Against the Grain – July 25, 2016

Against the Grain

Ali Eteraz’s new novel “Native Believer” has been called a “Gonzo panorama of Muslim America.”

Upcoming Episode

Migrant Day Labor in Neoliberal Times

Against the Grain

What happens when poor immigrants seek work on urban street corners? What interpersonal and structural forces affect their vulnerability to harm? Paul Apostolidis considers the plight of migrant day laborers in the U.S. in light of their own words, of the dynamics of state violence directed at Palestinians, and of the nature of precarious bodily existence … Continued

Cutting the Workweek

Against the Grain


If you’re like most Americans, you probably feel overworked and underpaid. Americans, on average, labor 300 hours more per year than their counterparts in Northern Europe. And even workers in Europe, with some notable exceptions, have not seen substantial reductions in their hours for decades, despite increasing labor productivity. So what’s going on? Sociologist Christoph … Continued

Meditation’s Political Potential

Against the Grain

Meditation may appear to be an intensely individualistic, private activity, but Dean Mathiowetz believes it has significant political potential. He contends that mindfulness meditation fosters what he calls democratic citizenship, in part because of its non-instrumental, “good for nothing” aspect. Dean Mathiowetz, “‘Meditation is Good for Nothing’: Leisure as a Democratic Practice” New Political Science … Continued

Arendt, Human Activity, and the Politics of Place

Against the Grain

Peter Cannavò, drawing from Hannah Arendt’s insights into humans’ relationship with nature and the built environment, examines the politics of place in an era of rampant commodification and urban/suburban sprawl. Cannavo points to an overemphasis on development to the detriment of preservation. Cannavò and Lane, eds., Engaging Nature: Environmentalism and the Political Theory Canon MIT … Continued