Tues 11.23.10| Shack Dwellers' Movement

Foreclosures and tent cities have become commonplace in the U.S. and those without domicile are often left to find individual solutions to their plight. In South Africa, the poor and the homeless have mobilized themselves and are fighting back. S'bu Zikode, the head of shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, discusses how that organization was formed and the obstacles it faces, including violent attacks by the police and those in power.

Mon 11.22.10| Fair Trade's Impact

Fair trade coffee, fair trade products -- we're told to buy these items because the extra amount we pay at the register goes to improving the lives of agricultural laborers abroad. But does it? Sarah Besky has done extensive fieldwork on fair trade-certified tea plantations in Darjeeling, India. And Mark Moberg co-edits a volume that features Besky's case study and many others.

Mon 11.15.10| Harvey on Left Organization; Coyle on Cutting the Work Week

David Harvey, The Enigma of Capital: and the Crises of Capitalism Oxford, 2010

Eugene P. Coyle, "Cut the Work Week," CounterPunch


In a moment of economic crisis, what should our demands be and how should we hope to win them? Geographer David Harvey talks about organizing ourselves for life after capitalism, while resource economist Eugene Coyle discusses why unemployment is not solved by perpetual growth. He argues that it's time for labor and the left to again raise the banner of cutting the work week.

Wed 11.10.10| Democracy Via Technology?

Jodi Dean and her blog




Has the internet ushered in a new era of mass participation and greater democracy? Or has the communications and networking revolution encouraged millions on the Left to be politically passive, while neoliberal capitalism strengthens its position? In her book Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies, Jodi Dean reconsiders the democratic potential of communications media.
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Tues 11.09.10| The Bicycle and the Radio

Is the bicycle the anti-car? Historian of technics Iain Boal discusses an unknown side to the bicycle's history, from the paving of roads to King Leopold's genocide in the Congo. Boal also speaks about another iconic 20th century means of crossing space -- the radio -- and considers the political economy of elected boards at America's first listener-sponsored radio network, Pacifica. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 11.08.10| 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

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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