Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shaun of the Dead (UK/France/USA: Edgar Wright, 2004)




Shaun of the Dead (UK/France/USA: Edgar Wright, 2004: 99 mins)

Bishop, Kyle William. "Dead Man Still Walking: A Critical Investigation into the Rise and Fall . . . and Rise of Zombie Cinema." (Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona: 2009)

Chen, David. "Edgar Wright and the Art of Close Ups." (Posted on Vimeo: 2014)

Ebert, Roger. "Shaun of the Dead." Chicago Sun-Times (September 24, 2004)

Hancock, James and Kyle Reardon. "Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy." Wrong Reel #142 (June 6, 2016)

Martinovic, Paul. "Looking Back at Shaun of the Dead." Den of Geek (May 29, 2012)

Nance, Chad. "Film Reconsideration: Shaun of the Dead." Camel City Dispatch (February 12, 2014)

Wu, You-Chi. "Zombification and the Average Working Class in Shaun of the Dead." Discoveries (Spring 2014)

Zhou, Tony. "Edgar Wright: How to Do Visual Comedy." (Posted on Vimeo: May 2014)





Friday, March 17, 2017

Michael Benton: My Understanding of Anarchism 5.0

[I was asked to explain my understanding of anarchism -- so I have revised this earlier statement]

This started out as a response to Sara P. on the Occupy Education email list in the winter of 2011 and I was reading scott crow's book at the time. Sara asked me to define in greater detail my understanding of Anarchism. There is a lot of confusion about the political philosophy of anarchism, mostly because of the disinformation propagated by corporate media, but also because there is no "one" Anarchism, instead it is a diverse, evolving part of global autonomous movements and participatory economics.  Of course this is just my perspective, others no doubt will provide different views and even disagree.  I think that is a good thing!

PM Press link for the book


'Black Flags and Windmills' TRAILER from Louisiana Lucy on Vimeo.

also a full presentation by scott crow on the ideas and experiences in the book



Sara, it is important that we each set down our understandings of anarchism and initiate broader discussions/debates about anarchism:

You asked about the confusion in regards to the many uses of the words libertarian/libertarianism.

First, the political concept of "libertarianism" has many meanings/uses in American political discussions. Because of our corporate media's focus on conservative politicians most Americans are familiar with right-libertarians (also known as individualistic/economic libertarians)? This is the Tea Party's or Ron/Rand Paul's American version of libertarianism that wants to limit government and privatize everything.

On the other hand, there are the left-libertarians (also known as communal/socialist libertarians). These are the traditional anarchists developing from earlier European versions that branched off from socialism (rejecting its authoritarian impulses) and sought to bring more autonomy into individual/collective lives while realizing the potential of liberated communities.

There are many more types of anarchism, but let me lay out some basics (I would also encourage you to watch scott crow's presentation in the video I provided -- he/Common Grounds is a great example of anarchist direct action. I would suggest going to see the upcoming screening of Howard Zinn's The People Speak (based on his landmark history The People's History of the United States:



For the record Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky both claim they are left-libertarians.

Short descriptions:

Anarchists do not seek complete absence of government. There is a need for basic communal structures to provide everyone with the necessary staples of life, for instance, a good example would be the provision of water for a large community. What anarchists do want is leadership, not leaders; in other words a society in which we cultivate the ability of all to step up and work for the greater collective good. They also demand, yes demand, transparency of actions/processes (the Occupy Movement's general assembly and decision making processes are partly inspired by anarchist principles) and that leadership should always be held accountable. Most anarchists are also opposed to privatization of basic necessities (at the least) under the control of a corporatocracy. These types of monopoly relations rest upon the infantilization of dependent populations, as well as the creation of a plutocracy that dominates all aspects of our state/government/society/culture. This is the belief that democracy doesn't come from a small group of people at the top of society, instead, democratic processes depend on the full involvement of informed/engaged citizens from all sections of a society.  This can be seen in the AK Press statement:

We don’t advocate “no control,” but insist on asking “control by whom?” We work to destroy arbitrary power (political, economic, and social), to take decision-making power away from “officials,” while developing our ability to fill that void and provide for ourselves. “People's governments” invariably become calcified and abandon the struggle for human freedom. This is why we identify with the liberatory strains within the history of socialism—the unbroken thread of impassioned resistance against both the terrors of capitalism and the tyranny of government.
Anarchism doesn't tell people what to do. It tells them that they have the ability to make decisions about the issues that affect them. Anarchism, and the anarchist movement, is about emancipation, empowerment, and agency. Ask yourself this: what would your ideal transportation system, agricultural system, neighborhood, school, or workplace look like? Now ask yourself how much influence you and the people around you have over these issues? Can we afford to leave these decisions to the same people who have been screwing up our lives thus far?


Anarchists do not believe in complete freedom for the individual -- as in free from any responsibility to anything. I have a problem with the word "freedom" which has its origins in slave societies. A master granted freedom to a slave for exemplary service and to hold out hope to the rest of the slaves that one day they might be "freed." With this in mind, we can see the correlation to our current system, were the many toil endlessly in the desperate hope that they might someday be granted "freedom" from want and need (by becoming one of the elites). Former President Bush defined our limited freedom in the aftermath of 9/11 when he exhorted Americans to respond to the attacks on their "freedom" by going about their daily lives of "working and shopping and playing." Is this what it means to be a "free" person in a democracy? Instead anarchists seek autonomy for individuals and communities through participatory economics and consensus decision making.

For me, I think of autonomy in this way: autonomy = individual responsibility + consensus decision making + cooperative learning + participatory economics. At every step of this formula is the development of individual liberty in tandem with collective responsibility. I believe that communities are best served by free-thinking, autonomous individuals (and this is the polar opposite of the "radical individualism" of consumer capitalism and economic libertarians) and that autonomous individuals are best cultivated in liberated, participatory collectives/communities. If anything, Anarchists are truly the most concerned with community because they struggle with the individual's role in communities. Responsibility can only be cultivated through individuals that have the ability to respond. The reason why anarchists hold such value on the creative development of autonomous individuals is because self-direction is a necessary step for the cultivation of individual responsibility to the community. Consumer capitalism seeks fragmented, alienated, anxious individuals/communities because these are people that are the most easily exploited for profits. Furthermore, anxious, detached and fragmented people are incapable of response-ability to anything beyond their basic addictive appetites.

Anarchists are not opposed to profits. There is nothing wrong with co-ops, local markets, exchange of goods with ones neighbors. We just don't want to worship at the altar of profits or genuflect to a mythical corporate free market (lets face it, America has a massive corporate welfare system in place). Instead of our current economic system that values things over people and profits over places, anarchists value people/places over profits. Money is an illusion, a powerful one that has real effects in the world, but an illusion nonetheless.

I view anarchism as a personal philosophy (the personal is political and vice versa). Here is my take on it as my personal philosophy:

Anarchism is a person-centered philosophy. Its focus is on autonomy amidst the social and economic pressures of mass society for superficiality and conformism. It is our responsibility, as free and conscious beings, to create meaning out of life and to develop an authentic existence. It is also, in my opinion, in this regard, our duty to help others develop their response-ability to do the same (for me as a teacher this is the core of an anarchist pedagogy). In this anarchism is radically collective in orientation. We are cultivating autonomous, ethical and responsible individuals who care about their community. Anarchism does not discount other beings in this world, it is holistic, in the sense of recognizing that humans are just one set of beings that live and share in the development and continuation of the broader environment.

Anarchism is a philosophy of autonomy. Autonomy requires a sense of responsibility. It requires that we step back and reflect/reassess on what we have been doing and what effect our thoughts/actions have on the world. In this sense we are more than just individuals, we are members of larger collectives and our personal ethics always extend beyond ourselves (this anarchism is not vulgar egotism). In this we can only be as "responsible" as we are "autonomous." Response-ability, the ability for people to respond to the problems of their society and the impetus for them to care beyond themselves, is only realized by liberated, authentic, free thinking and ethical beings. Where there is mindless conformism, shallow consumerism, or brutal oppression, you will see a breakdown in the development of response-ability (both in the ruled/rulers... or, manipulated/manipulators).

Ethical considerations are the primary questions. We all understand ethics and liberty differently, this is a given, and thus we must bring each of our understandings into play and sharpen our ideas through open/free public discourse. In this we, as individuals, as a community, as a society, and as a global ecosystem, should consider ethical questions as primary steps to building a better world. An autonomous individual is responsible to develop and consider the authenticity of their own personal lives in relation to their society. My authenticity should not be at the expense of your opportunity to realize yourself (for example, we are not bloated ticks that feed off the misery of others in order to realize some twisted sense of self).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I realize I am a flawed and difficult person. This is always a work in progress and I struggle as an individual.

To realize true liberty as autonomous citizens through participatory economics developed in cooperative communities .... that is all I have ever dreamed of since I was a little kid.... seriously -- it is all summed up in the usage of the word: "solidarity"

and once again to circle back again to scott crow -- why does the government/media/corporations fear anarchist so much?

NY Times: For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target

Potter, Will. "FBI Agents Raid Homes in Search of “Anarchist Literature” Green Is the New Red (July 30, 2012)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Michael Benton: Brief Biographical Interjection (A Humanities Apologia)

"Brief Biographical Interjection" (A Humanities Apologia)
Michael Benton

I believe that it is important to fully state my background in order to politically and socially situate myself in regards to my writings and teaching. My background is that of a Southern Californian, blue-collar, working-class family. While my family faced economic difficulties during the 70s, we never starved or lost our house. During the 80s and 90s my family saw their economic status jump into the middle-class and to a relatively comfortable lifestyle. My religious background has ranged from a fundamentalist Baptist faith in my youth to anti-theism in my 20s/30s. As I grew older my reactionary rationalism began to harm my soul and I have once again begun to explore many of the worlds spiritual traditions with the idea that all of us have fragmented understandings and that the best route to spirituality is to try out as many trails as possible.

I have attempted to remain independent in my political affiliations due to a growing skepticism about the goals of popular political organizations. The closest I come to a political belief is in the value of small groups of people coming together to effect change over a small period of time. I have direct experience of many of our country's institutions from private to public to reform schools, honor societies and volunteer programs, probation departments and social workers, city jails and mental institutions, community colleges and state universities, and over 30 different jobs before settling down as a writer/professor/editor. I've also long been interested in subcultural societies, exploring and associating with a wide assortment of groups from Christian fundamentalists/faith healers to Wiccans, gangs to surfers, punks to heavy metal headbangers, academics to activists, drug dealers to Alcoholic/Narcotic Anonymous groups, to wealthy thrill-seekers and homeless street-kids. Throughout all of these experiences I have come into contact with thinkers of the profoundest levels, each with their own completely rationalized worldviews and the theories to explain why they believe what they believe. This has led to a deeper comprehension of how we, as humans, construct rules that govern our group actions and how discourse communities operate. I have seen and experienced much wisdom outside the confines of the academy and this has led to a desire to continuously expand the boundaries of what is considered learning and knowledge. Lets face it, from the moment our mothers gave birth to us we were learning about the world.

Some of the experiences in my life have left me deeply scarred, hurt and cynical, yet I embrace a fierce optimism, and, perhaps, even an illusionary romantic belief in the essential possibilities of humanity. Many people view me as having a definite leftist slant and I would identify myself politically as an anarchist, yet even though I pursue a policy of live and let live, I sometimes surprise myself with some of my conservative moral stances.

As a result of my experiences my philosophical/pedagogical outlook is based on the assumption that most humans have the basic tools necessary to enter into discourse communities. As an educator I believe that it is my responsibility to develop a practical methodology designed to facilitate student-based writing assignments in which they will explore their own social and political stances, begin to explore their environments, and learn to compare/contrast their own positions with those of other individuals, groups, and cultures. I believe that an important route to critical self-awareness and civic response-ability is the questioning and defining of one's own beliefs. For me, this involves writing about them. Once one has gained a conscious understanding of their own self (and this must be the first step) then they can begin to use this base as a launching pad to written (and research) explorations of the outer-world of "other" individuals, groups, and cultures. It is essential that students, instructors, and theorists begin to resist the pigeonholing process of dogmatic (monologic, closed, fearful, unchanging) thinking and learn to range across all boundaries/borders, raiding disciplines/movements/systems for useful techniques, using what is at hand when needed, and never fearing (loss of 'face', respect, position) to change one's mind when situations and environments prove the present methods inadequate. What better environment, an educational setting (or social situation) that operates as a catalyzing enteron, producing self-aware, questioning, critical, responsible, relational and communal citizens. My stance is essentially a call for an openness to the potentials of many different possibilities of living in this world in order to develop more insights into a constantly changing and complex era.

In this I have begun to explore knowledge that is outside the realm of proven science. This exploration is not essentially a journey into “truth” as Western society perceives it, but a journey into “perceiving,” the many routes of seeing, knowing and perceiving are my goal. For me magic is in patterns and meanings--a seeker, however we want to define this role, seeks the patterns and makes them meaningful, communicating this recognition into the world and community. We make them meaningful in our recognition of the patterns and our understanding of the way they shape our conception of reality. Of course, our acceptance of them, or our closing off to their possibilities, plays a big role in the potential of our seeking/journey in life.

Lastly, I believe that 'reality,' 'truth,' and 'knowledge' are socially constructed and often support oppressive power structures. Paradoxically, at the same time, I retain a fierce humanist belief in an individual's abilities to seek out particular truths that satisfy their requirements, or to live quite happily according to the dictates of universal/absolute truths. I believe, though, ultimately, that a critical consciousness requires one to weigh their own beliefs and challenge them constantly through interaction and dialogue with other theories and belief systems. Implicit in my stance is a combination of a humanistic belief in the power of intellectual efforts and a pessimism concerning the motives of those who have the power to re-present 'truths' and 'reality.' I am a bundle of contradictions, but I am OK with that… I am but seeking… really I don’t know anything… do you? Can you help me...

My life-experiences infiltrate and color my theories. They direct me towards certain lines of thought and direct my intellectual activities. There is no way for me to completely escape my cultural background, or, its influence on my worldview. I believe fully that the best course of action is to be completely honest about my experiences and my beliefs. I have set this self-description down in this public manner in order to reflect on the conditions of how I have come to be in the year 2017.

This is not my last statement as being is a process of becoming!

"Stop the Trump Administration From Defunding the Humanities."

If you are wondering why you should support the funding of the Humanities, it is because we ask (im)proper questions, we cultivate/celebrate/critique creativity, and can you imagine a world/people bereft of this (un)necessary perspective/attitude/stance.
We teach you to see the world askew - no wonder authoritarians/dictators hate us and want to eliminate us.


"Stop the Trump Administration From Defunding the Humanities."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

ENG 102 Peace and Conflict Studies Resources

[From how we treat our selves, to the interactions of individuals and smaller groups, to social movements seeking social justice, to the policies/effects of larger social/political structures, and ranging across broader regional/global conflicts.  Historical/contemporary non-fiction/fiction/art.  Emphasis on a people's history as opposed to the limited narratives of the dominant corporate media.  The archive is an ongoing project!]


Ethics and politics look at both how we should regard and accommodate each other and what kind of things make it possible to, for example, treat each other with respect and what kinds of things don't. That I might view you as "weird" or even "inhuman" (politics) may very much dictate how I then treat you (ethics). When we examine more closely how we think about the world, it turns out that ethics and politics are inseparable. (21) -- Veronique Pin-Fat "How Do We Begin to Think About the World." (2014)
Until the lion has his historian," the African proverb goes, "the hunter will always be a hero." (quoted in Fear of an Animal Planet, 2010) 
Čapek, Karel. "From the Point of View of a Cat." (Originally published 1935: reposted on Tumblr, June 11, 2016)
"How do images affect our hearts and minds? How do images influence our everyday lives, our techno-scientific practices, our connections and disconnections, our conscious and unconscious desires and fears? How do images show up in the clothes we wear, in the ways we walk, and the objects we want? How do images influence the foods we eat or don’t eat and the ideas and feelings we have about our selves and others? How do some images enter our flesh, captivate us, fascinate us, or arouse our senses? How is it that other images put us to sleep? How do images inform our habits and fantasies, pleasures and doubts, worries and joys, rituals and rebellions? How do images shape our personal, political, cultural, moral, and religious beliefs about nature and about justice? How do images influence what we imagine to be possible and what’s not? Visual images are today everywhere entangled within a complex and contradictory web of global electronic flows of information. Images are typically racialized, gendered, territorialized, eroticized, militarized, and class-driven. Some of the most powerful images are hooked-up to hi-tech machineries of war, surveillance, and the economic marketplace. Images also lie at the core of global corporate technologies of profit, control and advantage. How might such images be best understood? How might they be critically subverted, transformed, or remade?" -- Stephen Pfohl, "Images and Power" (2011) 
Cinderella is a horrific story about a rich girl whose evil stepmother forced her to live as though she were a member of the working class. - Existential Comics (posted on Facebook)
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"2017 International Women's Day Strike." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

"Anarchist Monopoly." Existential Comics (March 2017)

"Appeals Court Affirms Order to Remove Confederate Monuments." Southern Poverty Law Center (March 7, 2017)

Botton, Alain De. "The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships." On Being (February 9, 2017) ["What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this”? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” was, amazingly, the most-read article in The New York Times in the news-drenched year of 2016. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very limited view of love. How might our relationships be different — and better — if we understood that the real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after?"]

Brooks, Jon. "What Is Propaganda? Noam Chomsky on Media, Manipulation, and Democracy." High Existence (July 2016)

Costs of War  [Website: "The Costs of War Project is a team of 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners, and physicians, which began its work in 2011. We use research and a public website to facilitate debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the related violence in Pakistan and Syria. There are many hidden or unacknowledged costs of the United States’ decision to respond to the 9/11 attacks with military force. We aim to foster democratic discussion of these wars by providing the fullest possible account of their human, economic, and political costs, and to foster better informed public policies. Project Goals: To account for and illustrate the wars’ costs in human lives among all categories of person affected by them, both in the US and in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; To tell as accessible as possible a story of the wars’ costs in US federal and local dollars, including the long-term financial legacy of the wars in the US; To assess the public health consequences of the wars, including for the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan and for US veterans living with war injuries and illnesses; To describe how these wars have changed the political landscape of the US and the countries where the wars have been waged, including the status of women in the war zones, the degree to which Iraq and Afghanistan’s fledgling democracies are inclusive and transparent, and the state of civil liberties and human rights in the US;
To identify less costly and more effective ways to prevent further terror attacks."]

Crabapple, Molly, et al. "A Borderless World?" To the Best of Our Knowledge (January 29, 2017) ["There are nearly 250 million migrants across the world right now. Some will be escaping war or oppression, others will be seeking out freedom or economic prosperity, but whatever the reason, the kind of life they're looking for lies across a border that's policed and restricted. What if it didn't have to be that way? This hour, we explore a world without borders."]

Crawford, Neta. "As Trump Pushes for Historic $54B Military Spending Hike, Which Programs Will He Cut to Pay for War?" Democracy Now (February 28, 2017)

Einstein, Albert. "Why Socialism." Monthly Review (May 1949)

Elmi, Rooney. "Women in Revolt: An International Women's Day Film Syllabus." Notebook (March 8, 2017)

Falk, Richard. "In Historic Report, U.N. Agency Says Israel Is Imposing an 'Apartheid Regime' on Palestinian People." Democracy Now (March 16, 2017)

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. (1952) Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. Pluto Press, 2008.

"Ferguson Protests/Black Lives Matter/Baltimore Protests 2014 - 2016: Peace and Conflict Studies Archive (Ongoing)." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Gelernt, Lee and Luis Gutierrez. "In Stinging Blow to President, Hawaii & Maryland Judges Block Trump's Second Muslim Ban." Democracy Now (March 16. 2017)

Greenhouse, Linda. "The Bittersweet Victories of Women." The New York Review of Books (May 26, 2016)

---. "How Smart Women Got the Chance." The New York Review of Books (April 6, 2017)

Greenwald, Glenn. "Trump’s Use of Navy SEAL’s Wife Highlights All the Key Ingredients of U.S. War Propaganda." The Intercept (March 1, 2017)

Guriel, Jason. "Quieter Than 1984, but No Less Disquieting: Kingsley Amis’s 1976 alternate-history masterpiece The Alteration is an overlooked—but timely—novel about the dangers of authoritarianism." The Atlantic (March 5, 2017)

Gutierrez, Luis. "Rep. Gutiérrez Speaks Out After Being Handcuffed for Demanding Answers on ICE Raids & Deportations." Democracy Now (March 16, 2017)

Hearts and Minds (USA: Peter Davis, 1974: 112 mins)

Hedges, Chris. "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning." Approaches to Peace: A Reader in Peace Studies. 2nd edition. ed. David P. Barash. NY: Oxford UP, 2010: 24-26.

Helmore, Edward. "US retires Predator drones after 15 years that changed the 'war on terror': Retirement gives military analysts a chance to review mixed history of weapon that has been associated with low-cost war, disembodiment and civilian deaths." The Guardian (March 13, 2017)

I Am Not Your Negro (France/USA: Raoul Peck, 2016: 95 mins)

"I Don't Think I Have the Option to Remain Silent." ACA-Media (March 9, 2017)

Koerner, Claudia and Ema O'Connor. "The Military's Nude Photo Scandal Goes Beyond Just the Marines." BuzzFeed (March 10, 2017) ["The Defense Department is investigating after members of the military allegedly shared nude photos of their female colleagues online without their permission or knowledge."]

Kolk, Bessel Van Der. "How Trauma Lodges in the Body." On Being (March 9, 2017) ["Human memory is a sensory experience, says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he’s learning about how bodywork like yoga or eye movement therapy can restore a sense of goodness and safety. What he’s learning speaks to a resilience we can all cultivate in the face of the overwhelming events — which, after all, make up the drama of culture, of news, and of life."]

Koresky, Michael and Jeff Reichert. "This Means War! Introduction." Reverse Shot (June 23, 2003)

Krzych, Scott. "Beyond bias: Stock imagery and paradigmatic politics in Citizens United documentaries." Jump Cut #57 (Fall 2016)

Lee, Esther Yu Hsi. "Trump lied. Right-wing extremists — not foreigners — commit more terror attacks in the U.S." Think Progress (March 1, 2017)

Marshall, Colin. "Fritz Lang Tells the Riveting Story of the Day He Met Joseph Goebbels and Then High-Tailed It Out of Germany." Open Culture (April 28, 2015)

Marvin, Carolyn and David W. Ingle. "Introduction." Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag. Cambridge University Press, 1999: 1-10.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. Listening. Fordham University Press, 2007.

Occupy Movement Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Olson, Dan. "Triumph of the Will and the Cinematic Language of Propaganda." Folding Ideas (Posted on Youtube: February 10, 2017)

O'Mara, Shane. Why Torture Doesn't Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation. Harvard University Press, 2015.

Parijs, Philippe Van and Yannick Vanderborght. Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy. Harvard University Press, 2017.

Parramore, Lynn. "Kanth: A 400 Year Program of Modernist Thinking is Exploding." Institute for New Economic Thinking (March 9, 2017)

Peper, Elliot. "What Does the Future of Democracy Look Like? An Incoming Transmission from Malka Older, author of Infomocracy." Scout (March 1, 2017)

Project Censored [Website: "Project Censored educates students and the public about the importance of a truly free press for democratic self-government. We expose and oppose news censorship and we promote independent investigative journalism, media literacy, and critical thinking. An informed public is crucial to democracy in at least two basic ways. First, without access to relevant news and opinion, people cannot fully participate in government. Second, without media literacy, people cannot evaluate for themselves the quality or significance of the news they receive. Censorship undermines democracy. Project Censored’s work—including our annual book, weekly radio broadcasts, campus affiliates program, and additional community events—highlights the important links among a free press, media literacy and democratic self-government."]

Race: The Power of an Illusion (3 part documentary series)

Ramirez-Berg, Charles. "Categorizing the Other: Stereotypes and Stereotyping." Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, Resistance. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. pgs. 13-37.

"Raoul Peck." WTF #789 (February 27, 2017) ["Filmmaker Raoul Peck spent more than a decade putting together the documentary I Am Not Your Negro, a powerful film illuminating the words and life of writer and social critic James Baldwin. But as Marc learns in this conversation, Raoul’s own backstory of living under dictatorships, studying across four continents, and learning how to engage activism through art is just as important in understanding how to respond to the world today."]

Sarmiento, Jose. "Scopophile's Redemption: On Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen's Riddles of the Sphinx." Keyframe (March 16, 2017)

Secrets, Politics and Torture (PBS Documentary: May 19, 2015) ["From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk (United States of SecretsLosing IraqBush’s WarThe Torture Question) comes the dramatic story of the fight over the CIA’s controversial interrogation methods, widely criticized as torture. Based on recently declassified documents and interviews with key political leaders and CIA insiders, the film investigates what the CIA did — and whether it worked."]

Thompsett, Fern. "Free Universities." Against the Grain (January 30, 2017)  ["As universities become increasingly infiltrated and transformed by capitalist logics, what do free universities add to the educational, social, and political landscape? Fern Thompsett, a Ph.D. student at McGill University, co-founded a free university in Australia; she’s also researched more than two dozen free university projects in North America. Thompsett describes both the free-of-charge and radical-emancipatory aspects of free universities."]

"The Top 25 Censored News Stories of 2015 - 2016." Project Censored (2016) [Earlier annual archives of Top 25 Censored News Stories listed here.]

Waldman, Ayelet, et al. Could Psychedelic Drugs Save Your Life? To the Best of Our Knowledge (March 5, 2017) ["Back in the sixties, LSD was all the rage — not just in the counterculture but also in psychiatric clinics. Then psychedelics were outlawed and decades of research vanished. Now, psychedelic science is back — and the early results are extraordinary. A single dose of psilocybin can help people with addictions, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety. We’ll examine this revolution in medicine, and explore the connections between psychedelics and mystical experience."]

The Yes Men Fix the World (France/UK/USA: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno and Kurt Engfehr, 2009: 87 mins)

Young, Iris Marion. On Female Body Experience: Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Zero Dark Thirty (USA: Kathryn Bigelow, 2012: 157 mins)

Zimring, Franklin M. When Police Kill. Harvard University Press, 2017.

Zinn, Howard. Audio version of Zinn reading his Introduction to A People's History of the United States: Highlights from the Twentieth Century  (Posted on Soundcloud: 2015) ["Since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools–with its emphasis on great men in high places–to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace."]

---. A People's History of the United States, 1492 - the Present. Harper-Perennial, 2015.








Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Mask of Anarchy" (1819)