A worthwhile, slim book. Overly dissected by sectarian and signalling types, but worth the late read as it fits a pattern.
Poetry and science from Dave.
“Mira ese discos” said Jotti, the proprietor of Aguere Music Shop in La Laguna, as he dropped a few records in front of me. I’d already put aside a record titled Big Drums in Stereo, so he knew my angle. Oh shit, that was a good / bad move. I chose one, place the needle to the vinyl and within a second I shouted “So that’s where he got the sample from, that sly motherf…” I was referring to Carl Craig. In all these years it never dawned on me to find out where the sample came from that he used for his seminal ‘Bug in the Bassbin’.
Everything about the records recorded and produced by Enoch Light is premium. The package, his dedication the getting the right sound during the recording process, everything. I bagged about four discs and promised to return as soon as the next cheque was…
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This post from the founder of a really good heritage walk in Cal. Some great images and description of the need to preserve what parts of Kolkata’s Chinese heritage that can be …
India has a long history of commercial and cultural contacts with mainland China. Chinese communities had, therefore (mostly temporarily) settled in different ports along the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea since at least the early centuries of the Common Era. However, the socio-cultural space that we now call “Chinatown”, emerged globally as a result of the large-scale migration of Chinese communities in the 18th century, especially from South China. These migrations were brought about by a rapidly weakening central authority, and a sharp decline in the economy. The expansion of European maritime commercial network in the South China Sea opened up new opportunities for trade and for seeking newer, lucrative markets in other parts of Asia and the world.
The Old Chinabazaar Street with the white spire of the Armenian Church visible
Calcutta, the fledgling capital of East India Company’s territories in India was probably the oldest of…
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Thanks Kaloy Cunanan for recovering this from ascii-land.
An article on the multi-function polis in Malaysia, from 1999
appeared in Bosma, Josephine et al (eds) 1999 Readme! ASCII Culture And The Revenge Of Knowledge, New York: Autonomedia.
A longer unpublished version is Semi-Feudal Cyber-Colonial.
The footnotes are getting the chop chop treatment too. It is a sad sad day. A bad bad way to relegate people to the acknowledgements.
Is it just Truman World™? In his book Picturing Theory, anthropologist Jay Ruby discusses the ‘not illogical merchandising direction [of] The Truman Show [which] contains … “a catelog of products featured on the show, offered for sale and snapped up by its loyal international audiences”‘ (Ruby 2000: 250, quoting the Paramount Pictures Press kit for the film). Ruby’s point is that anthropologists cannot pretend to study people without the context of commercial capitalism ; similarly television without its connections would be television out of context. Yet, if Ruby wants to modernise anthropology, we might ask why his book is subtitled ‘explorations in film and anthropology’ (my emphasis), as if the explorer’s quest, Palin again, were something that did not need the idea of the pristine and untouched other as its slightly tarnished holy grail. I have always wondered why texts on visual anthropology, and film history in general, are fixated on the founding practitioners and nothing from ‘before’. I owe this point to Scott McQuire (1986, 2008), but also again in part to Theresa Mikuriya (2017).
Despite the geopolitical machinations of superpowers and regional interests, there has been through the crises of imperialism, WW2 and the independence period, a parallel progressive leftist culture reproduced through creative labour. Why would the current period be any different? Of course the corresponding possibility of solidarity coming from the West is beleaguered because already from the 1920s that solidarity was not from the West but in reaction to, and sustained by, anti-colonial struggles elsewhere – Russia, India, China, Vietnam, Angola etc. The crisis-ridden left movements of the North cannot take up solidarity in a directing role, nor even participate progressively in any way until the old mole is woken up, austerity is refused and the abundant institutions full of still not wholly privatised universities for critical thinking are given root and branch self-criticism.
Consider how the 1960s counter-culture was annexed and separated into units that could be variously controlled and managed is the story of our era, already long ago anticipated by Adorno. Many recent examples can be invoked, but if we began in the 1960s, we can look at how Black Power morphed into disco and global hip-hop under the scourge of CIA-led inner urban drug swamping and CONTELPRO political assassination. The flower-power hippies became computer geeks and SDS and the YIPPIES such as Abbie Hoffman and Gerry Rubin were left without any mass base – Hoffman drifted into covert flight, Rubin to the stock market. Feminism became identitarian careerism and international solidarity became exoticist revolutionary tourism. Queer militancy became pink pound shopping and Mardi Gras, if not primarily invested more in royal patronage and marriage equality than political mobilisation. Anti-racist multiculturalism more quickly than most other mobilisations was turned from economic redress after systematic bias into targeted small grants for ethnic arts festivals and annual religious or national dress commemorations. Most important, each of the counter-movements were separated and any alliance among them – Black Power + Hippies + Feminists + Queer + anti-racism, anti-imperialism – was too easily broken by money drugs and cultural identity.
Terms like Bollywood or Postcolonial may not be better or worse than others, however ‘pragmatic’ (Sundaram 2013: 137), with no intrinsic coherence except they insofar as they are useful markers along the way. If definition means replicating another of the paradoxes of the scholarly penchant for classification
The moral-legal framework of the nation and its orders, connections to tradition, patriarchy, transnational diplomacy, and conflict, becomes the object of analysis with film and television the never transparent but nonetheless unavoidable forum for its working out. Policy and corruption, statesmanship, scandal and progress are each thoroughly newsworthy as mediatised. In the end, everything is contained or coded through the screen, but in an inexorable variety that exceeds even population numbers – as many interpretations as critics, as many critics as viewers.
That these groupings used involvement in cinema as a vehicle for interventions into the public sphere is possibly true of all contexts for film. And so, an academic industry of course follows in the wake of screen media, like some sort of camp hanger-on modelled by Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage who sells her children into prostitution and slavery, running after the marching army of the 30 Years War (Brecht 1939/1980). All academic studies are in danger of becoming a similar sort of campaign support and the logistical supply troop for a comprehensive cultural takeover in the interest of some social groupings over others – media courses, conferences and journals with critique, scholarship even, when this suits the operatives of commercial advance and technological aggression. No longer a diminutive fuzzy furniture item in the corner of the room – if it ever was, always trying to take over like it did, with aspirations to be the centre of attention – television is now ubiquitous, as a mobile in your pocket, an iPad platform, an airplane seat, taxi cab, station concourse, large public screen, festival feature, cricket stadium scoreboard, plasma proliferation (McQuire 2008). Reassessment of the volatile political place of screens means that the referent of television, and the complicity of television studies as market support, is always overdue. The whole world is flicker and pixels, coming to get you, already invaded intimately (Nandy 1983) and won.
(Brecht, Bertolt 1939/1980 Mother Courage and her Children, London: Methuen.)
The illusion that the political somehow escapes television was always merely televised, and the economy seems now to perform for multiple media platforms, while socio-cultural change runs interference for a technological escalation that only sells us more [forms of] television. It does not matter that we are all always on screen and under scrutiny check in the garrison society. Or rather, it matters only insofar as the global economy is performed as TV, designed, like war, with all of us as screens. A co-constitution of camera and capital, such that the fiction of a single point of view – the camera, or the screen you are looking at now, even when it cuts from angle to angle – is the portal of a total commodification, which – with malevolent triangulation – condenses the multiple social input of a vast productive geo-political apparatus into the disguised and singular presenter speaking directly to you, telling you your news, encouraging you to laugh or cry and living your life right there, before your eyes, everywhere.
Sure, the uptake of cinema programming in healthy cross-fertilisation was one of the provocative bonuses for diasporic film – though this can never be endorsed without question as formulaic Bride and Prejudicial high finance dominate the scene. Now we see the ambiguity of so-called hybrid forms in disjunctive mode not only in the curiosities of Zee and NDTV pan-commercialism, but also the idiosyncrasies of flip channel goddery and the ready access of a global identification, for example of Shilpa Shetty and Jade Goody as superstars, or of Osama bin Laden and Barack Hussein Obama. Note already the couplet TV news stars are geo-political, and the alienation effect that such staged pairings should have still does not mean we understand that things are merely theatrical: this is not a Brechtian entfremdungseffekt.
The nationalist televisual project become global also fosters an orientalist TV which prevails in an Asia beyond Asia, where Global South Asia itself is vicariously and phantasmagorically screened – Michael Palin on tour in chapter two of this book. Indeed, it is the haphazard synchronisation of national and geopolitical that has most quickly expanded with the proliferation of screen culture large and small – culture televised, and no longer under pundit control.
If the cinema was festive, the news was stark, but both are dream media in a politics of interpretation: too often taken as media without mediation or meditation. Wanting to be Global but not universal, comprehensive without having to chase down every regional detail, inclusive but not exclusive – the political in the cultural is theoretical and conceptual when specificity is less urgent.
It is a cliché that there are two sides to every story, and yet. The other side of this story is that unpacking prejudice and exoticism makes possible an analysis that includes us all. To think of one place as uninfluenced by, and not influential upon certain other places just does not fit the facts. The politics of heritage and identity, diaspora and origins, of specificity and similarity, and conjuncture and formula means this book explores and evaluates a variegated and contingent political terminology for framing reconfigurations of power, and these reconfigurations are …
The analyses of just a few years back seemed to signal changes that are now even more epochal. Rajagopal had set this out clearly in 2009:
‘the media re-shape the context in which politics is conceived, enacted, and understood. Hindu nationalism represented an attempt to fashion a Hindu public within the nexus of market reforms and the expansion of communications, rather than religious reaction as such. Focusing on the moment of its emergence clarifies the historical conditions for the transition to a new visual regime, as it were, and at the same time shows the extent to which this emergence cannot be explained with reference to purely material circumstances’ (Rajagopal 2009:1).
This analysis has been not so much superseded as established, confirmed and extended by the narrowing of the global and the ubiquity of media technological fashioning. The gap between the screen and the remote contracts.
Reporting to that academy is not what this book is about. New methods surpass the old disciplinary rigidities to now take on an interdisciplinarity that is never just a please-everyone generalism and brand celebrity star-vehicle, even where regional genre and area studies have cini-star systems, grant approvals, book deals and a prestige prize.
Misrepresentations are not just that – the concepts of reification and recuperation can help us here. Against the national, diaspora or even South Asia, Global South is not a place or a constituency, but a perspective on the whole that has affinities with counter-culture solidarities, Black Power, international Marxist feminism, and internationalist anti-imperialism. The interests of the globe are at stake and the lessons to learn today are in a South Asian idiom. Even so, identity and regionalism in South Asia has too often been diminutive. Tamils, Bengalis, both transnational but neither, in political terms, bigger than the formal nation states to which they belong. Another possible regional perspective exists historically, a ‘subcontinental’ perspective that reaches beyond merely Himalayas to Lanka.
Whatever is said about media representation seems caught up in media representation, is it even possible to describe in absentia the prospect of learning something new, of developing further an allegiance to those parts of the planet, the majority, in which the protocols of Hollywood and Networks do not prevail? Is it still a quixotic gesture to insist upon another way of telling?
The challenge to found another third cinema movement on a grander cross-platform scale is not as great as sustaining the work that ventures towards such initiative. Other than media studies, the work ventured here is important for social theory, politics, geography, cultural studies, interdisciplinarity, but most importantly, the possibility of not succumbing to the one-flat-globe dominance of a mainstream.
This is a seven year old consolidation of what trinketization was supposed to be about. Asked today for a link, this still seems ok but really could do with an update after Obama and Trump. I’ll get to that soon.
For an explanation of Trinketization – never fully codified as yet – you might start with the following old posts such as:
Note 33: Trinketization is both a reductive appropriation of everything to commodification, as if that were somehow the fully articulated explanation; AND Trinketization is the proliferation of theorizations of that commodity desiccation that atomises a paralyzingly abundant fascination and desire.
And this maritime captain picture is a trinket gesture itself – you should read Paul Hendrich’s piece on the Deptford Town Hall slavery statues; also check Rosie Wright on Trafalgar Square plinth (here), and Imogen Bunting on May Day posings (here) – the three of us often talked trinkets, working out a critique of objects and their multiple meanings. The three of them really are each very much missed.
Really? Heh heh.
From the Bee Movie:
Who said kids wouldn’t pour over this speech for years to come? Course they will, or at least for ten minutes…
Of haircuts and Rhino coats…
This is the worked up text of a talk I gave in Chandernagore in February 2016. The photo is one I’ve failed to trace from the dates and evidence in the letters (see below) of the visit to the barber – if anyone is good at that sort of tracking, please let me know, the photographer of the first one is E. Dutertre, and the second, if authentic, probably the same.
[Added 3 April 2018 – increasingly the suspicion that the makeover photo is photoshopped is being confirmed. Michael Krätke includes the two portraits in a recent article with the caption:
“Figure 1. Left: last photograph of Karl Marx, taken by E. Dutertre in Algiers, on 28 April 1882.Right: a photomontage based upon Marx’s own correspondence, where he said that the photo was taken just a short while before he went to the barber to have his hair cut and his beard shaved off, and shows how he may have looked after his visit to the barber.
Left: IISH Collection BG A9/383. Right: creator and origins unknown.”
Krätke, Michael 2018 ‘Marx and World History’. International Review of Social History, doi:10.1017/S0020859017000657 page 13
There is also a fiction volume called Marx’s Beard I have not yet read, and marx in Algiers, mentioned elsewhere. So this story has a few loose ends still.
And the source for all this, the photo itself, Marx writes a ps in a letter to Fred on 28 April 1882 in Algiers saying he will pick up the photo in two days. From the MEGA 3(4):
[The rest of this article is being rewritten and will be linked to here in due course. Thanks to those who already downloaded a copy, and stay tuned for more after I deal with the substantial and helpful comments of reviewers].
Can’t imagine the mad thinking behind this branding. In several ways a sign of the downward spiral. Or, a niche marketing gambit. What next: administrative razor blades, higher Education band-aids? I know there’s been a fashion chain called Anthropologie for a long time, but this. Pfffttt!
Now with Belgian chocolate.
And as a flapjack:
This is it – Jay Murphy’s book is out.
Use the pavement site because postage is included…
The first book on the transformation from Artaud’s ‘early’ to ‘late’ work, showing how the ‘final’ Artaud leads straight into our digital present.
£18.99 (inc. free postage)
A pleasure indirectly paid for, as were his studies at Oxford, with profits from the East India Company opium trade via both his uncle Preston and his benefactor, the heiress Lady Carbery, whose father Henry Watson was one of the leading smugglers of Bengal opium into China. Just saying.
(This very impressive reading list from the USA compounds).
((Such scholarship needs to be replicated for other places. And start with the prison support stuff))
African American Intellectual History Society
Prison Abolition Syllabus
NOVEMBER 20, 2016 BY GUEST POSTER
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images.
American prison. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images.
On September 9, 2016, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, prisoners from at least twenty-one states began striking against what they called “modern-day slavery.” The strike stands as one of the largest in U.S. history (figures are difficult to verify and the California prison hunger strike in 2013 involved at least 30,000 people) and several prisoners have lost their lives in this struggle. Prison strikers’ language is not hyperbolic. As Ava DuVernay’s new documentary on the 13th Amendment highlights, the very amendment that abolished slavery and guaranteed the legal emancipation of nearly four million enslaved people also carved out space for the continuation of slavery “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
In 2015, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a U.S. prison. Since then, he banned the use of solitary confinement in federal juvenile prisons and the Bureau of Prisons recommended ending its contracts with private prisons. Obama has also commuted the sentences of hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders. Yet these changes only affect a small number of people housed in the federal prison system, which itself accounts for less than 10% of the total incarcerated population in the U.S. And while the war on drugs has ruined countless lives, most people in prison are not incarcerated for drug offenses. So Obama’s commutations do not address the main reasons people have been incarcerated; further, commutations shorten their sentence while leaving intact a host of restrictions—including disenfranchisement—faced by people with felony convictions. In a recent presidential election decided by fewer than one million votes, there were over six million voters disenfranchised for felony convictions.
Other aspects of the mass incarceration are not withering so much as transforming. Private prison corporations, which have been visible but small players in the system of mass incarceration, have already moved toward immigration detention, reentry, and electronic monitoring as new sources of carceral revenue. Within hours of the election of Donald Trump, stocks of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group skyrocketed, signaling another ratcheting up of private prisons and their relationship with the federal government. The excitement for bipartisan prison reform inside the beltway has dissipated amidst a modest reform agenda whose biggest focus has been on reducing government spending rather than ameliorating human suffering. These neoliberal cost-benefit analyses have placed more burdens on the backs of prisoners and their loved ones while leaving untouched the basic outlines of mass incarceration. The failures of contemporary prison reform serve as a reminder of the massive human and environmental costs of prisons.
The current prison strike’s struggle to achieve visibility (organizers have alleged a “mainstream-media blackout”) has been a central obstacle since the origins of prison organizing. In light of the dangerous implications of neoliberal prison reform and the marginalization of the current prison strike from the public political sphere, the Prison Abolition Syllabus (modeled after #FergusonSyllabus, #Charlestonsyllabus, #WelfareReformSyllabus and Trump Syllabus 2.0) seeks to contextualize and highlight prison organizing and prison abolitionist efforts from the 13th Amendment’s rearticulation of slavery to current resistance to mass incarceration, solitary confinement, and prison labor exploitation.
Week 1. Theories and Origins of Punishment
Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Jeremy Bentham, The Panopticon and Other Prison Writings (Verso, 1995).
Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Duke University Press, 2015).
Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (Seven Stories Press, 2003).
Colin Dayan, The Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons (Princeton University Press, 2011).
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Pantheon, 1977).
Paul Knepper and Anja Johansen, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Glenn Loury, et al., Race, Incarceration, and American Values (MIT Press, 2008).
Manning Marable, “Black Prisons and Punishment in a Racist/Capitalist State,” in How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society (Haymarket Books, 2015; 1st edition 1983), 94–115.
Norval Morris and David Rothman, eds., The Oxford History of the Prison (Oxford University Press, 1995).
Caleb Smith, The Prison and the American Imagination (Yale University Press, 2011).
Week 2. Race, Sex, Labor, and Prisons in the Early Republic
Estelle Freedman, Their Sisters’ Keepers: Women’s Prison Reform in America, 1830-1930 (University of Michigan Press, 1981).
Adam Jay Hirsch, The Rise of the Penitentiary: Prisons and Punishment in Early America (Yale University Press, 1992).
Regina Kunzel, Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality (University of Chicago Press, 2008).
Michele Lise Tarter and Richard Bell, eds., Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America (University of Georgia Press, 2012).
Jen Manion, Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
Rebecca McLennan, The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776-1941 (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
Dario Melossi and Massimo Pavarini, The Prison and the Factory: Origins of the Penitentiary System (Barnes and Noble Books, 1981).
Michael Meranze, Laboratories of Virtue: Punishment, Revolution, and Authority in Philadelphia, 1760-1835 (University of North Carolina Press, 1996).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Jen Manion, “Liberty’s Prisoner’s: Prisons and Prison Life in Early America,” podcast audio, Ben Franklin’s World.
Eastern State Penitentiary, directed by Christine Bowditch (Forged Images Production Cooperative, 1998).
Week 3. Convict Leasing, the Chain Gang, and Contesting the Southern Prison Regime
Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Doubleday, 2008).
Mary Ellen Curtin, Black Prisoners and their World, Alabama, 1865-1900 (University Press of Virginia, 2000).
Talitha LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).
Talitha LeFlouria, “‘Under The Sting Of The Lash’: Gendered Violence, Terror, and Resistance in the South’s Convict Camps,” The Journal of African American History 100.3 (Summer 2015), 366–84.
Alex Lichtenstein, Twice the Work of Free Labor: The Political Economy of Convict Labor in the New South (Verso, 1996).
Timothy Gilfoyle, “‘America’s Greatest Criminal Barracks’: The Tombs and the Experience of Criminal Justice in New York City, 1838-1897,” Journal of Urban History 29.5 (July 2003), 525–54.
Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).
LaShawn D. Harris, “The ‘Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Virginia Christian’: Southern Black Women, Crime & Punishment in the Progressive Era,” The Journal of Social History 47.4 (Summer 2014), 922–42.
Matthew Mancini, One Dies, Get Another: Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-1928 (University of South Carolina Press, 1996).
David Oshinsky, Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice (Free Press, 1996).
Geoff K. Ward, The Black Child-Savers: Racial Democracy and Juvenile Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Library of Congress, “Convict Lease System.”
Ida B. Wells, “The Convict Lease System,” 1893.
“Slavery by Another Name,” website.
Slavery by Another Name, directed by Sam Pollard (PBS, 2012).
13th, directed by Ava DuVernay (Kandoo Films, 2016).
Week 4. Punishment in the New Metropolis
Jeffrey Adler, “Less Crime, More Punishment: Violence, Race, and Criminal Justice in Early Twentieth-Century America,” The Journal of American History 102.1 (2015), 34–46.
Miroslava Chávez-García, States of Delinquency: Race and Science in the Making of California’s Juvenile Justice System (University of California Press, 2012).
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (University of Philadelphia, 1899).
Shaun L. Gabbidon, W.E.B. Du Bois on Crime and Justice: Laying the Foundations of Sociological Criminology (Ashgate Publishing, 2007).
Kali Nicole Gross, “African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Politics of Protection,” The Journal of American History 102.1 (2015), 25–33.
Kali Nicole Gross, Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910 (Duke University Press, 2006).
Kali Nicole Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Kali Nicole Gross and Cheryl D. Hicks, “Introduction—Gendering the Carceral State: African American Women, History, and the Criminal Justice System,” The Journal of African American History 100.3 (Summer 2015), 357–66.
Kelly Lytle Hernández, “Hobos in Heaven: Race, Incarceration, and the Rise of Los Angeles, 1880–1910,” Pacific Historical Review 83.3 (2014), 410–47.
Cheryl D. Hicks, Talk With You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935 (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).
Cheryl D. Hicks, “‘In Danger of Becoming Morally Depraved’: Single Black Women, Working-Class Black Families, and New York State’s Wayward Minor Laws, 1917-1928,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 151.6 (June 2003), 2,077–121.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard University Press, 2010).
Sowande’ Mustakeem, “‘Armed With A Knife In Her Bosom’: Gender, Violence, And The Carceral Consequences Of Rage In The 19th Century,” The Journal of African American History 100.3 (Summer 2015), 385–405.
Cookie Woolner, “‘Woman Slain In Queer Love Brawl’: African American Women, Same-Sex, Desire, And Violence In The Urban North,” The Journal of African American History 100.3 (Summer 2015), 406–27.
Week 5. Anti-Lynching and Prisoner Defense Campaigns
James Acker, Scottsboro and its Legacy: The Cases That Challenged American Legal and Social Justice (Praeger, 2007).
Mia Bay, To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells (Hill and Wang, 2010).
Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South (Louisiana State University Press, 1979).
Andrew Cornell, Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century (University of California Press, 2016).
Melvyn Dubofsky, We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World (University of Illinois, 2013).
Megan Ming Francis, Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Christina Heatherton, “University of Radicalism: Ricardo Flores Magon and Leavenworth Penitentiary,” American Quarterly 66.3 (September 2014), 557–81.
Rebecca N. Hill, Men, Mobs, and Law: Antilynching and Labor Defense in U.S. Radical History (Duke University, 2007).
James W. Messerschmidt, “‘We Must Protect Our Southern Women’: On Whiteness, Masculinities, and Lynching,” in Race, Gender, and Punishment: From Colonialism to the War on Terror, Mary Bosworth and Jeanne Flavin, eds. (Rutgers University Press, 2007), 77–94.
James Miller, Remembering Scottsboro: The Legacy of an Infamous Trial (Princeton University Press, 2009).
James Miller, Susan D. Pennybacker, and Eve Rosenhaft, “Mother Ada Wright and the International Campaign to Free the Scottsboro Boys, 1931-1934,” American Historical Review, 106.2 (2001), 387–430.
Kenyon Zimmer, “Positively Stateless: Marcus Graham, the Ferrereo-Sallitto Case, and the Anarchist Challenges to Race and Deportation,” in The Rising Tide of Color, Moon-Ho Jung, ed. (University of Washington, 2014), 128–58.
Primary Sources and Multimedia
The Scottsboro Boys: An American Tragedy, directed by Barak Goodman and Daniel Anker (PBS, 2000).
Andy Wright, “Letter to the Editors: Plea from a Scottsboro Boy,” July 24, 1937.
Scottsboro Boys, Appeal from Death Cells, May 1932.
Scottsboro Protest Exhibit, Modern American Poetry, University of Illinois.
“The Scottsboro Boys” Trials, 1931-1937, website.
Ida B. Wells, “Lynch Law in America,” 1900.
Ida B. Wells, “This Awful Slaughter,” 1909.
“The Long List: Compiling A Lynching Database,” website.
Week 6. Liberal Punishment and Its Discontents
Ethan Blue, Doing Time in the Depression: Everyday Life in Texas and California Prisons (New York University, 2012).
Kathleen Cairns, Hard Time at Tehachapi: California’s First Women’s Prison (University of New Mexico Press, 2009).
Mary Ellen Curtin, “‘Please Hear Our Cries’: The Hidden History of Black Prisoners in America,” in The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration, Deborah McDowell, Claudrena Harold, and Juan Battle, eds. (University of Virginia Press, 2013), 29–44.
Edward J. Escobar, “The Unintended Consequences of the Carceral State: Chicana/o Political Mobilization in Post-World War II America,” Journal of American History 102.1 (2015), 174–84.
Marie Gottschalk, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Kelly Lytle Hernández, MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010).
Volker Janssen, “When the ‘Jungle’ Met the Forest: Public Work, Civil Defense, and Prison Camps in Postwar California,” The Journal of American History 9. 3 (2009), 702–26.
Naomi Murakawa, First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Mira Shimabukuro, Relocating Authority: Japanese Americans Writing to Redress Mass Incarceration (University of Colorado Press, 2015).
Heather Ann Thompson, “Rethinking Working Class Struggle through the Lens of the Carceral State: Toward a Labor History Inmates and Guards,” LABOR: Studies in the Working Class History of the Americas 8.3 (2011), 15–45.
Primary Sources and Multimedia
The Suyama Project, Digital Archive of Japanese American Resistance to Incarceration.
Week 7. The Civil Rights Movement, Prisoners, and Legal Reform
Robert Chase, “We Are Not Slaves: Rethinking the Rise of Carceral States through the Lens of the Prisoners’ Rights Movement,” The Journal of American History 102.1 (2015), 73–86.
Zoe Colley, Ain’t Scared of Your Jail: Arrest, Imprisonment, and the Civil Rights Movement (University of Florida, 2013).
Malachi Crawford, Black Muslims and the Law: Civil Liberties from Elijah Muhammad to Muhammad Ali (Lexington Books, 2015).
Eric Cummins, The Rise and Fall of California’s Radical Prison Movement (Stanford University Press, 1994).
Malcolm M. Feeley and Edwin L. Rubin, Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America’s Prisons (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
James Jacobs, Stateville: The Penitentiary in Mass Society (University of Chicago Press, 1977).
Toussaint Losier, “‘. . . For Strictly Religious Reasons,’ Cooper v. Pate and the Origins of the Prisoners’ Rights Movement,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, 15, 1-2 (2013), 19–38.
Malcolm X and Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Random House, 1965).
Donna Murch, Living For the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Robert Moses, “Letter from a Mississippi Jail,” 1961.
Martin Luther King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963.
Arrest records of Rosa Parks, National Archives.
“‘Jail, No Bail,’ A Strategy of Civil Disobedience.”
“Ain’t Scared of Your Jails, 1960-1961,” Eyes on the Prize, Blackside, Inc (Films Media Group, 2014).
Week 8. The Prison Rebellion Years
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A. (City Lights Books, 2009).
Bettina Aptheker, The Morning Breaks: The Trial of Angela Davis (International Publishers, 1975).
Bettina Aptheker and Angela Davis, eds., If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance (Third Press, 1971).
Ronald Berkman, Opening the Gates: The Rise of the Prisoners’ Movement (Lexington Books, 1979).
Dan Berger, Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).
Lee Bernstein, America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).
Jamie Bissonette, When the Prisoners Ran Walpole: A True Story in the Movement for Prison Abolition (South End Press, 2008)
Daniel Burton-Rose, Guerrilla USA: The George Jackson Brigade and the Anticapitalist Underground of the 1970s (University of California Press, 2010).
Jordan Camp, Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State (University of California Press, 2016).
Daniel S. Chard, “Rallying for Repression: Police Terror, ‘Law-and-Order’ Politics, and the Decline of Maine’s Prisoner Rights Movement,” The Sixties 5: 1 (2012), 47–73.
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice (McGraw-Hill, 1968).
Alan Eladio Gómez, “Feminism, Torture, and the Politics of Chicana/Third World Solidarity: An Interview with Olga Talamante,” Radical History Review 101 (2008), 160–78.
Alan Eladio Gómez, “Resisting Living Death at Marion Federal Penitentiary, 1972,” Radical History Review 96 (Fall 2006), 58–86.
Diane Hope and Warren Schaich, eds., “The Prison Letters of Martin Sostre: Documents of Resistance,” The Journal of Black Studies 7.3 (1977), 281–300.
George Jackson, Soledad Brother: The Prison Writings of George Jackson (Coward-McCann, 1970).
James Jacobs, “The Prisoners’ Rights Movement and Its Impacts, 1960-1980,” Crime and Justice 2 (1980), 429–70.
Tony Platt and Paul Takagi, eds., Punishment and Penal Discipline (Social Justice, 1980).
Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography (L. Hill, 1987).
Donald Tibbs, From Black Power to Prison Power: The Making of Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners’ Labor Union (Palgrave, 2012).
Heather Ann Thompson, Blood is in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon, 2016).
Erik Olin Wright, The Politics of Punishment: A Critical Analysis of Prisons in America (Harper Colophon, 1973).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Frame-up! The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre, directed by Joel Sucher, Steven Fischler, and Howard Blatt (Pacific Street Films, 1974).
Freedom Archives, Prisons on Fire: George Jackson, Attica, and Black Liberation, audio documentary (Freedom Archives, 2001).
“The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands,” 1971.
Week 9. Anticarceral Feminism
Joanne Belknap, The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice (Watsworth, 1996).
Christina Greene, “‘She Ain’t No Rosa Parks’: The Joan Little-Murder Case And Jim Crow Justice In The Post-Civil Rights South,” The Journal of African American History, 100.3 (Summer 2015), 428–47.
Jacklyn Huey and Michael Lynch, “The Image of Black Women in Criminology: Historical Stereotypes as Theoretical Foundation,” in Race, Crime, and Justice: A Reader, Shaun Gabbidon and Helen Taylor Greene, eds. (Routledge, 2005), 127–40.
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, ed., The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology (South End Press, 2006).
Joy James, ed., The Angela Y. Davis Reader (Blackwell, 1998).
Vikki Law, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM Press, 2009).
Toya Like and Jody Miller, “Race, Inequality, and Gender Violence,” in The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America, Ruth Peterson, Lauren Krivo, John Hagan, eds. (New York University Press, 2006), 157–76.
Danielle McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (Alfred Knopf, 2010).
Genna Rae McNeil, “The Body, Sexuality, and Self-Defense in State vs. Joan Little, 1974-1975,” The Journal of African American History 93.2 (2008), 235–61.
Beth Richie, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012).
Emily Thuma, “Lessons in Self-Defense: Gender Violence, Racial Criminalization, and Anticarceral Feminism,” Women’s Studies Quarterly 43, 3-4 (2015), 52–71.
Emily Thuma, “Against the Prison/Psychiatric State: Anti-violence Feminisms and the Politics of Confinement in the 1970s,” Feminist Formations 26, 2 (2014), 26-51.
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Histories of Sexuality and the Carceral State, website.
Week 10. Expanding the Prison Industrial Complex
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010).
Lawrence Bobo and Victor Thompson, “Racialized Mass Incarceration: Poverty, Prejudice, and Punishment,” in Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, Hazel Markus and Paula Moya, eds., (Norton, 2010), 322–55.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007).
Jennifer Gonnerman, Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett (Picador, 2005).
Elizabeth Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press, 2016).
Joy James, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons (St. Martin’s Press, 2000).
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, “The Attila the Hun Law”: New York’s Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Making of a Punitive State,” Journal of Social History 44.1 (2010), 71–95.
Jill McCorkel, Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment (NYU Press, 2013).
Deborah McDowell, Claudrena Harold, and Juan Battle, eds., The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration (University of Virginia Press, 2013).
Christian Parenti, Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (Verso, 2001).
Mary Pattillo, David Weiman, and Bruce Western, eds., Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Russell Sage Foundation, 2004).
Doris Marie Provine, Unequal Under the Law: Race in the War on Drugs (University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Robert Perkinson, Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire (Metropolitan Books, 2010).
Henry Ruth and Kevin R. Reitz, The Challenge of Crime: Rethinking Our Response (Harvard University Press, 2003).
Jonathan Simon, Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Michael Tonry, Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Michael J. Love, excerpt from “The Prison-Industrial Complex: An Investment in Failure,” May 1998.
Broken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S., directed by Matthew Pillischer (Matthew Pillischer, 2012).
Prison Policy Initiative, website.
Knotted Line, website
Week 11. Health, Justice, and Resistance in the Neoliberal Order
Katherine Beckett, Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American Politics (Oxford University Press, 1997).
Safiya Bukhari, The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther (Feminist Press, 2010).
Tara Herivel and Paul Wright, eds., Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money From Mass Incarceration (New Press, 2007).
Nancy Kurshan, Out of Control: A 15-Year Battle Against Control Unit Prisons (Freedom Archives, 2013).
Gordon Lafer, “The Politics of Prison Labor: A Union Perspective,” in Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor, Tara Herivel and Paul Wright, eds. (Routledge, 2003), 120–28.
Mona Lynch, Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment (Stanford Law Books, 2010).
Staughton Lynd, Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising (PM Press, 2011).
Members of the ACE Program, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Breaking the Walls of Silence: AIDS and Women in a New York State Maximum Security Prison (Overlook Books, 1998).
Matt Meyer, ed. Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free Political Prisoners (PM Press, 2008).
Donna Murch, “Paying for Punishment: The New Debtors’ Prison,” Boston Review, August 1, 2016.
Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, “Organized Inside and Out: The Angola Special Civics Project and the Crisis of Mass Incarceration,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society 15.3 (2013), 199–217.
Becky Pettit, Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress (Russell Sage Foundation, 2012).
Susan Rosenberg, An American Radical: Political Prisoner in My Own Country (Citadel Books, 2011).
Loïc Wacquant, Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Security (Duke University Press, 2009).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Critical Resistance and INCITE! “Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex,” 2001.
Esther Kaplan, “Organizing Inside,” Poz Magazine, November 1, 1998.
Mothers of Bedford, directed by Jenifer McShane (Women Make Movies, 2011).
The Last Graduation: The Rise and Fall of College Programs in Prison, directed by Barbara Zahm (Deep Dish TV, 1997).
Tattooed Tears, directed by Joan Churchill and Nicholas Broomfield (Gugo Film Production, 1978).
Week 12. Carceral Intersections
Nell Bernstein, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison (The New Press, 2016).
Chris Chapman, Allison C. Carey, and Liat Ben-Moshe, eds., Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
Jenna M. Loyd, Matt Michelson, and Andrew Burridge, eds., Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis (University of Georgia Press, 2012).
Joey Mogul, Andrea Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock, eds., Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press, 2011).
Julia Oparah, “Feminism and the (Trans)Gender Entrapment of Gender Nonconforming Prisoners,” UCLA Women’s Law Journal 18.2 (2012), 239–71.
Mary Beth Pfeiffer, Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy of our Criminalized Mentally Ill (Basic Books, 2007).
Luana Ross, Inventing the Savage: The Social Construction of Native American Criminality (University of Texas Press, 1998).
Donald Specter, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment of the Mentally Ill in California’s Prisons: A Case Study of a Class Action Suit,” Social Justice 21.3 (1994), 109–16.
Eric Stanley and Nat Smith, eds., Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011).
Eric Stanley, Dean Spade, and Queer (In)Justice, “Queering Prison Abolition, Now?” American Quarterly 64.1 (2012), 115–27.
Judah Schept, Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion (NYU Press, 2015).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Behind Bars, directed by Louis Theroux (Kanopy Streaming, 2015).
Week 13. Voices from Inside
Jack Henry Abbott, In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison (Random House, 1981).
Mumia Abu Jamal, Live From Death Row (Harper Perennial, 1996).
Mumia Abu Jamal, Writings on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings (City Lights, 2014).
Bruce Franklin, ed., Prison Writing in 20th Century America (Penguin, 1998).
Tara Green, ed., From the Plantation to the Prison: African-American Confinement Literature (Mercer University Press, 2008).
Joy James, ed., The New Abolitionists: (Neo)Slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison Writings (State University of New York Press, 2005).
Kevin Rashid Johnson, Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art (Kersplebedeb, 2010).
Joy James, ed., Imprisoned Intellectuals: America’s Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).
Dylan Rodríguez, Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime (University of Minnesota Press, 2006).
James Yaki Sayles, Meditations on Franz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth: New Afrikan Revolutionary Writings (Kersplebedeb, 2010).
Shaka Senghor, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison (Convergent Books, 2016).
Yusef Shakur, The Window 2 My Soul: My Transformation from a Zone 8 Thug to a Father and Freedom Fighter (Urban Guerilla Publishing, 2008).
Colton Simpson, Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang (St. Martin’s Press, 2005).
Doran Larson, ed. The Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America (Michigan State University Press, 2014).
Sanyika Shakur, Stand Up, Struggle Forward: New Afrikan Revolutionary Writings on Nation, Class, and Patriarchy (Kersplebedeb, 2013).
Primary Sources and Multimedia
Prisoners at Sing Sing Prison, excerpt from “Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters.”
What I Want My Words to Do to You: Voices from a Maximum Security Women’s Prison, directed by Eve Ensler (PBS Home Video, 2004).
Mumia, Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal, directed by Stephen Vittoria (First Run Features, 2013).
Week 14. The Future of Prison Activism
Hadar Aviram, Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment (University of California Press, 2015).
Dan Berger, “Social Movements and Mass Incarceration: What is to be Done?” Souls 15, 1-2 (2013), 3–18.
CR10 Publications Collective, Abolition Now: Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2008).
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “The Worrying State of the Anti-Prison Movement,” Social Justice Journal, February 23, 2015.
Marie Gottschalk, Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (Princeton University Press, 2015).
Kelly Lytle Hernández, “Amnesty or Abolition: Felons, Illegals, and the Case for a New Abolition Movement,” Boom: A Journal of California 1.4 (Winter 2011), 54–68.
Keramet Reiter, “The Pelican Bay Hunger Strike: Resistance within the Structural Constraints of a US Supermax Prison,” South Atlantic Quarterly 113.3 (Summer 2014), 579–611.
Julia Sudbury, “Reform or Abolition?: Using Popular Mobilizations to Dismantle the Prison-Industrial Complex,“Criminal Justice Matters 77.1 (2009), 17–19.
Primary Sources and Multimedia
A Vision for Black Lives, website.
Mariame Kaba, Prison Culture Blog, website.
Sentencing Project, website.
Concrete, Steel and Paint, directed by Cindy Burstein (New Day Films, 2009).
Dan Berger is an assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Washington Bothell. He is the author of several books including Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era. He is the co-author of the forthcoming Rethinking the American Prison Movement. Follow him on Twitter @dnbrgr.
Garrett Felber is a scholar of 20th-century African American history. He earned a PhD in American Culture at the University of Michigan in the American Culture Department. His scholarship has been published in the Journal of African American History, South African Music Studies, and SOULS. He has also contributed to The Guardian, The Marshall Project, and Viewpoint Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @garrett_felber.
Kali Gross is Professor of African American Studies at Wesleyan University. Her research concentrates on black women’s experiences in the United States criminal justice system between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is author of the award-winning book, Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910, and the newly released, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America. Follow her on Twitter @KaliGrossPhD.
Elizabeth Hinton is an assistant professor in the Departments of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. A Ford Foundation Fellow, Hinton completed her Ph.D. in United States History from Columbia University in 2013. She is the author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America. Follow her on Twitter @elizabhinton.
Anyabwile Love is an Assistant Professor at the Community College of Philadelphia. He earned a Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University. He is currently writing a project on John William Coltrane. Follow him on Twitter @AnyabwileLove.
“Why are some lives cheaper than others?
Looking at the brutal extra-judicial killings in Malkangiri and Bhopal
In the last few weeks, two brutal killings sent shockwaves through the country – the massacre of 40 Maoist cadre and supporters in a remote jungle in Malkangiri region on the Andhra-Odisha border and the cold-blooded murder of 8 undertrials accused of being members of SIMI in Bhopal.
The two killings are not unrelated, but are part of a pattern. In both cases, it is the police and the security forces who are the proud perpetrators, the very people who are supposed to safeguard the rule of law in the country. In both cases, the victims are poor, from the margins of Indian society, associated with political movements proscribed and vilified by the state. And in both cases, the killings, brutal and blatantly extra-legal, have been lauded by the government of the day.”
Dear comrades on my news feed,
Am sure you probably already will have seen this but I’m sending it out in place of any comment about either Trimp or Clampton just to underline the importance of organisation – organising with a broad array of comrades that will obviously include Maoists and hell, with eyes wide open for their devious ways even Trotskyites. This instead of identitarianisms, egoisms and ‘belligerent superiority signalling’ in blog or FB posts by people saying we must organise, whether or not they are in organisations (ie like this one). Organisations are there, build, join, rejoin, and they must support and sustain us where otherwise fascism, and individualist/quixotic posturing will leave us to be picked off one by one.
Begin forwarded message:
Subject: In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America
A seismic shift has taken place with the election of Donald Trump. I urge you to read and share this statement. For those of you in the NYC area, Revolution Books will be holding an emergency forum at 4 pm Sunday–437 Malcolm X Blvd at 132nd St.
From Revolution newspaper:
In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America
Rise Up… Get Into The Streets… Unite With People Everywhere to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can
Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate… Don’t Accommodate…Don’t Collaborate
Donald Trump has now won the presidency. Under the slogan “Make America Great Again,” he has viciously attacked Mexicans and Muslims, threatened to deport millions and boasted that he will build walls and close borders. He incites people to fear and hate those who are “different,” or who come from other countries or nationalities, or practice different religions. He crudely demeans and degrades women, and openly boasts about molesting them. He’s a champion of white supremacy who has insulted and threatened Black people, and whipped up racist lynch-mob mentality. Trump has mocked the disabled. He is an aggressive and unapologetic militarist, who threatens to use nuclear weapons and will have his fingers on the nuclear codes. He openly advocates war crimes and crimes against humanity–including torture and killing the families of people accused of terrorism. He plans to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will gut and reverse the right to abortion, gay rights, and other important legal rights. He calls climate change a hoax and his policies will wreak further devastation on the environment. He has attacked and threatened the press and stirred up his supporters to do the same. Trump has utter contempt for facts and the truth, and consistently lies to advance his agenda. As for the rule of law, Trump went so far as to openly threaten his opponent, Hillary Clinton, not only with jail, but even assassination. Donald Trump is an outright fascist. And he is now the president-elect.
Fascism is a very serious thing. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, and the aggressive reinstitution of oppressive “traditional values.” Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Fascism attacks, jails, and executes its opponents, and launches violent mob attacks on “minorities.” In Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ’40s, under Hitler, fascism did all these things. They imprisoned millions in concentration camps and exterminated millions of Jews, Roma people (Gypsies), and other “undesirables.” And Hitler did almost all of this through the established institutions and the “rule of law.” This is where this goes. And yes, Hitler himself could “talk graciously” when he felt it would serve his interests and lull his opponents.
Trump did not even win the popular vote, (even though he did win the “electoral college” which decides elections in the U.S.). Hitler himself came to power through democratic procedures, including through the process of elections. Should people have accepted Hitler?! Unfortunately, they did, at a horrific cost to humanity. Today, with nuclear weapons, that cost could be far higher.
In the name of humanity, we must refuse to accept a fascist America!
The fact that Trump won as many votes as he did must be understood. The fact that he got more than even 10 percent of the vote is disgraceful and reveals some very ugly things about America. So why did this happen? The world today is turbulent, full of changes. Those who supported Trump’s fascist program were overwhelmingly sections of white people, especially but not only white men, who yearn for the days of open white supremacy and American global domination, and the blatant subjugation of women. A significant minority of white people did oppose him, but we have to confront how deep the racism, the national chauvinism, and the hatred of women is woven into this society… and not give into this, but vigorously challenge and fiercely oppose it.
But even more than this, Trump was backed by powerful forces in this society. Beyond those who directly supported him, the media, the Democratic Party, and others treated him as a legitimate candidate, refused to call him out as the fascist he is, and now call on everyone to accept his ascension to power. All the major powerful forces in this society bear the responsibility–it is they who have, over decades, either built up this fascist force or have “enabled” it.
You cannot try to “wait things out” with fascists. Those who lived through Hitler’s Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes against humanity. Trump and his regime must be resisted and defied, beginning now, in many different ways and in every corner of society.
Reconciliation and collaboration would be nothing less than criminal and deadly. Literally. Come together… resist… and let the whole world know that we will not allow this to stand!
Reproduce and Distribute This!
For full coverage and the current issue of REVOLUTION
Get connected and up to the minute with the revolution:
go to www.revcom.us every day.
First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles
Challenging perceptions of schooling and prison through the lens of America’s most populous state
Taking an insider’s perspective, First Strike examines the root causes of California’s ever-expansive prison system and disastrous educational policy. Recentering analysis of Black masculinity beyond public rhetoric, it critiques the trope of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” exploring the realm of public school as a form of “enclosure” that has influenced the schooling (and denial of schooling) and imprisonment of Black people in California.
Damien M. Sojoyner fills a significant gap in literature by problematizing the school-to-prison pipeline, offering a more nuanced analytical frame than the one represented in most contemporary popular discourse. First Strike helps us understand what is happening to young people in under-resourced schools and the ways that their experience reflects an eroding commitment to education in favor of punishment.
—Beth E. Richie, University of Illinois at Chicago
A glitch in child sleeping patterns, and unemployment, means I’ve had a lot more time to think (and rethink) and of late get to read. So much so, that I now buy books and there is a chance I’ll get to them, and the ones on my device get read too. Mostly. here is one I am deffo gonna read (it) later:
Part I. Concept Work: Fragilities and Filiations
1. Critical Incisions: On Concept Work and Colonial Recursions 3
2. Raw Cuts: Palestine, Israel, and (Post)Colonial Studies 37
3. A Deadly Embrace: Of Colony and Camp 68
4. Colonial Aphasia: Disabled histories and Race in France 122
Part II. Recursions in a Colonial Mode
5. On Degrees of Imperial Sovereignty 173
6. Reason Aside: Enlightenment Precepts and Empire’s Security Regimes 205
7. Racial Regimes of Truth 237
Part III. “The Rot Remains”
8. Racist Visions and the Common Sense of France’s “Extreme” Right 269
9. Bodily Exposures: Beyond Sex? 305
10. Imperial Debris and Ruination 336
DescriptionHow do colonial histories matter to the urgencies and conditions of our current world? How have those histories so often been rendered as leftovers, as “legacies” of a dead past rather than as active and violating forces in the world today? With precision and clarity, Ann Laura Stoler argues that recognizing “colonial presence” may have as much to do with how the connections between colonial histories and the present are expected to look as it does with how they are expected to be. In Duress, Stoler considers what methodological renovations might serve to write histories that yield neither to smooth continuities nor to abrupt epochal breaks. Capturing the uneven, recursive qualities of the visions and practices that imperial formations have animated, Stoler works through a set of conceptual and concrete reconsiderations that locate the political effects and practices that imperial projects produce: occluded histories, gradated sovereignties, affective security regimes, “new” racisms, bodily exposures, active debris, and carceral archipelagos of colony and camp that carve out the distribution of inequities and deep fault lines of duress today.
About The Author(s)Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research and the author and editor of many books, including Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination and Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexualityand the Colonial Order of Things, both also published by Duke University Press.
Another volume on the horror that keeps giving (accounts of capital and how bad it is – figure people gonna wake up and do owt? Not holding my breath given the fun kids were having knocking on the door for sugar yesterday. Still). Haymarket seems to have a decent list now that’d not all trotting out the same old. This is on my list:
There is also an extract:
In Capital Marx writes that, like zombies, living labour under capitalism becomes ‘subservient to and led by an alien will and an alien intelligence’. In tandem, the mass of machinery to which workers are subordinated in production assumes the form of an ‘animated monster’, a monstrosity endowed with a soul and intelligence of its own. Factories, machines, assembly-lines, computerised production systems all take on a life of their own, directing the movements of labour, controlling workers as if they were merely inorganic parts of a giant apparatus. As capital assumes the form of ‘a mechanical monster whose body fills whole factories’, workers become ‘conscious organs of the automaton’. This reference to workers as organs of capital, which we also find in other Marxian texts, returns us to the theme of corporeal fragmentation. Labouring for capital, protests Marx, workers become mere appendages of this ‘animated monster’, dismembered body-parts activated by the motions of the grotesque corpus of capital.
Read more of it here.
Another book to get, this one on borders – gonna review it:
Read More here:
Throughout history, human societies have been organized preeminently as territories—politically bounded regions whose borders define the jurisdiction of laws and the movement of peoples. At a time when the technologies of globalization are eroding barriers to communication, transportation, and trade, Once Within Borders explores the fitful evolution of territorial organization as a worldwide practice of human societies. Master historian Charles S. Maier tracks the epochal changes that have defined territories over five centuries and draws attention to ideas and technologies that contribute to territoriality’s remarkable resilience.
Territorial boundaries transform geography into history by providing a framework for organizing political and economic life. But properties of territory—their meanings and applications—have changed considerably across space and time. In the West, modern territoriality developed in tandem with ideas of sovereignty in the seventeenth century. Sovereign rulers took steps to fortify their borders, map and privatize the land, and centralize their sway over the populations and resources within their domain. The arrival of railroads and the telegraph enabled territorial expansion at home and abroad as well as the extension of control over large spaces. By the late nineteenth century, the extent of a nation’s territory had become an index of its power, with overseas colonial possessions augmenting prestige and wealth and redefining territoriality.
Turning to the geopolitical crises of the twentieth century, Maier pays close attention to our present moment, asking in what ways modern nations and economies still live within borders and to what degree our societies have moved toward a post-territiorial world.
Looking forward to reading this next year (not looking forward to paying 29 bucks – is this the save tries pricing? And is it an eco gamble to fix the price now when the book is not due til August – seems like speculation to me).
Captured: Documenting Incarceration.
04 Nov 2016 – 05 Nov 2016
A two-day documentary film event featuring screenings, workshops and Q&A with directors looking at the role of filmmaking in challenging public perceptions of incarceration and detention.
Friday 4 November
1-2.30pm Workshop/Seminar ‘Working with Archives’ led by Nicolas Drolc. Register here >>
3-4.30pm Workshop/Seminar ‘Film as Method’ led by Michele Devlin, Laurence McKeown and
Claire Hackett. Register here >>
5.30pm Opening of Captured: Documenting Incarceration.
5.45pm Screening of A Kind of Sisterhood followed by Q&A session with directors Michele Devlin and Claire Hackett.
If the working-class has always been segmented, we must then contextualize this segmentation, which is to say we must situate it within the general form of the contradiction between the proletariat and Capital within a cycle of struggles. With this, opposing identities, identities wrongly associated with communities, would solely be normative. Even if we were to confer on this segmentation a great circumstantial importance, its being is elsewhere, within a purity that is either accessible or not. We do not escape a reciprocally exclusive opposition [of identities] by simply pitting what is with what should be.
A normative denial of racialized segmentation does not seek contradictions within what exists, but pleases itself by positioning itself in contradiction with what exists: the class against its segmentation, without considering that the class, within the contradiction of the proletariat and Capital which provide its reproduction, exists but within this segmentation.
Update/addition (via Ross Wolfe):
Théorie Communiste Lucha No Feik Club (October 26, 2016) . . Editorial note . Originally published by Théorie Communiste as «Classe/segmentation/racisation. Notes». Translated from the French by LNFC, with substantial revisions by Ross Wolfe. I can’t take credit for the majority of this translation, as I worked from the one posted by the Lucha No Feik Club. Nevertheless, I found this translation almost unreadable, and so decided to go over it again with my (admittedly quite poor) French and make some modifications. [ 6,777 more words ]
HKW | Sharon Macdonald, Tony Bennett & Arjun Appadurai – THING
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum, Martin Franken, Maya-Ausstellung 2007
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum, Martin Franken, Maya-Ausstellung 2007
Museums stage objects as testimonies of specific narratives. How do these museum things articulate the global order and supplant alternative narratives? What meanings do they adopt in the context of the dynamics of globalization and decolonization? At one of the last events at the Dahlem location of the Ethnologische Museum, Arjun Appadurai, Tony Bennett and Sharon Macdonald will explore the “thing”: its subtexts, its tenacity and its political dimension.
Using selected objects from the collections, three experts probe the narrative styles of “things.” Arjun Appadurai, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, examines the migration of things and asks how they become legible as bearers of aesthetic knowledge. Tony Bennett, Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory at Western Sydney University, presents the evolution of seeing in museums and the fixation on the viewer’s perspective. The cultural anthropologist Sharon Macdonald, Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt-Universität, combines the two theoretical approaches with the latest developments in Berlin’s museum landscape. How do things become signifiers in the museum space? How do societies handle problematic aspects of cultural heritage? What processes of learning and unlearning are necessary in order to decipher hegemonic narratives and geopolitics?
Tags: Art Thing
update 1 October 2016 – banned by the advertising standards agency. Took long enough, and only 4 out of 5 of them were banned, dunno what the other one was, but think whoever thought this whole lot up ought to get a free ride to the job centre
Event not to be missed:
Grunwick and Lucas 40 Years On: Union Rights, Workers’ Control
Screening of The Year of the Beaver and The Lucas Plan, with discussion and brief talks by Kierra Box (Grunwick 40) and Solfed.
22nd July 7pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 (nearest tubes Whitechapel, Aldgate East.)
Organised by Breaking the Frame, Grunwick 40 and North London Solidarity Federation. FREE/donation. http://www.solfed.org.uk/local/north-london
1976 was a high tide of workers’ struggle and the year it all began to change. Giving the lie to racist and sexist myths that Asian women were submissive and would work for a pittance, workers at the Grunwick plant in Willesden rallied the left behind their struggle for the right to join a union. At the Lucas Aerospace arms company, the Shops Stewards’ Combine Committee took the fight to the bosses, with their workers’ Alternative Plan for socially useful production.
In 2016 we are still facing the fiction of ‘foreigners taking our jobs’. In the face of climate change and militarism, we again need industrial conversion, from fossil fuels and Trident to renewables, and to stop the bosses replacing our jobs with robots. Join us for 2 films and discussion, showing how workers’ rights and ideas are crucial to facing those challenges.
The first four words of chapter one volume one in Marx’s Capital are ‘The Wealth of Societies’, surely echoing, as Spivak notes, Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. ‘In the rational plan for socialism’, however, ‘there is no room for nationalism’ (Spivak 2008:100).
This is Marx’s own copy:
Here from the NoOrient site is my commentary on some recent shopping trips…
I dunno where else to dump this, which will now not be used in a review I was writing on regional film traditions:
Yet here is a topic ripe for serious comparative consideration if one, as necessity needs must, thinks across to the USA where a movie star became president, another became state governor – and only missed his ultimate ‘I’ll be back’ moment of becoming president because he was ineligibly born in Europe. Presently a real estate mogul is republican frontrunner on a virulently crazy platform of thinking Jesus wants him for a sunbeam (hat-tip Gore Vidal), his finger itching to blow immigrants, Moslems, Mexicans, Ruskies and whoever else to kingdom come. Reagan was a comic actor after all, Schwarzenegger a muscleman, or mechanical robot – his nuanced performance as a machine is itself interestingly dialectical. There are, nevertheless, distinct kinds of heroes in the social films – the robin hood character, the working class hero, the prince among fools – such that affection can build upon identification of repeated performance in such roles. Reagan did not benefit from the monkey movies perhaps, but the muscle man for California makes a certain Sky-net sci-fi sense.
The pseudo-dominant hype that comes alongside ontological thinking: a kind of extension of postmodernism’s apolitical arabesques, which then moved into the digital. This most likely reflects a lack of political consequence amongst the wider left in the metropolitan centres. Spare time on their hands, fairly comfortable economic circumstances, and no practical occupation, meant speculations and flights of fancy with ‘radical’ inclinations but no connection to expressed political needs or mobilisation. A theoretical dominance that treads water in the flow of cultural politics.
The analysis of trinkets, objects, souvenirs or commodities remains wholly bourgeois if things are not seen as first up, against the grain, the embodiment of social labour power and prevailing relations of production. From there the examination of class struggle and the relations of production as they shift according to distribution of resources, labour, machinery, market and state becomes the necessary context to understand the role trinkets play in crises, conflicts and historical change. Trinkets do not have autonomy, but are contexted by the political, social and historical conditions they nevertheless allow us to describe. Appearance form.
This very good review by Bruce Williams in Film-Philosophy.
Ewa Mazierska and Lars Kristensen (eds.) (2014) Marx at the Movies: Revisiting History, Theory and Practice, London: Palgrave Macmillan. 293 pp.
includes a nice summary of my chapter:
In the realm of the classical cinema, John Hutnyk’s ‘Citizen Marx/Kane’ draws a parallel between Citizen Kane and Marx’s book (218-243). When read together, these two seemingly disparate works symbiotically enrich the viewer’s understanding of both. Through an exploration of such notions as the allegory of property, philosophic biography, and the fetishisation of objects, Hutnyk asserts that a Hollywood classic like Kane can render Capital relevant to the present day. He illustrates that what we see in the film that is not in Marx’s book ‘is the personification of a class system’ (240). For Hutnyk, a Marxist reading of Welles’ film serves to debunk the obscuring of the oppressive regime of capital and the alibis in the name of philanthropy that capitalists deploy ‘for their acquisitive plunder’ (240).
Read the whole review: Bruce Williams in Film-Philosophy.
NDTV have a record on this topic which is, erm, unenviable. For example, they had run a phone in poll to see if their audience wanted Afzal Mohammed Guru hanged, held before the court gave its verdict, on what was a frame-up according to many, and the ‘torturer for the nation’ proudly proclaiming his role in getting Afzal’s confession… So it is deeply troubling that even now Police action cracks down on legitimate dissent. Cultural event! Maybe there is more to it, but it looks dubious to me – what threat was this demonstration to the nation? Kanhiya Kumar zindabad.
Full story here.
The magazine is here: TheInvisibleFinger