Social Movements Lab

The Social Movements Lab has two central premises. One, it will approach its analysis of movements by avoiding a theory/practice divide: a large portion of social movements are animated by activist-scholars who theorize the work of movements, inside and outside of universities, even as they take part in them. Two, social movements are more powerful when they are intersectional and international; the lab will work to reveal and create connections between movements in different social domains and national spaces.

Established in Duke University and affiliated with the Academy, the lab will be a hub for campus events organized to understand various social movements in progress and in relation to each other, connecting students, faculty, and Duke departments, centers, and institutes in the humanities and social sciences. The lab will also draw students and faculty from partnering institutions. Projects will extend beyond campus to engage activists in discussion through videoconferencing and visits to Duke’s campus.

The lab plans to recruit students presently engaged in activism, and partner with self-organized undergraduate and graduate student groups.