People Power

People Power

Photo Credit: Muhammad Al-Sadeq. Image taken after a theater show by artists at protests in Basra, Iraq, November 2019.

Summer Institute for Community College Instructors

May/June, 2020

4 online sessions: 5/29, 5/30, 6/5, 6/6

How do we interpret narratives about mass movements in the past? And how does that understanding across the distance of time compare to the actual, complex experience of participating in such a movement?

The 2020 ORIAS Summer Institute for Community College Instructors takes a look at mass movements, past and present. In addition to considering the context, ideology, and histories of movements, the program will also delve into the tactics and messy ambiguities of these movements as they were lived and executed by people who participate(d) in them. The overall program will consider movements from around the world, through a number of lenses in Humanities and social sciences. The first two sessions of the program will focus on past movements, whereas sessions three and four will explore movements that are currently active in the world. Registrants are strongly encouraged to attend all four sessions, since daily group discussions will draw on information from previous talks.

This ORIAS Summer Institute is ONLY open to community college instructors across disciplines, high school teachers of AP courses, and students in the UC Berkeley BE3 Social Studies credential program. This program is designed for instructors in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Global Studies. Participation is free.

When you register, the organizer will use the information you provide to confirm your position at the institution where you work. Once that is confirmed, your registration will be approved and you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the event.


Friday, May 29

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

two presentations, discussion, Q & A

Aaron Freundschuh presenting "The Remains of the Paris Commune"

Vasundhara Sirnate presenting on movements in India, 1900 - 1947

Saturday, May 30

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

a presentation in two parts, discussion, Q & A

’Come Along! They’re not beating demonstrators today!’: Techniques of non-violent revolutions of the 1980s

Padraic Kenney

How do ordinary people take over the streets to counter authoritarian regimes? I will talk about movements from Communist Poland, Apartheid South Africa, the Philippines, and more to illustrate the power of nonviolent protest.

’Eating the Crocodile with a Spoon’: Revolutionaries inside the system

Padraic Kenney

Nonviolent revolution depends not only upon the struggle from outside, but on finding ways to subvert the system from within, often culminating in election upsets. Examples from Eastern Europe, South Africa, the Philippines, and elsewhere indicate how this might work.

Friday, June 5

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

three presentations and discussion

People v. Oligarchy in Iraq and Lebanon

Julia Choucair Vizoso

In the fall of 2019, Iraq and Lebanon witnessed popular uprisings unprecedented in both character and intensity. Rising against political structures in which sectarianism and geopolitical tensions often crowd out other dynamics, citizens redirected the focus to the political economy: inequality, poverty, corruption, and oligarchy at large. This talk discusses the Iraqi and Lebanese uprisings in historical and comparative perspective, with a focus on the organizational, strategic, and creative forms of expression within them.

Social Outbreak in Chile: crisis of the economic, political and social system

Sofia Barahona Mena

In this session, we will talk about the social outbreak in Chile before COVID -19, its background, the elements that characterized it and that differentiate it from other social movements seen in the last 20 years.

Vasundhara Sirnate presenting on current movements in India

Saturday, June 6

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

one presentation, discussion, and a panel Q & A featuring speakers from Friday and Saturday

Freedom Hi!: The why, how and who of Hong Kong's Pro-democracy Protests

Elena, Alan Y.C. Cheng, Claudia Lo

This presentation will outline the impetus for Hong Kong's ongoing pro-democracy movement, describe how technology has shaped key features of the movement, and discuss the evolution of identity for participants in the movement.

Each day will feature presentations, ample time for small-group discussion among participants, and opportunities for Q & A with speakers.

Discussions will be facilitated by Alan Karras

When & Where

Where: The Institute will be held online.

When: See the agenda to the left for daily schedule information. Please arrive during the breakfast and check-in period or at breaks.

Registration: Register by clicking the button above.

Accessibility: If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Shane Carter at with as much advance notice as possible.