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Tzeitung (Blog)

Faculty Writing: “My Octopus Teacher” and Online Pile-Ons; and Why the Gun Control Debate is Stuck

In this edition of Faculty Writing, we have: Sophie Lewis, in n+1, on the Netflix documentary “My Octopus Teacher,” online pile-ons, and pervasive erotophobia; and Patrick Blanchfield, appearing on Vox’s Quick Hits podcast, explaining “why the gun control debate is stuck.”

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Faculty Video: The Life of the Mind

Marking the publication of her acclaimed debut novel The Life of the Mind, BISR faculty (and co-founder) Christine Smallwood joined Abby Kluchin, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Michael Stevenson, and Suzanne Schneider for a wide-ranging discussion of the novel’s characters, themes, and theoretical influences (Thomas Mann, Melanie Klein, and, perhaps unconsciously, Gramsci and Walter […]

Faculty Video: Comics and Popular Culture: a Conversation with Abraham Riesman and Michael Tisserand

On Wednesday, March 24th, BISR’s Suzanne Schneider, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and Rebecca Ariel Porte were joined by Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee, and Michael Tisserand, author of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White, for a wide-ranging discussion of comic books and comic strips—what they are, […]

Faculty Writing: The Anti-Colonial Lenin and Wagnermania

For Jacobin, Barnaby Raine examines Lenin’s fundamentally anti-colonial conception of socialism—as a necessarily transnational system of freedom. Noting the tension between Lenin’s anti-colonial socialism and the reality of Bolshevik government, Raine writes: “Positioned uneasily between the hope of socialism as freedom and a twentieth-century norm of socialism as government, amid a nascent and awful bureaucracy […]

Faculty Writing: British “Free Speech”, Shulamith Firestone, and Climate Sabotage

For Novara Media, Barnaby Raine discusses the right-wing mobilization of free-speech rhetoric in Britain, which, he argues, risks “accepting absurd, offensive or provocative opinions as the right of any individual speaker.” Distinguishing a right-wing conception of free speech from that of the left, Barnaby writes: “Theirs is the freedom of the schoolyard bully to harass […]

Faculty Video: Who Needs a Worldview? Raymond Geuss in Conversation

On Sunday, February 28th, BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Michael Stevenson, and Rebecca Ariel Porte welcomed philosopher Raymond Geuss for a wide-ranging discussion of Geuss’s most recent book Who Needs a Worldview? (Harvard). Among the points discussed: why worldviews aren’t simply large theories, but modes of personal identity; how theory arises from failure and personal […]

Faculty Writing: Public Apology and Memorializing “Truth”

For Harper’s After Trump roundup, Liane Carlson mediates on the complexity of apologies as expiation rituals and the limitations of “forgiveness culture.” In a note on the aftermath of the Trump administration, she writes: “Nothing that has happened in the past four years precludes the possibility of individual forgiveness. Nothing prevents a politician from stepping […]

Faculty Writing: Trump’s Neofascism and Violence Without Agenda

In an interview with Jewish Currents, Ajay Singh Chaudhaury discusses the interrelation of capital, global crisis, and fascist ideology. Positioning Trumpism as part of a developing globalized neofascism, he writes: “Capitalism’s ideological underpinnings are increasingly, and rightly, questioned, not only on the left but also in the business press, which keeps talking about better capitalisms—responsible […]

Faculty Writing: Kitsch can Kill, Political Violence Rethought, and Secular Sexual Obsession

For the The Washington Post, Suzanne Schneider discusses the right wing’s tendency to associate political participation with violence and spectacle. On the codependency of violence and right-wing policymaking, she writes: “Violence is not, in this sense, ancillary to far-right politics but central to preserving the vast inequalities that even its “moderate” supporters wish to maintain. […]

Faculty Writing: Model Minorities and Education as “Product”

In Dilettante Army, Nara Roberta Silva discusses the rhetorical division of “good” immigrants and “bad”—a rhetoric employed to conceal the fact that an immigrant’s presence ”is only accepted when it is ‘of value.’” Value, moreover, is constitutive of race: “Social, economic, and political forces shape social categories and infuse them with certain meanings. Over time, […]