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!

July 11th, 2018

Steve Brusatte is a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he completed his doctorate at Columbia University. He writes frequently for Scientific American, including the May 2015 cover story on the evolution of tyrannosaurs. His academic research has been published by leading journals including Science and Nature (“Untangling the dinosaur family tree,” November 2017), and he authored a leading paleontology textbook, Dinosaur Paleobiology. He is also the “resident paleontologist” for BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs program. A native of the Chicago area, he now lives in Edinburgh with his wife, Anne...

Reading Is Critical
July 3rd, 2018

    It is hard to imagine a more urgent moment for developing a language of critique and possibility that would serve to awaken our critical and imaginative senses and help free us from the tyrannical nightmare that has descended upon the United States under the rule of Donald Trump. In an age of social isolation, information overflow, a culture of immediacy, consumer glut, and spectacularized violence, reading critical books and thinking critically remain necessary if we are to take seriously the notion that a democracy cannot exist or be defended without informed and engaged citizens. This is especially true at a time when denial has become a national pastime matched only by the increasing normalization of one of the most alarming...

Reading Is Critical
June 21st, 2018

Born in Chicago, Dr. John H. Flores is the son of Mexican immigrants, and his research centers on recovering the lost history of Mexican immigrant political activism in the United States. Flores teaches courses on immigration history and co-directs the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University.

John H. Flores will discuss The Mexican Revolution in Chicago on ...

Reading Is Critical
June 1st, 2018
Nathaniel Tarn is an American poet, essayist, anthropologist, and translator with some thirty books and booklets published in his various disciplines. Born in Paris, Tarn graduated in history and English as a Scholar of King’s College, Cambridge. He returned to Paris and, after some journalism and radio work, discovered anthropology at the Musée de l’Homme, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, and the Collège de France. A Fulbright grant took him to Yale and the University of Chicago where Robert Redfield sent him to Guatemala for his doctoral fieldwork. He completed this work as a graduate student at the London School of Economics. In 1958, a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation sent him to Burma for 18 months after which he became Lecturer in South East Asian Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University...
Reading Is Critical
May 6th, 2018
 
Khaled A. Beydoun is an...
Reading Is Critical
April 24th, 2018

Paul Poast is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he is also a research affiliate of the Pearson Institute for the Study of Global Conflicts and a member of the Center for International Social Science Research advisory board. He studies international relations, with a focus on international security. He is the author of two books, The Economics of War (McGraw Hill-Irwin, 2006), which was translated into French, Japanese, and Chinese, and Organizing Democracy (...

Reading Is Critical
April 20th, 2018

Curtis White has published seven earlier books of fiction, including Memories of My Father Watching TV. His non-fiction includes The Middle MindThe Science Delusion, and We, Robots. His essays have appeared in Harper’s, Village VoiceOrion...

Reading Is Critical
April 16th, 2018

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Ph.D. has worked in the youth development field for over twenty years, with a focus on restorative justice, violence prevention, and trauma-informed care. In Chicago, he worked for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the Center for Urban Economic Development, and Northwestern University, and received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ryan currently leads an education network in San Antonio,Texas. Ryan will discuss The War on Neighborhoods with co-author Dan Cooper on ...

Reading Is Critical
April 12th, 2018

J. Weintraub is a writer, dramatist, poet, and translator based in Chicago. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Chicago. Weintraub was scheduled to discuss his translation of Briffault's Paris à Table on ...

Reading Is Critical
April 6th, 2018

J.R. Osborn is a scholar and experimentalist of communication. His work explores media history, semiotics, communication technologies, and design aesthetics with a regional focus of the Middle East and Africa. Dr. Osborn is currently Assistant Professor of Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT) and Co-Director of the Technology Design Studio at Georgetown University. His 2017 book Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design (Harvard University Press) follows the story of Arabic script and technology, from the advent of calligraphic tradition through the...

Reading Is Critical