Queen Arsem-O’Malley focuses on grassroots labor organizing, youth-led social movements, anti-carceral feminism, and critiques of mainstream media.
“The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison,” by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah. New York Times Magazine, April 8, 2015.
“We don’t need any more writers as solitary heroes,” Morrison said in her 1981 keynote address at the American Writers Congress. “We need a heroic writer’s movement: assertive, militant, pugnacious.” In this profile of Toni Morrison, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah looks not only at her writing, but also her work as an editor as a contribution to the civil rights movement and the powerful societal consequences of both.
Avi Asher-Schapiro focuses on US foreign policy, politics in the Middle East and South America, and technology issues.
“Sentenced to Death in Egypt,” by Emad Shahin. The Atlantic, May 19, 2015.
Emad Shahin—an Egyptian political scientist at Georgetown University—was just sentenced to death in his home country. Here, he responds to the charges of “espionage” and “conspiring to undermine national security.”
Cole Delbyck focuses on LGBT politics, East Asia and representational issues in film and television.
“Sexy Times at the Annual Twin Peaks Festival,” by Travis Blue. Butt Magazine, May 6, 2015.
When I grow up, I want to be…Laura Palmer? There are fans of Twin Peaks and then there’s Travis Blue, who modeled his life after the sexed-up, teenage drug addict at the center of David Lynch’s cult classic. Over the course of six fan-organized Twin Peaks festivals, Blue documents his sexcapades with various men while always keeping reminding himself WWLPD (What Would Laura Palmer Do)—“He wanted to cuddle, but I didn’t think Laura would do that.”
Khadija Elgarguri focuses on MENA issues including women’s rights, the relationship between foreign policy and cultural change, and women’s roles in protest movements in the region.
“Gazans reach beyond blockade through start-up.” Ma’an News Agency, May 20, 2015.
128 Gazan businesses were destroyed during last year’s bombardment by Israel, which claimed around 2,200 Palestinian lives and further crippled the blockaded strip in which two thirds of young people—most of whom hold degrees—are affected by unemployment. After GDP declined by 15 percent, two Gazans opened “a gap in the blockade,” by starting a software firm that primarily staffs young female programmers. The dire state of unemployment was exemplified when 400 people applied for 10 jobs, but one of the founders says the high demand signals that Gazans aren’t “just…waiting for humanitarian aid.”
James F. Kelly focuses on labor, economic inequality, world politics and intellectual history.
“Qatar: Promising Little, Delivering Less—Qatar and migrant labour abuse ahead of the 2022 Football World Cup.” Amnesty International, May 20, 2015.
Despite a fair amount of media scrutiny, a new report from Amnesty International says that Qatar, the host nation of the 2022 World Cup, has failed to improve conditions for its workers. Faced with obvious human rights abuses, FIFA sponsors Adidas, Coca-Cola, and Visa have urged Qatar to pursue reform measures, yet none of these mega-corporations are threatening to withdraw their sponsorship. It’s a shame that the Beautiful Game’s biggest event is mired in a seemingly endless web of corruption.
Ava Kofman focuses on technology, popular science and media culture.
“Blood and Glory,” by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. The New Inquiry, May 13, 2015.
In the weeks following 9/11, immigrants began to clean the rubble at Ground Zero, making $60 for 12-plus hour days while their contractors worked with deals over hundreds and thousands of dollars. In a lyrical, swooping essay, Villavicencio lays out the case that “the bodies at Ground Zero were made heroic; the immigrant bodies that cleaned them up, less so.” Linking scientific and legal notions of personhood to the shadow labor of necropower, she reveals Ground Zero as an exemplary site for thinking through how the state brings certain lives back after death and lets others die while they’re still alive.
Abigail Savitch-Lew focuses on urban policy, labor and race.
“Why My Charter School Needs a Union,” by Dave Woo. In These Times, May 8, 2015.
“I have serious concerns about how resources are allocated by my own charter network,” says teacher Dave Woo, after he learned through FOIA requests that his charter school network spends a quarter-million dollars annually renting a downtown space for administrative activities. Challenging the demonization of unions, he describes them as a mechanism for accountability. For me, this begs the question: why not take the celebrated innovations developed by some charter schools and simply integrate those innovations into a unionized, public school system?
Hilary Weaver focuses on reproductive rights, feminism and related political, health and education issues.
“What Young Feminists Think of Hillary Clinton,” by Molly Mirhashem. National Journal Magazine, May 18.
This time around, Hillary Clinton’s campaign will aim to impress the millennial crowd—especially those interested in the women-focused causes Clinton champions. Mirhashem’s narrative, featuring millennial feminists, proves that this group expects a lot of the feminist icon, should she earn the desk in the Oval Office.