Daniel Berrigan Funeral, 2016 © Jeremy Varon
EssaysFeatureIn Depth

The Death Stops Here: The Death and Resurrection of Daniel Berrigan

Fidgety and a little bored in the crammed pews of the Church of St. Francis Xavier, my eight-year-old son waited with us for the service to begin. For distraction and readiness, he etched on his program, with his parents’ help: “Today we reflect on the life of Daniel Berrigan. He was a great priest, prophet, poet and peacemaker. He touched many lives with his actions and words. It is nice to be in such a beautiful church with so many people honoring a man they loved.” Simple and true, these words presaged a ceremony that edified and even transformed the two thousand or so people blessed to have been there. The death on April 30 of the 94-year-old Fr. Dan Berrigan, S.J. at a Jesuit infirmary in New York City has been big news. Heartfelt obituaries have poured forth: from fellow priest and political troublemaker John Dear; from the rogue Washington Post columnist Coleman McCarthy, …

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Guantanamo detainee © Joint Task Force Guantanamo | Flickr
Arts & DesignReviews

The Guantánamo Saga in Laurie Anderson’s “Habeas Corpus”

A review and reflection

On a brilliantly sunny, fall afternoon, a dozen members of Witness Against Torture — a grassroots group long dedicated to closing the prison camp at Guantánamo — broke from our marathon strategy meeting to see the GTMO-themed installation of the renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson. Titled “Habeas Corpus,” the groundbreaking exhibit was up …

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Women’s march at the Republican Convention, Miami, FL, 1972 © Washington Area Spark | Flickr
EssaysSex & GenderThe Left

Tears and Laughter for Naomi Weisstein

A report from the memorial in New York City

Long a fixture of progressive culture in New York City, The New School opened its doors on September 20, 2015 to host a memorial celebration of the life, achievements, and activist causes of the remarkable Naomi Weisstein. Weisstein, who died last March at age 75, was a pathbreaking neuroscientist, woman in science, radical feminist, humorist, and co-founder of an all-women’s rock band (the Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band), before …

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Women Say NO To Torture, Outside The Third Guantanamo Hearing (Washington, DC), 2007 © Jim Kuhn | Flickr
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe Left

Look Out Kids: On the New and Next Left

A reply to Eli Zaretsky

Bundled into Eli Zaretsky’s unmistakable claim that second wave feminism was substantially to blame for the undoing of the 60s-era Left is another curious charge: that no American Left exists today, or has for a long time [“Rethinking the Split Between Feminists and the Left”]. In their response, Ann Snitow and Vicky Hattam expose the flimsy basis and maladroit construction of the first charge [“The Women Did It?”]. While adding to their case, I address mostly the second. I do so not as one who “was there” in the 1960s but as both a scholar of the period and an activist since the 1980s in what I’ve always considered the Left. Zaretsky’s rebuttal of the Snitow/Hattam response further confuses his original argument while modestly improving its terms. I deal with it briefly at the end.

Uniting both of Zaretsky’s claims is a dismissive view of the experiences and perspectives of others. Second wave feminists might feel proud of their efforts to establish battered women’s shelters, health and day care collectives, rape crisis centers, alternative schools, peace camps, and more accepting versions of the family. …

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Video snapshot of Hobsbawm's Century: A Memorial Event
Multi MediaTheory & PracticeVideo

Remembering Eric Hobsbawm on Oct. 25th, 2013

As the current Chair of the Historical Studies Department at the New School, in which Eric Hobsbawm taught for nearly a decade, I approached his memorial with a sense of both excitement and obligation. Institutions define themselves by legacies of excellence, and Hobsbawm embodied, all his own, such a legacy for the New School. His titanic intellect defined a whole era of the New School, and I was eager to hear more about the cause of our collective pride. …

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Andrés Thomas Conteris speaking in front of the US Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on October 18, 2013 while undergoing tube-feeding. © Palina Prasasouk | Flickr
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

We Are America: Guantánamo, The Aamer Appeal, and the Passion of Andrés Thomas Conteris

“President Obama, stop the tortuuurrre,” bellowed Andrés Thomas Conteris, as a plastic tube snaked through his nose, down his throat, and into his stomach to deliver a bottle of Ensure nutrients to his starved body. Conteris, months into a grueling fast, voluntarily submitted to the nasogastric feeding in front of the US Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on October 18, 2013 to underscore the brutality of the continued forced-feeding of hunger strikers at Guantánamo Bay. Throughout the feeding, which simulated what some in Guantánamo endure twice daily, Conteris gagged and wailed. Cameras snapped. Observers winced.

The spectacle inside the courthouse, concluded minutes before, had been in its own way grave. There, the Circuit Court of Appeals had considered oral arguments in a lawsuit contending that forced-feeding at Guantánamo was a violation of human rights and therefore should be stopped. Known as the Aamer Appeal, the case was brought on behalf of Shaker Aamer and others of his Guantánamo brethren…

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