September 11, 2017


Given the current political climate, the number and importance of social movements are increasing in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of the Lab is both to study the role of contemporary social movements as political actors and to learn from the movements.

The Lab is premised on the hybrid figure of the activist/scholar that today animates a large portion of social movements. A guiding assumption, in other words, is that there is not a theory/practice divide whereby scholars do theory and activists engage in practice. Activists are equally engaged in theoretical discussions even if, at times, in different idioms and in different contexts.

A second basic assumption of the Lab is that revealing and creating connections among social movements—in different social domains and in different national spaces—enhances the power of the movements. The guiding orientation, in other words, is both intersectional and international.  The Lab will seek to link together social movements and understand how they are already linked together in both of these ways.

The Lab is a collaborative project between Duke, the University of Virginia, and the University of Bologna.

Contact: Please email any questions to the lab's program coordinator, Eli Meyerhoff: