Point of View Speaker Series:
Challenging Perspectives on Current Issues
NOTE LOCATION: Except where noted, our lectures are held at the Sol Collective, 2574 21st Street, Sacramento, CA (1 blk south of Broadway)
(No January lecture)
Thursday, February 21–Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator/editor of Revolution of Everyday Life, by Raoul Vaneigem. Originally published just months before the May 1968 upheavals in France, Vaneigem's The Revolution of Everyday Life offered a critique of the "society of the spectacle" from the point of view of individual experience. The English translation was first published by Rebel Press of London in 1983. This new edition has been reviewed and corrected by the translator, Donald Nicholson-Smith, and contains a new preface addressed to English-language readers by Raoul Vaneigem.
Thursday, March 14 (Note: 2nd Thursday! – location: Southside Park Co-housing Common House 434 T St. Sacramento—immediately behind 440 T St.) Victoria Law will present her new book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. In 1974, women imprisoned at New York's maximum-security prison at Bedford Hills staged what is known as the August Rebellion. Protesting the brutal beating of a fellow prisoner, the women fought off guards, holding seven of them hostage, and took over sections of the prison.
While many have heard of the 1971 Attica prison uprising, the August Rebellion remains relatively unknown. Resistance Behind Bars is challenges such oversights. As it examines daily struggles against appalling prison conditions and injustices, Resistance documents both collective organizing and individual resistance among women incarcerated in the US. Emphasizing women's agency in resisting the conditions of their confinement through forming peer education groups, clandestinely arranging ways for children to visit mothers in distant prisons and raising public awareness about their lives, Resistance seeks to spark further discussion and research into the lives of incarcerated women and galvanize much-needed outside support for their struggles.
Thurs, April 18 Bruce Neuberger Lettuce Wars: ten years of work and struggle in the fields of California. In 1971, Bruce Neuburger—young, out of work, and radicalized by the 60s counterculture in Berkeley—took a job as a farmworker on a whim. He could have hardly anticipated that he would spend the next decade laboring up and down the agricultural valleys of California, alongside the anonymous and largely immigrant workforce that feeds the nation. This account of his journey begins at a remarkable moment, after the birth of the United Farm Workers union and the ensuing uptick in worker militancy. As a participant in organizing efforts, strikes, and boycotts, Neuburger saw first-hand the struggles of farmworkers for better wages and working conditions, and the lengths the growers would go to suppress worker unity.
Thurs, May 16 Cynthia Kaufman – Getting Past Capitalism begins with a critique of the impacts of capitalism on human society and the environment. It looks in new ways at what capitalism is and at how it is reproduced. That investigation opens the door to fresh ways of looking at how to challenge it.
Cynthia Kaufman looks at some fundamental questions about how capitalism comes to look like a system that is unbeatable, and how people come to have desires that work to reinforce capitalism. Kaufman uses this analysis to develop ideas about how to challenge capitalism. She argues that rather than looking for the fulcrum point in a system that will make it able to be overthrown, we should try to understand what kinds of practices open more spaces for stopping the reproduction of capitalist processes, and what kinds of structures need to be developed to make capitalism a less important part of our world.
Getting Past Capitalism includes a critique of capitalism and presentation of alternatives to capitalism, many of which already exist. It explores strategies for developing and strengthening those alternatives.
About the author:
Cynthia Kaufman is the director of the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement at De Anza College, where she also teaches philosophy.