Michal Osterweil’s research focuses on contemporary social movements and their knowledge production. Her dissertation focused on the theoretical-practice and political imaginaries of the Italian “Global Justice Movement” and related transnational networks, in particular those affiliated with Zapatismo. She has also published on World and Regional Social Forums, as well as other actors active in contemporary anti-capitalist movements. She is interested in the “new political imaginary” being developed at the intersection of the Counter-Summits, World Social Forum and Zapatista movements.
In addition to her research, she is committed to cultivating new knowledge production practices in the university community and beyond. She has been involved with UNC’s Social Movement Working Group since its inception, as well as various research/working groups in the University Program in Cultural Studies, and is dedicated to involving her students (as well as neighbors and friends) in inter- and transdisciplinary projects aimed at solving social and political ills of our day.
Michal lives in Carrboro, where she is involved in various community projects including the Carrboro Greenspace and the Carrboro Community garden. Beyond the local area Michal is involved in an Inter‐University Consortium on the Americas in Comparative and Transnational Perspective, entitled Social Movements and 21st Century Cultural‐Political Transformations (www.umass.edu/civsoc). She is also a founding member and editor of Turbulence: Ideas for Movement.