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Society Must Be Defended: A Call to Intellectual Arms


In the days before the Inauguration of Donald Trump, several academic groups and associations sent out a general call to scholars everywhere: host a read-in of Michel Foucault’s “Society Must Be Defended.” Drawing on the old leftist tradition of radical teach-ins, this call to scholars was a call to intellectual arms. As socially engaged activists and thinkers, we have a duty, many believe, to challenge the extreme anti-intellectualism of the far right, as well as the general attack on critical thinking and higher education. In this spirit, we invite you to join us for Think Olio’s first radical read-in. In the spirit of mindful protest, we will gather together on the eve of President’s Day to read Foucault’s insightful and provocative lecture on the role of race and racism in the making of the modern nation-state.  

The event will last two hours, with structured silent reading interspersed with short five-minute lectures by Professor Jamie Warren, to help navigate our way through Foucault’s complex and important argument. Finally, we will conclude with an open group discussion on how we might transform what we have learned into meaningful action. 

Please note, this event is open to all, regardless of education levels, or reading capabilities. If, for example, you are dyslexic and find reading under such circumstances to be too exhausting, we will provide one area for folks to listen in as someone reads aloud. We are committed to making this event welcoming, encouraging, and chill. We will take a complex piece of scholarship, and make it accessible and usable for all. Hope to see you there. 


*Price includes a printed copy of Foucault's “Society Must Be Defended.”




Location: IDIO Gallery

Studio D, 976 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

IDIO is a contemporary art gallery and performance space located between iron and auto workshops in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The 100-year-old space was once a horse barn, a muralist headquarters and a rave dungeon. The space aims to foster iconoclastic arts, challenging thought and the experience of freedom in a time of consumerist conformity.


Other upcoming Olios


Jul 22

Immoral Art?

Taught by Jeanne Proust
3 p.m. at Mathew Gallery

Sign Up - $15

Jul 26

A Dog Named Ego

Taught by Michael Prettyman
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jul 28

NYC Poetry Festival | Revolutionary Letters, Confronting the Times

Taught by Jessica Rogers
1 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 28

NYC Poetry Festival | Sekou Sundiata & Radical Citizenship

Taught by Brian Lewis
3:30 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 29

NYC Poetry Festival | The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
3:30 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 29

NYC Poetry Festival | Poetry of Loneliness and Collaboration

Taught by Heather O'Neill
1 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 31

Immersive Listening - Bowie's "Low"

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

The Poetry in Piledrivers: Pro-wrestling as Art

Taught by Ben Abelson
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15


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