KPFA: Against the Grain [Program Feed]

  • Dignity and the Carceral State
    Addressing mass incarceration and repressive policing in the U.S. is a daunting task. Jonathan Simon [1] believes that invoking human dignity, and the need to respect dignity, can fuel efforts to change the direction of the carceral state. (Encore presentation.) Sharon Dolovich and Alexandra Natapoff, eds., The New Criminal Justice Thinking [2] NYU Press, 2017 Jonathan Simon, Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America [3] The New Press, 2014 [1] https://www.law.berkeley.edu/our-faculty/faculty-profiles/jonathan-simon/ [2] https://nyupress.org/books/9781479831548/ [3] https://thenewpress.com/books/mass-incarceration-on-trial
  • The EPA and the Chemical Industry: A Cosy Alliance
    The Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with safeguarding the public from toxic exposure.  But Jonathan Latham, executive director of the Bioscience Research Project, says that The Poison Papers — an enormous trove of documents — indicate that the EPA and the chemical industry often work hand in hand to mislead us into thinking that toxic chemicals are safe for human use. Resources: The Poison Papers [1] Bioscience Research Project [2] [1] https://www.poisonpapers.org/ [2] https://bioscienceresource.org/
  • Colonialism and Gender Today
    Can we understand gender relations in today’s neoliberal world without understanding colonialism? As Raka Ray [1] points out, colonialism put in place new understandings about gender and gender relations, many of which continue to affect how people in countries like India think and interact and are governed. Colonialism and its legacies have also influenced how feminists in the Global South and their counterparts in the Global North view and treat each other. (Encore presentation.) Messerschmidt et al., eds., Gender Reckonings: New Social Theory and Research [2] NYU Press, 2018   [1] http://sociology.berkeley.edu/alumni-manager/raka-ray [2] https://nyupress.org/books/9781479809349/
  • Dispossession and Enclosure
    We’re often told that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians rises out of a unique historical situation. But the dispossession of the Palestinians, rather than being exceptional, has strong echoes in other historical dispossessions. Gary Fields discusses the enclosure of the lands of the English peasantry, Native Americans, and the inhabitants of historic Palestine. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Gary Fields, Enclosure: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror [1] UC Press, 2017 [1] https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520291058/enclosure
  • Fund Drive Special: Ram Dass on Aging Well
    The spiritual pioneer, writer, and teacher Ram Dass on how to embrace aging, changing, and dying.
  • Fund Drive Special: Alan Watts on Buddhist Thought
    Alan Watts on the fundamentals of Buddhism, plus a talk he gave called “Insight and Ecstasy.”
  • Fund Drive Special: Ram Dass on “Polishing the Mirror”
    “Polishing the Mirror,” by the influential spiritual seeker and teacher Ram Dass, has been turned into an audiobook.
  • Fund Drive Special: Listening to A People’s History
    Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States helped reshape how we understand this country’s past — telling the stories of the oppressed, not just the oppressors.  Zinn and actor Matt Damon read from his classic work.
  • Fund Drive Special: Jim Crow, Racism, and the Legacy of Slavery
    “The Long Shadow,” a documentary film written and directed by Frances Causey, investigates the history and legacies of slavery and anti-Black racism in the U.S.
  • Fund Drive Special: Slavery’s Long Shadow
    “The Long Shadow,” a documentary film written and directed by Frances Causey, investigates the history and legacies of slavery and anti-Black racism in the U.S.
  • Fund Drive Special: Bananas for Capitalism
    The banana is a ubiquitous and comforting staple of the American kitchen, yet its history is anything but benign. And, as a documentary film illustrates, one simple fruit illuminates so much about the history of capitalism and imperialism in the Western hemisphere. We feature highlights from the film “When Banana Ruled”.
  • Fund Drive Special: Slavery’s Long Shadow
    “The Long Shadow,” a documentary film written and directed by Frances Causey, investigates the history and legacies of slavery and anti-Black racism in the U.S.
  • West Germany and the Sixties
    This year is the 50th anniversary of 1968, a stand in for the explosive movements of the 60s and 70s. Christina Gerhardt discusses those movements through a German lens, many of which exploded on the scene a mere decade and a half after the defeat of the Nazis and into a society deeply marked by fascism. She reflects on the rise of the New Left and the armed struggle group the Red Army Faction, and how the repression of the left paved the way for surveillance and the abuse of prisoners today. Resources: Christina Gerhardt, Screening the Red Army Faction: Historical and Cultural Memory [1] Bloomsbury, 2018 Christina Gerhardt and Sara Saljoughi (eds.), 1968 and Global Cinema [2] Wayne State University Press, 2018 1968 and Global Cinema Film Series [3] [1] https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/screening-the-red-army-faction-9781501336690/ [2] https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/1968-and-global-cinema [3] https://bampfa.org/program/1968-and-global-cinema
  • Should the Left Engage With the State?
    Many people on the Left have come to believe that we can and should change the world without taking power. While some of the arguments emanating from people like John Holloway are valid, says Paul Christopher Gray [1], he believes that engaging with the state and vying for state power can, under certain circumstances, lead to fundamental social and political transformation. Paul Christopher Gray, ed., From the Streets to the State: Changing the World by Taking Power [2] SUNY Press, 2018 [1] https://brocku.academia.edu/PaulGray [2] https://www.sunypress.edu/p-6579-from-the-streets-to-the-state.aspx
  • It’s in the Can
    What’s inside that seemingly unremarkable object: a metal can of food? How did we get to where we are today, where canned food appears so mundane — when, in fact, selling food in a corrodible can to dubious American consumers was an uphill battle for the processed food industry? Historian Anna Zeide looks at the role of trade groups, public relations, and political lobbying in the marketing of canned food. Resources: Anna Zeide, Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry [1] UC Press, 2018 [1] https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520290686/canned

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