Program Archives

Mon 3.09.15 | Engaging the State, Stopping Global Warming

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Does the radical left need to stop worrying and learn to love the state? Marxist writer Christian Parenti argues that, if global warming is to be halted, it will only be through activism directed at shaping government policy. He also discusses what Alexander Hamilton -- the first Treasury Secretary of the United States -- might be able to teach us about the predicament we're in. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 3.04.15 | Blacks and the Master/Slave Relation

Frank Wilderson, III, Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid South End Press, 2008

Frank Wilderson, III, Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms Duke U. Press, 2010

 

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Frank Wilderson, III, believes that all Blacks are slaves, by which he means that every Black person is socially dead and continuously vulnerable to gratuitous (as opposed to reasoned) violence. Wilderson puts all non-Blacks into the category of the "master," whose sense of human integrity and coherence is maintained precisely by the denigration and physical domination of Blacks.

Tues 3.03.15 | In Defense of the Neolithic

James H. S. McGregor, Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present Yale University Press, 2015

 

 

 

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Are we, as a species, at war with nature? We might think so, given the ways that our planet has been ecologically ravaged. But has it always been that way? Have we, since at least the dawn of settled agriculture, destroyed the natural world around us? Scholar James McGregor argues that the history of our relationship -- or interrelationship -- with nature is much more complex and hopeful. He speaks in defense of the Neolithic era, when farming and the domestication of animals started in the Fertile Crescent.

Mon 3.02.15 | Oil Change

Barrett and Worden, eds., Oil Culture U. of Minnesota Press, 2014

Frederick Buell, From Apocalypse to Way of Life: Environmental Crisis in the American Century Routledge, 2003

 

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In an important sense, oil has made us into who we are, by transforming societies, reshaping economic regimes, and infiltrating our everyday lives. Fred Buell examines the dynamics of oil exuberance and catastrophe in the context of boom-bust cycles, mass consumerism, and other aspects of what he calls “oil-electric capitalism.”

Wed 2.25.15 | Indymedia and the Cyber Left

Todd Wolfson, Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left University of Illinois Press, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

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Often disparaged, the internet has become both a key tool for social movements and a way for activists to tell their own stories. Inspired by the Zapatistas, media activists blazed a trail, and transformed journalism, with a network-based model of grassroots independent media centers around the world. Socio-cultural anthropologist Todd Wolfson discusses Indymedia's rise and fall, and that experience's lessons for today's social movements.

Tues 2.24.15 | Post-Neoliberal Capitalism?

Albena Azmanova, “The Crisis of the Crisis of Capitalism”

Albena Azmanova, "Crisis? Capitalism is Doing Very Well. How is Critical Theory?"

Albena Azmanova, The Scandal of Reason Columbia U. Press, 2012

Azmanova & Mihai, eds., Reclaiming Democracy Routledge, 2015

The Program in Critical Theory at U.C. Berkeley

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Where does capitalism stand today? If the system is crisis-ridden and hasn't delivered the goods to large sectors of the population, why aren't we in a revolutionary moment? And what has happened to the neoliberal version of capitalism that first emerged in the 1970s? Albena Azmanova contends that we've entered a new stage of capitalism, one in which a few are handed opportunities and the rest are made to shoulder the risks.

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