People's University in Washington Square

Out from the classrooms and into public space, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.



Session 11: Saturday 12/10 at Noon


David Graeber

The People’s University in Washington Square is thrilled to welcome thinker and activist David Graeber for a discussion on the Occupy movement.

Saturday, December 10, 2pm
following the NYC Student Assembly
@ Judson Memorial Church, 55 Wash Sq South

David Graeber is an American anthropologist, political activist and author. He is currently reader in social anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and was formerly an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University. David is a member of the labour union Industrial Workers of the World, and has played a role in events such as the 2002 New York protests against the World Economic Forum. His most recent book is Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011).

Past People’s U sessions:

Session 1: October 22, 2pm

Economic Crisis, Housing, and NYC 

Join us for the inaugural session of the People’s University in Washington Square Park for a session on the economic crisis, the housing bubble, and what New Yorkers are doing to fight back!


Rick Wolff, Economist, New School

The People’s U will start after the NYC all Student Assembly in Washington Square. Look for the signs saying “PEOPLES UNIVERSITY”!

Session 2: Monday, October 24, 12:00pm

Join us for the second session of the People’s University


Steve Fraser, Author of Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace


Stephanie Luce, Professor of Labor Studies, Murphy Institute:

Read Fraser’s recent piece on Occupy Wall Street.

Washington Square Park

Session 3: Wednesday, October 26th, 6pm

Join us for the third session of the People’s University

Activism and the Law


Christine Harrington, Professor of Politics; Institute for Law and Society, NYU

author of Popular Justice, Populist Politics: Law in Community Organizing.


Carl Dix, October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality

on resistance to the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program

6pm in Washington Square Park - Look for the sign that says “People’s University”!

Affiliated event: Thursday October 27, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Public Schools and Privatization

Film screening sponsored by the Radical Film and Lecture Series
“The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting for Superman”

At NYU Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, Room 520

Session 4: Saturday, Oct 29, 1:30pm 
(immediately following the NYC Area All Student Assembly at noon)

Public Space and Gentrification


Neil Smith, Professor of Geography, CUNY


Frank Morales, Organizing for Occupation

in Washington Square Park

Session 5: Wednesday, Nov 2, 12:30pm

Hip-Hop for Social Change


Sujatha Fernandes, Professor of Sociology, CUNY

author of the new book Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip-Hop Generation


Rebel Diaz, bi-lingual hip-hop duo from the South Bronx

in Washington Square Park

Session 6: Tuesday, Nov 8, 12:30pm 

Effects of Financial Expansion on Markets and Everyday Life

  • Special Location: Gould Plaza, in front of Stern Business School


Randy Martin, professor of Art and Public Policy, Tisch School
author of Financialization of Daily Life


Rene Francisco Poitevin, assistant professor, Gallatin School

Session 7: Wednesday, Nov 9, 12:30pm

New York City Fiscal Crisis: Then and Now


Kimberly Phillips-Fein, assistant professor, Gallatin School
author of Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan


Joshua Freeman, professor of History, CUNY Graduate Center
author of Working-Class New York: Life and Labor since World War II

in Washington Square Park

Session 8: Saturday, Nov 12, 1:30pm

Education for the 99%

Educators, activists, parents, and students speak out on the fight for public education in NYC and the rest of the country


Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters & Parents Across America


Megan Behrent, NYC Public School Teacher


Melissa Garcia, New York State Youth Leadership Council

in Washington Square Park

Session 9: Wednesday Nov 16, 12:30pm

with Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy won the Booker prize in 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things. Her non-fiction work includes An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, and Broken Republic. An impassioned critic of neo-imperialism, military occupations, and violent models of economic ‘development’, Roy was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004. Her consistent exposure of the Indian state’s repressive policies has led to her being variously labelled a seditionist, secessionist, Maoist and unpatriotic troublemaker.

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Session 10: Saturday, 11/19 1:30pm

From New York to Paris, the Struggle Against Neoliberalism


Olivier Besancenot

Olivier Besancenot is one of the founding spokespersons of the French NPA (New Anti-Capitalist Party). He has been one of France’s most popular politicians. In 2002 at 28 he was the youngest presidential candidate in France’s history. He is the author of Tout est à nous (2002), Révolution (100 mots pour changer le monde, 2003), and Che Guevara: His Revolutionary Legacy (2009) with Michael Lowy.