Against the Grain – January 11, 2023

Against the Grain

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.

Upcoming Episode

One of conservation’s greatest achievements happened mostly by accident and is still hiding in plain sight for most of us. When settlers established cities in the United States, they decimated the existing ecosystems. But in recent decades, as environmental historian Peter Alagona illustrates, there has been a remarkable return of wildlife to urban areas across … Continued

Against the Grain

Contemplating Incarceration

What happens when meditation and yoga are taught behind bars? Are the imprisoned student-practitioners prodded to view their suffering as generated solely by their thoughts and actions, or do the classes foster an awareness of the structural and systemic factors that contributed to their incarceration? Farah Godrej taught yoga and meditation in prison and interviewed both … Continued

Against the Grain

The War on the Industrial Workers of the World

The Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, are celebrated on the left for their militant opposition to capitalism, their broad church unionism across race and gender lines, and their ability to organize migrant and other precarious workers. As Ahmed White documents, they were crushed by unprecedented violence and vigilantism, which cast a long shadow … Continued

A twentieth-anniversary edition of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, by the UCLA-based historian Robin D. G. Kelley, recently came out. Kelley spoke about his book shortly after it was published. Kelley later joined the program to talk about Aimé Césaire, one of the thinkers featured in Freedom Dreams. (Encore presentation.) Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: … Continued

Against the Grain

Dispossession and Enclosure

We’re often told that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians rises out of a unique historical situation. But the dispossession of the Palestinians, rather than being exceptional, has strong echoes in other historical dispossessions. Gary Fields discusses the enclosure of the lands of the English peasantry, Native Americans, and the inhabitants of historic … Continued

This year saw the publication of a fifteenth-anniversary edition of Vijay Prashad’s award-winning book “The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World,” which examines the origins, the development, and what the author calls the assassination of the Third World project. Today’s program features excerpts of a two-part in-studio interview with Prashad conducted shortly … Continued