Program Archives

Tues 7.26.11| Academic Labor & Higher Ed in Crisis

William Deresiewicz at The Nation

William Deresiewicz, A Jane Austen Education Penguin, 2011




"A self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class." In the eyes of Bill Deresiewicz, that describes not just the US economy as a whole but also the troubled landscape of higher education. Deresiewicz discusses the plight of academic labor and other trends within the academy. He also evaluates calls for the abolition of tenure and for technology-based and market-driven reforms.

Mon 7.25.11| Acts of Solidarity

Lisa Dodson, The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy New Press, 2011

Maureen Murphy, "Criminalizing Palestinian Solidarity" Al Jazeera 

Giving free medical treatment to those without insurance, or covering for a coworker against the rules so she can care for a sick child. According to sociologist Lisa Dodson, these are just a few examples of acts of solidarity and mutual aid that Americans frequently provide each other, often in violation of the law.  Attorney Michael Deutsch talks about another form of solidarity, highlighted by the case of 23 Palestine and Colombia solidarity activists subpoenaed to testify in front of a Chicago grand jury.

Wed 7.20.11| US Freethinkers; Blacks in California

Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers: A History of American SecularismMetropolitan, 2005

Susan Jacoby's blog The Spirited Atheist

Aparajita Nanda, ed., Black California: A Literary Anthology Heyday/Santa Clara U., 2011

Freethinkers have worked tirelessly to keep government out of religion and religion out of government. While many conservatives have denied or played down this nation's secularist tradition, in which people like Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll have played prominent roles, Susan Jacoby is working hard to revive it. And Aparajita Nanda has edited a new anthology about the experience of Blacks in, and in relation to, California.

Tues 7.19.11| The 75th Anniversary of the Spanish Revolution

Few attempts at radical social transformation are as inspiring as the Spanish Revolution, which was launched in response to a fascist coup in 1936. Yet it fell apart tragically. Anarchist writer Stuart Christie, who was imprisoned for attempting to assassinate the dictator Francisco Franco, discusses the social forces at play in the Spanish Revolution, its disintegration, and anarchist resistance to Franco in its aftermath.

Mon 7.18.11| Antiqueer Violence and "Overkill"

According to Eric Stanley, brutal murders of LGBT people, many of which involve the mutilation or dismemberment of the victim's body, are not aberrations and should not be dismissed as the products of individual pathology. Instead, Stanley argues, these forms of violence are central to the reproduction of liberal democracy in the US.

Wed 7.13.11| Early Walter Benjamin

Howard Eiland, ed., Walter Benjamin's Early Writings (1910-1917) Harvard U. Press, 2011




Human consciousness, creativity, development, and organization: So many facets of the human condition interested Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), whose insights into the big questions of modern existence continue to resonate. A new volume of Benjamin's early writings, in which the German philosopher-critic holds forth on topics like education, creativity, history, and the search for truth, is edited by Howard Eiland.

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