CapitalismEssaysFeature

Global Sweatshops, Solidarity and the Bangladesh Breakthrough

The global apparel industry is a notorious sweatshop employer, with millions of workers laboring under terrible conditions in dozens of developing countries, making products sold in the Global North. This is an industry that was among the first to undergo the globalization of production. The vast majority of workers are young women. Thus this industry combines issues of international trade, race, gender and labor in a confluence of misery and oppression.

The reasons for sweatshop working …

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EssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsPsycheScienceSex & Gender

Libidinal Ecology: Sex and the Anthropocene (II)

The May 2015 issue of National Geographic features an article entitled, “Quest for a Superbee.” This piece is illustrated by a series of extreme photographic close-ups of bees with pieces of technology attached to their bodies. One caption reads: “A syringe places a minute droplet of phenotrin on a honeybee — sedated in a paper cup — to test the effects of the potent insecticide. . . .” Another photo shows a queen with a bright yellow number 87 on her back, with the caption, “Scientists are now developing hygienic . . . 

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsSex & Gender

Libidinal Ecology: Sex and the Anthropocene (I)

In 2013, reports starting circulating in the media that the global best-seller 50 Shades of Grey was beginning to outstay its welcome as a cultural artifact. In the UK alone, it sold 5.3 million copies to that point, even before the film based on the story was released. A large percentage of these books ended up in charity stores. Unfortunately, these stores could not resell the books, nor pulp them safely. As the Telegraph newspaper reported at the time: “the country has amassed a ‘paper mountain’ of unwanted copies . . . 

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EssaysEventsFeatureIn DepthLiberal Democracy in Question

Constitutional Crisis in Poland

How reality has surpassed fears

On Saturday, January 9, 2016, people in Poland and Poles around the world once again protested the actions of the incumbent government led by Prime Minister Beata Szydło, the parliamentary majority, and President Andrzej Duda. The current situation has already earned entries in both Polish and English Wikipedia under the term “constitutional crisis.” As presented in the international press, the crux of the current constitutional crisis in Poland …

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/PublicsRaceThe Left

#BlackLivesMatter and #Fightfor15

Building movements for racial and economic justice

It may be that in 20 or 30 years we will look back to 2015 as the year that things really began to change in the U.S. This was the year we saw the intersection of the movement for higher wages and Black Lives Matter really begin to crystalize.

Let’s go back to 2011. On September 17, activists began occupying Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, calling attention to the growing inequality between the 99% and 1%, …

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EducationFeatureO.O.P.S.Sex & Gender

Disrupting Silences in the Philosophy Canon

Teaching 'modern' philosophy

Philosophy is suffering gender-wise (and here I bracket for the moment class, race, and sexuality) — see Sally Haslanger’s “Women in Philosophy? Do the Math” in The Stone. But the gender trouble is not simply a matter of representation in the field. The problem also entails a regretfully enduring elision in the transmission of Western thought, a continued forgetfulness of invaluable labor …

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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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EducationFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionO.O.P.S.Power and Crisis

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment in an Early Modern Science Course?

Reflections on continuous contingent foundations for liberal education and liberal democracies

In my final post of the old year , I promised that my next post would defend my claim that “however much I believe the liberals’ heart is in the right place, I believe the critiques of liberal universalism both within the academy and without hit home in some real ways, not least in terms of the self-delusion we liberals have all-too-often suffered about our own tolerance of, and even appetite for, cruelty.” Such a promised defense is only the more necessary in light of David Kretz’s response, which among many other interesting things, raises the question about whether or not a liberal arts college today, …

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EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/PublicsRaceThe Left

Black Lives Matter: The Politics of Race and Movement in the 21st Century

Understanding the movement and what it represents

Where should we begin in accounting for the rise of the movement for black lives?

The tragedy of 21st century America is that there are innumerable places one could begin. The grievances that have sparked the cry, “Black Lives Matter,” might be rooted in the killing of black bodies at the hands of police, …

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