Tues 7.20.10| The Art of Looking

Jacob and Bass, eds., Learning Mind: Experience into Art SAIC & UC Press, 2009

Michael Brenson, Visionaries and Outcasts: The NEA, Congress, and the Place of the Visual Artist in America The New Press, 2000

What are you looking at? The Spanish artist Juan Munoz called that his first artistic question. Art critic Michael Brenson has been thinking about that question for a decade; it's changed the way he encounters art. According to Brenson, that question leads to many others, all of which can enhance how we go about engaging with, and learning from, works of art.

Mon 7.19.10| Life At Any Cost?

Gusterson and Besteman, eds., The Insecure American: How We Got Here and What We Should Do About It UC Press, 2010

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Death Without Weeping UC Press, 1992

Death has become something to be avoided at all costs. But what are the costs of having, and acting upon, that mindset? Nancy Scheper-Hughes comments on the culture of fear around death and dying in the US, and puts it into historical and cultural context. She also talks about body theft, the Terri Schiavo case, and her and her parents' experiences as the latter's health declined.

Wed 7.14.10| Ecological Economics

Economic growth and industrial development, we are told, are the keys to human and social progress. Debal Deb is far from convinced. In his book Beyond Developmentality, Dr. Deb critiques mainstream economic priorities; calls into question many assumptions about the natural world; describes how traditional indigenous societies have interacted with nature; and calls for a zero-growth economy.

Tues 7.13.10| Kinzer on Iran & Turkey

Stephen Kinzer, Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future Times Books, 2010
Led by radical reform-minded rulers, Iran and Turkey embarked on a democratic trajectory in the early 1900s, and those two nation's democratic traditions suggests the basis for a future, very productive relationship with the US. So argues Stephen Kinzer in his new book, which recounts a series of turbulent and extraordinary events in the histories of Iran and Turkey.

Mon 7.12.10| Righteous Dopefiends

Philippe Bourgois & Jeff Schonberg, Righteous Dopefiend UC Press, 2009

Philippe Bourgois, In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio Cambridge U. Press, 2002

For more than ten years, Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg became part of the daily lives of two dozen homeless heroin injectors in San Francisco. Their book is an account of those individuals' experiences and relationships; a photo-ethnography of drugs, poverty, race and social exclusion; and a revealing look at the larger structural forces that operate on vulnerable populations.

Wed 7.07.10| Mining, Working, Dialoguing

Dark and forbidding: it's a phrase that describes the lives of miners, who often toil for unconscionably low wages in one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Miners and the social and political forces that fuel deadly mining practices have attracted the attention of the poet and labor activist Mark Nowak. He talks as well about trade union movements and transnational conversations among working people.
All user-submitted comments owned by the Poster. All other content © Against the Grain, a program of KPFA Radio, 94.1fm Berkeley CA and online at KPFA.org. Against the Grain logo designed by Lise Dahms. A.T.G.'s theme music is by Dhamaal.