Public Scholarship

green struggle

“The Green Struggle” with David Thomas

// Struggles over climate change in recent decades have conventionally been framed as a conflict between the fossil-fuel industries — and other advocates of “business-as-usual” — and activists and ecologists who insist that “another world is possible.” But in the years since the alter-globalization movement, some of the prime movers in the global logistics and cybernetics industries have begun to trumpet their green ambitions. And partisans from across the political spectrum now agree on the need to develop an infrastructure that accommodates advanced technologies without relying on fossil fuels. // continue reading

hardcover“Empty the World.” An interview on Hardcover Radio. Hosted by Brittni Carey and Peter Brinn 

// From bicycles to traveling drama troupes to harmless zombies, the post-apocalyptic narrative is full of more surprises than we would sometimes expect! This week, we’re exploring the post-apocalyptic with Brent Ryan Bellamy! // listen

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“The Work of the Future in Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time

// In Piercy’s novel it is not the tradition of past generations, but those of the future to come that weigh on the brains of the living. The protagonist, Consuelo Ramos, is visited by contrasting visions from the future. Often, Consuelo finds herself in a happy utopian community that contrasts with her daily life, but, she also witnesses a dark and repressed, threatening dystopia and the struggle between the good place and the bad. To deny the visions that she finds so frightening, Consuelo discovers that she too must find the will to fight; not in the future, but in her own present against her incarceration. // continue reading


“New Economies of Exchange and the Zombies of Industry” 

// In World War Z (2006), Max Brooks represents the global circulation of commodities through the figure of the zombie – the return to life of pre-apocalyptic bodies – and the standard zombie narrative – which replaces an old, industrial form of the social with a new one. Probing the limits of how we depict the changing face of labour and value, Brooks emphasises the fact that the dominant forms of labour today imbricate bodies and services through bioengineering, pharmaceuticals and financial speculation. // continue reading

U.S. Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Tragedy or Farce?

// In his seminal work on post-apocalyptic narrative forms, James Berger articulates their double movement, echoing, albeit unintentionally, Marx’s famous statement about tragedy and farce. Berger puts it best when he claims that “the end is never the end” (5), and that, instead of marking an end point, apocalyptic writing stands as a testament to and representation of the aftermath of a massive, “disorienting catastrophe” (7). Berger’s use of the adjective “disorienting,” with its spatial overtones and negation of a determinable location, emphasizes the bait and switch of post-apocalyptic narratives. In U.S. post-apocalyptic fiction what appears to be a break in the fabric of daily reality, upon inspection, is constituted and underpinned by those very elements of commonsense that seem most natural and orderly. While, for Berger what returns marks a traumatic failure in reconciling the horrors of the mid-twentieth century, for me what returns in U.S. post-apocalyptic fiction offers an ideological lesson that has everything to do with orientation. // continue reading

“The End of the World as We Know It?” An interview on Work of Arts Blog conducted by Laura Ly 

// If you’ve visited a bookstore recently, you’ve probably noticed an increase in the number of post-apocalyptic books on the bookshelves. Most notable of those titles is the Hunger Games trilogy, and as the 2nd movie in the series opens in theatres this weekend (a guaranteed box office smash), it’s clear that the post-apocalypse has joined vampires and zombies as a trend in pop culture. But what can reading post-apocalyptic fiction tell us about the world we live in today? About ourselves? Brent Bellamy, a PhD candidate in the Department of English & Film Studies, studies the role of narrative in U.S. post-apocalyptic fiction. // continue reading

cleo-1.3-doom-231x300“We Still Need the Women’s Army: On the Form and Politics of Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames.” 

// Lizzie Borden’s radical feminist quasi-documentary Born in Flames (1983) constructs its story through a deeply space-oriented plot. That is, where (the socialist democracy of the U.S.A) is often more important than when (ten years after “The War of Liberation,” a successful but now stagnant socialist revolution). Due to this structuring, the film escapes easy summarization, and is best discussed through its portrayal of various groups: the semi-rival punk-poetic Radio Ragazza and the empowering Phoenix Radio; the bourgeois female editors of the Socialist Youth Review; various striking organizations (secretaries and out-of-work women); and the Women’s Army, a so-called terrorist group that advocates direct action, and is gaining broader appeal among urban women. While these groups are disparate in their specific aims and leaders, through the guidance of Adelaide Norris (Jean Satterfield), a leader in the Women’s Army, they begin to act as a radical collective body. // continue reading

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