@ is For Activism examines the transformation of politics through digital media, including digital television, online social networking and mobile computing.
Joss Hands maps out how political relationships have been reconfigured and new modes of cooperation, deliberation and representation have emerged. This analysis is applied to the organisation and practice of alternative politics, showing how they have developed and embraced the new political and technological environment.
Hands offers a comprehensive critical survey of existing literature, as well as an original perspective on networks and political change. He includes many case studies including the anti-war and global justice movements, peer production, user created TV and 'Twitter' activism. @ is For Activism is essential for activists and students of politics and media.
Since his death in 1950, George Orwell has been canonised as England's foremost political writer, and the standard-bearer of honesty and decency for the honourable 'Left'. In this controversial polemic, Scott Lucas argues that the exaltation of Orwell, far from upholding dissent against the State, has sought to quash such opposition. Indeed, Orwell has become the icon of those who, in the pose of the contrarian, try to silence public opposition to US and U K foreign policy in the 'War on Terror'.
Lucas's lively and readable critique of public intellectuals including Christopher Hitchens, Michael Walzer, David Aaronovitch, and Johann Hari – who have all invoked Orwellian honesty and decency to shut down dissent – will appeal to anyone disillusioned with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lucas contends that these leading journalists and commentators have used Orwell to justify their own political transition from radicals to upholders of the establishment. All of them play influential roles in supporting the UK and US governments' charge that opponents of war -- and those who question the motives behind American foreign policy and its implementation -- should be condemned as 'appeasers of mass murder'.
This controversial book shows how Orwell has been used since 9/11 to justify, in the guise of independent thought, the suppression of dissent. We must rescue ourselves from Orwell and from those who take on his guise so, as Lucas puts it, our ‘silencing is… vital to a "manufacture of consent" for the wars which are supposedly being fought in our name and for our good’.
In Bodies in Dissent Daphne A. Brooks argues that from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, black transatlantic activists, actors, singers, and other entertainers frequently transformed the alienating conditions of social and political marginalization into modes of self-actualization through performance. Brooks considers the work of African American, Anglo, and racially ambiguous performers in a range of popular entertainment, including racial melodrama, spectacular theatre, moving panorama exhibitions, Pan-Africanist musicals, Victorian magic shows, religious and secular song, spiritualism, and dance. She describes how these entertainers experimented with different ways of presenting their bodies in public—through dress, movement, and theatrical technologies—to defamiliarize the spectacle of “blackness” in the transatlantic imaginary.
Brooks pieces together reviews, letters, playbills, fiction, and biography in order to reconstruct not only the contexts of African American performance but also the reception of the stagings of “bodily insurgency” which she examines. Throughout the book, she juxtaposes unlikely texts and entertainers in order to illuminate the complicated transatlantic cultural landscape in which black performers intervened. She places Adah Isaacs Menken, a star of spectacular theatre, next to Sojourner Truth, showing how both used similar strategies of physical gesture to complicate one-dimensional notions of race and gender. She also considers Henry Box Brown’s public re-enactments of his escape from slavery, the Pan-Africanist discourse of Bert Williams’s and George Walker’s musical In Dahomey (1902–04), and the relationship between gender politics, performance, and New Negro activism in the fiction of the novelist and playwright Pauline Hopkins and the postbellum stage work of the cakewalk dancer and choreographer Aida Overton Walker. Highlighting the integral connections between performance and the construction of racial identities, Brooks provides a nuanced understanding of the vitality, complexity, and influence of black performance in the United States and throughout the black Atlantic.
We live in a self-proclaimed Urban Age, where we celebrate the city as the source of economic prosperity, a nurturer of social and cultural diversity, and a place primed for democracy. We proclaim the city as the fertile ground from which progress will arise. Without cities, we tell ourselves, human civilization would falter and decay. In Cities in the Urban Age, Robert A. Beauregard argues that this line of thinking is not only hyperbolic—it is too celebratory by half.
For Beauregard, the city is a cauldron for four haunting contradictions. First, cities are equally defined by both their wealth and their poverty. Second, cities are simultaneously environmentally destructive and yet promise sustainability. Third, cities encourage rule by political machines and oligarchies, even as they are essentially democratic and at least nominally open to all. And fourth, city life promotes tolerance among disparate groups, even as the friction among them often erupts into violence. Beauregard offers no simple solutions or proposed remedies for these contradictions; indeed, he doesn’t necessarily hold that they need to be resolved, since they are generative of city life. Without these four tensions, cities wouldn’t be cities. Rather, Beauregard argues that only by recognizing these ambiguities and contradictions can we even begin to understand our moral obligations, as well as the clearest paths toward equality, justice, and peace in urban settings.
In the wake of 9/11, many Americans have deplored the dangers to liberty posed by a growing surveillance state. In this book, Andrea Friedman moves beyond the standard security/liberty dichotomy, weaving together often forgotten episodes of early Cold War history to reveal how the obsession with national security enabled dissent and fostered new imaginings of democracy. The stories told here capture a wide-ranging debate about the workings of the national security state and the meaning of American citizenship. Some of the participants in this debate—women like war bride Ellen Knauff and Pentagon employee Annie Lee Moss—were able to make their own experiences compelling examples of the threats posed by the national security regime. Others, such as Ruth Reynolds and Lolita Lebrón, who advocated an end to American empire in Puerto Rico, or the psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who sought to change the very definition of national security, were less successful. Together, however, they exposed the gap between democratic ideals and government policies. Friedman traverses immigration law and loyalty boards, popular culture and theoretical treatises, U.S. court-rooms and Puerto Rican jails, to demonstrate how Cold War repression made visible in new ways the unevenness and limitations of American citizenship. Highlighting the ways that race and gender shaped critiques and defenses of the national security regime, she offers new insight into the contradictions of Cold War political culture.
This definitive account of the Chicano movement in 1960s Denver reveals the intolerance and brutality that inspired and accompanied the urban Chicano organization known as the Crusade for Justice. Ernesto Vigil, an expert in the discourse of radical movements of this time, joined the Crusade as a young draft resistor where he met Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, the founder of the CFJ. Vigil follows the movement chronologically from Gonzales’s early attempts to fight discrimination as a participant in local democratic politics to his radical stance as an organizer outside mainstream politics.
Drawing extensively upon FBI documentation that became available under the Freedom of Information Act, Vigil exposes massive surveillance of the Crusade for Justice by federal agents and local police and the damaging effects of such methods on ethnic liberation movements. Vigil complements these documents and the story of Gonzales’s development as a radical with the story of his personal involvement in the movement. The Crusade for Justice describes one of the most important Chicano organizations against prejudice.
Why do American ghettos persist? Scholars and commentators often identify some factor—such as single motherhood, joblessness, or violent street crime—as the key to solving the problem and recommend policies accordingly. But, Tommie Shelby argues, these attempts to “fix” ghettos or “help” their poor inhabitants ignore fundamental questions of justice and fail to see the urban poor as moral agents responding to injustice.
“Provocative…[Shelby] doesn’t lay out a jobs program or a housing initiative. Indeed, as he freely admits, he offers ‘no new political strategies or policy proposals.’ What he aims to do instead is both more abstract and more radical: to challenge the assumption, common to liberals and conservatives alike, that ghettos are ‘problems’ best addressed with narrowly targeted government programs or civic interventions. For Shelby, ghettos are something more troubling and less tractable: symptoms of the ‘systemic injustice’ of the United States. They represent not aberrant dysfunction but the natural workings of a deeply unfair scheme. The only real solution, in this way of thinking, is the ‘fundamental reform of the basic structure of our society.’”
—James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review
In 1920, socialist leader Eugene V. Debs ran for president while serving a ten-year jail term for speaking against America's role in World War I. In this book, Freeberg shows that the campaign to send Debs from an Atlanta jailhouse to the White House was part of a wider national debate over the right to free speech in wartime. In this story of democracy on trial, Freeberg excavates an extraordinary episode in the history of one of America's most prized ideals.
Mulford Sibley, for many years a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, used to frequently quote Plato's complaint in the Laws "that man never legislates but accidents of all sorts . . . legislate for us in all sorts of ways. The violence of war and the hard necessity of poverty are constantly overturning governments and changing laws." But even if most legislation is a result of accident, Mulford Sibley holds out to us the idea that politics is a sphere of human freedom, in which men and women can collectively determine the conditions of their common life.
Dissent from the Homeland is a book about patriotism, justice, revenge, American history and symbology, art and terror, and pacifism. In this deliberately and urgently provocative collection, noted writers, philosophers, literary critics, and theologians speak out against the war on terrorism and the government of George W. Bush as a response to the events of September 11, 2001. Critiquing government policy, citizen apathy, and societal justifications following the attacks, these writers present a wide range of opinions on such issues as contemporary American foreign policy and displays of patriotism in the wake of the disaster.
Whether illuminating the narratives that have been used to legitimate the war on terror, reflecting on the power of American consumer culture to transform the attack sites into patriotic tourist attractions, or insisting that to be a Christian is to be a pacifist, these essays refuse easy answers. They consider why the Middle East harbors a deep-seated hatred for the United States. They argue that the U.S. drive to win the cold war made the nation more like its enemies, leading the government to support ruthless anti-Communist tyrants such as Mobutu, Suharto, and Pinochet. They urge Americans away from the pitfall of national self-righteousness toward an active peaceableness—an alert, informed, practiced state of being—deeply contrary to both passivity and war. Above all, the essays assembled in Dissent from the Homeland are a powerful entreaty for thought, analysis, and understanding. Originally published as a special issue of the journal South Atlantic Quarterly, Dissent from the Homeland has been expanded to include new essays as well as a new introduction and postscript.
Contributors. Srinivas Aravamudan, Michael J. Baxter, Jean Baudrillard, Robert N. Bellah, Daniel Berrigan, Wendell Berry, Vincent J. Cornell, David James Duncan, Stanley Hauerwas, Fredric Jameson, Frank Lentricchia, Catherine Lutz, Jody McAuliffe, John Milbank, Peter Ochs, Donald E. Pease, Anne R. Slifkin, Rowan Williams, Susan Willis, Slavoj Zizek
Dissent from the Homeland begins a new evaluation of how Americans think about September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. In this special issue well-known writers and scholars from across the humanities and social sciences take a critical look at U.S. domestic and foreign policies—past and present—as well as the recent surge of patriotism. These dissenting voices provide a thought-provoking alternative to the apparently overwhelming public approval of the U.S. military response to the September 11 attacks.
Addressing such questions as why the Middle East harbors a deep-seated hatred for the U.S., the contributors refuse to settle for the easy answers preferred by the mass media. "Thoughts in the Presence of Fear" urges Americans away from the pitfall of national self-righteousness toward an active peaceableness—an alert, informed, practiced state of being—deeply contrary to both passivity and war. Another essay argues that the U.S. drive to win the Cold War made the nation more like its enemies, leading the government to support ruthless anti-Communist tyrants such as Mobutu, Suharto, and Pinochet. "Groundzeroland" offers a sharp commentary on the power of American consumer culture to absorb the devastation and loss of life by transforming the attack sites into patriotic tourist attractions. James Nachtwey’s photo essay provides a visual document of the devastation of the attacks.
Contributors. Michael Baxter, Jean Baudrillard, Robert Bellah, Daniel Berrigan, Wendell Berry, Vincent Cornell, Stanley Hauerwas, Fredric Jameson, Frank Lentricchia, Catherine Lutz, Jody McAuliffe, John Milbank, James Nachtwey, Peter Ochs, Anne Rosalind Slifkin, Rowan Williams, Susan Willis, Slavoj Zizek
For more information about SAQ, please visit http://www.dukeupress.edu/saq/
Dissent in American Religion, originally published in 1973, was the first book to present religious dissent in the United States as a pervasive but hidden and often-ignored stream in American life. The first volume in the Chicago History of American Religion series, it reviewed the history of our nation’s longest dissenting tradition—a tradition older and richer in the realm of religion than in any other facet of national life. Indeed, Edwin Scott Gaustad argued that religious dissent was essential to the character of the American religious experience and stood in profound disagreement with society’s orthodox values and beliefs.
This new edition, which reinaugurates the Chicago History of American Religion series under the new editorship of John Corrigan, features new commentary by Gaustad and Corrigan on the past thirty years of American religious history and the importance of understanding dissent in American religion today.
“This is an important and erudite work which shows the originality and scope which scholarship can bring to human experience.” —Los AngelesTimes
“We shall understand the religious past and present better for reading Gaustad’s brief, well-written, helpful book.” —Commonweal
Dissent in Dangerous Times
Austin Sarat, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2004 Library of Congress JK275.D57 2005 | Dewey Decimal 303.484
Dissent in Dangerous Times presents essays by six distinguished scholars, who provide their own unique views on the interplay of loyalty, patriotism, and dissent.
While dissent has played a central role in our national history and in the American cultural imagination, it is usually dangerous to those who practice it, and always unpalatable to its targets. War does not encourage the tolerance of opposition at home any more than it does on the front: if the War on Terror is to be a permanent war, then the consequences for American political freedoms cannot be overestimated.
"Dissent in Dangerous Times examines the nature of political repression in liberal societies, and the political and legal implications of living in an environment of fear. This profound, incisive, at times even moving volume calls upon readers to think about, and beyond, September 11, reminding us of both the fragility and enduring power of freedom."
--Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union, and Professor of Law, New York Law School.
On a hot summer evening in 1958, a group of African American students in Wichita, Kansas, quietly entered Dockum's Drug Store and sat down at the whites-only lunch counter. This was the beginning of the first sustained, successful student sit-in of the modern civil rights movement, instigated in violation of the national NAACP's instructions. Based on interviews with over eighty participants and observers of this sit-in, Dissent in Wichita traces the contours of race relations and black activism in an unexpected locus of the civil rights movement, revealing that the movement was a national, not a southern, phenomenon.
Marching on Washington is a hallowed tradition of American political protest, and demonstrations led by the women’s rights, civil rights, and antiwar movements all endure in popular memory. Between 1979 and 2000 four major lesbian and gay demonstrations took place there, and while these marches were some of the largest of their time, they have been sorely overlooked—until now. Drawing on extensive archival research, historical data, original photographs, interviews with key activists, and more than a thousand news articles, The Dividends of Dissent offers a thorough analysis—descriptive, historical, and sociological—of these marches and their organization.
Amin Ghaziani ably puts these demonstrations into their cultural context, chronicling gay and lesbian life at the time and the political currents that prompted the protests. He then turns to each march in detail, focusing on the role that internal dissent played in its organization. Ultimately, Ghaziani concludes that infighting can contribute positively to the development of social movements, and that the debates over the marches helped define what it means to be gay in the United States.
Globalization is not the Americanization of the world, argues John Muthyala. Rather, it is an uneven social, cultural, economic, and political process in which the policies and aspirations of powerful nation-states are entangled with the interests of other empires, nation-states, and communities. Dwelling in American: Dissent, Empire, and Globalization takes up a bold challenge, critiquing scholarship on American empire that views the United States as either an exceptional threat to the world or the only hope for the future. It does so in order to provincialize America, to understand it from outside the borders of nation and location, and from inside the global networks of trade, power, and culture. Using comparative frames of reference, the book makes its arguments by examining the work of a diverse range of writers including Arundhati Roy (War Talk, Power Politics), Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), and Thomas Friedman (The World Is Flat). This is an original, complex, and often bracingly counterintuitive critique of the idea of American empire that will appeal to anyone interested in understanding the complexities of globalization.
Since the early nineteenth century, the United States has repeatedly intervened in the affairs of Latin American nations to pursue its own interests and to “protect” those countries from other imperial powers or from internal “threats.” The resentment and opposition generated by the encroachment of U.S. power has been evident in the recurrent attempts of Latin American nations to pull away from U.S. dominance and in the frequent appearance of popular discontent and unrest directed against imperialist U.S. policies. In Empire and Dissent, senior Latin Americanists explore the interplay between various dimensions of imperial power and the resulting dissent and resistance.
Several essays provide historical perspective on contemporary U.S.–hemispheric relations. These include an analysis of the nature and dynamics of imperial domination, an assessment of financial relations between the United States and Latin America since the end of World War II, an account of Native American resistance to colonialism, and a consideration of the British government’s decision to abolish slavery in its colonies. Other essays focus on present-day conflicts in the Americas, highlighting various modes of domination and dissent, resistance and accommodation. Examining southern Mexico’s Zapatista movement, one contributor discusses dissent in the era of globalization. Other contributors investigate the surprisingly conventional economic policies of Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Argentina’s recovery from its massive 2001 debt default; the role of coca markets in the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales; and the possibilities for extensive social change in Venezuela. A readers’ guide offers a timeline of key events from 1823 through 2007, along with a list of important individuals, institutions, and places.
Contributors: Daniel A. Cieza, Gregory Evans Dowd, Steve Ellner, Neil Harvey, Alan Knight, Carlos Marichal, John Richard Oldfield, Silvia Rivera, Fred Rosen, Jeffrey W. Rubin
Late-arriving immigrants during the Great Migration, Finns were, comparatively speaking, a relatively small immigrant group, with about 350,000 immigrants arriving prior to World War II. Nevertheless, because of their geographic concentration in the Upper Midwest in particular, their impact was pronounced. They differed from many other new immigrant groups in a number of ways, including the fact that theirs is not an Indo-European language, and many old-country cultural and social features reflect their geographic location in Europe, at the juncture of East and West. A fresh and up-to-date analysis of Finnish Americans, this insightful volume lays the groundwork for exploring this unique culture through a historical context, followed by an overview of the overall composition and settlement patterns of these newcomers. The authors investigate the vivid ethnic organizations Finns created, as well as the cultural life they sought to preserve and enhance while fitting into their new homeland. Also explored are the complex dimensions of Finnish-American political and religious life, as well as the exodus of many radical leftists to Soviet Karelia in the 1930s. Through the lens of multiculturalism, transnationalism, and whiteness studies, the authors of this volume present a rich portrait of this distinctive group.
Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Once the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the people of East Germany had little use for the dissident intellectuals who had helped bring it down. Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent offers a penetrating look into the circumstances of this fall from grace, unique among the former Communist states.
John Torpey traces the dissident intellectuals' fate to the peculiar situation of the East German regime, which sought to build "socialism in a quarter of a country" on the anti-fascist foundations of Communist opposition to Nazism. He shows how the regime's unusual history and subnational status helped sustain the East German intelligentsia's conviction that socialism could be reformed and humane-that there was a "third way" between Soviet-style socialism and the capitalism that took root in West Germany. How the pursuit of this third way both supported and undermined the regime, and both galvanized and alienated the East German people, becomes clear in Torpey's nuanced analysis. His book makes a powerful contribution to our understanding of the politics of intellectuals during one of the most painful chapters in modern German history.
John C. Torpey is currently a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.
On May 4, 1970, National Guard troops opened fire on unarmed antiwar protesters at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students and wounding nine others, including the author of this book. The shootings shocked the American public and triggered a nationwide wave of campus strikes and protests. To many at the time, Kent State seemed an unlikely site for the bloodiest confrontation in a decade of campus unrest—a sprawling public university in the American heartland, far from the coastal epicenters of political and social change. Yet, as Thomas M. Grace shows, the events of May 4 were not some tragic anomaly but were grounded in a tradition of student political activism that extended back to Ohio’s labor battles of the 1950s. The vast expansion of the university after World War II brought in growing numbers of working-class enrollees from the industrial centers of northeast Ohio, members of the same demographic cohort that eventually made up the core of American combat forces in Vietnam. As the war’s rising costs came to be felt acutely in the home communities of Kent’s students, tensions mounted between the growing antiwar movement on campus, the university administration, and the political conservatives who dominated the surrounding county as well as the state government. The deadly shootings at Kent State were thus the culmination of a dialectic of radicalization and repression that had been building throughout the decade. In the years that followed, the antiwar movement continued to strengthen on campus, bolstered by an influx of returning Vietnam veterans. After the war ended, a battle over the memory and meaning of May 4 ensued. It continues to the present day.
The West Virginia University Mountaineer is not just a mascot: it is a symbol of West Virginia history and identity embraced throughout the state. In this deeply informed but accessible study, folklorist Rosemary Hathaway explores the figure’s early history as a backwoods trickster, its deployment in emerging mass media, and finally its long and sometimes conflicted career—beginning officially in 1937—as the symbol of West Virginia University.
Alternately a rabble-rouser and a romantic embodiment of the state’s history, the Mountaineer has been subject to ongoing reinterpretation while consistently conveying the value of independence. Hathaway’s account draws on multiple sources, including archival research, personal history, and interviews with former students who have portrayed the mascot, to explore the complex forces and tensions animating the Mountaineer figure. Often serving as a focus for white, masculinist, and Appalachian identities in particular, the Mountaineer that emerges from this study is something distinct from the hillbilly. Frontiersman and rebel both, the Mountaineer figure traditionally and energetically resists attempts (even those by the university) to tame or contain it.
For pious converts to Christianity in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century New England, all reality was shaped by religious devotion and biblical text. It is therefore not surprising that earnest believers who found themselves marginalized by their race or sex relied on their faith to reconcile the tension between the spiritual experience of rebirth and the social ordeal of exclusion and injustice. In Piety and Dissent, Eileen Razzari Elrod examines the religious autobiographies of six early Americans who represented various sorts of marginality: John Marrant, Olaudah Equiano, and Jarena Lee, all of African or African American heritage; Samson Occom (Mohegan) and William Apess (Pequot); and Abigail Abbott Bailey, a white woman who was subjected to extreme domestic violence. Through close readings of these personal narratives, Elrod uncovers the complex rhetorical strategies employed by pious outsiders to challenge the particular kinds of oppression each experienced. She identifies recurrent ideals and images drawn from Scripture and Protestant tradition—parables of liberation, rage, justice, and opposition to authority—that allowed them to see resistance as a religious act and, more than that, imbued them with a sense of agency. What the life stories of these six individuals reveal, according to Elrod, is that conventional Christianity in early America was not the hegemonic force that church leaders at the time imagined, and that many people since have believed it to be. Nor was there a clear distinction between personal piety and religious, social, and political resistance. To understand fully the role of religion in the early period of American letters, we must rethink some of our most fundamental assumptions about the function of Christian faith in the context of individual lives.
American novels written in the wake of the Revolution overflow with self-conscious theatricality and impassioned excess. In The Plight of Feeling, Julia A. Stern shows that these sentimental, melodramatic, and gothic works can be read as an emotional history of the early republic, reflecting the hate, anger, fear, and grief that tormented the Federalist era.
Stern argues that these novels gave voice to a collective mourning over the violence of the Revolution and the foreclosure of liberty for the nation's noncitizens—women, the poor, Native and African Americans. Properly placed in the context of late eighteenth-century thought, the republican novel emerges as essentially political, offering its audience gothic and feminized counternarratives to read against the dominant male-authored accounts of national legitimation.
Drawing upon insights from cultural history and gender studies as well as psychoanalytic, narrative, and genre theory, Stern convincingly exposes the foundation of the republic as an unquiet crypt housing those invisible Americans who contributed to its construction.
A bold new critique of dialogue as a method of eliminating dissent
Is dialogue always the productive political and communicative tool it is widely conceived to be? Resisting Dialogue reassesses our assumptions about dialogue and, in so doing, about what a politically healthy society should look like. Juan Meneses argues that, far from an unalloyed good, dialogue often serves as a subtle tool of domination, perpetuating the underlying inequalities it is intended to address.
Meneses investigates how “illusory dialogue” (a particular dialogic encounter designed to secure consensus) is employed as an instrument that forestalls—instead of fostering—articulations of dissent that lead to political change. He does so through close readings of novels from the English-speaking world written in the past hundred years—from E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India and Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion to Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People and more. Resisting Dialogue demonstrates how these novels are rhetorical exercises with real political clout capable of restoring the radical potential of dialogue in today’s globalized world. Expanding the boundaries of postpolitical theory, Meneses reveals how these works offer ways to practice disagreement against this regulatory use of dialogue and expose the pitfalls of certain other dialogic interventions in relation to some of the most prominent questions of modern history: cosmopolitanism at the end of empire, the dangers of rewriting the historical record, the affective dimension of neoliberalism, the racial and nationalist underpinnings of the “war on terror,” and the visibility of environmental violence in the Anthropocene.
Ultimately, Resisting Dialogue is a complex, provocative critique that, melding political and literary theory, reveals how fiction can help confront the deployment of dialogue to preempt the emergence of dissent and, thus, revitalize the practice of emancipatory politics.
A rhetorical analysis of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s feminist jurisprudence
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong effort to reshape the language of American law has had profound consequences: she has shifted the rhetorical boundaries of jurisprudence on a wide range of fundamental issues from equal protection to reproductive rights. Beginning in the early 1970s, Ginsburg led a consequential attack on sexist law in the United States. By directly confronting the patriarchal voice of the law, she pointedly challenged an entrenched genre of legal language that silenced the voices and experiences of American women and undermined their status as equal citizens. On the United States Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg continues to challenge the traditional scripts of legal discourse to insist on a progressive vision of the Constitution and to demand a more inclusive and democratic body of law.
This illuminating work examines Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s contributions in reshaping the rhetoric of the law (specifically through the lens of watershed cases in women’s rights) and describes her rhetorical contributions—beginning with her work in the 1970s as a lawyer and an advocate for the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project through her tenure as a Supreme Court justice. Katie L. Gibson examines Ginsburg’s rhetoric to argue that she has dramatically shifted the boundaries of legal language. Gibson draws from rhetorical theory, critical legal theory, and feminist theory to describe the law as a rhetorical genre, arguing that Ginsburg’s jurisprudence can appropriately be understood as a direct challenge to the traditional rhetoric of the law.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg stands as an incredibly important figure in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century feminism. While a growing number of admirers celebrate Justice Ginsburg’s voice of dissent today, Ginsburg’s rhetorical legacy reveals that she has long articulated a sharp and strategic voice of judicial dissent. This study contributes to a more complete understanding of her feminist legacy by detailing the unique contributions of her legal rhetoric.
During the German Occupation from 1940 to 1944, Resistance fighters, Parisian youth, and French prisoners of war mined a vast repertoire from a long national musical tradition and a burgeoning international entertainment industry, embracing music as a rhetorical resource with which to destabilize Nazi ideology and contest collaborationist Vichy propaganda. After the Liberation of 1944, popular music continued to mediate French political life, helping citizens to challenge American hegemony and recuperate their nation’s lost international standing. Ultimately, through song, French dissidents rejected Nazi subordination, the politics of collaboration, and American intervention and insisted upon a return to that trinity of traditional French values, liberté, egalité, fraternité. Strains of Dissent recovers the significance of music as a rhetorical means of survival, subversion, and national identity construction and illuminates the creative and cunning ways that individual citizens defied the Occupation outside of formal resistance networks and movements.
In The Suburb of Dissent Caren Irr explores the leftist literary subculture of the United States and Canada during the 1930s to reconstruct the ideas of mass culture, class, and nationality that emerged as a result of the Great Depression. Unearthing plots and characters that still surface in contemporary narratives, Irr juxtaposes classic and neglected works of criticism, fiction, poetry, and journalism and demonstrates how leftist writers resisted totalitarianism much more thoroughly than Cold War accounts would suggest. Irr highlights works by Richard Wright, John Dos Passos, Nathanael West, and others to uncover the complex relationship between American anti-communism and communist anti-Americanism. In an unprecedented move, she extends her inquiry to the work of Canadian intellectuals such as Dorothy Livesay and Hugh MacLennan to reveal the important yet overlooked fact that the territory at the border of the United States and Canada provided a vital contact zone and transnational “home” for leftist thinkers. Attending to intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender, Irr illustrates the ways dissenting writers made culture actively respond to the political crises of the Great Depression and questioned the nature of what it means to be “American.” Drawing on insights from postcolonial and American studies and taking into account the intellectual and cultural dimensions of leftist politics, The Suburb of Dissent is the first study of the 1930s to bring together U.S. and Canadian writings. In doing so, it reveals how the unique culture of the left contributed to North American history at this critical juncture and beyond.
In this first comprehensive overview of the intersection of immigration law and the First Amendment, a lawyer and historian traces ideological exclusion and deportation in the United States from the Alien Friends Act of 1798 to the evolving policies of the Trump administration.
Beginning with the Alien Friends Act of 1798, the United States passed laws in the name of national security to bar or expel foreigners based on their beliefs and associations—although these laws sometimes conflict with First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and association or contradict America’s self-image as a nation of immigrants. The government has continually used ideological exclusions and deportations of noncitizens to suppress dissent and radicalism throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from the War on Anarchy to the Cold War to the War on Terror.
In Threat of Dissent—the first social, political, and legal history of ideological exclusion and deportation in the United States—Julia Rose Kraut delves into the intricacies of major court decisions and legislation without losing sight of the people involved. We follow the cases of immigrants and foreign-born visitors, including activists, scholars, and artists such as Emma Goldman, Ernest Mandel, Carlos Fuentes, Charlie Chaplin, and John Lennon. Kraut also highlights lawyers, including Clarence Darrow and Carol Weiss King, as well as organizations, like the ACLU and PEN America, who challenged the constitutionality of ideological exclusions and deportations under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court, however, frequently interpreted restrictions under immigration law and upheld the government’s authority.
By reminding us of the legal vulnerability foreigners face on the basis of their beliefs, expressions, and associations, Kraut calls our attention to the ways that ideological exclusion and deportation reflect fears of subversion and serve as tools of political repression in the United States.
People have argued since time immemorial. Disagreement is a part of life, of human experience. But we now live in times when any form of protest in India is marked as anti-Indian and met with arguments that the very concept of dissent was imported into India from the West. As Romila Thapar explores in her timely historical essay, however, dissent has a long history in the subcontinent, even if its forms have evolved through the centuries.
In Voices of Dissent: AnEssay, Thapar looks at the articulation of nonviolent dissent and relates it to various pivotal moments throughout India’s history. Beginning with Vedic times, she takes us from the second to the first millennium BCE, to the emergence of groups that were jointly called the Shramanas—the Jainas, Buddhists, and Ajivikas. Going forward in time, she also explores the views of the Bhakti sants and others of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and brings us to a major moment of dissent that helped to establish a free and democratic India: Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha. Then Thapar places in context the recent peaceful protests against India’s new, controversial citizenship law, maintaining that dissent in our time must be opposed to injustice and supportive of democratic rights so that society may change for the better.
Written by one of India’s best-known public intellectuals, Voices of Dissent will be essential reading not for anyone interested in India’s fascinating history, but also the direction in which the nation is headed.
Women, Power, and Dissent in the Hills of Carolina is a unique and impassioned exploration of gender, labor, and resistance in western North Carolina. Based on eight months of field research in a mica manufacturing plant and the surrounding rural community, as well as oral histories of women who worked in mica houses in the early twentieth century, this landmark study canvasses the history of the mica industry and the ways it came to be organized around women's labor.
Mary K. Anglin's investigation of working women's lives in the plant she calls "Moth Hill Mica Company" reveals the ways women have contributed to household and regional economies for more than a century. Without union support or recognition as skilled laborers, these women developed alternate strategies for challenging the poor working conditions, paltry wages, and corporate rhetoric of Moth Hill. Utilizing the power of memory and strong family and community ties, as well as their own interpretations of gender and culture, the women have found ways to "boss themselves."
In these lyrical and powerful essays, Thomas Glave draws on his experiences as a politically committed, gay Jamaican American to deliver a condemnation of the prejudices, hatreds, and inhumanities that persist in the United States and elsewhere. Exposing the hypocrisies of liberal multiculturalism, Glave offers instead a politics of heterogeneity in which difference informs the theory and practice of democracy. At the same time, he experiments with language to provide a model of creative writing as a tool for social change. From the death of black gay poet Essex Hemphill to the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, Glave puts forth an ethical understanding of human rights to make vital connections across nations, races, genders, and sexualities.
Thomas Glave is assistant professor of English at SUNY Binghamton. He is author of Whose Song? and Other Stories.
Worlds of Dissent
Jonathan Bolton Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DB2228.7.B65 2012 | Dewey Decimal 943.7043
Worlds of Dissent analyzes the myths of Czech resistance popularized by Western journalists and historians, and replaces these heroic victory narratives with a picture of the struggle against state repression as dissidents themselves understood and lived it. Their diaries, letters, and essays convey the texture of dissent in a closed society.