Queen Arsem-O’Malley focuses on grassroots labor organizing, youth-led social movements, anti-carceral feminism, and critiques of mainstream media.
“The Anti-Olympics,” by Jules Boykoff. New Left Review 67, January-February 2011.
This week, I'm looking back at a great essay on anti-Olympics organizing around the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Jules Boykoff explains the damaging effects of being an Olympics host city and details the activism leading up to and during the 2010 Games, creating an archive of the movement. Currently, #NoBoston2024 is mobilizing against the possibility of a 2024 Olympics in my hometown, and being able to read records of previous organizing is extremely useful.
Avi Asher-Schapiro focuses on US foreign policy, politics in the Middle East and South America, and technology issues.
“Academics Are Losing the War over the Middle East to the Thomas Friedmans of the World, Who Write All Too Clearly,” by Neeshat Afyonkara. Muftah, January 23, 2015.
An anonymous graduate student submitted an article intentionally packed with vague and confusing jargon to a prominent online journal of Middle East Studies. That the journal accepted the manuscript underlines the opaque and out-of-touch state of the discipline. Writing in Muftah, the student urges Middle East specialists to sharpen their language. Or else, she/he writes, the lucid yet uninformed Thomas Friedmans of the world will continue to dominate public discussions over a region where the United States is prone to dangerous military adventures.
Cole Delbyck focuses on LGBT politics, East Asia, and representational issues in film and television.
“An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay,” by Robert Jones Jr. Indiewire, January 21, 2015.
Self-proclaimed Son of Baldwin, Brooklyn writer Robert Jones Jr. pens a beautiful open letter to his “sister,” Ava DuVernay, acclaimed director of the film Selma. Although Jones’s letter is meant for the public, his prose feels intimate, as he describes the joy of identifying with fully realized representations of black identity in a time of national strife. By rejecting whiteness as the Default, DuVernay has created a “sanctuary” for black audiences, one Jones holds close to his heart, regardless of any validation accumulated during awards season.