Tues 9.23.14 | Ecological Crises: The Long View

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Are we humans preordained to create ecological crises? Environmental geographer Ruth DeFries argues that our past is neither the story of complete catastrophe nor techno-utopia. She traces our relationship with nature throughout human history, positing that it tends to follow the pattern of innovation, crisis creation and circumvention.

Mon 9.22.14 | Day Labor Nightmare

Gretchen Purser, “'Still Doin' Time:' Clamoring for Work in the Day Labor Industry” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society

Gretchen Purser, “The Labour of Liminality” Labour, Capital and Society

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Formerly incarcerated people, who employers largely shun, are recruited by day labor companies. Do these outfits help ex-inmates get back on their feet, or do they exploit a vulnerable, often down-and-out population? Gretchen Purser immersed herself in the world of precarious, just-in-time day labor.

Wed 9.17.14 | Riot in the Suburbs

Phil A. Neel, New Ghettos Burning Ultra

Bristol Radical History Group





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Riots can be frightening, violent, chaotic, and indiscriminate. They are also, undoubtedly, moments of collective social power, often of the marginalized. As the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri illustrates, riots are not limited to urban centers, but are increasingly taking place in the suburbs. Roger Wilson and Phil Neel weigh in on the shifting geography and taxonomy of riots. They give differing perspectives on how to understand riots politically. 

Tues 9.16.14 | Going to Waste

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Prodigious amounts of usable and edible waste are produced by commercial enterprises. They, and the capitalist system, try to keep that waste out of public view. Alex Barnard and Marie Mourad discuss the politics of waste and describe efforts, by freegans and Disco Soupe and others, to recover and reclaim and, in some cases, live off of waste.

Mon 9.15.14 | Social Movements After Occupy

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With a major climate march scheduled for this weekend, what's the state of social movements in this country? Arun Gupta contends that in the wake of Occupy Wall St, much has changed -- and much has not. He argues that the union-backed fight to raise the minimum wage and the upcoming march against global warming are both emblematic of a faulty PR-driven strategy. He also reflects on Occupy, three years out, as well as the unrest in Ferguson, and the missing antiwar movement.

Wed 9.10.14 | Realpunitik

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In this age of austerity, what is cost-conscious policy-making doing to incarceration and punishment in the US? Are arguments that highlight fiscal prudence making headway in areas where appeals to human rights and racial fairness have failed? Hadar Aviram describes how recession-era discourses have fueled key changes to the penal landscape.

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