Building Relations, Critical University Studies and Student Activism: A Conversation with Roderick A. Ferguson

Kong Pheng Pha & José Manuel Santillana Blanco, with Roderick A. Ferguson

Kong Pheng Pha and José Manuel Santillana Blanco, with Roderick A. Ferguson State repression has intensified across the United States. Anti-immigrant and anti-abortion laws are on the rise, both Republicans and Democrats are suppressing the pro-Palestinian movement, and students and faculty teaching ethnic and gender and queer studies face a dangerous terrain in many states.…

Unruly Subjects: On Student Activism, the Neoliberal University, and Infiltration

José Manuel Santillana Blanco

José Manuel Santillana Blanco On June 10, 2016 the Differences Organized Coalition (DO) comprising of over 15 student activist groups on campus entered and occupied the University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting held at the McNamara Alumni Center. The action came as a response to the university’s poor record in providing sufficient resources for…

Seditious Acts: Being in, but not of the Neoliberal University


José Manuel Santillana Blanco, Kidiocus King-Carroll, Naimah Zulmadelle Pétigny, and Kong Pheng Pha Almost all educational spaces and institutions in the United States are embedded within a long history of settler colonialism, chattel slavery, and racial capitalism. Many universities and colleges were founded as land-grant institutions through the Morrill Land-Grant Acts of 1862 and 1890.…

I Have Been to the Future—We Won

Simi Kang

  Simi Kang     “This piece was collectively conceived of by the members of the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group, whose tireless work to support one another and our larger community as academics of color is unparalleled. The banner slogan “I have been to the future – we won,” was designed…



अब्दुल ऐजाज़ घुप अँधेरे में सांस लेती ना-दीदा खट खट तारीक दुनिया में सरसराती हवा की दस्तक यह क्या जहाँ है जहाँ अँधेरे न जाने कब से चहार जानिब तने हुए हैं न जाने कब से  हम अपनी आँखों की रौशनाई में ख़्वाब सींचे सवाल ओढ़े सरापा चुप से थमे हुए हैं हमारी नज़रें हमारी…

Toward a marginal understanding of object being in the neoliberal university

Emily Mitamura

Emily Mitamura Abstract This piece offers a series of joined meditations on violences of the neoliberal university through conceptions of object-being, romance, imagination, and newness. In it, I experiment with a poetics of liminal meaning and forms of marginal writing thinking with (w/) after Trinh T. Minh-ha’s “Mechanical Eye, Electronic Ear, and the Lure of…

Introduction to Section One: Infractions

Richa Nagar

Richa Nagar Sedition The present volume of AGITATE! Unsettling Knowledges has its origins in the dissident creativity and radical imagination first embodied by Seditious Acts: Graduate Students of Color Interrogating the Neoliberal University, a conference organized by the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group, or CRES, at the University of Minnesota in April…

A Cold Place: Notes on Antiblackness and the Neoliberal University

Kidiocus King-Carroll

Kidiocus King-Carroll In the beginning, I was certain that I was imagining the alienation that I felt as I began my first year of graduate school. The racial violence that I encountered was tangible—I could hear and see it—but the advent of winter concurrently masked and heightened the sense of dread I felt that first…



Abdul Aijaz ghup andhere meṇ sāṇs letī nā-dīda khaṭ khaṭ tārīk duniyā meṇ sarsarātī havā kī dastak yeh kyā jahaṇ hai jahaṇ andhere na jāne kab se  chahār jānib tane hue haiṇ na jāne kab se ham apnī ānkhoṇ kī raushnā’ī meṇ khvāb sīṇche savāl oṛhe sarāpā chup se thame hu’e haiṇ hamārī nazareṇ  hamārī…

Violent Invisibilities: The Battle for Hmong and Southeast Asian American Legibility in Higher Education

Kong Pheng Pha, Kaochi Pha, and Dee Pha

Kong Pheng Pha, Kaochi Pha, and Dee Pha Asian Americans are situated in a precarious, but violent, position within the U.S. racial system (Tuan, 1998; Wu, 2002; Hong, 2020). Their so-called status as “model minorities” occlude the many struggles that they experience in a white supremacist, anti-Black, and xenophobic society. In particular, Asian American students…

Razing the Anti-Ebony Tower: An Academic ‘Grammar Book.’

Rahsaan Mahadeo

Rahsaan Mahadeo Introduction Pursuing my PhD is the most selfish endeavor I have ever undertaken. This was the self- told refrain for most of my first year as a doctoral student, for I knew that every book I read and every paper I wrote (including this one) was largely for personal gain. Not coming from…

Editorial Introduction – Vol. 1

Beaudelaine Pierre, Hale Konitshek, Julie Santella, Keavy McFadden, Khoi Nguyen, Richa Nagar, Sara Musaifer

We come together to write this inaugural editorial of AGITATE! after journeying as a collective for almost two years. Along this path, members of our group — including our contributing writers, artists, and activists — have joined in and advanced this vision and work at different times. Sometimes this coming together was planned and at other times it was sheer coincidence.

Introducing AGITATE! Volume 5

Abdul Aijaz and Richa Nagar

The editorial introduction to AGITATE! Journal’s fifth volume—Stories and Ecologies of Violence: Walking Together in Solidarity and Silence/ Chup by Richa Nagar and Abdul Aijaz.

Volume 2: Unsettling Pedagogies

Hale Konitshek, Julie Santella, Keavy McFadden, Richa Nagar, Sara Musaifer

AGITATE! Unsettling Knowledges presents our second volume, “Unsettling Pedagogies.” Forever cognizant of our limitations as a journal that relies on a ‘domain’ based in a R-1 University in the United States, we highlight unsettling lessons in creative co-learning. We rearticulate AGITATE!’s commitment to building learning spaces where radical pedagogies for sociopolitical and epistemic justice are at the front and center of our praxis.

There’s Something in the Water

Tia-Simone Gardner

In her book A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Kathryn Yussof (2018) describes a thick relationship between extractive capitalism, geologic time, and (anti)Blackness. She writes, “As the Anthropocene proclaims the language of species life – Anthropos – through a universalist geologic commons, it neatly erases histories of racism that were incubated through the regulatory structure of geologic relations.


Efadul Huq

This poem is an act of mourning, remembering, and grieving a loved one taken by the pandemic.

Domestic Affairs

Katayoun Amjadi

Domestic Affairs investigates the idea of home in body, structure, and land, and explores the culturally embedded promise of security and hope engendered in the archetypal house. It explores a conceptual topography of “place”; it is a kind of domestic archaeology.

Dreams as R-evolution

Coral Bijoux

Dreams as R-evolution—a visual art and single-use plastic installation of sculpture, drawings, and found objects—is an installation originally created in the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Westville campus plant nursery that now speaks to dreaming as a r-evolutionary act in an old colonial gallery, the IZIKO National Gallery in Cape Town.

Teleportation | عَبْرَة

Ola Saad Znad
View of Baghdad with Tigris River

“Yes, Baghdad and I haven’t seen each other since the war, but am I brave enough to change its perfect image in my memory? The walls of Baghdad extend their reach to me, protecting the only solid memory I have of the place I love, where my roots run deep. These walls keep me wondering: what would my life be if I had never left my home?”


Ritika Ganguly and Alia Jeraj

Apertures: A creative portrayal of domestic violence for SEWA-AIFW is a bricolage of stories and art forms. It draws on a variety of artistic disciplines to represent a spectrum of lived experiences of domestic violence in our societies, and the specter of patriarchy that shapes them. It tells four survivor stories from Minnesota through the lens of survivor stories in New Delhi and Chennai.

इंसानियत का लॉकडाउन

Richa Nagar and Richa Singh

The title of this piece translates to—Humanity in Lockdown. It documents the plight of migrant workers who fled Indian cities en masse, the deepening religious divide, and intensifying poverty in the context of COVID-19 pandemic and the nation-wide lockdown that was instituted in April 2020.

Parking Ramp Project

Aniccha Arts

Aniccha Arts premieres a performance installation inside a seven-level parking garage. The project asks questions about transience, migration, and stability in a space that temporarily stores cars and is home to nothing. Performers pervade the parking structure with their bodies, working against the visible slant of the ramp to find their individual verticality. Questions we asked in creating the work: How do we find softness in a landscape of concrete? What anchors us on these alternating planes? How do we connect across such a complex landscape?