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By Any Means Necessary: Surveying Activism in the Humanities Today


Attendees of the 2014 Subconference of the MLA expressed a strong interest in training sessions that would provide them with basic information about campaign and direct action organizing. In an attempt to provide sessions that will do that most effectively in January 2015,  we are collecting information about MLA members’ past experiences and the obstacles they face on their campuses today. We will then partner with local activist groups in Vancouver, BC to provide some training in dealing with these issues.

We would like this session to be as productive as possible, though, and so we would like some feedback on what kinds of training MLA members think would be most beneficial for you when you return to your home campus(es). Below you will find a link to a short survey with questions about the skills and knowledges you have already acquired during your career in higher education and questions about which areas of activism in which you would like to receive further training. A template of the survey is copied below, but in order to take the survey you will need to visit:

Please consider filling out the form even if you do not plan to attend the Subconference, as this information will assist in providing a thumbnail sketch of the general activist and political climate of the MLA.

From the list below, please indicate your top three choices:

[ ] Organizing in right-to-work states


[ ] Anti-oppression training


[ ] Planning direct actions


[ ] Union membership organizing


[ ] Building alliances


[ ] Social media


[ ] Starting social justice-oriented political organizations on your home campus


[ ] Engaging with administrators


[ ] Community-based activist research that can be used in media and political campaigns


[ ] Reading university finances, financialization101


[ ] Citizens’ audit


[ ] Wage sharing


[ ] Civil disobedience, i.e. how and when to decide to willfully court arrest and plan for such actions.


[ ] Campaign management


[ ] Forming an autonomous, or free, university


[ ] University mapping and cartography projects like the Counter-Cartographies Project


Do you plan to attend any or all of the Subconference?   Yes________No______


Have you ever participated in a direct action? Yes ________No______


If so, what kinds (i.e. occupations, civil disobedience, disruption, etc.)?




Have you ever received activist training?Yes ________No______


If so, what kinds?



Are you a part of a political organization on your home campus or in your community?


Yes ________No______


Please elaborate below: