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Date: March 8th | Location: Building 7 | Time: 12:15pmClick here to purchase the bookShon MeckfesselTitle: Nonviolence Ain't What It Used To BePrice: $18.00Overview: "Shon Meckfessel . . . brings a fresh perspective to the stubborn debates around violence and nonviolence and suggests a way to move beyond the left's tactical impasse. Nonviolence Ain't What It Used to Be won't settle the old argument, but it may start a new one.
‐; Kristian Williams, Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America.
Shon Meckfessel takes an innovative look at challenges faced by twenty-first century social movements in the US. One of their most important stumbling blocks is the question of nonviolence. Civil disobedience, symbolic protest, and principles of nonviolence have characterized many struggles in the United States since the Civil Rights era. But as Meckfessel argues, conditions have changed. We've seen the consolidation of the media, the militarization of policing, the co-optation and institutionalization of dissent, among many other shifts. The rules have changed, but the rhetoric, logic, and strategic tools we employ haven't necessarily kept pace, and narratives borrowed from movements of the past are falling short.
Nonviolence Ain't What It Used to Be maps the emerging, more militant approaches that seem to be developing to fill the gap, from Occupy to Ferguson. It offers new angles on a seemingly intractable debate, introducing terms and criteria that carve out a larger middle-ground between the two camps, in order to chart a path forward.
Click here to purchase the bookRae ParisTitle: The Forgetting Tree: A RememoryPrice: $18.99Overview: Rae Paris began writing The Forgetting Tree: A Rememory in 2010, while traveling the United States, visiting sites of racial trauma, horror, and defiance. The desire to do this work came from being a child of parents born and raised in New Orleans during segregation, who ultimately left for California in the late 1950s. After the death of her father in 2011, the fiction Paris had been writing gave way to poetry and short prose, which were heavily influenced by the questions she'd long been considering about narrative, power, memory, and freedom. The need to write this story became even more personal and pressing.
While Paris sometimes uses the genre of "memoir" or "hybrid memoir" when referring to her work, in this case the term "rememory," born from Toni Morrison's Beloved, feels most accurate. Paris is driven by the familial and historical spaces and by what happens when we remember seemingly disparate images and moments. The book's three sections are motivated by the ongoing movement for black lives-with the headings "Bones," "Bodies," and "Souls." Paris's writing is raw and unapologetic as it delves into a history shaped by stories of terror and resistance. The collection is not fully prose or poetry, but more of an extended funeral program or a prayer for those who have passed through us.
A perfect blending of prose, poetry, and images, The Forgetting Tree is a unique and thought-provoking collection that argues for a deeper understanding of past and present so that we might imagine a more hopeful, sustainable, and loving future.