Capita Selecta Resistance, Power and Movements

What does ‘activism’ and ‘being an activist’ mean in today’s political context? What are the different options that citizen groups and (activist) social movements have to organize around the topics they consider urgent? How to organize a sound and constructive movement or action group? What can be learnt from the past’s social movements and mobilizations? How can theories on social movements, activism and resistance be useful for organizing an impactful action? How to (be)come an agent of change? How to combine activism and academia and/or be an activist scholar?

These questions are central to the capita selecta course “Resistance, Power and Movements”, a collaboration between Build Your Movement, OtherWise and the Sociology of Development and Change group.

The course has been developed in response to a wish (and a need!) that has been voiced repeatedly by students and university lecturers alike to not only explore how theory and practice of social movement could feed into each other, but to actually bring that into practice in university education and teaching. As such, this course seeks to create a space to explore and reflect on agency and power with a focus on combining theory and practice. In so doing, WUR lecturers and professional trainers bring theory and practice of resistance, protest and movements together in a mix lectures and interactive workshops. On top of this, students will be guided to design and realize a small protest/act of resistance.

The course will focus on the following themes:

  • Resistance, power and diversity
  • Framing and storytelling
  • Activist repertoires/repertoires of contention
  • Movement cultures and decision-making
  • Wellbeing of movements and operational (political) space
  • Embodiment in/and activism
  • Activism and the digital space

An important aspect of the learning process is experiential learning/learning by doing, besides a focus on group work and reflection on process and internal group dynamics.