I’m not alone in getting a kick out of how Marx incorporated vampires, werewolves, and other monsters into the narrative of Capital. In fact, David McNally’s Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires, and Global Capitalism takes the cake on this note and won the Deutscher Prize (Marxist lit award). McNally’s book connects Marx’s monstrous metaphors to contemporary stories about zombies and vampires in sub-Saharan Africa. (It’s reminiscent of Taussig’s brilliant book, The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America. Both describe what I’ve called vernacular critiques of capitalism.) In a somewhat related genre, is Evan Calder Williams’ Combined and Uneven Apocalypse, which gives a political economic cultural critique on the “apocalyptic fantasies of our collapsing era.”
Saturday marked 17 years since Ken Saro-Wiwa, leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, and the rest of the movement’s leadership were hung by the Nigerian military for fighting against Shell Oil’s plunder of the Niger Delta. Saro-Wiwa’s chilling last interview is on YouTube.
About two weeks ago, a little thing called “fatherhood” arrived for me a month earlier than expected, postings will be accordingly staggered (like, forever).
Glad to see my stencil still haunting the protests at Berkeley. Despite the pro tax-hike Proposition 30 being approved, students still went on the offensive last week, calling for a roll back of the tuition hikes.
Society and Space editorial board members picked out some very interesting “books of the decade.” Sticking strictly to the rules, I would have picked The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker. Out of sheer influence, maybe Weizman’s Hollow Land or Mitchell’s Rule of Experts would have been other possible choices, but Many-Headed Hydra is still one of my all time faves.
The video below produced by PhD Comics is probably the most compelling argument I’ve seen for open-access academic journal publishing. Without entirely ignoring the political economy of publishing, like a lot of calls for blanket free access tend to do, it calls for more experimentation in our publishing models as a starting point.