Program Archives

Wed 2.10.16 | Capitalist Development in the Bay Area

Richard Walker and Alex Schafran, "The Strange Case of the Bay Area" Environment and Planning A 2015

Richard A. Walker and Suresh K. Lodha, The Atlas of California: Mapping the Challenge of a New Era UC Press, 2013

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The San Francisco Bay Area is a key site of capital accumulation in the U.S. -- and the world -- for reasons that are historically and geographically specific. Marxist geographer Richard Walker reflects on what the Bay Area tells us about capitalist development, housing, suburban sprawl, inequality, libertarian ideology, and capitalism itself. He discusses booms and busts in the past -- and the coming housing and tech bust. 

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Tues 2.09.16 | Globalization, Ideology, and the Media

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We're constantly taking in media representations of things and events. Stuart Hall investigated the nature of those representations, their impact on us, and the ways in which we can and do respond. He also linked media representations to the way power operates in society. Also: Part Two of the interview with global politics scholar Manfred Steger.

Mon 2.08.16 | Globalization's Impact on Ideology

Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press, 2013 (3rd ed.)

Steger, Goodman, and Wilson, Justice Globalism: Ideology, Crises, Policy SAGE, 2013


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According to Manfred Steger, globalization is destabilizing traditional political ideologies like liberalism, conservatism, and socialism. Steger proposes a framework for understanding and describing the changing ideological landscape, one that places major ideological systems and tendencies into categories like "market globalism," "religious globalism," and "justice globalism."

Wed 2.03.16 | In Capitalism's Ruins

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins Princeton University Press, 2015




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How should we think about nature and our own lives in the ruins created by capitalism? Anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing reflects on how the matsutake mushroom -- which thrives in forests degraded by commercial logging -- helps us understand the precarity of life under capitalism and the possibilities for life beyond it.

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Tues 2.02.16 | Secularism's False Promise?

Saba Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report Princeton University Press, 2015

Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject Princeton University Press, 2011 (2d ed.)


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If the problem is religious polarization and inequality, isn't the solution secular governance? Secularism, after all, promises the equality of citizens regardless of religious affiliation. Saba Mahmood argues that modern secular governance, contrary to its grand claims, has in fact exacerbated religious inequalities. It has also, she says, constrained our political imagination to a significant degree.

Mon 2.01.16 | Remembering Ellen Meiksins Wood

A Selection of the Works of Ellen Meiksins Wood

Ellen Meiksins Wood, "The Separation of the Economic and the Political in Capitalism" New Left Review, 1981

Ellen Meiksins Wood, Democracy Against Capitalism: Renewing Historical Materialism Verso, 2016

The Ellen Meiksins Wood Reader Haymarket, 2013

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Ellen Meiksins Wood upended the ways that Marxist thinkers look at class society and democracy, past and present. Her work shed new light on political theory, the origins of capitalism, and the politics of the left, among many other key themes. David McNally reflects on the pioneering political theorist and historian, who died two and a half weeks ago. And we rebroadcast excerpts of an interview with Meikins Wood about imperialism and capitalism.

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