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.
The banana is a ubiquitous and comforting staple of the American kitchen, yet its history is anything but benign. And, as a documentary film illustrates, one simple fruit illuminates so much about the history of capitalism and imperialism in the Western hemisphere. We feature highlights from the film “When Banana Ruled”.
“The Long Shadow,” a documentary film written and directed by Frances Causey, investigates the history and legacies of slavery and anti-Black racism in the U.S.
This year is the 50th anniversary of 1968, a stand in for the explosive movements of the 60s and 70s. Christina Gerhardt discusses those movements through a German lens, many of which exploded on the scene a mere decade and a half after the defeat of the Nazis and into a society deeply marked by … Continued
Many people on the Left have come to believe that we can and should change the world without taking power. While some of the arguments emanating from people like John Holloway are valid, says Paul Christopher Gray, he believes that engaging with the state and vying for state power can, under certain circumstances, lead to … Continued
What’s inside that seemingly unremarkable object: a metal can of food? How did we get to where we are today, where canned food appears so mundane — when, in fact, selling food in a corrodible can to dubious American consumers was an uphill battle for the processed food industry? Historian Anna Zeide looks at the … Continued
Asylum protection for domestic violence survivors and for people fleeing other forms of persecution is under threat. Jeff Sessions has intervened in a key immigration case. Karen Musalo discusses the details, background, and implications of the Attorney General’s decision. She also stresses the importance of protecting women who fear gender-based violence if returned to their … Continued
What does fossil fuel extraction, and the environmental damage it causes, have to do with the exploitation of women? Sean Parson and Emily Ray apply insights from ecofeminism, Marxism, and Freudianism to the situation of women in and around the Bakken oil fields; they also discuss the sexualization of women’s bodies in oil industry-related advertisements. … Continued
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
Power comes in different flavors, asserted the French theorist Michel Foucault. Sarah Burgess explains the difference between sovereign power and biopolitical power; she also discusses biopolitical practices and rhetorics of power in the context of the easily preventable death of a Canadian woman in her prison cell. Happe, Johnson, and Levina, eds., Biocitizenship: The Politics … Continued
What can Star Trek tell us about life after capitalism? Peter Frase discusses four possible futures in a world where workers are increasingly being replaced by machines — ranging from communist and socialist societies to ones in which workers are literally disposable. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Peter Frase, Four Futures: Life After Capitalism Verso, 2014