Avery F. Gordon: The Hawthorn Archive: Letters from the Utopian Margins (2018)

21 January 2021, dusan

“The Hawthorn Archive, named after the richly fabled tree, has long welcomed the participants in the various Euro-American social struggles against slavery, racial capitalism, imperialism, and authoritarian forms of order. The Archive is not a library or a research collection in the conventional sense but rather a disorganized and fugitive space for the development of a political consciousness of being indifferent to the deadly forms of power that characterize our society. Housed by the Archive are autonomous radicals, runaways, abolitionists, commoners, and dreamers who no longer live as obedient or merely resistant subjects.

In this innovative, genre- and format-bending publication, Avery F. Gordon, the “keeper” of the Archive, presents a selection of its documents—original and compelling essays, letters, cultural analyses, images, photographs, conversations, friendship exchanges, and collaborations with various artists. Gordon creatively uses the imaginary of the Archive to explore the utopian elements found in a variety of resistive and defiant activity in the past and in the present, zeroing in on Marxist critical theory and the black radical tradition. Fusing critical theory with creative writing in a historical context, The Hawthorn Archive represents voices from the utopian margins, where fact, fiction, theory, and image converge.

Reminiscent of the later fictions of Italo Calvino or Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, The Hawthorn Archive is a groundbreaking work that defies strict disciplinary, methodological, and aesthetic boundaries. And like Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, which established Gordon as one of the most influential interdisciplinary scholars of the humanities and social sciences in recent years, it provides a kaleidoscopic analysis of power and effect. The Hawthorn Archive’s experimental format and inventive synthesis of critical theory and creative writing make way for a powerful reconception of what counts as social change and political action, offering creative inspiration and critical tools to artists, activists, scholars across various disciplines, and general readers alike.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, 2018
ISBN 0823276325, 9780823276325
xii+472 pages

Interview with author: Krystian Woznicki (transversal, 2019).

Review: Eddie Bruce-Jones (Race & Class, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (46 MB)

Ruha Benjamin: Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019)

5 November 2019, dusan

“From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.

Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the “New Jim Code,” she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life.

This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold but also the ones we ourselves manufacture.”

Publisher Polity Press, Cambridge, 2019
ISBN 9781509526406, 1509526404
x+285 pages

Interview with author (Sanjana Varghese, Guardian, 2019)

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

EPUB