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2018 Feinberg Series

Another World is Possible:

Revolutionary Visions, Past and Present

The Zapatistas tell us, “Another World Is Possible.” Activists in the past have often been guided by the same belief: that alternatives to an unjust status quo are both conceivable and achievable.

On the 50th anniversary of the mass movements of 1968, and in the face of growing threats to democracy, to racial, gender, and economic justice, and to environmental sustainability, the 2018 Feinberg Series explores revolutionary visions of the future. The series takes its inspiration from visionary movements led by poor people and people of color that have confronted the immediate challenges impacting people's lives while simultaneously working to build alternatives. Drawing on the words of historian Robin D.G. Kelley, this series explores their “freedom dreams.” That is, it looks at “what people in particular movements dreamed of, what they thought they were fighting for,” and how they imagined and built new and radically different worlds.

Series events and initiatives will explore the radical imaginations of intellectuals, artists, political leaders, renegade thinkers, community organizers, and everyday people who have worked to make another world possible.

All events are FREE and open to the public. 

A professional development series for K12 educators and an undergraduate course will accompany the series.

Calendar of Events | University Courses | Offerings for K-12 Educators | Transportation and Accessibility | About the Series | Mailing list | Facebook Page | Contact

Calendar of Events

Sept 6 | Opening Panel: Reawakening the Black Radical Imagination

The past decade has been marked by a resurgence of the Black Freedom Struggle. Mary Hooks of Southerners on New Ground, Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation and How We Get Free, will explore the emergence of new ideas – Freedom Dreams – of the world to be won. 6:00 pm, Mahar Auditorium, UMass

Sept 13 | State Violence and Revolution: Lessons from El Salvador

In the 1980s, Salvadoran revolutionaries fought to overthrow a U.S.-backed dictatorship and build popular democratic alternatives. Many people in Massachusetts supported them. Former guerrilla Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, peasant organizer Rosa Rivera, and Pioneer Valley Workers Center immigrant rights organizer Diana Sierra Becerra will discuss the lessons for today’s social movements. 5:30 pm, Old Chapel, UMass

Sept 20 | Keynote Address by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Rev. Barber is the co-chair of the national Poor People’s Campaign, architect of the Moral Monday Movement, president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-author of The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear. Inaugural James Baldwin Lecture. Time TBA, Fine Arts Center, UMass

Oct 1 | Imagining Community, Living in Community

An exploration of efforts to create intentional communities based on visions of more just and harmonious social relationships. A panel conversation with Ousmane Power-Greene (Clark University), Lior Libman (Binghamton University), Jasmine Burems (Wildseed Community Farm and Healing Village), and Kate Daloz (author of We Are As Gods). Includes discussion of abolitionist, socialist-Zionist, anti-racist, queer/trans, and back-to-the-land utopian movements. 5:30 pm, Cape Cod Lounge, UMass Student Union

Oct 17 | 21st-Century Socialism: Venezuela’s Communes in Historical Perspective

Venezuelan communes are radical experiments in grassroots democracy and economic production that attempt to “concretize utopia.” Atenea Jiménez (Network of Communers, Venezuela) and George Ciccariello-Maher (Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, New York) will examine the communes’ history, achievements, and present challenges. 6:00 pm, Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Hall, UMass

Nov 1 | Domestic Workers Building Dignity and Power, Past and Present

Domestic workers are drawing lessons from past movements to organize on a massive scale and build feminist economies. A panel conversation with Linda Burnham (National Domestic Workers Alliance), Monique Tú Nguyen (Matahari Women Workers’ Center), and Jennifer Guglielmo (Putting History in Domestic Workers’ Hands), moderated by Diana Sierra Becerra (Putting History in Domestic Workers’ Hands). 5:30 pm, Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Hall, UMass

Nov 5 | Dreams and Nightmares: The Promises and Perils of Revolutionary Visions

What is at stake, and what is at risk, in the building of new worlds? Five College faculty will deliver short presentations and lead a community conversation on the nightmarish visions of social transformation and oppressive aspects of liberatory movements around the world. 5:30 pm, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, UMass

Nov 13 | People's Encyclopedia and Zine Making Workshop 

It has been 50 years since the historic Civil Rights and Liberation Movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In this workshop with Walidah Imarisha, participants will imagine themselves 55 years in the future, and engage in writing entries for the 2070 People’s Encyclopedia about current issues and events now, as a way of imagining how the world today can lead to the world we want. 3:30 pm, UMass Museum of Contemporary Art. Registration information forthcoming.

Nov 13 | All Organizing is Science Fiction

Educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist Walidah Imarisha will explore the history of sci-fi and social change, sharing tools for using science fiction as a practice ground for social justice strategizing and vision. Imarisha is co-author with adrienne maree brown of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. 7:00 pm, Ballroom, UMass Student Union

Nov 27 | Escaping Slavery, Envisioning Freedom

Distinguished historians Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Rutgers) and Barbara Krauthamer (UMass) will explore how enslaved and formerly enslaved African American women envisioned and experienced freedom. This is the capstone event of All Hamptons Read, a community-wide reading of Armstrong Dunbar's award-winning book, Never Caught. 7:00 pm, Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA

Feb 2 | Pa’lante: Building a Youth-led Transformative Justice Program from the Ground Up

A workshop with Pa'lante Restorative Justice, a youth-led transformative justice program at Holyoke High School that is working to build youth power and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. Geared toward K-12 educators and community-based organizations, participants will experience being in circle, learn about Pa’lante’s model, and apply ideas to their own setting. Sliding scale suggested donation of $10 (students), $25 (individuals), $50 (schools/organizations). No one turned away for lack of funds. Donations go directly to Pa’lante’s youth leaders. 10:00 am, Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA

March 2 | Beehive Design Collective: Mesoamérica Resiste! for Educators

The Beehive’s narrative graphics are used around the world to build collective, creative, and fun educational spaces where people of all ages can discuss complex issues like globalization, colonization, climate change, ecology, and social movement history. Come learn how you can use cartoons and interactive storytelling to present the big issues in an accessible and engaging way in any community or classroom. 10:00 am, Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA

March 28 | Plug In: Building Other Worlds Where We Are, Capstone Event

This participatory forum will bring together students, scholars, community members, and local activists around various specific other-world-making projects. Come learn and collaborate with people in the region who are building alternative economies, ecologies, racial landscapes, universities, and more. Registration required. Hosted by the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation. Additional details forthcoming.

University Courses

Five College students and the general public are invited to enroll in the UMass Department of History’s official Feinberg course, “New Approaches to History: Revolutionary Visions, Past and Present,” with Professor Kevin Young (History 200, HS GenEd). Additional university courses are connected to the series in various ways, including field trips to Feinberg events. A full list of associated courses is forthcoming.

Offerings for K-12 Teachers and Students

K-12 educators and students are warmly welcome at all series events. Certificates of attendance will be provided and financial support may be available for school field trips.

Educators who wish to deepen their exploration of these issues are invited to participate in the associated series for teachers, Another World is Possible: Teaching for Liberation, which includes workshops by social justice educators Safire DeJong and Ousmane Power-Greene. PDPs and graduate credit available. Offered with the Collaborative for Educational Services. Registration information forthcoming.

Transportation and Accessibility

Free public parking is available after 5:00 pm in most staff parking lots. See lot signage for details. Click here for bus schedules, and click here for an interactive campus map.

All UMass events are wheelchair accessible. Click here for more information about accessible parking on the UMass campus. We are working to make all events more accessible to all of our community members. If you have questions or would like to request specific accommodations, please contact

About the Series

The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is an endowed series offered every other academic year by the Department of History at UMass Amherst. Each series focuses on a contemporary public policy or social issue in historical perspective and features a wide variety of events, from lectures and exhibitions, to performances, panel discussions and films. 

The most recent series explored the theme, The U.S. in the Age of Mass Incarceration. This series took a critical look at the ways that state violence, mass incarceration, and mass criminalization have transformed the U.S. economy, culture and society. Other prior series themes have included immigration, truth and reconciliation, politics and protest, civil rights, and more.

The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass history department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg (B. A., 1967) and associates. Kenneth R. Feinberg grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts and received his B. A. in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1967. A renowned attorney and one of the nation’s leading experts in resolving legal disputes out of court, Feinberg served as special-settlement master in a number of major class-action suits involving victims of asbestos, Agent Orange, securities fraud, the Dalkon shield. Feinberg also served as the government-appointed administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund and the One Fund, the victim assistance fund established in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Most prominently, Feinberg served as director of the Congressional fund to assist the families of those killed or injured in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He oversaw the distribution of almost $7,000,000,000 and his book, What is Life Worth?: The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11 (Perseus, 2005), grew out of that experience. Mr. Feinberg has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002.