Program Archives

Wed 8.31.11| Workers' Control

Immanuel Ness & Dario Azzellini, eds., Ours to Master and to Own: Workers' Control from the Commune to the PresentHaymarket Books, 2011


What happens when those who work for others decide to take their collective destinies into their own hands and manage themselves? That's a question workers around the world have answered in different forms over the 140 years since the Paris Commune. Scholar and activist Immanuel Ness discusses the history, across time and place, of workers' control and workers' councils.

Tues 8.30.11| August Wilson on Black America

Sandra Shannon, The Dramatic Vision of August WilsonHoward U. Press, 1995

August Wilson's Seven Guitars at Marin Theatre Company


August Wilson wrote a 10-play, decade-by-decade exploration of the African American experience in the 20th century -- so did that make the eminent playwright an historian as well? Sandra Shannon describes how Wilson drew inspiration from the Black Arts movement, the blues, and everyday Black experience. And Kent Gash directs a new production of Seven Guitars, which Wilson set in Pittsburgh in 1948.

Mon 8.29.11| Conflict in Somalia: A Primer

"You Don't Know Who to Blame": War Crimes in Somalia, a report by Human Rights Watch

Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy at Berkeley Repertory Theatre


A government in name only. A protracted conflict with a hard-line Islamist group. A severe drought and famine, and thousands of people on the move. Ben Rawlence has written a penetrating report about the tumultuous situation in Somalia, and the toll it's taken on civilians. Also, the celebrated solo performer Anna Deavere Smith talks about her new show.

Wed 8.24.11| Labor Struggles at Verizon and Beyond

The biggest strike in four years came to an end on Monday, but the conflict between Verizon and its unionized workers is far from being resolved. The case epitomizes the challenges for union workers in the US, who often are employed by businesses that are majority non-union. Labor journalist and organizer Steve Early talks about how workers should and can fight back in an era where open shops are becoming the norm.

Tues 8.23.11| When People Take Over

In these times of crisis and calamity, where can we look for hope and encouragement? According to David McNally, people are coming together and creating exciting new democratic practices in locales around the globe. He points to grassroots experiments in radical democracy and truly participatory decision making in places like Tunisia, Egypt, Oaxaca, and Cochabamba.

Mon 8.22.11| Capitalism and the Internet

John Bellamy Foster & Robert McChesney, "The Internet's Unholy Marriage to Capitalism" Monthly Review

Free Press



Two decades into the internet revolution, what's the state of a medium that was supposed to create new, perhaps utopian, relationships between people around the world? Why is it not dominated by collaborative, nonprofit efforts like Wikipedia? Media critic Robert McChesney describes how capitalist interests have managed to enclose the non-commercial promise of the internet -- and argues that it doesn't have to be so. He also considers the state of online journalism.


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