Alex Zamalin: Black Utopia: The History of an Idea from Black Nationalism to Afrofuturism (2019)

14 January 2021, dusan

“Within the history of African American struggle against racist oppression that often verges on dystopia, a hidden tradition has depicted a transfigured world. Daring to speculate on a future beyond white supremacy, black utopian artists and thinkers offer powerful visions of ways of being that are built on radical concepts of justice and freedom. They imagine a new black citizen who would inhabit a world that soars above all existing notions of the possible.

In Black Utopia, Alex Zamalin offers a groundbreaking examination of African American visions of social transformation and their counterutopian counterparts. Considering figures associated with racial separatism, postracialism, anticolonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Afrofuturism, he argues that the black utopian tradition continues to challenge American political thought and culture. Black Utopia spans black nationalist visions of an ideal Africa, the fiction of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sun Ra’s cosmic mythology of alien abduction. Zamalin casts Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler as political theorists and reflects on the antiutopian challenges of George S. Schuyler and Richard Wright. Their thought proves that utopianism, rather than being politically immature or dangerous, can invigorate political imagination. Both an inspiring intellectual history and a critique of present power relations, this book suggests that, with democracy under siege across the globe, the black utopian tradition may be our best hope for combating injustice.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2019
ISBN 9780231187404, 0231187408
x+182 pages

Reviews: Smaran Dayal (Social Text, 2020), David A. Lemke (Utopian Studies, 2020), Francis Shor (J American History, 2020), Ladee Hubbard (TLS, 2019).

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Andreas Malm: How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire (2021)

13 January 2021, dusan

“Why resisting climate change means combatting the fossil fuel industry

The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a booming fossil fuel industry, rising seas, rising emission levels, and a rising temperature. With the stakes so high, why haven’t we moved beyond peaceful protest?

In this lyrical manifesto, noted climate scholar (and saboteur of SUV tires and coal mines) Andreas Malm makes an impassioned call for the climate movement to escalate its tactics in the face of ecological collapse. We need, he argues, to force fossil fuel extraction to stop—with our actions, with our bodies, and by defusing and destroying its tools. We need, in short, to start blowing up some oil pipelines.

Offering a counter-history of how mass popular change has occurred, from the democratic revolutions overthrowing dictators to the movement against apartheid and for women’s suffrage, Malm argues that the strategic acceptance of property destruction and violence has been the only route for revolutionary change. In a braided narrative that moves from the forests of Germany and the streets of London to the deserts of Iraq, Malm offers us an incisive discussion of the politics and ethics of pacifism and violence, democracy and social change, strategy and tactics, and a movement compelled by both the heart and the mind. Here is how we fight in a world on fire.”

Publisher Verso Books, London, January 2021
ISBN 9781839760259
136 pages
HT pht

Interviews with author: Wen Stephenson (LA Review of Books, 2021), Politics Theory Other (2021, audio).

Publisher
WorldCat

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David M. Halperin, Valerie Traub (eds.): Gay Shame (2009)

6 January 2021, dusan

“Ever since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, “gay pride” has been the rallying cry of the gay rights movement and the political force behind the emergence of the field of lesbian and gay studies. But has something been lost, forgotten, or buried beneath the drive to transform homosexuality from a perversion to a proud social identity? Have the political requirements of gay pride repressed discussion of the more uncomfortable or undignified aspects of homosexuality?

Gay Shame seeks to lift this unofficial ban on the investigation of homosexuality and shame by presenting critical work from the most vibrant frontier in contemporary queer studies. An esteemed list of contributors tackles a range of issues—questions of emotion, disreputable sexual histories, dissident gender identities, and embarrassing figures and moments in gay history—as they explore the possibility of reclaiming shame as a new, even productive, way to examine lesbian and gay culture.”

Publisher Chicago University Press, 2009
ISBN 9780226314372, 0226314375
x+395 pages
via Flux

Reviews: Victor Stepien (Journal of Homosexuality, 2012), Karsten Schubert (hugs&kisses, 2012, DE).

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WorldCat

PDF (6 MB, updated on 2021-1-10)