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.

Mon 7.15.13 | Pedagogy for Radical Change

Friends of the MST

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed Continuum, 2000

 

 

 

 

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By illegally occupying huge estates, Brazil's Landless Workers Movement, or MST, has won title to millions of acres of land. The MST has also worked to transform Brazil's schools, in ways that support the movement's socialist goals. Activists there have drawn inspiration from the ideas of Paulo Freire and of several Soviet-era educational theorists. UC Berkeley doctoral student Rebecca Tarlau explains.

Wed 7.10.13 | What Can Environmentalism Do?

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In the face of climate change, land degradation, and ecosystem destruction, the question of environmentalism's power and potential becomes ever more urgent. Andrew Ross, Mark Engler, and Charles Callaway presented at a recent Left Forum session dedicated to that topic. They spoke about, among other things, climate debt, environmental justice, universal basic income, and even same-sex marriage.

Tues 7.09.13 | A World of Sciences

Sandra Harding, ed., The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader Duke U. Press, 2011

 

 

 

 

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Western science and technology are the motors that drive social progress; no other knowledge system comes anywhere close. It's a widely held view, an example of Western exceptionalism and triumphalism -- but is it correct? The philosopher of science Sandra Harding talks about knowledge appropriation, the failure of "development," and the value and sophistication of non-Western ways of thinking.

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