The UMass Amherst Resistance Studies Initiative, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, supports unarmed struggles against all forms of exploitation and violence. A generous donation from a Quaker activist family has underwritten the Initiative and the creation at UMass of an Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance.

The Initiative seeks to create “resistance studies,” a liberationist social science analyzing and supporting the efforts of activists worldwide that are employing direct action, civil disobedience, everyday resistance, digital activism, mass protest, and other kinds of nonviolent resistance. Its essential goals are to help create a more humane world by fostering social change and human liberation in its fullest sense. It will study how resistance can undermine repression, injustices, and domination of all kinds, and how it can nurture such creative responses as constructive work, alternative communities, and oppositional ways of thinking.

The Initiative hopes to do all of this by—

  • Working closely with the other members of the international Resistance Studies Network to encourage worldwide scholarly, pro-liberation collaboration
  • Energetically encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration with academics at UMass Amherst and elsewhere
  • Maintaining strong ties with activists worldwide, documenting their activities, and providing critical analysis upon request
  • Offering academic courses in Resistance Studies at UMass Amherst
  • Offering resistance-themed workshops, lecture series, and symposiums
  • Publishing the international, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed Journal of Resistance Studies.


Providing information about opportunities for resistance scholars on employment, calls for papers, funding, and other relevant activities.

Related News from the Web

Explore the latest headlines about resistance news and activities from selected sources.

Waging Nonviolence

Waging Nonviolence is an independent, non-profit media platform dedicated to providing original reporting and expert analysis of social movements around the world. We have partnered with them as Resistance Studies, a collaborative effort between academics and activists, or “professors of the street,” that promotes the analysis of and support for nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience around the world. This includes the Resistance Studies Initiative at UMass Amherst, scholars in the Resistance Studies Network and the interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed Journal of Resistance Studies.

UMass Libraries Resistance Studies Research Guide

This library research guide offers access to relevant books, articles, special collections and films available through the UMass Amherst Libraries.