Who we are

Incite Seminars is legally registered as an education nonprofit (501c3). In spirit, however, we are a worker-run cooperative. That means that we collaboratively share the vision, labor, and financial proceeds.

We also aspire to be member-influenced. That means we actively seek programming input from our membership. To become a member, visit our Patreon.

Our facilitators are an integral part of our community as well. Please visit the Facilitators page to read all about them.

[This page is in progress.]

Carlos Cavalie is on the programming committee. He is a native of Camden, New Jersey. He holds a master’s degree in research psychology from Rutgers University. He spent time as an adult volunteer in the Camden STARR Program, a non-profit dedicated to improving the life chances of youth living in Camden. Carlos was also a mentor for the SPARC program, a non-profit dedicated to increasing interest in STEM fields for students in the South Jersey area. He has been a research assistant in a wide variety of projects, including projects looking at the intersection of mental health in the criminal justice system and improving outcomes, and research seeking to improve digital accessibility for persons with disabilities. You can Carlos’s visual art used in some of the social media posts announcing upcoming Incite Seminars events.

Cleo Kearns

Philip Murphy

Joshua Ramey

Natalia Smirnov Forever a “good student,” I have felt like a rebel spy in traditional educational spaces, all the way into completing a doctorate in how people learn. In high school, I read “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling” by John Taylor Gatto and seeded a tiny dream to one day start my own school that didn’t feel depressing and oppressive to learn in. In college, I read Paolo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” Jerry Farber’s “The Student as Nigger,” I read Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu on education’s role in social reproduction, and felt both burdened and mobilized by the articulation of my own subjectivity as an obedient follower of academic discourse. So I stopped studying and began organizing community learning for social justice, co-producing radical research and media projects alongside urban youth of color. I felt energized by this non-traditional model of learning organization, but frustrated that it wasn’t more visible and available to all. I found myself in grad school, learning about learning. On the sidelines of the innovative, technoutopian curriculum that left the field’s allegiance to disciplines and epistemic hierarchies unquestioned, I read Alexander Sidorkin’s “The Labor of Learning,” I read Henry Giroux on public pedagogy, I read Vygotsky’s theories of social constructivism and Dewey’s ideas on experiential and democratic education. I read Michael Cole’s Cultural Historical Activity Theory. I read Barbara Rogoff and Carol Lee and Kris Gutierrez on cultural ways of knowing, and Megan Bang and Doug Medin on the possibilities of science constructed from the Native American worldview of interdependence. I read Eugene Matusov and Ana Marjanovic-Shane on educational pluralism, and Leigh Patel on decolonizing educational research, I read and thought with Shirin Vossoughi about dismantling deficit ideologies and nurturing educational dignity and sociopolitical imagination.  I read about new literacies and new materialisms, about post-qualitative methods and autopoeitic and complex dynamic systems. I read and re-read Donna Haraway, Audre Lorde, adrienne maree brown, Deleuze & Guattari. Between producing legible lines for my CV, I started a critical research student collective, hosted humanizing writing retreats, organized anti-racist and anti-capitalist workshops, and experimented with forms of participatory research and dialogic pedagogy.  I left academia buzzing with theoretical multiverses, exhausted and alienated from its hierarchical rites, and ready to abolish most kinds of “school.”

Incite Seminars is a place where I feel at home with my intellectual revery and rebellion. Where I can learn as a process of both creation and destruction. Where I can conduct non-coercive educational experiments. Where my divergent ways of sensemaking are welcome but neither privileged nor used against me. I am deeply grateful for this community. Currently, I lead the monthly Ludic Liberation Lab where we make theory into practice through play, participate in the anarchist reading circle, and work with the programming committee to help facilitators craft engaging and accessible event descriptions.

Glenn Wallis My hatred of education began in the first grade. Although I lacked the language to articulate it, the oppressiveness of the classroom was inescapably visceral—the authoritarian bearing of Mrs. whatever-her-name-was, the herd-like obedience of my fellow students, the stultifying curriculum, the soul-crushing monotony of the daily routine. “Glenn! GLENN! Stop staring out the window!” I simply refused to go to school. Of course, I was forced to go. And so I did…until I was seventeen. Then I dropped out.

I dropped out of high school because of the most incredible educational experience that I could ever wish on anyone. This experience has informed all of my subsequent teaching, writing, and scholarship activities. It is at the heart of my involvement with Incite Seminars. In fact, it has informed my very life. Those were days of wild experimentation in secondary education. The Sudbury Valley School had opened not even ten years earlier, in 1968. Although it fashioned itself a “democratic” school, the Sudbury model could easily be adapted toward even more radical ends (“democratic education” was often code for “anarchist education“). It had no mandated curriculum; activities were driven by student curiosity and interests; no formal schedule; no age segregation; no ranking or unjustified hierarchies; no requirements, assignments, points, extra credit; no grades. Just mature, honest face to face dialogue, debate, discussion. 

The first question put to me on the first day of school was, “what do you want to learn?” The second was, “what are your values.” Unfortunately, our school was not viable financially. When it closed its doors, I tried the local high school. Predictably, it was a disaster. So, at age seventeen, I dropped out for good. With Incite Seminars, my lifelong passion for a meaningful way to go about learning has found a new home. (You can read more about me at my personal website.) 

Seminars facilitated:
Critical Introduction to Buddhist Thought
Philosophical Concepts for Thinking
Buddhism in the Age of Trump
Meditation: Self and Society
Is This How it Ends: On Human Stupidity and the Meagre Promise of the Epoché
Darkness
Unlearning: Radical Education Theory
Buddhism in Ruin
For Education: The College Classroom as Concrete Utopia
Buddhism: What Can It Offer Us Today?
Workshop on Non-Buddhist Redescription
Radical Education Workshop
Darkness and Its Discontents