Mon 8.12.13 | The Technopolitics of Uranium

Gabrielle Hecht, Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade The MIT Press, 2012

Gabrielle Hecht, ed., Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War The MIT Press, 2011



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Uranium is so dangerous that certain words -- Hiroshima, Chernobyl, Fukushima -- evoke images of horror and destruction. But uranium would do nothing and go nowhere if it weren't first extracted from the ground. While describing the toll uranium production has taken on people's lives, Gabrielle Hecht considers corporate conduct, regulatory policy, racial politics, and postcolonial dynamics.

Wed 8.07.13 | Same as Apartheid?

George Steinmetz, ed., Sociology and Empire: The Imperial Entanglements of a Discipline Duke U. Press, 2013




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Many comparisons have been made between the contemporary treatment of Palestinians and the treatment of blacks in apartheid-era South Africa. But what do those comparisons ignore, and what differences deserve emphasis? Andy Clarno's analysis takes into account labor, empire, political economy, and new technologies.

Tues 8.06.13 | Vietnam's Lessons Learned?

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If this nation's involvement in Vietnam was disastrous, if the US lost what it calls the Vietnam War, then what happened such that foreign military intervention again became acceptable, and even popular? Walter Hixson discusses the cultural recasting of the Vietnamese conflict over the years, with momentous effects.

Mon 8.05.13 | Robin Kelley on Aimé Césaire

Robin Kelley, "A Poetics of Anticolonialism," Monthly Review

Robin Kelley, Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times Harvard U. Press, 2012

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Colonialism in both its traditional and contemporary versions is not just about power and coercion: it's about how the "other" is thought and talked about. Aimé Césaire took a radical anticolonial stance inflected with surrealist and Marxist notions. Robin D. G. Kelley discusses Césaire's ideas and their relevance for today.

Wed 7.17.13 | Emerson and "The Common"

Branka Arsic & Cary Wolfe, eds., The Other Emerson U. of Minnesota Press, 2010

Eric Keenaghan, Queering Cold War Poetry: Ethics of Vulnerability in Cuba and the United States Ohio State U. Press, 2008

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Ralph Waldo Emerson may not have anticipated our current era of homeland security or the way in which identity politics play out in this you're-either-with-us-or-against-us neoliberal moment. But Eric Keenaghan has gleaned from Emerson's writings important lessons about overcoming social divisions and risk-obsessed security discourses. Even apparently solitary activities like reading, he argues, have important implications for collective action.

Tues 7.16.13 | Blacks & Latinos: Conflict or Synergy?

Román & Flores, eds., The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States Duke U. Press, 2010

Mark Sawyer, Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba Cambridge U. Press, 2006

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African Americans and Latinos acting in tandem could exert tremendous political force. Mark Sawyer examines factors that inhibit Latino-Black collaboration, including anti-Black racism among many Latinos, African American parochialism, and narrow visions of racial/ethnic identity. He also identifies points of commonality and convergence. And Juan Flores talks about the broader project of the book in which Sawyer's essay appears.

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