KPFA: Against the Grain [Program Feed]

  • The Politics of Memory
    How is radical memory transmitted from generation to generation? How does that transmission frequently fail — and how might it better succeed? Anthropologist and veteran radical Phil Cohen discusses the politics of remembrance and archiving, from the Sixties to the present. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Livingmaps [1] May Day Rooms [2] Phil Cohen, Archive That, Comrade! Left Legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembranc [3]e PM Press, 2018 [1] http://www.livingmaps.org.uk/wordpress/?doing_wp_cron=1528694125.6178820133209228515625 [2] http://maydayrooms.org/ [3] https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=931
  • Migration in Real Life
    In the two decades following the end of the bracero program in 1964, the number of Mexicans who migrated to the U.S. without papers rose dramatically. Who were these people, why did they cross the border, and who did they leave behind in Mexico? Did migrants tend to stay permanently in the U.S., or did what’s called circular migration take place? Ana Raquel Minian [1] conducted over 250 oral history interviews on both sides of the border. Ana Raquel Minian, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration [2] Harvard University Press, 2018 [1] https://history.stanford.edu/people/ana-raquel-minian [2] http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674737037
  • Copspeak
    We’re told that the police are imperfect, but if we make the right reforms, the bad apples will be weeded out and aggressive behavior no longer tolerated. But, as David Correia argues, what if the police are not reformable? (Encore presentation.) Resources: David Correia and Tyler Wall, Police: A Field Guide [1] Verso, 2018   [1] https://www.versobooks.com/books/2530-police
  • War, Firearms, and the Industrial Revolution
    What drove the Industrial Revolution? According to conventional wisdom, it was individual innovation and unfettered private enterprise. According to Priya Satia [1], it was war-making, the production of firearms, and massive state intervention. The central figure in her new book [2] is a Quaker gunmaker immersed in the rapidly transforming economy of eighteenth-century England. Priya Satia, Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution [3] Penguin Press, 2018 Priya Satia, “We Are All Implicated in the Gun Industry” [4] The Nation [1] https://history.stanford.edu/people/priya-satia [2] https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/548047/empire-of-guns-by-priya-satia/9780735221864/ [3] https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/548047/empire-of-guns-by-priya-satia/9780735221864/ [4] https://www.thenation.com/article/we-are-all-implicated-in-the-gun-industry/
  • Consulting the Masses
    Consumer capitalism and the focus group appear to go hand in hand. But Liza Featherstone argues that the focus group has radical origins and, in convoluted ways, points to the potential for collective input in an egalitarian society. She discusses the history of focus groups for consumer goods and electoral politics. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Liza Featherstone, Divining Desire: Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation [1] OR Books, 2018 [1] http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/divining-desire-liza-featherstone/
  • Making Sense of “1968”
    Half a century has elapsed since 1968, a year of globe-spanning revolt and rebellion. What ideas and principles animated the various struggles waged by students, workers, artists, and others? And in what ways can 1968 – and more generally what’s called the global 1960s – inform and inspire current struggles for social and economic justice? Timothy Scott Brown [1] discusses the meaning and legacy of “1968.” (Encore presentation.) Timothy Scott Brown, West Germany and the Global Sixties: The Anti-Authoritarian Revolt, 1962-1978 [2] Cambridge University Press, 2015 [1] https://cssh.northeastern.edu/people/faculty/timothy-brown/ [2] http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/west-germany-and-global-sixties-anti-authoritarian-revolt-19621978#SpKdzxBysFsdVJL4.97
  • 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: Ram Dass on Aging Well
    The spiritual pioneer, writer, and teacher Ram Dass on how to embrace aging, changing, and dying.
  • Fund Drive Special: Voices from KPFA’s Past
    Civil rights, women’s liberation, the labor movement, battles over the environment: those struggles were fought and won by millions of people, inspired by the ideas of iconoclasts and visionaries.  And KPFA was there to capture and record those struggles and the ideas that nurtured them.  We’ll feature some highlights from that inspiring history, including from the likes of Edward Said, Molly Ivins, and Howard Zinn.
  • 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: Capitalism and the Internet
    There’s no question that the internet has transformed our societies in enormous ways — but sorting through how and why is much more contentious. Media expert Robert McChesney discusses the crucial element missing from our discussions of the internet: capitalism.
  • Gay Rights and Mass Opinion
    Beginning in the late 1980s, mass attitudes in the U.S. shifted dramatically toward greater tolerance of LGBTQ people and greater support of gay rights. What accounts for this rapid and sustained shift? Jeremiah Garretson examines a number of factors, including the AIDS crisis, grassroots activism, news coverage, fictional portrayals of gays and lesbians on TV, and interpersonal contact. Jeremiah Garretson, The Path to Gay Rights: How Activism and Coming Out Changed Public Opinion [1] NYU Press, 2018 [1] https://nyupress.org/books/9781479850075/
  • Punishing the Poor
    Most of us have a growing sense that something’s deeply wrong with the way that digital data is used to track and monitor us.  But most of us don’t realize that the poorest among us are particularly vulnerable. Virginia Eubanks argues that such data is used to criminalize and turn the poor away from public resources to which they are entitled. Resources: Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor [1] St. Martin’s Press, 2018 [1] https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250074317
  • Waging War on Yemen
    A brutal proxy war is being waged in Yemen, with catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Arrayed against the Houthis and their allies is a Saudi-led coalition, of which the U.S. is an active participant. Yemeni activist Shireen Al-Adeimi [1] discusses the war and its impact. Also: the final portion of the interview with Amy Sueyoshi [2] (which went unaired last week). Yemen Source [3] [1] http://inthesetimes.com/community/profile/322961 [2] https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/73rsd4rs9780252041785.html [3] https://twitter.com/yemensource
  • Popular Power in Allende’s Chile
    It’s easier to remember the histories of defeat, than those of social transformation. But in the three years preceding the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the country experimented with a form of socialism that was both top down and bottom up. Historian Marian Schlotterbeck discusses how under Salvador Allende’s government, the radical left fueled changes at the grassroots, including through popular assemblies — and altered, for a few years, expectations about the possible. Resources: Marian E. Schlotterbeck,  Beyond the Vanguard: Everyday Revolutionaries in Allende’s Chile [1] UC Press, 2018 [1] https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520298064/beyond-the-vanguard

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