Just Methods – Campus Activism 

The objective of this research project is to examine campus responses to student mobilization and activism from Fall 2019 through 2021. It is part of a broader collaborative project on Just Methods that attends to difference and diversity in the context of unequal power relations. Student organizing continues to grow within higher education campuses nationally, protests increase as structural problems endure, especially regarding racism and anti-blackness (Cho, 2018; Hendricks, Edwards, Tietjen-Smith, et al, 2022). Within the same period the Syracuse University campus has seen a series of student protests and conflicts culminating in the #NotAgainSU movement. This project seeks to understand how the campus community, especially students, narrate these conflicts from a justice-oriented, solidarity based and student-centered approach. 

Our framework examines strategies and responses within higher education as institutional behavior. Often responses to student mobilization result in increased securitization and policing. Broadly defined, securitization in this project refers to institutional responses under two key categories: surveillance and retaliation. To this end, we analyze archival materials (e.g., social media, news articles, and campus communications), and conduct and interpret semi-structured interviews with students, faculty, and staff.  

Research Team

Dr. PJ DiPietro

Dr. DiPietro works at the intersection of decolonial feminisms, women of color thinking, Latinx studies, and trans* studies. With a transdisciplinary approach, they engage anthropology, human geography, and philosophy. They are one of the co-editors of Speaking Face to Face: The Visionary Philosophy of María Lugones (SUNY 2019) and their single-author manuscript will be published under the title Sideways Selves, The Decolonizing Politics of Trans* Matter Across the Américas. They collaborate with various organizations and collectives committed to social justice, including the Democratizing Knowledge Collective at Syracuse University, the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS), the decolonial philosophy collaborative REC-Latinoamérica, and the travesti collectives Damas de Hierro and Futuro TransGenérico. DiPietro has received a Tinker Foundation Scholarship and an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities.

Natalie Gallagher

Natalie is a mother, a Social Science Ph.D. Student and WGS instructor; and holds a political commitment to movements and coalitions for permanent protection, abolition, and anti-imperialism/rights to the city. Her academic work explores political mourning through pedagogies of revolt and the historical materialism of possibility. She seeks to make post-disciplinary contributions and understandings to the praxis of counter-hegemonic resistance.

Atiya McGhee

Atiya is a doctoral student in the Cultural Foundations of Education program at Syracuse University and is pursuing a certificate of advanced study (CAS) in Women’s and Gender Studies. Atiya’s work and research broadly spans various disciplines such as queer studies, disability studies, fat studies, and Black studies. Atiya identifies as a fat Black woman/non-binary queer person from the Bronx, NY. Using (auto)ethnography and intergroup dialogue, their research examines what a possible fat pedagogy outside the classroom can look like that critically interrupts “body terrorism” (Taylor, 2022) and the negative “body talk” associated with fatness. 

Dr. Himika Bhattacharya

Dr. Bhattacharya’s research and teaching interests include Transnational Feminist Studies focusing on Women of Color and Dalit Feminisms; Qualitative Research Methods particularly Ethnography and Oral History; and South Asia Studies, specifically India. Her interdisciplinary research engages questions about caste and race; violence and resistance and, love and solidarity. She is an affiliate faculty of the South Asia Center and African American Studies. She is also a member of the Democratizing Knowledge Collective at SU.

Dr. Jackie Orr

Jackie Orr teaches and writes in the fields of cultural politics and performance, critical technoscience studies, and contemporary theory. She was a sociology faculty at Syracuse University for 22 years, and received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Her book Panic Diaries: A Genealogy of Panic Disorder (Duke, 2006) narrates the entangled histories of militarization, cybernetics, and technoscientific imagination. In 2017, she was named the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence at SU. For over 30 years, Orr has experimented with performance methods and visual/audio collage as practices for re-making public memory and insurgent knowledges. Her most recent solo performance on the deep time of catastrophe, Slow Disaster at the Digital Edge, has been presented at the University of Chicago, Goldsmiths, Stanford University, U Wisconsin-Madison, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She currently teaches in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Barnard College. 

Interested in Learning More?

Contact Us: sucampusmobilization@syr.edu