Tuesday, February 13, 2024

ENG 102 2024: Resources #9

Beydoun, Khaled A. "What is Islamophobia?" American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear. University of California Press, 2018. ["The term “Islamophobia” may be fairly new, but irrational fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims is anything but. Though many speak of Islamophobia’s roots in racism, have we considered how anti-Muslim rhetoric is rooted in our legal system? Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. Beydoun charts its long and terrible history, from the plight of enslaved African Muslims in the antebellum South and the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens to the ways the war on terror assigns blame for any terrorist act to Islam and the myriad trials Muslim Americans face in the Trump era. He passionately argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed and emboldened by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Through the stories of Muslim Americans who have experienced Islamophobia across various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Beydoun shares how U.S. laws shatter lives, whether directly or inadvertently. And with an eye toward benefiting society as a whole, he recommends ways for Muslim Americans and their allies to build coalitions with other groups. Like no book before it, American Islamophobia offers a robust and genuine portrait of Muslim America then and now."] 

Blitzer, Jonathan. "What the Media Misses by Focusing on the Southern Border." On the Media (February 2, 2024) ["Jonathan Blitzer is a staff writer at The New Yorker covering immigration. He’s observed that the last three American presidents have each faced a humanitarian emergency at the southern border — in 2014, 2019, and 2021 — but each of these crises is experienced by the American public as a separate, unrelated incident. In his new book Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here, he traces the broader historical and geopolitical root causes of the unique moment of mass migration to the United States that we’re witnessing today. Brooke speaks with Blitzer about how the causes of the mass migration to the United States from Central America over the past decade stem back to the 1980s and the Cold War."]

Blitzer, Jonathan and James Serwer. "Is a Constitutional Crisis Brewing in Texas." On the Media (February 2, 2024) ["Amid a surge of migrants at the southern border and following a Supreme Court ruling that did not go in his favor, Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week released a defiant statement declaring the border crisis an "invasion." The governor borrowed language from the Texas Declaration of Secession, written on the cusp of the Civil War, to claim that the federal government had breached the contract between the United States and the states by not enforcing laws at the border. Since then, Donald Trump has spoken out in support of Abbott, along with twenty-five other GOP governors. This week, Brooke speaks with Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic, about the consequences of Abbott borrowing neo-secessionist language from the Confederacy, and the potential for a brewing constitutional crisis. Plus, Jonathan Blitzer, immigration reporter for The New Yorker and author of the new book, Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here, on the media framing of the humanitarian emergencies at the border."]

Burton, Tara Isabella. "How Personal Branding Became an American Religion." On the Media (February 3, 2024) ["In January 2020, Equinox launched an ad campaign with the zeitgeist-capturing slogan, “Make Yourself a Gift to the World.” The message wasn’t just for devotees of luxury gyms. In the digital age, branding yourself, or actively defining a unique and “authentic” personal identity, is the new norm. Writer and social critic Tara Isabella Burton explores how we got here in her new book, “Self- Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to Kardashian.” Burton’s background is in history and theology. To her mind, our current obsession with personal identity and self-creation has deeply religious roots."]

"Busted: America's Poverty Myths." On the Media (5 part series: September 28 - October 28, 2016) ["On the Media’s series on poverty is grounded in the Talmudic notion that 'We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.' Brooke Gladstone traveled to Ohio to learn from people living the varied reality of poverty today, and to unpack the myths that shape our private presumptions as well as our policy decisions. In each episode, we feature the voices and complex stories of individuals, as well essential context from scholars, to lay open the tales we tell ourselves."]

Chayka, Kyle. "About the Filter World." On the Media (January 31, 2024) [In Micah Loewinger's introduction to this interview, he shared this personal anecdote: "Before I landed a job at this show, I worked for a few years, on and off, at a couple record stores around New York City. And some of my favorite albums to this day, were recommended to me by my coworkers. Men and women who I consider to be archivists –– not just of old formats like vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes –– but of underappreciated artists and niche genres. A knowledge of music history that can only come from a lifetime of obsessive listening, research, and curation. Nowadays, I pay for Spotify. I try to learn about music off the app and then save it for later listening on Spotify, but sometimes I find myself just letting its recommendation algorithm queue up the next track, and the next. And it definitely works. Spotify has helped me discover great music, but it’s never been as revelatory as a personal recommendation from a friend or an expert at a record store or an independent radio station. This feeling … that I’ve traded convenience for something deeper is what made me want to read Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka, a staff writer at the New Yorker."]

Pointer, Nandi. "The Woman King: a disruptive, unruly site of countervisuality." Jump Cut #62 (Winter 2023/2024) ["This paper examines how and to what ends The Woman King challenges Hollywood’s longstanding patterns of representing Black people, particularly Black women. Through visual and textual analysis of the film itself as well as reference to media coverage and interviews with filmmakers and cast, I argue that The Woman King is a disruptive yet unruly site of countervisuality. Although these two words are often used interchangeably, I use the terms disruptive and unruly in distinct ways in my analysis: disruptive, causing a radical change to the normative paradigm of filmmaking and visual representation, yet unruly, not amenable to discipline or control, in that this film was received very differently by Black and white audiences. Following Mirzoeff (2011), I define countervisuality as asserting the right to look in a way that seeks to challenge what Fanon (1961) referred to as the “aesthetic of respect for the status quo” (p. 3-4). The Woman King disrupts the status quo, marking a forward decolonial orientation, thus representing a site of disidentification in Hollywood, as Muñoz (1999) theorized."]

Rengifo, Alci. "Love in the Shadowland of Myth: Rainer Sarnet’s November." Riot Material (March 2, 2018) ["Cinema has the capacity to become a conduit for dreams and nightmares, combining both into something the ancients could have scarcely imagined- the physical manifestation of myth. If critics such as Roland Barthes and Octavio Paz are correct, then the ritual of cinema or television has replaced the pagan rituals of old. Yet the primitive force of myth remains embedded in human expression, no matter if the medium has changed. Estonian filmmaker Rainer Sarnet’s new film, November (2017), is pure myth, a fairy tale lifted from the page and given life by moving images, the reverie of cinematography and the atmosphere of music. It is imagined and produced with a vivid sense of time and place, yet creating an environment outside of time. And like all myths, its grand and magical flourishes are decorations for a story that is simple in its evocation of human feelings, desires and experiences."]

West, Stephen. "Adam Smith Part 1 - Specialization." Philosophize This!  #48 (January 17, 2015)  ["... we begin our discussion of Adam Smith and how specialization has enabled each of us to live like a king, whether we realize it or not. First, we find out why Stephen is that weird guy who sits alone in the bar smiling to himself. Next, we take a look at what an hour of work buys today versus 200 years ago, and consider how this changes our ideas about wealth. Finally, we find out how pursuing our own self-interests ultimately benefits society and allows us to accomplish more together."]

Wulf, Andrea. "The Philosophers Who Invented the Modern Self." To the Best of Our Knowledge (January 25, 2024) ["Just over 200 years ago, a group of renegade German writers and philosophers came together in a small town and forever changed who we think we are. Andrea Wulf tells this story in her book "Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self." They created a new vision of what it means to have a unique and personal identity. It's also a scandalous story, with these charismatic geniuses hopping in and out of bed with each other."]

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