The Militant Research Handbook is designed to help readers answer the question: what is militant research? MCC Professor Nick Mirzoeff describes it as the place where academia and activism meet in the search for new ways of acting that lead to new ways of thinking.
And that’s how the Handbook came about. In 2012, a group of visual culture artists, activists and academics met in New York for an umbrella event called Now! Visual Culture. The packed panel on student debt was perhaps the most passionate moment of the weekend. Some of those present attended one of the first Strike Debt meetings on the Sunday after the event and many of the New York attendees had already been involved with activism in and around Occupy Wall Street. Mirzoeff wanted to develop the relationship further, to think about how academics working on debt could work with debt activists and vice versa. The result was the idea for the event that became In Visible Crisis: A Collective Visioning of Militant Research, hosted by the Department on February 8, 2013.
Mirzoeff and his collaborators invited participants familiar with militant research in Spain and Argentina. They brought a group of activists and academics from California, where Occupy was less long lived and was not always received positively, especially by those who were concerned about allegations of sexualized violence at the Occupy encampments. In the final assembly of In Visible Crisis, it was resolved to produce a Handbook, which would function as an invitation: what does militant research look like to you? How might you and those you care about engage in such practice? What else do we need to learn in order to begin? This can be a living document, or it might even be the beginnings of a publishing project.
View a PDF version of the Handbook here.