This section of Call & Response started as Read in Place, a weekly (or bi weekly) reading list to inform and inspire through the months of shelter in place as the Coronavirus shook our world. While the virus has not gone away yet (socially distance and wear your masks, folks!) it has also exposed something that has long been with us: the inequality and systemic violence and discrimination rampant in the U.S. and beyond. And with the massive protests resulting from the murder by of George Floyd, and the state repression that followed nationwide, it is clear we are entering a key moment as an anti-racist uprising and a deadly pandemic coincide. So Read in Place will henceforth be known as Read to Resist. That is because we believe cultural resistance to the profound violence around us (economic, military, racial, sexual etc) is imperative. Context, analysis and critical thinking are key elements to resisting injustice, as is art that inspires, delights and pushes us towards empathy and the creation of new, more humane and sustainable models for our communities and environment. So whether you’re sheltering in place or marching in the streets; creating art or teaching; parenting or healing, we urge you to read up and spread knowledge and solidarity to those around you.
The Empire of All Maladies | Nick Estes A reflection on colonial contagions and indigenous resistance.
The existing order of things A report on the war on the poor being waged by South Africa’s ruling class.
Police and the Wealth of Nations: Déjà Vu or Unfinished Business? An essay investigating the connections between private property and policing over time.
How I Became a Police Abolitionist Derecka Purnell argues that “When people dismiss abolitionists for not caring about victims or safety, they tend to forget that we are those victims, those survivors of violence.”
Eric Hobsbawm’s Century A look back at the ever-timely life’s work of the great marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm.
Intercepted: The Revolutionary Life of Paul Robeson An interview with historian Gerald Horne on the revolutionary artistry and activism of the great Paul Robeson.
A Doctor’s View from The Beleaguered Yemeni Port of Aden A sobering report on the many-faceted unfolding humanitarian disaster in war-torn Yemen.
Pankaj Mishra · Flailing States: Anglo-America Loses its Grip The critic and scholar Pankaj Mishra weighs in on the state of disarray and decay in the UK and US, further exposed by the Covid pandemic and its discontents.
Abolition is Not a Suburb A reminder that the goal of abolition is not to recreate the deeply flawed and problematic suburban model of “stability”.
Trump’s Fascist Speech at Mount Rushmore A look at the worrying signals in Trump’s increasingly fascistic rhetoric.
Fool’s Gold | Gene Seymour A critique of Spike Lee’s newest film.
Naomi Klein: We Must Not Return to the Status Quo. It Will be Even Worse Than Before The always on point Naomi Klein argues that returning to an even worse version of the pre-Covid status quo must be avoided at all costs.
‘Defund the Police,’ ‘Cancel Rent’: The Left Remakes the World An exploration of how the new ideas and movements emerging from the Left are giving much needed hope for a different, more sustainable future in a time of darkness.
Yavne: A Jewish Case for Equality in Israel-Palestine Peter Beinart embraces a vision of a one-state solution in the Holy Land.
Why Peter Beinart’s call for a one-state solution misses the mark A Palestinian response to what is overlooked in Beinart’s thesis on state for Jews and Palestinians.
The Unfolding Tragedy in Lebanon A haunting portrait of the famine and poverty stalking crisis-riddled Lebanon.
Waste Away | Lina Mounzer An essay on the waste water problems in Beirut, and the insight they provide into Lebanon’s past turmoil.
How Trump Is Helping Tycoons Exploit the Pandemic An investigation into the brazen rich-boy corruption and nepotism carried out by the Trump regime during the pandemic.
Rise up: the best books about the power of protest A book list highlighting titles that dive into the enduring power of protest and rebellion.
Pandemic Syllabus An in-depth syllabus to study the phenomena of pandemics from a variety of angles.
Speculative Black Theatre History – AAIHS A short reflection on radical black theatre over the years.
Climate change: what Antarctica’s ‘doomsday glacier’ means for the planet The headline says it all. The clock is ticking…
The Invention of the Police This New Yorker article asks: Why did American policing get so big, so fast? The answer, mainly, is slavery.