Alternative Futures and Popular Protest

Cassie Earl (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


What if Knowledge were the movement? Popular education as a social movement. In recent years, we have seen many forms of protest, occupation and revolution across the globe. These protests and insurrections have been largely prefigurative in nature and experimental in practice. This has led to them being inherently educational, because new things have had to be learnt about the situation we are in and what to do about it. This paper, taken from a larger study into popular education, will focus on educational initiatives that have formed in direct response to government policy around wide issues in our society, as well as education. There are many groups who have set up ‘free universities’ and other autonomous education groups and this paper will explore some of them briefly whilst concentrating on the Social Science Centre (SSC) in Lincoln, a co-operative, autonomous provider of higher education whose goal is to critically examine the current social reality in light of its member’s experiences and concerns. The paper will argue that these sorts of popular education initiatives are growing and that they should be included in the study of social movements as they insist that knowledge is a weapon against the current neoliberal agenda and will allow us to imagine ways of living otherwise to capitalist social relations.
Period17 Apr 2014
Event typeConference
LocationManchester, United Kingdom


  • Social Movement
  • Pedagogy
  • Critical Education