Take Classes with Verso Authors at Free University Week


Do you have the urge to attain higher education, but don’t want to borrow exorbitant sums of money and cripple your financial future to do it? Well, you’re in luck because it’s Free University Week! As part of Occupy Wall Street’s birthday week, from September 18th to the 21st the Free University is facilitating more than 140 classes and workshops in Madison Square Park on topics like the global financial crisis, activism, social justice, and climate change. 

A few past and present Verso authors will be teaching classes as part of this initiative—details are below, or visit here for a complete schedule. 

On Disasters and Encampments led by Rebecca Solnit

Starts: 3:00 pm

Ends: Thursday, September 20 - 5:00 pm

Location: Madison Square Park: Statue

Description: After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, tents and street kitchens spread across the city and people took care of one another and found a kind of solidarity in their shared loss and precariousness. They also found that city government and the US military constituted a far more grave calamity than the shaking of the earth. Mutual aid and the improvisation of a society is what happens after disasters, sometimes including financial disasters--thus the extraordinary uprisings and social creativity after the Argentine economic collapse, thus the tent cities and general assemblies of Occupy. This is a talk about Occupy from the perspective of disasters' aftermath, by the author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster.


STRIKE DEBT: On Debt and Growth led by Andrew Ross

Starts: 5:00 pm

Ends: Thursday, September 20 - 6:00 pm

Location: Madison Square Park: Statue

Description: Our present money system can only function in a growing economy. Money is created as interest-bearing debt: it only comes into being when someone promises to pay back even more of it. But growth, especially when finance-driven, is ecologically destructive. How do we reconcile this contradiction?


Ocuppying Language: A Conversation with Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini

Starts: 2:00 pm

Ends: Friday, September 21 - 3:00 pm

Location: Madison Square Park: Statue

Description: The discussion on Occupying Language will address some of the words and practices that have emerged in the Occupy movements, such as horizontal, assembly, autonomy, self organization and alternative, non-hierarchical views of power, and ground these concepts in the practices and language of the autonomous movements in Latin America over the past two decades.


GRAMSCI TOOL BOX by Simon Critchley

Starts: 12:00 pm

Ends: Saturday, September 22 - 1:00 pm

Location: Madison Square Park: Flagpole