, Athens, Lyon, Rotterdam, Copenhagen
and most recently in London and other British cities. During the last two years different
areas in the metropolitan districts in Sweden has also become a part of this picture.
How should we understand this development, how do we explain these uprisings? Are
there general patterns that could be seen in all cities?
The unit for Contemporary Cultural Studies (Forum för Studier av Samtidskultur –
FSSK), the Centre for Urban Studies (Centrum för Urbana Studier) and Gothenburg
CSM (Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research), all at Gothenburg
University, arrange a one day conference on these issues and we welcome you to this first
conference day in a series on urban movements and urban change.
The conference is free (and includes coffee and bun) but has a limited number of seats.
We therefore require that you send us an email if you like to participate before the 8th of
February to ensure your seat.

Email to:
catharina.thorn [at]
ove.sernhede [at]
hakan.thorn [at]

Resistance Studies Seminars, Gothenburg, Fall Schedule 2011

Welcome to the new schedule for resistance studies seminars at Gothenburg university!

We are this semester, as before, offering a meeting place for critical discussions on resistance, from various perspectives and by different seminar presenters. Everyone that is interested in critical discussions on resistance is welcome: researchers, students, activists, journalists, authors, or others that find the themes interesting.The seminars are at Campus Linné, see a map at or directly at this link.

If you want to get regular emails about the coming program of seminars, let our seminar organizer Per Ström know you are interested: email (without the spaces between letters) per. strom @ yahoo. se

We start early with an extra seminar already on September 22 with Professor Evelina Dagnino, from Campinas University, Brazil on “Civil society: theoretical challenges and practical dilemmas from a Latin American perspective”. Seminar is in English. Thursday 15:15-17 at the A-building in room A-206 (see map). The seminar is organized with the help of Associate Professor Edmé Dominguez at School of Global Studies. If you have questions about this seminar, please email directly to Edmé: edme. dominguez @ globalstudies. gu. se

September 29 with Paul Routledge, Reader at University of Glasgow. He will talk on “Climate Justice as Alterhegemony: The Case of the landless movement in Bangladesh”. Seminar is in English. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalsseminariet (Room 303).

September 27 with Irene Molina, Docent i kulturgeografi, Uppsala Universitet och medlem i ArA, Föreningen Antitrasistiska akademin. “Förorten och det symboliska politiska våldet”. Seminar are in Swedish. Tuesday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

October 13 with Ramzi Abdou, Palestinian Youth Activist, Student in Political science from Gaza University. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East “UNRWA” in GAZA. “Culture of Resistance vs. Defeat”. Seminar are in English. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

October 27 with Mathias Wåg, Redaktör för antologin I stundens hetta och ansvarig utgivare för tidningen Brand. “I stundens hetta – Svarta block, vita overaller och osynliga partier”. Seminar are in Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

November 10 with Paulina de los Reyes, professor i ekonomisk historia och verksam vid Ekonomisk Historiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet. “Intersektionalitet, makt och motstånd”. Seminar are in Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

November 24 with Elin Andersson, aktivist och freelansjournalist. “Är det verkligen fred vi vill ha? – om risken för ett nytt krig om ockuperade Västsahara”. Seminar are in English or possible Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

December 8 with Sven-Eric Liedman, professor i Idé- och lärdomshistoria vid Göteborgs Universitet. “Hets – marknadsliberala skola med konservativa ideal”. Seminar are in Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet, hörsal.

As the drop excavates the Stone – The work of Amnesty International from a resistance perspective

Amnesty International is one of the largest and most recognized human rights organisazitions in the world with more than 2.8 million supporters worldwide in about 150 countries. Traditionally, Amnesty has worked with the promotion of the civil and political rights, even though the organization during this time has claimed that all of the rights in the UN´s Universal Declaration on Human Rights are valid. Thus, big changes have occurred within the organization during the last couple of years. Today, Amnesty also work with the promotion of the economic, social and cultural rights. This work was set forth in the launch of the global campaign “Demand dignity” in May of 2009. Within this campaign, Amnesty is recognizing that poverty is in fact a result of human rights violations. Even the methods for activism that Amnesty is using have partly changed during the years.

During this seminary we will present the changes that have occurred within Amnesty as an organization during the last couple of years. Our focus point will be the activist work within the Swedish section, because this is what we have experience from. We will connect the work of Amnesty to relevant resistance theories in order to create a picture of how the organization can be considered to be an actor of resistance, both nationally as well as internationally.

Elin Åman is currently a student at the masters program in Human Rights at School of Global Studies and an active member of Amnesty International. She is the coordinator of the Swedish sections special group for economic, social and cultural rights.

Johanna Tjernström has a Master’s degree in Global Studies at School of Global Studies and is an active member in Amnesty International, among other things as a board member of the district of Gothenburg.

Annedalsseminariet – Seminariegatan 1A
Thursday 15.00 -1700. Seminar will be in English at room 419.

Welcome to the seminar
Free and open for everyone

Call for papers: Resistance Studies Panel at ISA, San Diego, 2012

Dear Resistance Researchers,

We are planning to organise a resistance studies panel at the International Studies Assocation (ISA) in San Diego  2012 (see Organisers of the panel are Mona Lilja and Stellan Vinthagen. The plan is: (1) to discuss resistance studies (2) to meet each other live! (3) to make our work known for others who might be interested. So, if you think this is interesting, join us! Send your abstracts (with title) to Stellan Vinthagen (stellan[dot]vinthagen[at]gmail[dot]com) at the LATEST the 22 May, and then we will put up the panel and connect your paper to the panel. If many people submit papers we register the ones we get first.

However, we are also planning to have meeting and dinner during the same day as our panel, and all will be invited to this that show interest.

All the best,

Mona Lilja and Stellan Vinthagen

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