A Q&A with Nina Lansbury Hall, winner of the 2017 Case Studies in the Environment Prize Competition

In this post, we speak with Dr. Nina Lansbury Hall. She and a team of researchers have been working with Australia’s Clean Energy Council—the renewable energy sector’s industry group—to investigate what can go wrong (and right) with wind farm development projects. Their article Evaluating Community Engagement and Benefit-Sharing Practices in Australian Wind Farm Development won First Prize in the 2017 Case Studies in the Environment Prize Competition.

Windy Hill Wind Farm, Queensland, Australia. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

UCP: Dr. Nina Hall, you worked with a research team evaluating wind farm development in Australia. Renewable energy sources are broadly popular with the public. Given this support, why have wind farm development initiatives sometimes gone wrong?

NH: We investigated the many ways that companies developing and operating wind farms in Australia engage with local communities. Certainly many factors can influence the way that a community responds to a wind-farm proposal. However, we did find that over the long term, face-to-face communication and relationship-building activities through trusted representatives have a huge impact on the support that communities voice for local projects.

UCP: What concerns do local communities express about wind-farm developments, and how can those concerns be addressed?

NH: We found that understanding each community—each of which is different—was really important. And then it’s important to respond to community concerns in a collaborative way. For example, wind-farm developers can provide the community with a say in how decisions are made, being clear about how the community can influence the design or operation of a development. Also if developers give communities a stake in a project or some kind of ownership—financial or otherwise—such actions are big influencers in resolving concerns about a project. I should note that we saw some fantastic examples where companies had success by being flexible in their approach, taking a big-picture approach, and trying new ways of doing things that were focused on face-to-face communication and relationship building.

UCP: Your research focuses on wind development, but I was struck by the contrast between your formula for successful renewable energy development (context/trust/people/face-to-face interactions/community influence) and the approach that the energy company Corridor Resources took with their secrecy and lack of engagement around an offshore exploration and development project in Canada’s Old Harry Prospect. Beyond renewables, do you think there are lessons for the broader energy-development sector?

NH: Sure. You are likely right in that many lessons from this research could be considered in other large infrastructure developments. In particular, one clear outcome from our research was that a large, visible project does not necessarily mean less community support. The way engagement is carried out and how you work with the local community can have a dramatic impact on local support and should not be overlooked. In our research projects, we saw that engagement that focused on openness, inclusivity, and less secrecy certainly yielded positive results.

The Australian research team included Dr. Nina Lansbury Hall (The University of Queensland), Jarra Hicks (University of New South Wales; Community Power Agency), Taryn Lane (Embark), and Emily Wood (an independent communications contractor). To read their related case-study article in UC Press’s journal Case Studies in the Environment, visit cse.ucpress.edu or click here: Evaluating Community Engagement and Benefit-Sharing Practices in Australian Wind Farm Development.

Case Studies in the Environment is a journal of peer-reviewed case-study articles, case-study pedagogy articles, and a repository for editor-reviewed case-study slides. The journal informs faculty, students, educators, professionals, and policymakers on case studies and best practices in the environmental sciences and studies.


Herstory: Women’s Studies

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the largest single day protest in US history—the Women’s March—when on January 21, 2017, 4.2 million people marched across the US in more than 600 US cities, and from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, at least 261 more sister marches cropped up worldwide. To celebrate this pivotal protest, UC Press is highlighting titles across subjects as part of our Herstory series, with today’s focus on Women’s Studies titles that continue the discussions on feminism, past and present. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles will engage your intellect and inspire your activism today, tomorrow, and for future tomorrows.


How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics:
From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump

By Laura Briggs

Today all politics are reproductive politics, argues esteemed feminist critic Laura Briggs. From longer work hours to the election of Donald Trump, our current political crisis is above all about reproduction. Briggs brilliantly outlines how politicians’ racist accounts of reproduction were the leading wedge in the government and business disinvestment in families, leading to the rigorous demands of the American workplace. These demands are stressful for all women, but for women of color and their children, women with fewer resources and power, the ramifications could be deadly.

 

The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy
By Cynthia Enloe

The Big Push exposes how patriarchal ideas and relationships continue to be modernized to this day. Through contemporary cases and reports, renowned political scientist Cynthia Enloe exposes the workings of everyday patriarchy—in how Syrian women civil society activists have been excluded from international peace negotiations; how sexual harassment became institutionally accepted within major news organizations; or in how the UN Secretary General’s post has remained a masculine domain.
Timely, globally conscious, and ever-relevant in the wake of today’s #MeToo movement, The Big Push is a call for feminist self-reflection and strategic action with a belief that exposure complements resistance.

 

Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism
By Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby

Girls are said to outperform boys in high school exams, university entrance and graduation rates, and professional certification. As a result, many in Western society assume that girls no longer need support. But the reality is far more complicated. Smart Girls investigates how academically successful girls deal with stress, the “supergirl” drive for perfection, race and class issues, and the sexism that is still present in schools. Describing girls’ varied everyday experiences, including negotiations of traditional gender norms, Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby show how teachers, administrators, parents, and media commentators can help smart girls thrive while working toward straight As and a bright future.

 

The Diva Nation: Female Icons from Japanese Cultural History
Edited By Laura Miller and Rebecca Copeland 

Diva Nation explores the constructed nature of female iconicity in Japan. From ancient goddesses and queens to modern singers and writers, this edited volume critically reconsiders the female icon, tracing how she has been offered up for emulation, debate or censure. The research in this book culminates from curiosity over the insistent presence of Japanese female figures who have refused to sit quietly on the sidelines of history. The diva is ripe for expansion, fantasy, eroticization, and playful reinvention, while simultaneously presenting a challenge to patriarchal culture. Diva Nation asks how the diva disrupts or bolsters ideas about nationhood, morality, and aesthetics.

 

Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought
By Edited By Susan Bordo, M. Cristina Alcalde, and Ellen Rosenman

The first collection of its kind, Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought is historically organized and transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative moments, and feminist conversations across national and cultural borders. Emphasizing feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations and influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history.

 

Gender in the Twenty-First Century: The Stalled Revolution and the Road to Equality
Edited By Shannon N. Davis, Sarah Winslow, and David J. Maume

This engaging and accessible work, aimed at students studying gender and social inequality, provides new insight into the uneven and stalled nature of the gender revolution in the twenty-first century. Honing in on the family, higher education, the workplace, religion, the military, and sports, key scholars look at why gender inequality persists. The volume explores how to address current inequities through political action, research initiatives, social mobilization, and policy changes. Conceived of as a book for gender and society classes with a mix of exciting, accessible, pointed pieces, Gender in the Twenty-First Century is an ideal book for students and scholars alike.

 

Abusive Endings: Separation and Divorce Violence against Women
By Walter S. DeKeseredy, Molly Dragiewicz, and Martin D. Schwartz

Abusive Endings offers a thorough analysis of the social-science literature on one of the most significant threats to the health and well-being of women today—abuse at the hands of their male partners. The authors provide a moving description of why and how men abuse women in myriad ways during and after a separation or divorce. The material is punctuated with the stories and voices of both perpetrators and survivors of abuse, as told to the authors over many years of fieldwork. Written in a highly readable fashion, this book will be a useful resource for researchers, practitioners, activists, and policy makers.

The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development
By Kathryn Moeller

Drawing on more than a decade of research in the U.S. and Brazil, this book focuses on how the philanthropic, social responsibility, and business practices of various corporations use a logic of development that positions girls and women as instruments of poverty alleviation and new frontiers for capitalist accumulation. Using the Girl Effect, the philanthropic brand of Nike, Inc., as a central case study, the book examines how these corporations seek to address the problems of gendered poverty and inequality, yet do so using an instrumental logic that shifts the burden of development onto girls and women without transforming the structural conditions that produce poverty. With a keen eye towards justice, author Kathryn Moeller concludes that these corporatized development practices de-politicize girls’ and women’s demands for fair labor practices and a just global economy.


In the comments section, tell us your favorite herstory book from UC Press. Were there books in the Herstory Series that you would’ve included?


Herstory: Feminist Theory and Resistance in Art & Cinema

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the largest single day protest in US history—the Women’s March—when on January 21, 2017, 4.2 million people marched across the US in more than 600 US cities, and from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, at least 261 more sister marches cropped up worldwide. To celebrate this pivotal protest, UC Press is highlighting titles across subjects as part of our Herstory series, with today’s focus on Feminist Theory and Resistance in Art & Cinema. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles will engage your intellect and inspire your activism today, tomorrow, and for future tomorrows.


Agnès Varda between Film, Photography, and Art by Rebecca J. DeRoo

The only female director of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda was one of four honorary Oscar winners in 2017 (again, the only woman.) With a cinematic career spanning more than six decades, Varda has experimented with all forms of filmmaking and is not only a prolific director but an accomplished photographer and artist. Her films, photographs, and art installations all focus on feminist issues and social commentary with a distinctive nonconventional and experimental style. Rebecca J. DeRoo demonstrates how Varda draws upon the histories of art, photography, and film to complicate the overt narratives in her works and to advance contemporary cultural politics.

Radical Eroticism: Women, Art, and Sex in the 1960s by Rachel Middleman

Radical Eroticism examines the importance of women’s contributions during the 1960s in fundamentally reconfiguring representations of sexuality across several areas of advanced art—performance, pop, postminimalism, and beyond. Rachel Middleman shows that erotic art made by women was integral to the profound changes that took place in American art during the sixties, from the crumbling of modernist aesthetics and the expanding field of art practice to the emergence of the feminist art movement.

 

Lois Weber in Early Hollywood by Shelley Stamp

Among early Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers, Lois Weber was considered one of the era’s “three great minds” alongside D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. Weber made films on capital punishment, contraception, poverty, and addiction, and her work grappled with the profound changes in women’s lives that unsettled Americans at the beginning of the twentieth century. Mentor to many women in the industry, Weber demanded a place at the table in early professional guilds, decrying the limited roles available for women on-screen and in the 1920s protesting the growing climate of hostility toward female directors. Stamp demonstrates how female filmmakers who had played a part in early Hollywood’s bid for respectability were in the end written out of that industry’s history.

Consuming Stories: Kara Walker and the Imagining of American Race by Rebecca Peabody

In Consuming Stories, Rebecca Peabody explores a significant yet neglected aspect of Walker’s production: her commitment to examining narrative depictions of race, gender, power, and desire. These stories, Peabody reminds us, not only change the way people remember history but also shape the entertainment industry. Consuming Stories shifts the critical conversation away from the visual legacy of historical racism toward the present-day role of the entertainment industry—and its consumers—in processes of radicalization.

 


Centre for Arab Unity Studies and University of California Press to Partner on Contemporary Arab Affairs

The Centre for Arab Unity Studies (CAUS) is delighted to announce that as of January 1, 2018, the long-standing CAUS journal, Contemporary Arab Affairs (CAA), will be published by University of California Press.

Contemporary Arab Affairs is a quarterly, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal intended to provide a unique window into critical Arab academic production and discourse in the Arab world. The overall goal of the journal is to disseminate and share analysis, insights, and informed points of view of Arab scholarship with a global international audience. Published primarily in English, the journal facilitates access of original research and primary-sources originally produced in Arabic.

“CAA offers research, analysis and thought pieces on the Arab Region and from the Arab region to shed light on the current affairs of a region that is known in the West as constantly in crisis. Our hope is that through CAA, readers will be able to better understand and appreciate the geopolitical complexities, dynamics, culture and history of the Arab region. We are excited about our new partnership with UC Press that seeks to further develop, expand and strengthen the journal building on its solid foundation”, states Luna Abuswaireh, the Director-General of CAUS.

Over the past decade, CAA has become the go-to journal for many Arab intellectuals and scholars whose contributions would have otherwise remained completely unheard off outside the Arab region. Additionally, CAA has offered a space for many non-Arab scholars to publish their contributions and engage with their Arab compatriots in a thought provoking and engaging manner.

David Famiano, Journals Publisher at UC Press is enthusiastic about the partnership: “Contemporary Arab Affairs enjoys a unique and important voice in the landscape of Arab Studies scholarship and UC Press is delighted to collaborate with CAUS on the journal to help broaden the reach and impact of its content.“

The first issue of Contemporary Arab Affairs under UC Press, Volume 11, Number 1-2, is expected to publish in June 2018 as a double issue; forthcoming issues will resume a regular quarterly release schedule in September and December.

About the Centre for Arab Unity Studies

Based in Beirut, Lebanon, the Centre for Arab Unity Studies (CAU) is a non-governmental, non-partisan institution that carries out independent, scientific research into aspects of Arab society and Arab unity. As a leading publisher of Arabic scholarship, CAUS publishes a number of Arab language journals and books in addition to Contemporary Arab Affairs.


Herstory: Women’s Health and Self-Help

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the largest single day protest in US history—the Women’s March—when on January 21, 2017, 4.2 million people marched across the US in more than 600 US cities, and from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, at least 261 more sister marches cropped up worldwide. To celebrate this pivotal protest, UC Press is highlighting titles across subjects as part of our Herstory series, with today’s focus on women’s health and self-help. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles showcase the inspiring stories for the continuing fight towards reproductive justice and access to safe healthcare.


Women’s Empowerment and Global Health: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda
Edited by Shari Dworkin, Monica Gandhi,Paige Passano 

Despite the rise of a human rights–based approach to health and increasing awareness of the synergies between women’s health and empowerment, a lack of consensus remains as to how to operationalize empowerment in ways that improve health. This volume presents thirteen multidisciplinary case studies that demonstrate how science and advocacy can be creatively merged to enhance the agency and status of girls and women.

 

 

Better Safe Than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics
By Norah MacKendrick (Forthcoming May 2018; preorder today)

Through an innovative analysis of environmental regulation, the advocacy work of environmental health groups, the expansion of the health-food chain Whole Foods Market, and interviews with consumers, Norah MacKendrick ponders why the problem of toxics in the U.S. retail landscape has been left to individual shoppers—and to mothers in particular. She reveals how precautionary consumption, or “green shopping,” is a costly and time-intensive practice, one that is connected to cultural ideas of femininity and good motherhood but is also most available to upper- and middle-class households. Better Safe Than Sorry powerfully argues that precautionary consumption places a heavy and unfair burden of labor on women and does little to advance environmental justice or mitigate risk.

Reproductive Justice: An Introduction
By Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger

Written by two legendary scholar-activists, Reproductive Justice introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger put the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and use a human rights analysis to show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. In a period in which women’s reproductive lives are imperiled, this book is an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women’s human rights in the twenty-first century.

 

The Zero Trimester: Pre-Pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk
By Miranda R. Waggoner

Public health messages encourage women of reproductive age to anticipate motherhood and prepare their bodies for healthy reproduction—even when pregnancy is not on the horizon. Some experts believe a pre-pregnancy care model reduces risk and ensures better birth outcomes than the prenatal care model. Others believe it represents yet another attempt to control women’s bodies. Waggoner shows how the zero trimester rose alongside shifts in medical and public health priorities, contentious reproductive politics, and the changing realities of women’s lives. Waggoner argues that the zero trimester is not simply related to medical and health concerns; it also reflects the power of culture and social ideologies to shape both population health imperatives and women’s bodily experiences.

Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women behind Bars
By Carolyn Sufrin

In this time when the public safety net is frayed, incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor. Using her ethnographic fieldwork and clinical work as an ob-gyn in a women’s jail, Carolyn Sufrin explores how jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care. Focusing on the experiences of incarcerated pregnant women and the practices of the jail guards and health providers, Jailcare describes the contradictory ways that care and maternal identity emerge within a punitive space presumed to be devoid of care. Sufrin argues that when understood in the context of the poverty, addiction, violence, and racial oppression that characterize these women’s lives and their reproduction, jail can become a safety net for women on the margins of society.

Taking Baby Steps: How Patients and Fertility Clinics Collaborate in Conception
By Jody Lyneé Madeira

In Taking Baby Steps, Jody Lyneé Madeira takes readers inside the infertility experience, from dealing with infertility-related emotions to forming treatment relationships with medical professionals and confronting difficult medical decisions. Based on hundreds of interviews, this book investigates how women, men, and medical professionals negotiate infertility’s rocky terrain to create life and build families—a journey across personal, medical, legal, and ethical minefields that can test mental and physical health, friendships and marriages, spirituality, and financial security.

 

Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits
By Jocelyn Elise Crowley

Gray Divorce is a provocative look at the rising rate of marital splits after the age of 50. From the outside, many may ask why couples in mid-life and readying for retirement choose to make a drastic change in their marital status. Yet, nearly one out of every four divorces in the U.S. is “gray.” Renowned author and researcher Jocelyn Elise Crowley uncovers the reasons why men and women divorce—and the penalties and benefits they receive for their choices. She analyzes the differing experiences of women and men in this transition—the seismic shift in individual priorities, the role of increased life expectancy, and how women are affected economically while men are affected socially. With a realistic yet passionate voice, Crowley shares the personal positive outlooks and the necessary supportive public policies that must be enacted to best help the newly divorced.


Herstory: Cookbooks by Women Authors

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the largest single day protest in US history—the Women’s March—when on January 21, 2017, 4.2 million people marched across the US in more than 600 US cities, and from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, at least 261 more sister marches cropped up worldwide. To celebrate this pivotal protest, UC Press is highlighting titles across subjects as part of our Herstory series, with today’s focus on cookbooks by women authors. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles showcase how women have shaped the culinary sphere all around the world.


Inside the California Food Revolution: Thirty Years That Changed Our Culinary Consciousness
By Joyce Goldstein with Dore Brown

In this authoritative and immensely readable insider’s account, celebrated cookbook author and former chef Joyce Goldstein traces the development of California cuisine from its formative years in the 1970s to 2000, when farm-to-table, foraging, and fusion cooking had become part of the national vocabulary. Interviews with almost two hundred chefs, purveyors, artisans, winemakers, and food writers bring to life an approach to cooking grounded in passion, bold innovation, and a dedication to “flavor first.”

 

The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home
By Joyce Goldstein

For thousands of years, the people of the Jewish Diaspora have carried their culinary traditions and kosher laws throughout the world. In the United States, this has resulted primarily in an Ashkenazi table of matzo ball soup and knishes, brisket and gefilte fish. But Joyce Goldstein is now expanding that menu with this comprehensive collection of over four hundred recipes from the kitchens of three Mediterranean Jewish cultures: the Sephardic, the Maghrebi, and the Mizrahi.

 

The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World
By Linda Lau Anusasananan

Veteran food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan opens the world of Hakka cooking to Western audiences in this fascinating chronicle that traces the rustic cuisine to its roots in a history of multiple migrations. Beginning in her grandmother’s kitchen in California, Anusasananan travels to her family’s home in China, and from there fans out to embrace Hakka cooking across the globe—including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Peru, and beyond.

 

La Cocina Mexicana: Many Cultures, One Cuisine
By Marilyn Tausend

After thirty years of leading culinary tours throughout Mexico, Marilyn Tausend teams up with Mexican chef and regional cooking authority Ricardo Muñoz Zurita to describe how the cultures of many profoundly different peoples combined to produce the unmistakable flavors of Mexican food. Weaving engrossing personal narrative with a broad selection of recipes, the authors show how the culinary heritage of indigenous groups, Europeans, and Africans coalesced into one of the world’s most celebrated cuisines.

 

The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia
By Darra Goldstein

Nestled in the Caucasus mountain range between the Black and Caspian seas, the Republic of Georgia is as beautiful as it is bountiful. The unique geography of the land, which includes both alpine and subtropical zones, has created an enviable culinary tradition. In The Georgian Feast, Darra Goldstein explores the rich and robust culture of Georgia and offers a variety of tempting recipes.

 

 

Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds: Recipes and Lore from Rome to Lazio
By Oretta Zanini De Vita

The food of Rome and its region, Lazio, is redolent of herbs, olive oil, ricotta, lamb, and pork. It is the food of ordinary, frugal people, yet it is a very modern cuisine in that it gives pride of place to the essential flavors of its ingredients. In this only English-language book to encompass the entire region, the award-winning author of Encyclopedia of Pasta, Oretta Zanini De Vita, offers a substantial and complex social history of Rome and Lazio through the story of its food.

 

 

Breaking Bread: Recipes from Immigrant Kitchens
By Lynne C. Anderson

Through stories of hand-rolled pasta and homemade chutney, local markets and backyard gardens, and wild mushrooms and foraged grape leaves—this book recounts in loving detail the memories, recipes, and culinary traditions of people who have come to the United States from around the world. Chef and teacher Lynne Anderson has gone into immigrant kitchens and discovered the power of food to recall a lost world for those who have left much behind.

 

 

M. F. K. Fisher among Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens
By Joan Reardon

From her very first book, Serve It Forth, M.F.K. Fisher wrote about her ideal kitchen. In her subsequent publications, she revisited the many kitchens she had known and the foods she savored in them to express her ideas about the art of eating. M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pansinterspersed with recipes and richly illustrated with original watercolors, is a retrospective of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher’s life as it unfolded in those homey settings—from Fisher’s childhood in Whittier, California, to the kitchens of Dijon, where she developed her taste for French foods and wines; from the idyllic kitchen at Le Paquis to the isolation of her home in Hemet, California; and finally to her last days in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.


Herstory: Women’s Histories, Memoirs, and Biographies

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the largest single day protest in US history—the Women’s March—when on January 21, 2017, 4.2 million people marched across the US in more than 600 US cities, and from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, at least 261 more sister marches cropped up worldwide. To celebrate this pivotal protest, UC Press is highlighting titles across subjects as part of our Herstory series, with today’s focus on Women’s Histories, Memoirs, and Biographies recognizing the lives of incredible visionaries and rabble-rousers who shaped history. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles will engage your intellect and inspire your activism today, tomorrow, and for future tomorrows.


Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles (Forthcoming June 2018; preorder today)
By Imaobong D. Umoren

Race Women Internationalists explores how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century traveled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism, and racism. Bringing together the entangled lives of three notable but overlooked women: Eslanda Robeson, Paulette Nardal, and Una Marson, it explores how, between the 1920s and the 1960s, the trio participated in global freedom struggles by traveling; building networks in feminist, student, black-led, anticolonial, and antifascist organizations; and forging alliances with key leaders to challenge various forms of inequality facing people of African descent across the diaspora and the continent.

Ronnie Gilbert: A Radical Life in Song
By Ronnie Gilbert

Ronnie Gilbert was an American folk singer, songwriter, actress and political activist whose lifelong work for political and social change was central to her role as a performer. Best known as a member of the Weavers, the quartet of the 1950s and ’60s that survived the Cold War blacklist and helped popularize folk music in America, Gilbert continued to tour, play music, and protest well into her 70s and 80s. Covering sixty years of her remarkable life, her memoir is an engaging historical document for readers interested in music, theater, American politics, the women’s movement, and left-wing activism.

 

Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left
By Emily K. Hobson

A primer for social justice activists today, Lavender and Red tells the political and intellectual history of the lesbian feminist and gay liberation movements that linked sexual liberation to radical solidarity against imperialism, war, and racism. With archival research, oral histories, and vibrant images, Emily K. Hobson intertwines the history of political struggles of the 1970s through the 1990s.

 

 

My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize
By Jody Williams  

Jody Williams is an American political activist known for her work toward the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines—for which she became the tenth woman and third American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She’s also well-known for her defense of human rights, especially women’s rights, and in 2006, she helped to launch the Nobel Women’s Initiative to spotlight and promote efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality for women. Her memoir offers a candid look at her lifelong dedication to global activism.

 

The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
By Grace Lee Boggs & Scott Kurashige 

“Activism can be the journey rather than the arrival.”—Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs was a lifelong revolutionary, a legendary figure in the struggle for justice in America. The Next American Revolution is a powerful retrospective to Boggs’s participation in some of the greatest struggles of the last century, from anti-capitalist labor movements of the 1940s and 1950s to the Black Power Movement to contemporary urban environmental activism. It is a manifesto for creating alternative modes of work, politics, and human interaction that will collectively constitute the next American Revolution.

 

Finding Women in the State: A Socialist Feminist Revolution in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1964
By Zheng Wang

These socialist state feminists—who maneuvered behind the scenes of the Chinese Communist Party—worked to advance gender and class equality in the early People’s Republic of China and fought to transform sexist norms and practices, all while facing fierce opposition from a male-dominated CCP leadership. Illuminating not only the different visions of revolutionary transformation but also the causes for failure of China’s socialist revolution, Finding Women in the State raises fundamental questions about male dominance in social movements that aim to pursue social justice and equality.

 

A Poet’s Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov
By Donna Hollenberg

Denise Levertov was a poet, essayist, and political activist whose work focused on social and political issues. She was outspoken in her opposition to the Vietnam War, and helped form the Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam. Additionally, she worked as a poetry editor for The Nation in the ’60s and for Mother Jones in the ’70s, and in 1963, she received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. This authoritative biography captures the complexity of Levertov as both woman an artist, and the dynamic world she inhabited.

 

 


In Defense of National Park Entrance Fees

by Stephen Nash, author of Grand Canyon for Sale: Public Lands versus Private Interests in the Era of Climate Change

The Trump administration has announced that it is considering big increases in entrance fees for 17 of the most popular national parks during their peak season. I’m getting lots of emails from conservation groups opposing that.

But our national parks are desperately underfunded and have been for decades. Their natural systems are rapidly degrading, partly as a result of lack of funding for protection, restoration, and for science. In my new book Grand Canyon for Sale, I’ve made the case that park visitors, senior citizens like me included, should pay far more.

Whaaat? You love national parks and public lands and you agree with Trump and his allies, mostly minions of the oil, gas, coal and mining industries who couldn’t care less about the environment?

Not quite. It’s plain that the Trump plan is to charge those higher fees but also to continue drastic cuts of Congressional allocations for park budgets. There’s nothing there to be in favor of, and the threats to public lands will continue to mount.

In a rational political system, policy debates are useful — should we raise fees or not? In a government of chaos and pillage, that discussion is mooted. I’d advocate that instead of spinning our wheels opposing limited measures like new fees, we who love parks and public lands should turn our energies elsewhere.

Organize instead to replace those destructive forces in Congress and the White House. Why mount a campaign against a leaky faucet when the roof is on fire?

We need to remain hopeful, right?, or we cannot fight effectively. But hope isn’t just a mantra, to be chanted with beatific thoughts behind closed eyes. My favorite ecologist, David Orr, has written: “Hope is a verb, with its sleeves rolled up.”

When we return to a time of sane government and parks administration, these points about entrance fees will be worth your consideration:

  • An amazing 38 percent of visitors to Grand Canyon are foreign citizens. They are induced to come and spend money, en route, in Phoenix or Las Vegas or Tusayan. Everyone does well, except the destitute parks.
  • National park visitors put an estimated $15.7 billion into the cash registers of private businesses in local gateway regions, in just one recent year. The money directly supports nearly 174,000 jobs and a $5 billion private-business payroll.
  • At Grand Canyon, we fork over an absurd $30 per carload to be in the park for a full seven days. Tour bus operators only pay $8 per passenger. Helicopter air-tour companies are charged only twenty-five dollars per flyover, sometimes less, often nothing — no matter how many passengers are in the aircraft. Morethan one hundred thousand overflights carry nearly half a million passengers each year.
  • In Kenya, by contrast, each national park visitor pays per twenty-four-hour period, plus an issuing fee, plus a fee for a car, and the entry and exit are time-stamped. Ecuador’s Galápagos National Park costs a hundred dollars per person to enter, unless you’re Ecuadoran. Argentina’s national parks charge a per-person entry fee higher than what Grand Canyon charges per carload. One former superintendent told me that whenever he asks them, visitors say, “You ought to charge us more! We’re okay with that!”

Many national park units don’t charge an entry fee at all and some, for practical and legal reasons, can’t. But a reasonable fee increase at those that do would take in about $1.2 billion a year—at least a billion more than entrance fees total now. And in this happy scenario the usual annual congressional budget allocation would of course stay at current levels too.

Some fraction of that revenue could implement a rolling management plan for climate change on all public lands. “Every young person joining the Park Service now, their entire career will be consumed by climate change and responding to it,” according to Gary Machlis, the science adviser to the director of the national park system. “We need to train them and prepare them for those complexities. We have to take the time to do that.” And we have to pay the money.


Stephen Nash is the author of two award-winning books on science and the environment, and his reporting has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington PostBioScienceArchaeology, and the New Republic. He is Visiting Senior Research Scholar at the University of Richmond.


Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

This post was originally published on January 16, 2015. 

To celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 19, Tenisha Hart Armstrong, Volume VII editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., curated a special selection of relevant photographs and a video that draw upon the rich resources of The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.

  • In his office at Ebenezer Baptist Church, King meets with Gurdon Brewster, an intern at the church during the summer of 1961. Courtesy of Gurdon Brewster.

The publication in October 2014 of Volume VII: To Save the Soul of America, January 1961–August 1962, edited by Clayborne Carson and Tenisha Hart Armstrong of Stanford, marked the half-way point of this long-term research and publication venture of 14 volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. which is conducted in association with the King Estate, Stanford University, and the University of California Press.

Explore the other volumes in the series:

The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. is part of UC Press’s strong list in African American history. Other titles that may be of interest include Black against Empire (which won the 2014 American Book Association award), The Black Revolution on Campus (winner of the Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History from the American Historical Association), The Next American Revolution (advice for the 21st century from civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs, who turns 100 this year), and Climbin’ Jacob’s Ladder: The Black Freedom Movement Writings of Jack O’Dell.

Please explore our African American History list and our Race and Class list.


Who Is an Object of Dread—Who Is a Subject of Inclusion?

Excerpt from Race and America’s Long War by Nikhil Pal Singh

In his excellent introduction to Race and America’s Long War, Nikhil Pal Singh asks: who is an object of dread and elimination, and who is a subject of rights and inclusion? With the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday coming up and in light of the current administration’s recent disparaging comments about protections for people from Haiti and African nations, we’re sharing an apt excerpt from the book’s epilogue. Examining the relationship between war, politics, police power, and the changing contours of race and racism in the contemporary United States, Nikhil Pal Singh shows how racism and the current pursuit of war is part of a longer history of imperial statecraft at the heart of our present crisis.


Donald Trump, who led a consistent and consciously racist opposition to Obama’s presidency, is now in ascendancy. With Trump, the violent contradictions of the inner and outer wars are laid bare. For unlike Obama, Trump based his appeal on the promise to intensify divisions along lines of race, nation, and religion. His additional vow to abandon climate-change mitigation denies the very problem of the imperiled ecology that humans share. Trump poses an old question: who is entitled to freedom and security—or, more precisely, to the freedom of an unlimited security and the security of an unlimited freedom? One of the hallmarks of liberal-democratic claims to superior civilization has been the commitment to mitigate boundless violence in the name of boundless freedom for everyone. Though the oppositions between Obama and McCain, or Obama and Bush, or Obama or Clinton and Trump, are convenient shorthand for all those characteristic efforts to distinguish good from bad U.S. nationalism (that is, the civic from the racial, the patriotic from the jingoistic, the democratic from the statist), Trump reminds us that one feature is constant: to make (American) history, one still needs the stomach to make victims. . . .

. . . At the end of his life and at the height of opposition to the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. argued against the idea that the achievement of civil rights had inaugurated an era of normal politics for the racially excluded in the United States, just as he challenged the belief that the pax Americana had delivered a just and legitimate developmental framework for previously colonized peoples. King took the risk of condemning the war: “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos,” he declared, “without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government.” Through neglect of this legacy—the urgent challenge of just and sustainable development abroad and at home—the Obama presidency, and the hopeful alternatives it recommended to forty years of rightward drift of U.S. social, economic, and foreign policy, came to little. Rather, to use King’s words, for many it added “cynicism to the process of death.” To genuinely break this destructive spiral, a more insurgent and less teleological conception of our better history is required: the moral arc of the universe may bend toward justice, but power concedes nothing without a demand.

King’s commitment to nonviolence led him to recognize the intertwining of a history of racial self-definition (i.e., white supremacy) and militarization in defining the United States as a political community. Taking this stand did not necessarily make King a communist (as the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover asserted), but it did align him with a black radical intellectual tradition that conceptualized the global production of racialized disparity in terms of African slavery, colonial rule, class apartheid, and imperial statecraft. This approach refused to permit incremental racial integration within the United States to serve as a rationalization for policies that continued to thwart economic justice and just security for the world’s peoples.


Learn more about Race and America’s Long War.