Point of View Speaker Series, 2016:
Challenging Perspectives on Current Issues
Our lectures are held generally on the third Thursday of the month (see exceptions below) at the Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, ROOM 12, Sacramento, CA (between Castro Way and 4th Ave.) Room 12 is back at the south end of the building, opposite end from the restrooms. We apologize for that inconvenience.
In January 2016 we will present a double feature of Marxist Trade Unionist Singer-songwriters.
Thursday, January 14
Robb Johnson will be coming from the UK, where he has worked with Leon Rosselson on the Anti-Capitalist Roadshow, The Liberty Tree: A Celebration of the Life and Writings of Thomas Paine and the No Gods No Masters tour which included the duo’s “greatest hits” plus new releases. Smart and witty, Robb is widely recognized in the UK as one of their finest (and most radical) singer-songwriters; we in the US should get acquainted with him—especially as he celebrates one of our patriots! CDs and DVDs will be available. And books, of course.
Thursday, January 21
Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore regaled us at the Marxist School on January 16, 2014 and they will be back in town two years later, for the 2016 anniversary of the Easter Uprising and to celebrate the life of James Connolly. A San Francisco native who now lives in Bern, Switzerland, Callahan, with Yvonne Moore tirelessly promotes the songs and memory of the famed Irish revolutionary Marxist, James Connolly, martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. If you neglected to pick up a copy of Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook when Mat and Yvonne were here before, this is your chance to make that right. And if you missed their appearance then, don’t let it happen again!
Thursday Feb 18. Richard Walker: Forget it Jake, it’s (still) Chinatown.
People have seized on our now-4-year drought as a symptom of global climate change, and as a cypher for water shortages as a way of life and even for the fragility of civilization as we know it on the West Coast. “Don’t believe it,” says Walker. California has plenty of water; the problem is that it is badly misallocated and, as a result, demand regularly outruns supply. And why Chinatown? The film, scripted by Robert Towne, directed by Roman Polanski, and performed by Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston, is one of those great works of fiction that are, in a way, truer than mere facts, because they make sense of disparate and complicated realities in a way that reaches everyone. It condenses several different places and times into a single scenario, but gets all the essentials right for the story of Los Angeles’s water grab, organized by the land barons of the early 20th century. The rub is that the story is true not just of L.A., but of everywhere in California— and it’s still basically true today. It’s still Chinatown. Richard Walker is Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of many books, including The Conquest of Bread and The Country in the City. He spoke for the Marxist School in April, 2003.
Thursday, March 17 Matt Meyer, editor of both the War Resisters League anthology We Have Not Been Moved (writings on race and anti-war activity), and of the collections of political prisoner writings Let Freedom Ring and Maroon the Implacable (by Black Panther/Black Liberation Army prisoner Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz); he wrote the introduction to Between Torture and Resistance (in essays, paintings and photographs, the story of Puerto Rican independentistaOscar Lopez Rivera). Matt lives/works and organizes in NYC.
April Double Header:
Thursday, April 21, Alana Apfel, author of the new book, Birth Work as Care Work, on the revolutionary work of doulas, and the politics surrounding such ‘care work’. Her book, a vibrant collection of stories and insights from the front lines of birth activist communities, has a preface, introduction and foreword by Loretta Ross, Silvia Federici and Victoria Law.
The author, herself a scholar and birth justice organizer, provides a unique platform to explore the political dynamics of birth work, drawing connections between birth, reproductive labor, and the struggles of caregiving communities today. Articulating a politics of care work in and through the reproductive process, the book brings diverse voices into conversation to explore multiple possibilities and avenues for change.
At a moment when agency over our childbirth experiences is increasingly centralized in the hands of professional elites, Birth Work as Care Work presents creative new ways to reimagine the trajectory of our reproductive processes. Most importantly, the contributors present new ways of thinking about the entire life cycle, providing a unique and creative entry point into the essence of all human struggle—the struggle over the reproduction of life itself.
Thursday April 28, Confirmed April Extra and then Cancelled and then Replaced!! John Holloway, professor of sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico unfortunately has had to cancel his scheduled tour.
Instead we will hear again from our friend Ramsey Kanaan, whose publishing house PM Press has brought us many of our speakers. Ramsey will speak of what he knows well: The Rise and Fall of Publishing. He is a most engaging speaker, as those of you know who attended his analysis of the resistance to the Poll Tax imposed in Britain in the last 1980s. And he is certainly familiar with the pressures on print publishing over that last several decades. Yet while print media are dead, newspapers are "folding up" and nobody reads ... what are those things? Oh, yes, "books" — still, Ramsey cheerfully prints, promotes and even sells books (and CDs and eBooks, to be sure). Come to this — you'll be enlightened and entertained. And you'll have the opportunity to buy a book or two.
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