Since 2016 the Institute for Social Ecology has offered online courses on a variety of expanding topics. Our seminars combine weekly interactive video seminars with ISE faculty and participants from across the globe, video lectures and readings, and online discussion forums. They are generally offered 2-3 times a year (check individual course pages below for time/date details). All our courses are also available in a self-directed format featuring the syllabus and materials but without the fixed time commitment entailed by seminar attendance. Registration for the full seminars is $80, or $40 for the self-directed version. To enroll, contact us at social-ecology@mail.mayfirst.org.

Ecology, Democracy, Utopia is an eight-unit course that provides a comprehensive overview of Social Ecology, an interdisciplinary body of ideas that examines social and ecological problems from a transformative and holistic perspective. Students learn the foundations of social ecology and apply these insights to a variety of contemporary political and ecological problems, sharpening their understanding of the world while developing visionary ideas to change it. The course explores a broad range of interconnected themes including: social theory, hierarchy and domination, capitalism, nature philosophy, food and technology, direct democracy and the state, political organizing and movement history, and reconstructive vision.  Next full seminar will run Mondays at 3/6 pm PT/ET from September 16-November 4.

Rethinking Social Transformation is a five-unit seminar that explores the tension between transformative social change and practical political action. It engages with questions of dialectical thinking, state theory, agency, and political strategy. Participants will read and discuss texts by Murray Bookchin, Karl Polanyi, Karl Marx, David Harvey, Nicos Poulantzas, and others, with short contextualizing lectures by the instructor Dr. Robert Ogman.

Understanding Antisemitism: Historical Roots & Contemporary Relevance is five-session seminar will explore social theories of antisemitism alongside historical examples up to the present moment. Recent events – from the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the alt-right’s chant of “Jews will not replace us,” up to recent controversies within the Women’s March and UK Labour Party – have demonstrated a critical need to understand antisemitism as an ongoing threat that requires analysis and action from an emancipatory perspective. Co-taught by Robert Ogman (PhD Sociology, De Montfort University) and Peter Staudenmaier (Professor of History at Marquette University), each week participants will discuss assigned texts after a short input by the instructors. Next seminar will run Thursdays at 12/3 pm PT/ET from September 12 to October 10.