Indigenous Established Infoshop in Flagstaff, AZ – Anti-colonial & Anti-capitalist Community Space

Activist Call Out: Fanaticism and the Abolition-Democracy: Critical Theory in the Spirit of Joel Olson

Joel Olson’s death last spring came as shock to activists in Flagstaff, the state of Arizona, the US, and the world. For decades, the Northern Arizona University professor fought ferociously for social justice and for people to transform the oppression in their lives produced by racism, heteronormativity, sexism, police repression, or capital. He selflessly belonged to many groups like Bring the Ruckus, Cop Watch, and the Repeal Coalition. His book The Abolition of White Democracy sought to smash white supremacy at the center of American democracy, striking not just against the ivory tower, but the streets, the churches, the zines, and the public school system. In Joel’s spirit, we seek activists and academics to reflect on and discuss themes and projects important to his life. We invite proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and any other creative ideas for presentations. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • critical readings of Olson’s work;
  • the relationship between race, power, and democracy;
  • the implications of colorblindness in liberal multiculturalism;
  • the performativity of citizenship beyond the state;
  • the ability for everyday people to organize themselves and fight against forms of oppressive authority;
  • the possibility for anarchism and Marxism within modern politics;
  • the ability for activism to resist, abolish, and transform anti-immigrant laws in Arizona;
  • the connection between immigration and different forms of power;
  • the connection of race with different forms of environmentalism;
  • the relationship between violence and revolution;
  • the potential for coalition building in anti-racist work;
  • the future of pro-immigrant activism;
  • the relationship, or lack thereof between activism and education.

Proposals should include a title, description, and contact information for the presenter(s). Panel, roundtable, and workshop proposals should include a panel title, the titles and abstract of other papers, a description of the panel, and names and contact information for paper presenters. The deadline for proposals is November 22 by email to You will be notified within two weeks of your proposal’s status. Address all conference questions to