Program Archives

Mon 1.26.15 | The Perils of Automation

Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us Norton, 2014







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We rely on automation in all aspects of our lives, from our jobs to our leisure activities. It's meant to save us time and labor and free us for other pursuits. But does automation make our lives better? Writer Nicholas Carr reflects on the darker side of automation, from mechanized warfare to deskilling on the job. He argues for a relationship between technology and work that does not leave us alienated, left in low paid jobs, or open to survelliance. 

Wed 1.21.15 | Post-Oppositional Politics

AnaLouise Keating, Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change U. of Illinois Press, 2013

Anzaldúa & Keating, eds., this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation Routledge, 2002

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People dismayed by systems of power and privilege often get oppositional; their thinking and their politics get locked in an us-versus-them binary. But is this always the best and most effective approach? AnaLouise Keating says we need to cultivate a post-oppositional mindset, one that helps us transcend, among other things, narrow versions of identity politics. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 1.20.15 | Struggles Around Precarity

Maribel Casas-Cortés, "A Genealogy of Precarity" Rethinking Marxism


Precarias a la Deriva

Disco Soupe



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To many people and activist networks in Europe, "precarity" denotes the insecurity and vulnerability experienced by workers, immigrants, tenants, unemployed people, and others as attacks on labor protections and welfare supports continue. Maribel Casas-Cortés views precarity as a toolbox concept capable of uniting diverse struggles.

Mon 1.19.15 | Nonviolence Before King and Gandhi

Micah Alpaugh, Non-Violence and the French Revolution: Political Demonstrations in Paris, 1787–1795 Cambridge U. Press, 2014

Amster and Ndura, eds., Exploring the Power of Nonviolence Syracuse U. Press, 2013

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We usually associate nonviolent protest with Gandhi and Dr. King; some might go back further, to Tolstoy and Thoreau. According to Micah Alpaugh, the Parisian masses who propelled the French Revolution are also part of that grand and influential tradition. Alpaugh describes as well what popular sovereignty and democracy meant to the French protesters. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 1.14.15 | History from the Bottom Up

Cal Winslow, E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left Monthly Review Press, 2014




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E.P. Thompson was the greatest English socialist historian of the 20th century and his work still resonates today in how we understand class, social struggle, and history. Thompson's student Cal Winslow reflects on his life, politics, and writings, from his early days in the Communist Party, his key role in the early New Left, and his commitment to radical working class education.

Tues 1.13.15 | Profiting from Global Warming

McKenzie Funk, Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming Penguin, 2014






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Getting rich off of global warming may seem like the ultimate cynical business plan. But corporations are hedging their bets on unchecked climate change and the opportunities it affords. Journalist McKenzie Funk reports about the very lucrative business to be made from the deleterious effects of climate change, from opened shipping lanes in the melting Arctic to newly exposed mineral deposits, from food production on previously inhospitable land to the sale of artificial snow to the Alps.

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