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Boston Review / Forum Series

Found in Politics
Ancestors by
Available ON (02-23-21)

Ancestors

Book 16
Ebook $15.99

Boston Review / Forum Series : Titles in Order

Book 16
Noted novelists, poets, and essayists, including Samuel R. Delany, Min Jin Lee, Joy Harjo, and Zadie Smith, consider how we are shaped by the past.

It is rare now for people to stay where they were raised, and when we encounter one another–whether in person or online–it is usually in contexts that obscure if not outright hide details about our past. But even in moments of pure self-invention, we are always shaped by the past. In Ancestors, some of today’s most imaginative writers–including science fiction master Samuel R. Delany, U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and novelist Zadie Smith–consider what it means to be made and fashioned by others.
Book 6
Feminist writers and scholars consider whether technology has made good on its promise to liberate women—sexually, biologically, economically, and politically.In Once and Future Feminist, editor and lead essayist Merve Emre turns a critical eye on the role of technology in feminism both past and present. With her starting point the “fertility benefits” offered by Silicon Valley tech companies, Emre posits that such reproductive technologies as egg freezing and in vitro fertilization aren’t inherently emancipatory; they often make women even more vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace. Almost fifty years ago, radical feminist Shulamith Firestone viewed developments in reproductive technology with skepticism, arguing in The Dialectic of Sex that they are only “incidentally in the interests of women when at all.” Engaging other feminist writers and scholars, this collection broadens out to examine whether technology in general has made good on its promise to liberate women—sexually, biologically, economically, and politically. In this context, Once and Future Feminist considers not only whether or not a radical, emancipatory feminism is possible today but what such a feminism might look like.Contributors
Irina Aristarkhova, Michael Bronski, James Chappell, Mary Darnovsky, Silvia Federici, Chris Kaposy, Sophie Lewis, Andrea Long Chu, Annie Menzel, Cathy O’Neil, Sarah Sharma, Diane Tober, Miriam Zoll
Book 5
Martin Luther King’s legacy for today’s activists, fifty years after his death.Since his death on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King’s legacy has influenced generations of activism. Edited and with a lead essay by Brandon Terry, this volume explores what this legacy can and cannot do for activism in the present.King spent the months leading up to his death organizing demonstrations against the Vietnam War and planning the Poor People’s Campaign, a “multiracial army of the poor” that would march on Washington in pursuit of economic justice. Thus the spring of 1968 represented a hopeful, albeit chaotic set of possibilities; King, along with countless other activists, offered both ethical and strategic solutions to the multifaceted problems of war, racism, and economic inequality. With a critical eye on both the past and present, this collection of essays explores that moment of promise, and how, in the fifty years since King’s death, historical forces have shaped what we claim as a usable past in fighting the injustices of our time.Contributors
Christian G. Appy, Andrew Douglas, Bernard E. Harcourt, Elizabeth Hinton, Samuel Moyn, Ed Pavlić, Aziz Rana, Barbara Ransby, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Brandon M. Terry, Jeanne Theoharis, Thad Williamson
Book 4
Stories, essays, and interviews explore dystopias that may offer lessons for the present.As the recent success of Margaret Atwood’s novel-turned-television hit Handmaid’s Tale shows us, dystopia is more than minatory fantasy; it offers a critical lens upon the present. “It is not only a kind of vocabulary and idiom,” says bestselling author and volume editor Junot Diaz. “It is a useful arena in which to begin to think about who we are becoming.”Bringing together some of the most prominent writers of science fiction and introducing fresh talent, this collection of stories, essays, and interviews explores global dystopias in apocalyptic landscapes and tech futures, in robot sentience and forever war. Global Dystopias engages the familiar horrors of George Orwell’s 1984 alongside new work by China Miéville, Tananarive Due, and Maria Dahvana Headley. In “Don’t Press Charges, and I Won’t Sue,” award-winning writer Charlie Jane Anders uses popularized stigmas toward transgender people to create a not-so-distant future in which conversion therapy is not only normalized, but funded by the government. Henry Farrell surveys the work of dystopian forebear Philip K. Dick and argues that distinctions between the present and the possible future aren’t always that clear. Contributors also include Margaret Atwood and award-winning speculative writer, Nalo Hopkinson.In the era of Trump, resurgent populism, and climate denial, this collection poses vital questions about politics and civic responsibility and subjectivity itself. If we have, as Díaz says, reached peak dystopia, then Global Dystopias might just be the handbook we need to survive it.Contributors
Charlie Jane Anders, Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Bernhard, Mark Bould, Thea Costantino, Tananarive Due, Henry Farrell, JR Fenn, Maria Dahvana Headley, Nalo Hopkinson, Mike McClelland, Maureen McHugh, China Miéville, Jordy Rosenberg, Peter Ross, Sumudu Samarwickrama
Book 3
The President’s House is Empty: Losing and Gaining Public Goods explores the question of what we—the public—owe each other as free and equal members of a democratic society. With essays by writers and thinkers like Bonnie Honig, this collection attempts to make sense of the current administration’s disdain for public things like the White House, public education, and clean water.
Book 2
Technology and the loss of manufacturing jobs have many worried about future mass unemployment. It is in this context that basic income, a government cash grant given unconditionally to all, has gained support from a surprising range of advocates, from Silicon Valley to labor. Our contributors explore basic income’s merits, not only as a salve for financial precarity, but as a path toward racial justice and equality. Others, more skeptical, see danger in a basic income designed without attention to workers’ power and the quality of work. Together they offer a nuanced debate about what it will take to tackle inequality and what kind of future we should aim to create.
Book 1
Race Capitalism Justice urges us to embrace a vision of justice attentive to the history of slavery not through the lens of human rights, but instead through an honest accounting of how slavery was the foundation of capitalism, a legacy that continues to afflict people of color and the poor. Inspired by Cedric J. Robinson’s work on racial capitalism, as well as Black Lives Matter and its forebears including the black radical tradition, the Black Panthers, South African anti-apartheid struggles, and organized labor, contributors to this volume offer a critical handbook to racial justice in the age of Trump.

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