Friday, March 18, 2011

Left Forum 2011 - Opening Plenary: Toward a Politics of Solidarity


Pace University, NYC
March 18-20, 2011

A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each spring in New York City.

Opening Plenary Moderator: Richard D. Wolff

Introductory remarks by Nira Herrmann

Former Air America Radio host LAURA FLANDERS is the host and founder of GRITtv with Laura Flanders. She is the author of the NYT best-seller,  BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species; her latest book is At The Tea Party.  She also writes for Nation and Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor to MSNBC. Flanders has appeared on shows from Real Time with Bill Maher to The O’Reilly Factor.

PAUL MASON is the economics editor of the BBC’s flagship current affairs program Newsnight and appears frequently on BBC World News America. He has covered globalization and social justice stories from locations around the world, including Latin America, Africa and China. His book, Live Working, Die Fighting, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, CORNEL WEST has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. West has written more than 20 books, and teaches in the Center for African American Studies and Department of Religion at Princeton University.

BARBARA EHRENREICH is a social critic and essayist, and an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. Her book, Nickel and Dimed, was a national bestseller in the United States. She is the the author of twenty books, and has written for the New York Times, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms, The New Republic, Z Magazine, In These Times, Salon, Harpers, and the Progressive. Her latest book is Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America.

FRANCES FOX PIVEN is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at CUNY Graduate Center. Her books include Regulating the Poor, Poor Peoples’ Movements, Why Americans Don’t Vote, and The War at Home. Most recently, in Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, Piven examines the interplay of disruptive social movements and electoral politics in generating the political force for egalitarian reform in American history.