Mon 6.29.15 | Whitman on Democracy

John Marsh, In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself Monthly Review Press, 2015

 

 

 

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Democracy today is in a sorry state. Can Walt Whitman help us resuscitate it? John Marsh thinks so; he reveals how the thousands of visits Whitman paid to sick and wounded soldiers in Civil War army hospitals restored the poet's faith in ordinary people's ability to fashion a robust democracy. Marsh also shows how Whitman modeled an ethics of comradeship and affection in his poetry.

Wed 6.24.15 | Indymedia and the Cyber Left

Todd Wolfson, Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left U. of Illinois Press, 2014

 

 

 

 

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Often disparaged, the internet has become both a key tool for social movements and a way for activists to tell their own stories. Inspired by the Zapatistas, media activists blazed a trail, and transformed journalism, with a network-based model of grassroots independent media centers around the world. Todd Wolfson discusses Indymedia's rise and fall, and that experience's lessons for today's social movements.

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Tues 6.23.15 | When Soviet Welfare Ended

Roelvink, St. Martin, and Gibson-Graham, eds., Making Other Worlds Possible: Performing Diverse Economies U. of Minnesota Press, 2015

 

 

 

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Welfare supports were a fundamental feature of the Soviet Union. But then the USSR collapsed, leaving millions of Russians without either good-paying jobs or state assistance. Marianna Pavlovskaya reveals how Russian families resorted to household and other informal economic practices to cope, adapt, and survive in an era of relentless privatization and neoliberalization.

Mon 6.22.15 | Archie Green

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Archie Green may be best known for almost singlehandedly pressuring the government to create the American Folklife Center, but Sean Burns argues he was one of this country's foremost intellectuals on the left. Burns, who has written the definitive study of the labor historian and folklorist, discusses Green's political formation on San Francisco's docks and his contributions to our understandings of work and culture.

Wed 6.17.15 | Two Du Boises, and Jane Austen

Keith Feldman, A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America U. of Minnesota Press, 2015

W. E. B. Du Bois

Barbara Seeber, Jane Austen and Animals Ashgate, 2013

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In Part Two of our interview with Keith Feldman, he tells the story of David Graham Du Bois, a journalist and erstwhile editor of the Black Panther Party newspaper. Also, W. E. B. Du Bois, David's stepfather, spoke in an audio autobiography about student movements and pan-Africanism, and Barbara Seeber interprets Jane Austen from both animal-rights and feminist perspectives.

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Tues 6.16.15 | Looking to Palestine

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How have developments in Palestine and the Arab world influenced racial attitudes and struggles in the US? Keith Feldman's book examines, among other things, how perceptions and understandings of Arabs and Palestinians helped writers like June Jordan think about both the plight of African Americans and their efforts to transform society. Also: Peter Linebaugh on the 800-year-old Magna Carta.

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