Challenging Complicities Project

Administrative and academic departments and programs, as well as students, are invited to engage with the key framing questions for the IRT. As the dual pandemics reveal vulnerabilities and divides, what can we learn about what academia has been built on? How are foundations of anti-Blackness and histories of exclusionary notions of education reproduced in structures and practices of academia? What are the colonial roots of academic disciplines? How do these histories shape the questions and content with which disciplines engage? How might we use new insights from the dual pandemics to create a deeper vision of transformation? What steps might we take to get there? Participants will convene to discuss what they are learning.

Departments and offices that are engaging key questions of the IRT will convene to discuss their efforts to understand  foundations of anti-Blackness and histories of exclusion that continue to be reproduced in structures, systems, and practices of academia. Participants will also talk about their visions of moving work in higher education toward more liberatory futures and concrete steps they plan to make changes in their own departments. 

Reimagining Community Futures 

In the face of the dual pandemics, communities are building practices for survival and wellness, drawing from both histories and imaginative possibilities to shape our community futures. Opportunities for community connections related to the IRT:

  • Ongoing efforts around mutual aid, community care, and building solidarity
  • Engagement with the arts

Haus der Kulturen der Welt Conference

“The Shape of a Practice: Negotiating Context in the Anthropocene,” Haus der Kulturen der Welt, LIvestream on

Opening Welcome and Conversation, Monday, October 26
12:00 pm CDT: Welcome, with Jeremy Bolen, Beate Geissler, John Kim, Sarah Lewison, Bernd Scherer and others
12:30 pm CDT: Conversation, with Jeremias Herberg, John Kim, moderated by Adania Shibli

Artist and researcher John Kim opens a portal on-site in Minneapolis with a discussion on From Emergency to Emergence, a series of workshops and conversations developed in the aftermath of the recent uprisings and protests related to the poly-crisis of racial inequality, a global pandemic and ecological destruction. Focused on activist practices of solidarity and mutual aid, the series seeks to reveal how such activities offer new models and modes of self-governance and political autonomy.


OFFERINGS: Artists Respond to the Mourning, Grieving and Fires on Lake Street is a multifaceted engagement of artists, co-facilitated by Harry Waters Jr. and Lelis Brito, that holds space for death, loss, grief, ancestors and remembering centered on the current changes on Lake Street.

We proudly announce that forty Twin Cities artists have been selected to participate in BareBones 2020.

OFFERINGS will feature 35+ pop-up art works that will activate a variety of outdoor public and community locations along and near Lake Street in South Minneapolis. We invite the public, neighbors, passerby and BareBones community to take a self-guided tour of OFFERINGS from October 25 to November 7.

Reading Groups

  • International Roundtable 2020 is hosting reading groups to discuss Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower. Five groups of Macalester staff and faculty members  are meeting in early November to discuss Butler’s book, written in 1993, but set in the United States in the 2020s in a society mostly destroyed by climate change, corporate greed, racist violence, and income inequality. The book offers a prophetic vision of mutual aid and building new worlds.
  • Reading group participants have the opportunity to engage with students in “Macalester Roundtable: The Global Pandemic,” a class taught by Kevin Ward and Nora Whalen at Avalon School, a community partner. The teachers have welcomed Macalester reading group participants as community leaders join the class as guest speakers to connect their lives and work to Butler’s Parable of the Sower. Avalon students will present audio diaries around themes of their class to Macalester guests.

Imagining America National Gathering—Through Tumultuous Times: Re-Imagining and Re-Building “America”

The plenary conversation invites viewers to reimagine the ways we think about and approach community planning and development, with a particular focus on housing and public spaces. Laura Harjo in discussion with Jai’ Celestial, Lisa Lee, Spirit McIntyre, Andreanecia Morris, Kim Szeto, with an opening performance by A Scribe Called Quess?

Barbara Ransby, Stacey Sutton, and Margo Okazawa-Rey, discuss how scholar-movement alliances are organizing to transform a world that urgently needs change.