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Course notes for Monday, November 16

jschlosser's picture


I'd like to begin by taking some time to talk about the attacks in Paris on Friday. While this may seem afield of our readings and recent discussions, I think these events actually raise a number of themes we've been examining all semester: violence and force in society; forgiveness; the idea of prefiguration and non-violence; and, most generally, how logics of crime and punishment (and retribution) structure so much of our world. Think of the language in response: the attacks were "barbaric" according to Obama and Pope Francis; Francois Hollande, the President of France, declared that ""France will be merciless towards these barbarians.” 

If you have time, I'd suggest looking at the following two articles for alternative responses to the events:

In the meantime, if you've found any worthwhile writing in response to the attacks and related issues, I welcome you to reply to this post with a link.



Our discussion of McAdam last week opened a number of rich issues having to do with leadership, prefiguration, brave speech, and organizing. I hope we can pick these up with experimental essays from Abby, Sula, and Meera. Here are my notes from our last meeting: /oneworld/arts-resistance/post-class-notes-monday-november-8



This will be our last class on the "Freedom Struggle" -- often called the "civil rights movement," but as Payne points out, much more expansive in its aspirations that "civil rights" suggests. Time permitting, I'd like to take a little time to reflect on Payne, "Freedom Summer," McAdam, and Evans together. Remember that we turned to these examples to think about potential responses to Michelle Alexander's challenge at the end of The New Jim Crow where she called for a "new social movement" to respond to the oppressive conditions she diagnosed. On the basis of our readings and discussions in the last month, how might you imagine this response? That is, what might such a movement look like? How could the Freedom Struggle of the 1960s inform a Freedom Struggle of the 2010s?