Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance: Stellan Vinthagen

The UMass Amherst Resistance Studies Initiative, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, supports unarmed struggles against all forms of exploitation and violence. A generous donation from a Quaker activist family has underwritten the Initiative and the creation at UMass of an Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance.

The Initiative seeks to create “resistance studies,” a liberationist social science analyzing and supporting the efforts of activists worldwide that are employing direct action, civil disobedience, everyday resistance, digital activism, mass protest, and other kinds of nonviolent resistance. Its essential goals are to help create a more humane world by fostering social change and human liberation in its fullest sense. It will study how resistance can undermine repression, injustices, and domination of all kinds, and how it can nurture such creative responses as constructive work, alternative communities, and oppositional ways of thinking.

The Initiative hopes to do all of this by—

  • Working closely with the other members of the international Resistance Studies Network to encourage worldwide scholarly, pro-liberation collaboration
  • Energetically encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration with academics at UMass Amherst and elsewhere
  • Maintaining strong ties with activists worldwide, documenting their activities, and providing critical analysis upon request
  • Offering academic courses in Resistance Studies at UMass Amherst
  • Offering resistance-themed workshops, lecture series, and symposiums
  • Publishing the international, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed Journal of Resistance Studies.