California Ideology Reading Group
Organized by Sanjana Iyer and Joseph Lubitz
7:15 pm–9 pm
Sunday, September 15th
Tuesday, September 24th
Sunday, September 29th
Tuesday, October 8th
Free and open to the public
To register or see reading list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The 1995 essay “The Californian Ideology” by Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, argued that "the social liberalism of New Left and the economic liberalism of New Right have converged into an ambiguous dream of a hi-tech ‘Jeffersonian democracy’ with roots as old as Slavery. Radical transformations of the terms and conditions of life, work, and sociality have been and continue to propagate in Silicon Valley. Beyond privileging the biographical mystique of the entrepreneur, or even the legends of the Silicon Valley ideology proper, we understand these shifts as continuous with longer historical processes of industrialization, colonialism, and migration. From Mountain View to Bangalore to Israel, there are many and multiplying uncanny silicon valleys—specific places that are also the seeming sublimation of place.
This reading group is an attempt to think through the ecological, technological, and cultural transformations and resistances produced by the “Californian” infrastructure, as well as the racial and colonial forms of subjection, desire, and erasure that are its own condition of possibility.
James Baldwin's America
Reading, discussion, and workshop
Sponsored by Humanities New York
Facilitated by Marwa Helal
April 1-May 24, 2019
Mondays, 7-9pm (dates below)
Capacity: 15 participants
Registration cost: $15
Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Preference will be given to participants who can attend all sessions. Dates below:
April 1, 8, 15, 22 (skipping 29), May 6, 20
May 24: Final discussion and presentation
Participants will be led through close readings and discussion of James Baldwin's collected essays, novels, and short stories, over the course of five-weeks. Discussions will center on (but not be limited to) the following works: "The Creative Process"; "A Talk To Teachers"; "The American Dream and the American Negro"; "Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White"; "Previous Condition"; Another Country; and more. We will think through the map Baldwin has left us as writers, educators, citizens of this complicated country. How relevant his words remain and why? Each workshop will include generative writing exercises based on our readings and discussion. Students will have the opportunity to share their own works in a culminating presentation during the sixth session.
Books are available for loan upon request (a $15/book deposit is required).
Marwa Helal is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2017) and Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem and Brooklyn Museum. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.
James Baldwin's America is sponsored by Humanities New York, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, receiving federal, state, city, and private funding. It provides leadership and support across the state’s intellectual and cultural sectors through grants, programs, networking, and advocacy, in order to encourage critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena. www.humanitiesny.org