Statement on the Firing of Dr. Anthony Monteiro from Temple University’s African American Studies Department

Democratic Socialists of America supports the reinstatement with tenure of Dr. Anthony Monteiro as a full-time faculty member in the Department of African-American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Monteiro, who has taught in the department for the past twelve years as a non-tenure track Associate Professor, recently did not have his contract renewed for the academic year 2014-2015.

This action by the Temple administration occurred despite Dr. Monteiro being a popular and respected professor; a well-published scholar of W.E. B. DuBois; and a leading community figure in the African-American North Philadelphia community in which Temple, an urban state institution, resides. Monteiro still lives in North Philly and has been an outspoken community leader against gentrification and capitalism for over 30 years.

Temple has a rich history of educating first generation college students, including many African-Americans from Philadelphia. The firing of Dr. Monteiro occurs a time when this tradition is threatened by the Temple administration’s effort to recruit a more affluent, suburban student body and to displace neighborhood residents with private student housing.    

DSA sees the firing of Professor Monteiro as part of a broader neoliberal assault on the value of public higher education. The growth in non-tenure faculty not only denies highly qualified individuals the right to secure and humane working conditions, but also threatens the freedom of expression associated with university life. In addition, in a time of declining state funding for higher education, universities are increasingly cutting back on funding for academic programs whose purpose runs against the dominant pro-corporate ideology of our time. When radical professors like Dr. Monteiro have to worry about the ramifications of their political views on the future of their academic careers, a disservice is done both to ideological pluralism in the academy and to young activists and scholars who look to such professors as both mentors and sources of alternative analyses to mainstream political and economic discourses.

Thus, DSA views Professor Monteiro’s firing as part of a broader assault on interdisciplinary programs such as women’s studies, LGBTQ studies, ethnic studies, and labor studies. DSA supports the reinstatement of Professor Monteiro not solely because of the injustice in this particular case, but also as part of our broader efforts to fight the corporatization of public higher education.  DSA supports the efforts of our Philadelphia local and Temple University campus chapter to build a movement powerful enough to compel the reinstatement of Professor Anthony Monteiro.

Statement of the National Political Committee on April 21, 2014.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 45 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 14 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 9 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 8 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.