Against the Grain – November 30, 2021

Against the Grain

Micah Alpaugh discusses his new book “Friends of Freedom: The Rise of Social Movements in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions.”

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A dozen years after the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war, traditional homelands of the minority Tamil population are still under military occupation, thousands of forcibly displaced civilians remain in limbo, and policies rooted in Sinhala nationalism continue to actively suppress Tamil history and culture. So claims a recent Oakland Institute report authored by … Continued


What would — what should — getting beyond capitalism look like? Many scholars and activists have advanced strategies for moving toward a postcapitalist future. Some have focused on extending practices of “commoning”; some have advocated full automation; others have emphasized asset redistribution. Greg Albo considers and critiques strategies promoted by Erik Olin Wright, Sylvia Federici, … Continued


How best to understand the violence and discrimination directed against queer and trans people of color? Eric A. Stanley considers these phenomena through multiple lens. He brings up chattel slavery, commodification, biocapital, pharmaceutical industry practices, LGBT activism, and what he calls cellular labor to elucidate the nature and consequences of racialized anti-trans/queer violence. Eric Stanley, … Continued


Richard Wright, best known for his books “Native Son” and “Black Boy,” was a crucial figure in the Black radical and anticapitalist traditions. So asserts Joseph Ramsey, who has written widely on Wright’s life, literary production, and political commitments. Ramsey also elaborates Wright’s views toward Black nationalism, views that Ramsey contends should be heeded by … Continued


What happens when missionaries try to get indigenous people to read and write English? Sometimes what results is very different than what the missionaries intended. Laura Rademaker describes how members of an aboriginal community in Australia resisted and repurposed English literacies. (Encore presentation.) Tony Ballantine, Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla, eds., Indigenous Textual Cultures: Reading and Writing … Continued