The Fantasy of Ethical Capitalism

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By Laurian B. For many years, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place was a staple text for my introductory course in cultural anthropology. A fast, and unsettling read for anyone who has traveled to the Caribbean with a beach vacation forefront on their minds, Kincaid peels the beauty of Antigua to deliver prescient critiques of the privatization-of-everything that continues to devour the few remaining public-enterprises in the world. Kincaid gut punches both natives and tour...
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Specters of a school’s closing

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By Beth U. For his installation reForm, artist Pepón Osorio relocated a classroom from the closed Fairhill Elementary School to another classroom – at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in North Philadelphia, a mile from Fairhill. To find reForm, you have to wander through Tyler’s occupied basement studios until, pushing through some double doors, you come across a row of cubbies from Fairhill. Jackets and bac...
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Hit the Road: Musings on Beat Muses

Zora Neale Hurston
By Beth U I’ve been reading bits of Beat memoir here and there.  Recalling her coming-of-age during the Beat-era, writer Janine Pommy Vega describes her virginity as a "hindrance."  At 16, she and a friend staked out the Cedar Bar (the popular Beat hangout in Greenwich Village) to meet Gregory Corso.  A few days later, they visit him and Peter Orlovsky in their shared apartment. As Vega waits to have sex with Orlovsky (a given for a female fan?), Corso takes her friend into a...
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The Beauty of Quitting: Keguro Macharia on Deracination, Psychic Breaks, and the US Academy

Julie Mehretu. "Dispersion," 2002. Ink and acrylic on canvas
By Beth U. I just came across Keguro Macharia's beautiful post “On Quitting” for The New Inquiry. In it, Macharia tries to make sense of why he resigned from a tenure track job at the same time he completed a book manuscript for publication. Academia rewards self-abnegation in the pursuit of perfectly timed and perfectly placed publications. It demands cycles of fevered writing followed by lengthy periods of ...
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On Audre Lorde and the uses of anger, Part I

By Beth & Laurian How do we have “intersectional” conversations about state violence, gender, class, sexuality, and race as feminists? What do we do with our rage when we know that women, girls, queer people, and trans* people (among others) continue to be sidelined in discussions about state-sanctioned violence? To erase experiences of violence from public discourse is a form of violence in and of itself. To erase resilience and leadership is also a fo...
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What can genealogies of radical and revolutionary poetics tell us now?

June Jordan, Alice Walker, Lucille Clifton, and Audre Lorde, At Phillis Wheatley Poetry Fest, 1979.
By Beth U. It’s winter and I am reading. I find myself devouring older U.S. feminist criticism (and criticism of this criticism) in order to think about the now: all the cracks, heroic optimism, anger, inadequacy, misdirection, bravery and labor of feminism/s—the messiness of messy people pushing social boundaries, expressing what it is at stake, taking the fall, finding joy, exposing fragility and strength and rage. Together, feminist efforts demonstrate that "no sing...
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