A Pure Solar World © University of Texas Press
Arts & DesignPoetryRaceReviews

A Pure Solar World

Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism by Paul Youngquist


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Bob Dylan in Lincoln Square, 2005 © Mac(3) | Flickr
Arts & DesignEventsFeatureReviews

Bob Dylan: Nobel Laureate?

I can’t say that I am a huge Bob Dylan fan. I may have been born just a little too late to have been caught up in the folk craze, though I do remember singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” along with “This Land is Your Land” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” during chorus in elementary school. I have my share of Dylan discs, of course, covering all periods from the early “protest” stuff to the mid- and late-1960s electric period and onto more recent back-to-the-roots material with Love and Theft being a particular favorite. …

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Image © Public Affairs Books Publisher | http://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/book/the-smartest-places-on-earth/9781610394352
CapitalismFeatureReviews

The Smartest Places on Earth

Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation

For nearly four decades, the manufacturing centers of the industrialized world have been in decline, their once mighty engines of mass productivity decommissioned and rendered into silent, rusting hulks. Waves of capital and (mostly white) people have streamed out of the central cities, leaving ruined landscapes in their wake. Recently however, the deconstructive narrative of a number of these beleaguered towns seems to have been recuperated, …

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Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities © MIT Press | mitpress.mit.edu
FeatureReviews

Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities

According to the 2014 United Nations World Urbanization Prospects report, some two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to reside in cities by 2050, more than double the percentage of urban dwellers that existed across the globe in 1950. To manage this growth, policymakers have embraced the notion that cities need to become ‘smart’, …

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Packard Plant, Detroit, MI  © Carl Polgar | Flickr
CapitalismFeatureMedia & PublicsReviews

A View of Detroit’s “Beautiful Terrible Ruins”

From ruin porn to a call to action

Wayne State University art historian Dora Apel’s new book, Beautiful Terrible Ruins: Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline (Rutgers University Press, 2015) is the last word (at least, I hope it is) on the disreputable photographic genre known as “ruin porn.” Bringing her usual due diligence to bear, Apel digs deep, tracing the roots …

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Young girls adjusting their makeup, 1958 © Eve Arnold | Magnum
RaceReviewsSex & Gender

Margo Jefferson’s Coming of Age in Negroland

One of my fondest memories from the New School for Social Research Liberal Studies MA program comes from a course titled “Representations of Race and Gender in American Culture.” It was the day, about halfway through the semester, when co-teachers Elizabeth Kendall (author of feminist studies of early modern dance and 1930s screwball …

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Day 60 of Occupy Wall Street © David Shankbone | Flickr
Essays

Minding the Gap of “The Great Divide”

A review of the book by Joseph Stiglitz

In the wake of Occupy Wall Street and the anti-austerity protests in Spain, Greece, and elsewhere around the world, economic inequality has emerged as one of the more hotly debated issues in the public sphere. One of the more prominent voices in the discussion is economist Joseph Stiglitz, whose May 2011 Vanity Fair article “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” …

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Book cover of 9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster by Thomas Stubblefield © Indiana University Press | Amazon
Arts & DesignEssaysMedia & Publics

9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster

I remember the week after September 11, 2001, when the subway from Brooklyn into Lower Manhattan was back in limited service, getting off at Broadway-Lafayette and feeling somewhat disoriented when my usual landmark indicating south, the World Trade Center, was missing from the downtown skyline. The specter of the World Trade Center was soon enough evoked by Art Speigelman in his September 24, 2001, New Yorker magazine cover of the Twin Towers as black silhouettes against a black background. The Twin Towers haunted the New York skyline again a few months later in the Tribute in Light installation of 88 search lights configured in the buildings’ original footprints and projected upward into the night…

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