The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


Abolitionist University Studies: a provocation (Weekly Study Group)

Abolitionist University Studies: a provocation
Spring 2023 weekly study group 
Mondays, 6pm-8pm ET, online via Zoom (Jan 30 – April 24)
facilitated by Conor ‘Coco’ Tomás Reed (


The vision and practice of abolition remains a north star for BIPOC movements. As these communities confront all conditions of policing and imprisonment, they also work to construct life-affirming relationships, mutual aid, social care, communal defense, and liberatory spaces. For abolitionists inside and adjacent to higher education in the United States, the question of whether to dismantle or collectively transform universities has become heightened by the last few years of insurgencies, strikes, and state repression. This Spring 2023 study group will explore this debate, with the intention for applicable strategic directions to emerge from their reflections.

Space is limited, and priority will be given to those who commit to being an active part of each conversation over the course of the series (barring unforeseen absences), and who also commit to creating their own Abolitionist University Studies study group after this one ends.


Please sign up here by Monday, January 23, 2023 to request participation.


This study group is open to all. However, the study group will intentionally center the participation of:

  • Black, Indigenous, and people of colors in the City University of New York (CUNY) and New York City—specifically women, gender non-binary, and queer and trans people.
  • Those in CUNY and New York City who have directly navigated the impact of policing, jail, and/or imprisonment in their own, families’, and friends’ lives.

Participants who do not identify as part of these groups are asked to be mindful about not eclipsing the experiences and involvement of those being centered. The study group also asks that people with regular access to radical study resources pass along this announcement to family and friends who may not.

More information, including a detailed schedule and a bio about the facilitator, can be found in this Google doc [].