This course examines power in Canada as the foundation of social problems, and change as general movement toward solving those problems.
“Man, it is what it is.
You can’t understand a man
if you ain’t live what he lived.”
-Method Man “Bulletproof Love”
I have a vivid memory of being in the Chicago Union Amtrak station in 2014, waiting for my next train, while CNN footage of Eric Garner being choked to death by New York’s finest played on a loop on the TV screens. Until that point, I had managed to avoid seeing the video since part of me dies each time I see my brethren unjustly killed. I felt disgusted seeing the video, not only because I was not prepared to view it, but also because of the (non)reactions of the people around me. The ones staring at the screen looked impassive, unbothered by the repeated display of Garner surrounded by several officers, as the caption stated that Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who grabbed Garner by the neck, would not be indicted. It occurred to me that while video footage has provided undeniable proof of police violence against Black and Brown people, the public is nevertheless largely unsympathetic to our lived experiences. Repeatedly showing footage of police killing Black people seems to normalize police violence rather than challenging it. This demonstrates that it’s not enough to show that Black and Brown people are killed by police. Critical Race Theory emphasizes that racism has been invisibly normalized in society and asserts the importance of storytelling in order to provide a counter narrative to the dominant hegemony of White supremacy. It is in this context that Luke Cage, a Marvel Netflix original released last year, truly matters and excels.
https://youtu.be/GB4s5b9NL3I Economist Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance for Greece, says you can be in politics today but not be in power — because real power now belongs to those who control the economy. He believes that the mega-rich and corporations are cannibalizing the political sphere, causing financial crisis. In this talk, hear his dream for a world in which capital and labor no longer struggle against each other, “one that is simultaneously libertarian, Marxist and Keynesian.”
On MLK Day, we often celebrate King’s accomplishments but many of us forget or fail to take further action necessary to make his dream a reality. Although injustices may be less visible today, structural racism continues to exist. By asking this question, I wanted to provoke people to think about what actions they might take to challenge racism today.
Hunger is not about not having enough food. It’s about inequalities in access to resources to grow food, it’s about power and distribution. Women, make up the majority of small scale farmers and household food producers in many countries. We asked women from different backgrounds on International Women’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’s Day 2012 what Food Justice means to them and what are solutions to fixing our broken food system. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA6p0w2Xoqg
Repost from The New Yorker Yesterday was the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, and at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, in Cuba, more than a hundred prisoners (approximately a hundred and six of the hundred and sixty-six held there) continued an ongoing hunger strike against the conditions of their confinement. The Obama Administration has been force-feeding them, citing “the policy of the Department of Defense to support the preservation of life and health by appropriate clinical means and standard medical intervention, in a humane manner.” In a further nod to the humane, it has decided, for the duration of Ramadan, to force-feed them only after sunset and before dawn. Continue reading this article in The New Yorker.
Science & Popular Movements This class focuses on the ways that different kinds of social movements have engaged science and technology. It focuses on examples from environmentalism and medical research to find examples of “popular science” where scientists and non-scientists interact in surprising ways: 1) where non-scientists challenge scientists’ authority and knowledge, 2) where scientists act like a social movement, and 3) where scientists and regular people work together, sometimes cooperatively and sometimes competitively, to generate knowledge. Dr. Aaron Panofsky University of California Los Angeles
Women, States, & NGOs: What is the state and where did it come from? Is it necessary? What is the source of state power and how do women, in particular, encounter it? These are some of the questions we will consider when we examine the ongoing debates within (US and European) women’s movements about whether and how to engage the state on women’s behalf or, perhaps, dismiss it altogether as inhospitable to feminist values. We begin this exploration with an overview and critical analysis of the conventional conceptions and history of the state. Then, we consider the differing strategies (e.g., suffrage, integration, separatism, or anarchism) and debates among and within movements struggling for women’s liberation. Dr. Amy Elman Kalamazoo College