Reading Is Critical

 Reading is critical, in both senses of the word. Crucial, of course, insofar as it is a cornerstone of communication, a primary means by which we receive information. But it is also an active form of resistance, a tactic in the struggle against ignorance, misinformation, and manipulation. To read is to become knowledgeable; to become knowledgeable is to become powerful. We invite visiting authors, booksellers, and members of our community to submit "Critical Reading" lists featuring books that are, in these senses, “critical.” Submit yours by emailing events@semcoop.com, and check each post for details on related events!

September 23rd, 2017

 

Lori Erickson is one of the country’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She has published more than a thousand articles in national and regional publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, and House Beautiful. Visit: http://lorierickson.net. Lori Erickson discusses Holy Rover: Journeys In Search Of Mystery, Miracles, and God...

Reading Is Critical
September 21st, 2017

Elise Paschen is the author of The Nightlife; BestiaryInfidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize; and Houses: Coasts. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker and Poetry Magazine, among other magazines, and in numerous anthologies such as Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writings. Paschen is co-editor of Poetry Speaks and Poetry in Motion, among other anthologies, and editor of The New York Times best-selling anthology ...

Reading Is Critical
September 15th, 2017

Kate Evans is a radical cartoonist, artist, author and activist. She is the author of numerous books, and zines including Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg, Bump: How to Make, Grow and Birth a Baby, and Funny Weather: Everything You Didn’t Want to Know about Climate Change...

Reading Is Critical
August 31st, 2017
In the wake of the election, much has been made of supposedly "post-truth politics", where emotional certainty and the dissolution of belief in previously widely trusted sources of political information have endangered factually based political discussion. These three titles, all published in the three years leading up to the election, show that this apparently recent phenomenon is not really all that new. A common thread throughout all three is a focus on the productivity of emotion or affect in generating political understanding. Masco, Ioanide and Brown compellingly argue that emotional political attachments or affective states are not simply an abdication of reasoning; rather, these...
Reading Is Critical
August 7th, 2017

Raised in New England, Kaitlin Solimine has considered China a second home for almost two decades. While majoring in East Asian Studies at Harvard University, she was a Harvard-Yenching scholar and wrote and edited Let’s Go: China (St. Martin’s Press). In 2006-2007, she was a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Creative Arts Fellowship in China where she began work on her forthcoming novel, ...

Reading Is Critical
August 4th, 2017
Jordan Flaherty has produced news and documentaries for Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines, The Laura Flanders Show, and Democracy Now. He is an award-winning journalist who has appeared on television and radio shows including Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News, and News and Notes on NPR. He is author of Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six. Jordan joined us for a discussion of his book No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, with Andrea Ritchie, back...
Reading Is Critical
July 15th, 2017

John Corbett is a writer, curator, and producer based in Chicago.  He is the author of A Listener's Guide to Free Improvisation (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Microgroove: Forays into Other Music (Duke University Press, 2015), and Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein (Duke, 1994), as well as several edited volumes on Sun Ra. The catalog he made, along with the curatorial team from the Smart Museum of Art, for the exhibition Monster Roster: Existential Art in Postwar Chicago, was awarded the award for excellence by the Association of Art Museum Curators in 2017.  Corbett has produced CDs and LPs for his Unheard Music Series and more recently for Corbett vs. Dempsey, the label associated with his art gallery.  He...

Reading Is Critical
July 9th, 2017

Catharine A. MacKinnon is Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (long-term). She holds a B.A. from Smith College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale, specializing in equality issues, especially sex equality, under international and domestic (including comparative, constitutional, and criminal) law and in political theory.

Professor MacKinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment and, with Andrea Dworkin, created ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation and proposed the Swedish model for abolishing prostitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography, and hate...

Reading Is Critical
July 7th, 2017

The perfect collection for anyone seeking to understand the cultural importance of comfort food, Comfort Food explores this concept with examples taken from Atlantic Canadians, Indonesians, the English in Britain, and various ethnic, regional, and religious populations as well as rural and urban residents in the United States. This volume includes studies of particular edibles and the ways in which they comfort or in some instances cause discomfort. The contributors focus on items ranging from bologna to chocolate, including sweet and savory puddings, fried bread with an egg in the center, dairy products, fried rice, cafeteria fare, sugary fried dough, soul food, and others. Several essays consider comfort food in the context of cookbooks, films, blogs, literature, marketing, and tourism. Of course what heartens one person might put...

Reading Is Critical