Our Faculty, Elsewhere on the Web #3

Our faculty are hard at work not only for the Brooklyn Institute but also in other venues. Please check out some of their recent work around the web:

Christine SmallwoodThe Crime of Blackness: Dorothy B. Hughes’s Forgotten Noir, at The New Yorker

“Our current literary moment is obsessed with autobiography and memoir. But Hughes chose for herself a different challenge: a white woman, she would tell stories about and from the points of view of others—psychotic men, black men, Spanish men, Native Americans; jazz musicians, fashionable women, soldiers, doctors. The creation of difference itself was her subject. Her books were widely praised for their atmospheres of fear and suspense, and criticized when they reached, as the New York Times said of “The Fallen Sparrow,” “toward conflict and situations that are rather beyond the usual whodunit scheme.” But this is Hughes’s point. It is not whodunit, but who-ness itself, that she’s after. By this I do not mean that she asks why—specific motives are as mulish and unanswerable as sin. Crime was never Hughes’s interest, evil was, and to be evil, for her, is to be intolerant of others, of the very fact of the existence of something outside the self. With her poetic powers of description, she makes that evil a sickness in the mind and a landscape to be surveyed.”

Anjuli Raza Kolb, Let Me Recite What History Teaches (7/25/2012), part of an ongoing series at Black Balloon Publishing

“In the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, discussion of firmer gun control measures has been whisper quiet. Evan Selinger contemplates the neutral weapon fallacy, Hegel mourns the ruthless efficiency of the guillotine, and Marshall McLuhan calls out the “Narcissus style of one hypnotized by the amputation and extension of his own being in a new technical form.”

Ajay Singh Chaudhary, The Dark Knight Decides: Sovereignty and the Superhero (Part I and Part II) at 3QuarksDaily

“The economy in Batman does not work like our economy. It just barely functions as a symbolic representation of it. From the very first movie, we are told that Gotham’s depression – depicted in quite extensive detail in the first movie, which some critics seem to have forgotten – was engineered by the League of Shadows. This is total crazy town. This is not Marx or Smith or Hayek or Friedman or von Mises or Keynes or whoever your favorite economist is. This is a powerful, eternal network of mountaintop ninjas making sure that the unemployment rate stays high. This is David Icke territory; this is lizard-people, Illuminati, or House of Rothschild conspiracy nuttiness (things which, not incidentally, tend to get a bit more credence in the dark corners of the contemporary libertarian and anarchist world than their fellow travelers would like to admit). This should have been a gigantic, flashing neon warning sign to any would-be critic, indicating: structural economics is most definitely not a thing to take very seriously in this text!”

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