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.
As threats to the environment grow in number and severity, we tend to view conservation as an urgent imperative and an unmitigated good. But, as Anuradha Mittal has discovered, what’s being done to the indigenous Maasai people in Tanzania in the name of conservation is horrific. Mittal describes how foreign conservation and tourism companies, often … Continued
While New York City may be the capital of wealth in America, the celebrated metropolis has been a locus of rebellion. From the revolt of the Native American Munsee against the Dutch, to slave uprisings, class and race riots, Stonewall, protests against the Republican National Convention, Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, and much … Continued
How vulnerable are cities to the weather extremes unleashed by climate change? To what extent do rising sea levels and the “heat-island effect” threaten urban areas? Ashley Dawson contends that while contemporary urban life is increasingly fragile and risky, grassroots efforts to protect communities while addressing social inequities deserve our attention. Ashley Dawson, Extreme Cities: … Continued
From at least the Haitian Revolution to the present, black and brown people in the Western Hemisphere have linked arms in solidarity with each other. Historian Paul Ortiz discusses how we can’t understand the United States and its past without looking beyond its borders. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Paul Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History … Continued
If what Eric Holt-Giménez calls our current corporate food regime is neither equitable nor resilient, then how do we go about changing or replacing it? Our starting point, says Holt-Giménez, must be to understand capitalism as a system and capitalism’s history as an evolving set of agendas and practices. He examines the role of agriculture … Continued
How is radical memory transmitted from generation to generation? How does that transmission frequently fail — and how might it better succeed? Anthropologist and veteran radical Phil Cohen discusses the politics of remembrance and archiving, from the Sixties to the present. Resources: Livingmaps May Day Rooms Phil Cohen, Archive That, Comrade! Left Legacies and the … Continued
One oft-ignored consequence of mass incarceration is the release of massive numbers of people from prison each year. Where do these people go, and how likely are they to find decent housing and the other resources they need? Over the course of his ethnographic work in Oakland, California, Alessandro De Giorgi discovered how neoliberal economics … Continued
In 2009, the mainstream, but democratically-elected government of Honduras was overthrown in a coup that was backed by the United States. Probably no surprise there: the US has a long history of supporting repressive regimes in that country. But what was surprising, medical anthropologist Adrienne Pine argues, was the response of the until-then fairly quiescent … Continued
Authoritarianism, wrote Erich Fromm, is not just about dominating and controlling others; it’s also about subordinating oneself to a “great” person, institution, or idea. In the eyes of John Elmore, traditional, compulsory mass schooling in the U.S. fosters the development of authoritarian personality characteristics in young people who, later in life, may enable, or actively … Continued
Building solidarity across racial lines has been one of the thorniest problems of the left in the US, stymying struggles against capitalism over generations. David Roediger talks about race, class, and solidarity — as well as the radical scholar George Rawick and the organization Facing Reality. Resources: David R. Roediger, Class, Race, and Marxism Verso, … Continued