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.

Mon 2.23.15 | Richard Pryor

Scott Saul, Becoming Richard Pryor Harper, 2014





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Iconoclastic comedian, talented actor, and gifted writer -- Richard Pryor pushed the boundaries of popular culture at a pivotal moment, laying bare uncomfortable truths about race and injustice in America. Scott Saul reflects on the comedian's formative years in a segregated country and the fluorescence of his art during a time of urban unrest, Black Power, and the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s.

Wed 2.18.15 | Warfare's Sonic Dimension

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In war zones, both combatants and civilians must cope with, and interpret, the sounds of weaponry. While often thought of as ancillary to the violence inflicted by bombs and bullets, wartime sounds, argues Martin Daughtry, can become indistinguishable from violence itself; they can enact permanent physical and psychological damage.

Tues 2.17.15 | Race, Class, and Hurricanes

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Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy have been recent reminders of the power of massive storms to not only inundate cities and change landscapes, but to reshape or reinforce existing class and racial divisions. Historian Stuart Schwartz reflects on five centuries of hurricanes and conflict in the greater Caribbean, including the Southern United States.

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