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Marxist School of Sacramento

Point of View Speaker Series, Fall 2017:

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, Sacramento, CA (between Castro Way and 4th Ave.) Please note room numbers and dates: we have an event in September, two in October, one in November, none in December. There will be books at each!

7:00pm–9:00pm (Don't forget to check the room number)


Thursday, September 21, Room 9
Scott Nappolos will kick off our fall series with a presentation on Book Cover Rebellion In PatagoniaRebellion in Patagonia, Osvaldo Bayer (author), Paul Sharkey (Translator); Joshua Neuhouser (Translator).  At the very end of Rebellion in Patagonia, Osvaldo Bayer writes: “Time always tears down the curtain that tries to hide the truth. A crime can never be covered up forever.” He demonstrates that principle in this moving and nuanced study of strikes led by the powerful anarcho-syndicalist labor union FORA against the despotic landowners and industrialists of Argentina’s Patagonia region in 1921–1922. The tale ends tragically, with thousands slaughtered, but Bayer’s detailed descriptions and first-person testimonies capture the beauty and heroism of the struggle. Banned and publicly burned in the 1970s, this is the book’s first English translation—with a new introduction by Scott Nappalos and Joshua Neuhouser. 

Thursday October 19, Room 12
James Brook Presents A Blaze in the Desert: Selected Poems by Book Cover A Blaze in the DesertVictor Serge.Victor Serge (1890–1947) played many parts, as he recounted in his indelible Memoirs of a Revolutionary. The son of anti-czarist exiles in Brussels, Serge was a young anarchist in Paris; a syndicalist rebel in Barcelona; a Bolshevik in Petrograd; a Comintern agent in Central Europe; a comrade of Trotsky’s; a friend of writers like Andrei Bely, Boris Pilnyak, and André Breton; a prisoner of Stalin; a dissident Marxist in exile in Mexico. Like Serge’s extraordinary novels, A Blaze in a Desert: Selected Poems bears witness to decades of revolutionary upheavals in Europe and the advent of totalitarian rule. Throughout A Blaze in a Desert, Serge draws on the heritage of late- and post- Symbolist writers like Verhaeren, Rictus, Apollinaire, Blok, and Bely—themselves authors of messages of a more general resistance by the human spirit—to express the anguish of the failure of the Russian Revolution and to search out glimmers of hope in the ruins of the Second World War.

Thursday, October 26, Room 9
Chris Robé will present his book Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas. Breaking the Spell offers the first full-length study that charts the hBook Cover Breaking the Spellistoricaltrajectory of anarchist-inflected video activism from the late 1960s to thepresent. Two predominant trends emerge from this social movement-basedvideo activism: 1) anarchist-inflected processes increasingly structure itsproduction, distribution, and exhibition practices; and 2) video does notsimply represent collective actions and events, but also serves as a formof activist practice in and of itself from the moment of recording to itslater distribution and exhibition. Video plays an increasingly importantrole among activists in the growing global resistance against neoliberalcapitalism.

Chris Robé is an associate professor in Film and Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. He has published essays on radical media in journals like Jump Cut, Rethinking Marxism, and Journal of Film and Video and written a monograph titled Left of Hollywood: Cinema, Modernism, and the Emergence of U.S. Radical Film Culture.

Thursday, November 16, Room 12
book cover wielding words like weaponsWard Churchill will present his books Wielding Words Like Weapons: Selected Essays in Indigenism 1995-2005; and Pacifism As Pathology, Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America (3rd edition) . Wielding Words like Weapons is a collection of acclaimed American Indian Movement activist-intellectual Ward Churchill’s essays in indigenism, selected from material written during the decade 1995–2005. Beginning with a foreword by Seneca historian Barbara Alice Mann describing sustained efforts by police and intelligence agencies as well as university administrators to discredit or otherwise “neutralize” both the man and Book cover Pacifism as Pathologyhis work, the book includes material illustrating the range of formats Churchill has adopted in stating his case, from sharply framed book reviews and essays, to equally pointed polemics and op-eds.

We will also meet the dissident classic, Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America, Third Edition, by Ward Churchill and Michael Ryan. Originally written during the mid-1980s, the seminal essay “Pacifism as Pathology” was prompted by veteran activist Ward Churchill’s frustration with what he diagnosed as a growing—and deliberately self-neutralizing—”hegemony of nonviolence” on the North American left.


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