Atlanta Institute for Social Research

The Atlanta Institute for Social Research (ATLISR): Enacting new modes of social research and social action for queers, the sexually marginalized, leftists, artists, makers, and people affected by HIV/AIDS.

ATLISR was instigated and is administered by Stephen Molldrem. Stephen is currently a PhD Candidate and Rackham Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. He defends his dissertation, “Remaking Biomedical Sexualities: Health Technologies and the Governance of HIV in the United States,” this April.

ATLISR offerings, past and present:
Current reading and discussion group: Conversations on Property (starting February 2019 – details at the link).
ATLISR is part of a new entity called the Redefining Affordable Housing Collective (RAHC). Biweekly meetings in Atlanta. Reach out for details.
The Sonic | Haptic Lab at The Atlanta Institute for Social ResearchCo-Directed by:Institute Admin Stephen Molldrem (Director, Haptic)
DJ and Producer Max Rewak (Director, Sonic)
“The ‘For David’ EP,” released 9/23/2018.
Contributed to Rewak’s “Strayed, Wide, Male” EP.
On hiatus: The ATLISRCast: The Podcast of the Atlanta Institute for Social Research
Reading and discussion groupsPast groups:Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx (5/3/18-7/12/18). Learn more.
“Tongues United: Memoirs of a Pentecostal Boyhood” by Michael Warner, Easter Weekend 2018
Salons, panels, and discussions on issues affecting our constituent communities:ATLISR is a founding member of the Redefining Affordable Housing Collective.
5/23/2018, Are there Alternatives to Capitalism? A Public Salon Featuring Dr. Kate Rosenblatt
5/4/2018, 6-8pm: Hannah Arendt (2012) Screening and Dialogues on “The Banality of Evil”
Small grantsSmall technology grant to support queer organizer and artist Paege Turner.
Open work hours
Skills-building workshops
Non-traditional support for artists, makers, and activists from our constituent communities
Informal community gatherings where issues are discussed

We hope to offer
Funding to support all of the above
Small grants for artists and makers
Small grants for researchers (especially nontraditional scholars)
White papers and reports
Short-term fellowships

What is the Atlanta Institute for Social Research?

There are many places, organizations, and imagined collectivities that have “Institute for Social Research” in their names. The most famous one is probably the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt. Faculty there (such as Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno) and associated thinkers (such as Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Wilhelm Reich, Jürgen Habermas, and Angela Davis) produced much of the intellectual basis for the political visions that motivated New Leftists during the second half of the 20th Century. These were not limited to working class movements, but included radical feminists and women of color, gay liberationists (including women of trans experience such as Silvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and organizations they helped start such as the Gay Liberation Front and Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), and Third World People’s movements (such as Third World Gay Revolution and the Black Panther Party).

There is a newer “Institute for Social Research” in Brooklyn that offers classes to folks who can afford a modest fee. A larger one at the University of Michigan does a lot of survey research.

We are building a new kind of Institute for Social Research in Atlanta. What does that mean? Help us find out.

Our motivating impulse:
“I want to draw. I want to paint. I have something to say, to everyone and as many as I possibly can. I am doing it on the streets, I am doing it in my room, I am doing it underground. I am doing it on the trains, on the billboards, in the mail. The palaces are full. But new ones are being built: in the nightclubs and in the bathrooms. I will work with and on whatever I can lay my hands on. I will carve on a tree or on a rock. I will use paint, chalk, or any stick that leaves a mark. I will draw pictures and color them. I will write words, in my language and in yours. I will build toys. I will make sounds and instruments that make sounds. I will rap and I will sing and I will dance to it all.”
Excerpt from Nicolas Moufarrege, “Another Wave, Still More Savagely than the First,” Arts Magazine, September 1982, as quoted in “Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz” by Cynthia Carr.