A radio and web media project whose aim is to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism.
Against the Grain
12:00 PM Pacific Time: Mondays to Wednesdays
In-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social, and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism. Against the Grain is co-produced and co-hosted by Sasha Lilley and C.S. Soong.
According to Margaret Hunter, growing numbers of white people are “shape shifting into Blackness”: they’re taking on or inhabiting aspects or characteristics of Blackness. Hunter discusses the emergence of three forms of Blackness tried on by whites in the post-civil rights era: cultural Blackness, political Blackness, and intellectual Blackness. Tamai, Dineen-Wimberly, and Spickard, eds., Shape Shifters: Journeys … Continued
Innovation, grit, creativity, flexibility, choice — these words are ubiquitous in US society and yet, according to John Patrick Leary, they’re not neutral. Leary weighs in on the language of 21st century capitalism and how certain keywords are a slippery way to avoid calling thing what they are. (Encore presentation.) Resources: John Patrick Leary, Keywords: … Continued
Is life worth living? Can believing in something help make it a reality? Do emotions generate actions, or is it the other way around? John Kaag describes how William James, the nineteenth-century philosopher and psychologist, approached and answered these questions. John Kaag, Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life Princeton University … Continued
Is capitalism bad for your health? Gabor Maté thinks so. The acclaimed Canadian physician and Marxist discusses capitalism, stress, and chronic illness, inimitably combining profound humanism, dark wit, and extensive knowledge of science and social justice. He makes the compelling case that the psycho-social needs to be taken into account by both the medical establishment … Continued
In a wide-ranging talk, the U.C. Berkeley-based scholar john a. powell argued that all political institutions in the U.S. are grounded to a certain extent in racialized logic.
How should we understand the role that police play in maintaining the social order? Radical scholar Christina Heatherton discusses policing, neoliberal capitalism, and resistance. Cover photo via: AJ Colores
john a. powell on racialized logic and its impact over the course of U.S. history.
Clarence Thomas is Donald Trump’s favorite Supreme Court justice, which might confirm the liberal view that Thomas is simply a toady of the right. But scholar Corey Robin argues that Thomas is a complex thinker and skilled rhetorician, whose ideas originate in black nationalism. Robin reflects on how Thomas’ pessimism about the intractability of racism … Continued
Helena Sheehan participated, as an activist, educator, and Marxist philosopher, in a great variety of radical movements and groupings, among them the New Left, the IRA, and the Communist Party of Ireland. She describes her engagements with many of the key ideas and debates around socialism and communism, both in the U.S. and abroad. Helena Sheehan, Navigating … Continued
A century ago, out of the carnage of World War One and the wave of revolutions that swept Europe, came an artistic movement that put personal and societal liberation at its center: surrealism. Penelope Rosemont, a later member of the movement, discusses the art and politics of surrealism — and her own personal history within … Continued