Mon 8.24.15 | Hetero/Homo: A Fine Line?

Jane Ward, Not Gay: Sex between Straight White Men NYU Press, 2015

Jane Ward, Respectably Queer Vanderbilt U. Press, 2008

Feminist Pigs


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Straight folks, says Jane Ward, engage in a remarkable amount of homosexual sex. In her new book, Ward investigates and interprets same-sex contact between straight white men in a variety of settings, including the military and college fraternities. She also points to a double standard that denies males the sexual fluidity and flexibility routinely assigned to women.

Wed 8.19.15 | 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 surveillance.

Tues 8.18.15 | Hollywood and the US Wartime State

Blanke and Steigerwald, eds., A Destiny of Choice? Rowman and Littlefield, 2015 (paper)

Ogletree and Sarat, eds., Punishment in Popular Culture NYU Press, 2015

Lary May, The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way U. of Chicago Press, 2000

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When the US goes to war, its leaders hope and expect Hollywood to make movies that promote war culture and national unity. However, in the wake of 9/11, a number of filmmakers challenged the values and ideology of the US wartime state. Lary May attributes this to the emergence of Hollywood as a global industry catering to foreign audiences.

Mon 8.17.15 | Overseeing Global Capitalism

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The defeat of the US working class was the requisite condition for the renewal of US empire, which -- as much as we keep willing it to decline -- maintains its key role as the guardian of global capitalism. So claim Marxist political economists Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, who in their magnum opus trace the extension of the capitalist system around the globe with the US at the helm. They discuss the political implications of this history for radicals.

Wed 8.12.15 | The Radical Imagination

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According to Alex Khasnabish, we're in the midst of a double crisis, one hammering the general population and the other affecting the work of radical activists. Khasnabish believes that the radical imagination, a collective process that animates social movements, must be nurtured and prioritized. He counterposes the radical imagination to capitalist imaginaries that are foisted on people desperately seeking economic security.

Tues 8.11.15 | The Trouble with Conventional Education

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Testing, grades, homework, learning by rote: these are the foundations of our conventional educational system. Alfie Kohn argues that they are as good as worthless. The maverick education critic discusses the deep-seated problems with traditional schooling and explores the alternative approach of progressive education. He also talks about the pitfalls of competition and national rankings.

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