What is activism — a protestor in the streets? A hacker sitting in their basement? The founder of an NGO or an “intentional community”? Or a revolutionary fighting an authoritarian regime? In this course, we explore varieties of alternative, extra institutional, and direct political action, and their contexts and participants. We will do this with the aim of building our own definition of “activism” as it relates to our own lives and the materials presented in this class. Part one of the course focuses on individuals and groups as they relate to the societies they live in; we engage mechanisms of marginalization, suppression, and control, and the actions and movements these relationships spawn. Part two critiques several political contexts – from modern (capitalist) “democracies”, to socialist and monarchic systems, to non-hierarchical communities – and explores the ways political power is distributed within these systems. Part three then looks at concrete examples of political action; from pre-modern peasant revolts and the Paris commune; to the Zapatistas, Rojava, Alter-Globalists, and recent color/spring/Occupy movements; to “NGO activism” across the globe.