This is a homepage for the Scholar Activist Network, which brings together academics and other researchers who are working in and with social movements. If you’d like to sign up to the network email list please do so HERE. You will receive announcements of our meetings and events, other traffic on the list is low.
Being a researcher involved in social movements is a great privilege, and most of us are happy to be doing our work. At the same time we can feel caught between academia and movements, experiencing a tension between the demands of the two or struggling to juggle priorities. The compartmentalisation of academia can also prevent those of us in similar situations from meeting each other, so this network aims to break down those boundaries and help us learn how to support each other.
AIMS OF THE NETWORK
The Scholar Activist Network aims to create a space where we can:
- Learn from each other how to face the challenges and opportunities of our research within society, social movements and academia.
- Find other scholar activists, inside and outside the academy, to do research with, write papers together, and collaboratively produce any output (documentary films, working reports, story-telling, workshops, etc.) useful to activists.
- Build a network of mutual support and care as we navigate the tensions and joys of scholar activism.
- Meet up in person to work collectively, challenge each other and inspire each other through political alignment and disagreement.
- Develop collective resources together such as a research depository for the network.
To that end the Network is for:
- Scholars (and researchers who don’t identify as scholars), both inside and outside academia, who are doing research within and for groups involved in social change committed to equality and justice, while participating in them in various forms.
- This includes ‘militant research’1 and ‘engaged scholarship’ where the goals of the research are broadly aligned with the goals of the social movement, if sometimes taking a critical perspective on them.
- It also includes activists who conduct research about other forms of activism they are not part of (e.g. research on fascist movements carried out by antifascist activists).
- It excludes non-participants in activism who are simply building knowledge primarily for academia.
We also have some draft community guidelines here.
- ‘Militant’ research refers to the research being part of a political struggle, and does not infer any association with violence. Colectivo Situaciones (2003) On the Researcher-Militant. Available at: https://romulusstudio.com/variant/strickdistro/KINN_CoR/Co-r_PDFs/Reading-6-Nov-2012-Colectivo-Situaciones-2003.pdf. Other names for scholar activism are also accepted in this network, on a spectrum between ‘militant research’ and the milder phrasing of ‘engaged scholarship’.