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The 2nd Annual Society for Global Scholars Conference

Alter-Globalizations: Another World is (Still) Possible

FRIDAY, MARCH 2 (8:30 am—7:30 pm) --

SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018 (9:30 am—8:00 pm)

The University of California, Santa Barbara

Presenter Biographies

Abigail Pérez Aguilera is adjunct professor of justice, global, and Latin American studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT. She researches and writes about contemporary Indigenous movements, literature written by women of colour and its connections to environmental social movements, forced displacement, gender violence, and global politics. Her most recent work appears in Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies: Conversations from Earth to Cosmos (ed. Joni Adamson and Salma Monani; Routledge, 2017).

Raquel Baker is an assistant professor of postcolonial and transnational literatures at California State University Channel Islands. She specializes in postcolonial studies and 20th- and 21st-century African literatures in English. She received a BA in Psychology from San Francisco State University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, and a PhD in English Literary Studies from the University of Iowa. The focus of her current research is on the intersection of storytelling and Anglophone African modes of resistance through a project that examines the work happening in District Six in South Africa where communities displaced by apartheid are using stories to make claims to return through the land restitution process—revealing the power and significance of storytelling in postcolonial contexts. The aim of this study is to develop an understanding of the kinds of identifications formed in post-independence contexts, as well as about how we learn race through spatial practices.

Matthew Binetti is a PhD student in politics at the New School for Social Research, having earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Adelphi University and his master’s degree in international studies from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His interests include political theory, Marxism, social movements and resistance, abolition, decolonial theory, Latin America, Europe, borders, cities, and critical geography.

Benjamin Case is a 5th year PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and a longtime political, community, and labor organizer. Among other projects, Ben is a founder of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, working to unionize graduate workers at Pitt, and is a founder of the Pittsburgh chapter of IfNotNow, and organization of American Jews working to end US Jewish support for the occupation in Palestine. Ben's academic research focuses on social movement strategy and tactics, specifically around the concepts of violence and nonviolence. He also writes on Jewish identity and antisemitism.

Jordan Dyett is currently in her senior year at Westminster College, pursing a customized bachelor of arts in critical global studies. She is also a manager at an after school program for children in fostercare with disabilities. Jordan plans to take the next year to work on her research as well as prepare for the graduate school application process, with hopes to get into a gender studies, global studies or sociology PhD program.

Leonardo Figueroa-Helland is the chair and an associate professor of politics, justice, and global studies at Westminster College in Salt City, UT. His work focuses on transformational alternatives to global crises based on transdisciplinary research that combines critical global studies, intercultural international relations, indigenous studies, global political ecology, agroecology, decolonial/postcolonial and depatriarchal/ gender/two-spirit studies, and world-systems analysis.

Daniel Gutiérrez is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Graduate School for North American Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin. He received both his BA and MA from the University of California, San Diego. His current research examines graduate student struggles at UCSD following the financial crisis of 2008. He has been published in Jacobin, Upping the Anti, and New Politics. He maintains political engagement in both the US and Germany and is currently organizing with Solidarity City Berlin.

Ryan Koons is is an ethnographer of music cultures, with expertise in Native American traditions, environmental humanities, early music, and Scandinavian folk music. He is a lecturer at UCLA where he directs the Early Music Ensemble (EME). With EME founding director Elisabeth Le Guin, he co-authored an invited article on the politics of cultural representation in early music for Ethnomusicology Review, and has contributed to the forthcoming Sage Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. He co-directs the mid-Atlantic-based World Community Productions multimedia documentary company. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Koons performs early music and European folks musics around the world. For more information, please visit

Tim Lindgren is a master’s student in international law at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London. He received his bachelor’s degree in global studies from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT, where he also co-founded the Global Crises, Global Change Conference. His research can be found in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, the Journal of World Systems Research, and The Myriad.

Carminda Mac Lorin is a PhD student in applied human sciences at the University of Montreal. She is  a member of the International Council of the World Social Forum and was one of the co-organizers of the 2016 World Social Forum in Montreal. She is also the founder-president of Katalizo, a Montreal-based nonprofit organization that organizes events and workshops focused on human dignity and environmental sustainability.  Carminda is convinced that artistic creativity could be the key to a society in which citizens actively define their present and their future and she strive to promote citizen engagement in all its different forms.

Abire Sabbagh is a master’s student in global studies at UCSB. She has dedicated her time and work to advocate for, represent, and empower marginalized communities, especially young Muslim women of color. Organizing against the oppressive Israeli occupation of Palestine has always been a priority for Abire, inspiring much of her activism on personal and political levels at a young age. During her time at the University of California, Davis, Abire collaborated in solidarity with different marginalized groups to confront systems of oppression within the university. Abire’s focus is exposing the colonial effects on the constructed gender roles in the Middle East, using radical, de-colonial feminism to uplift and envision ways in which woman of color can lead the movement against what bell hooks identifies as “imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.”

Nikolas Schall is a faculty member in the International Research Training Group (IRTG) Diversity at the University of Trier in Germany. His work explores the question of how collaborations or alliances in transnational social movements are produced, considering how solidarity becomes possible despite historically constructed particular identities and different positions in the social space.

Caitlin Schroering is a third-year PhD student in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh.  She is concentrating in environmental sociology, social movements, and the political economy of the world-system. Specifically, her research is focused on environmental social movements around resource conflicts (and water specifically) in the United States and Brazil. In 2015, she earned a master of arts degree in Latin American studies from the University of Florida, completing a thesis on the role of the Brazilian Catholic Church in environmental social movements.

Cassidy Thomas is a master’s student in community leadership at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT. He researches global food systems and their alternatives.


Nazli Azergun is a master’s student in global studies and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Prior to joining UCSB, Nazli acquired her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her current research interests include agency formation, political mobilization, and affect theory.

Catherine Tsukasa (KT) Bender is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research uses participatory ethnography to examine the ways that geographies of autonomous activism are remaking urban and political landscapes in Asia. Her research engages scholarship in critical urban studies, autonomous/anarchist geography, and feminist approaches to political economy. Prior to coming to geography, she worked in community-based immigrant and public health service and advocacy, and received her MA in Global Education at the Ohio State University.

Diya Bose is a PhD student in sociology at UCLA. She is interested in gender, sexuality, and development in South Asia.

Mariah Brennan Clegg is a second-year graduate student in the sociology department at UCSB. Their research takes a critical approach to state- and corporate-directed environmentalisms and works to develop fruitful connections between decentralized, non-hierarchical decision-making practices and ecology. They are a member of a variety of local social justice groups, and they aspire to bridge scholarship and activism by effectively communicating research to broader audiences and engaging work oriented toward community needs.

Robert James Farley is a PhD student in comparative literature at UCLA, focusing on modern constructions of gender and nation in Arabic literature and media. His work analyzes systems of power and discipline in storytelling to more fully understand work by progressive grassroots publications. Although based in Los Angeles, he has studied in Jordan and the U.K., and most recently completed an AIMS research grant in Morocco. Some of his translations can be found in Banipal.

John Foran is a professor of sociology at UCSB. He studies movements for radical social
change, both 20th century revolutions and 21st century movements for radical social change, from the global justice movement to Occupy, the Arab Spring, the Zapatistas, and now, especially, the global climate justice movement, in which he works passionately as a scholar-activist and which he sees at the center of the struggle for any prospect of achieving social justice and radical social change in the 21st century. John is an active member of System Change Not Climate Change, the Green Party of California, and Santa Barbara 350.

Annie Hikido is a PhD candidate in sociology at UCSB. Her dissertation spotlights entrepreneurial black women in township tourism as situated in globalizing South Africa. Her research and teaching interests include intersections of race, class, gender, and nation; globalization; and ethnography. Her work features in the academic journals Race, Ethnicity and Education and Ethnic and Racial Studies as well as the blog Africa is a Country.

Hillary Anne Lazar is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her focus is on emotions in movements and the anarchist influence on contemporary mobilizations through an intersectional, anarcha-feminist lens. Her recent research includes analysis of personal transformation in prefigurative spaces as well as activist conceptualizations of love as political praxis. Hillary’s work has been featured in Perspectives on Anarchist Theory and she has a forthcoming chapter in Anarchism: A Conceptual Approach.

Theodore Lequesne is a PhD student in global studies at UCSB. His research asses the fossil fuel industry’s power and the effectiveness of the narratives, tactics, and strategies that climate justice campaigns have used to keep fossil fuels in the ground in the US and Canada. Theo is also a campus coordinator and organizer with the Fossil Free UC campaign and is a member of the research-activist collaborative, the Climate Justice Project. In addition he has worked with UC and California State University faculty and staff on efforts to streamline climate justice pedagogy and to build a Knowledge Action Network across educational institutions in California. Theo has been an active participant in the global climate justice movement for several years and has been involved in campaigns to ban fracking at the local level as well as youth-led efforts to hold negotiators accountable at the annual United Nations climate talks.

Natasha Lushetich, PhD is an artist and theorist currently working as a senior lecturer in interdisciplinary practices and visual studies at the LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and residencies, such as Fulbright, NYU, NYC; Steim, Amsterdam; Norderzon, Groningen; and ArtsLink, NYC/Cleveland. Her research focuses chiefly on intermedia; aesthetics as ethics; the status of sensory experience in cultural knowledge; and on biopolitics and performativity. Natasha is the author of two books, Fluxus: The Practice of Non-Duality (Rodopi 2014), and Interdisciplinary Performance (Palgrave 2016). She is also co-editor of On Game Structures (2016). Her recent writing has appeared in Babilónia: the Journal of Cultural Studies; Environment, Space, Place; The Journal of Somaesthetics; Total Art Journal; and TDR, as well as in a number of edited collections.

Ben Manski is a PhD candidate in sociology at UCSB. He studies social movements, law, political sociology, and environmental sociology with a focus on democracy, democratization, and constitutionalism. Manski practiced public interest law for eight years and managed national non‐profit organizations, political campaigns, political parties, and direct action campaigns for over twenty years. Manski is currently a Fellow with the Liberty Tree Foundation, an Associate Fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies, a Research Fellow with the Next System Project, an Associate at the Broom Center for Demography, and an Associated Fellow with the Critical Realism Network. He also works as a Research Assistant with the Earth Research Institute at UCSB.

Jayabrata Sarkar is an associate professor teaching as a permanent faculty member
in the Department of Political Science in Deshbandhu College (affiliated with the University of
Delhi, India). He has 16 years of undergraduate teaching experience. His is interested in issues related to social exclusion and identity politics that over the years have broadened to include the relational contexts of these issues within the process of globalization and international politics. He is particularly interested in the relationship between globalization and ecological issues and health, human  rights/security and the global economy.

Mary Louise Stone is an independent scholar based out of New Mexico and a member of the Qamasa Weaving Wisdom Community in La Paz, Bolivia. After cross-cultural teaching in New Mexico, Mary Louise Stone lived twelve years in Quechua and Aymara communities around Lake Titiqaqa in Peru and Bolivia. She consulted on community-run tourism with villages, universities, and with Duke University, NC. Stone’s 2015 dissertation on the Andean Mother deity and social gender balance received Honorable Mention from the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology. Her research interests focus on Andean Pachamama, Mother deities, gender-balanced societies, and inclusive communities.

Élise Vaillancourt is a master’s student in international development and feminist and gender studies at the University of Ottawa, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in international development and globalization. She is a trainee in les Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme’s Political Analysis Collective (CAP), part of the Social Forum of Peoples; she previously interned with the Institute of Research and Technical Support for Environmental Management (IRATAM) in Haiti.

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