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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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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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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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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EssaysMedia/PublicsPsyche

How Not to Remember 9/11

There are two memorials for 9/11 at the site of the World Trade Center (“Ground Zero”). The first, the Memorial proper, is a park of around eight acres, consisting of paved space, rows of trees (swamp oaks) and grass, and concrete benches. Within this space are two large square pits (“pools,” “voids”), each of which has water cascading down its walls, disappearing into a smaller square hole in the center. Surrounding …

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CapitalismEssaysMedia/PublicsReligion

On Pope Francis, Climate Change, and Global Capitalism

A psychological perspective

Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Laudato si’: On Care for our Common Home, has drawn worldwide attention to climate change and its relationship to global capitalism in advance of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris in late November …

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CapitalismEssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/Publics

Jeremy Corbyn’s Attempt to Reinvent British Labour

The changing face of the British Left

On September 12, 2015, Britain’s Labour Party elected as its leader Jeremy Corbyn, a man branded a dangerous socialist and pacifist. He won with 250,000 votes of party members and supporters, out …

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EssaysMedia/Publics

The Politics of Disinviting

On education and engagement with ideas

The tactic of disinviting controversial speakers has become increasingly common across college campuses. Consider, for example, what happened to the Iranian-born human rights activist Maryam Namazie (a prominent anti-racist activist and a central committee member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran), who was …

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