—Talal Ansari focuses on foreign policy/affairs, international conflict (including US involvement abroad) and human rights issues abroad.
‘ISIS’ vs. ‘ISIL’ vs. ‘Islamic State’: The political importance of a much-debated acronym," by Jaime Fuller. The Washington Post, September 9. 2014.
The words we choose to use and how we use them are important, no doubt about that. Is someone a terrorist, enemy combatant or freedom fighter? You get the point. These words take on even more importance in the world of politics. Turns out, acronyms are pretty important too. Is it ISIS, ISIL or Islamic State? The reasons to use each acronym vary, as this Washington Post article points out. The nexus between what a group is called, what politicians across the aisle call them and what the media trying to cover it all call them, converge here.
Aaron Braun focuses on the psychology and politics of work, histories of socialism, and progressive critiques of Zionism.
“The Help Desk: Bank-Robbin’ in Brooklyn," by Kristen Dombek. n+1, July 29, 2014.
Kristen Dombek's most recent addition to "The Help Desk" has stuck with me. Office workers, take note: although Dombek's magnanimous style makes it tempting to read in fits and spurts between small tasks, it's a much better read in one sitting.
Naomi Gordon-Loebl focuses on queer and trans politics, youth and education, and the criminal justice system.
"Acting French," by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Atlantic, August 29, 2014.
In Coates's typical expert fashion, this is a personal, political and intellectual meditation on several intersecting issues related to race, class, culture, colonialism and education. Unlike much of the current education news coverage on privatization and reform, this piece takes a step back and looks at some of the larger philosophical questions around learning and institutions. Through telling the story of his experience learning French in a summer program at Middlebury College, Coates explores what value educational institutions hold for the people who have historically been most oppressed by them (hint: it's not "respectability").