“Refusing the Settler-Colonial Gaze,” Social Text, March 8, 2015.
The global politics of resource scarcity is a chief theme of World of Matter’s practice, but another scarcity is evident too: a scarcity of representations by Indigenous and subaltern people, whose resources have been most exploited, first by colonialism and the dispossession of their land, then by the neocolonialism of the global economy as it was reconfigured after World War II.
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“Dirty Tricks: The GC Chapter Election,” CUNY Academic Commons, April 4, 2017.
Elections are a narrow form of political participation. While they may produce a changing same, they seldom produce transformative change. Political education, however, can at least change people’s perspectives, as I’ve seen powerfully in my own life. It’s why I’m invested in research, analysis, study, and teaching, despite the innumerable problems of the academic-industrial complex.
“Elaborating the South African State-Media-NGO Nexus on Crime: Scraps from the Archive,” CUNY Academic Commons, September 2, 2016.
I started researching CSVR’s collection of 100+ boxes at Wits Historical Papers because of my abiding interest in violence and its contested meanings and contexts—and given that CSVR has been in existence throughout the (ongoing) transition from apartheid to post-apartheid, I knew its archive would offer a useful case study for how interpretations of violence and related structures of policing, prisons, and criminal justice at large (or the prison-industrial complex at large) may have changed—or not—over time.
“Death of the Die-in (and PSC ‘Civil Disobedience,’ Too),” CUNY Struggle, March 29, 2016.
Taking the PSC die-in on its own terms, though, what does it mean to personify an institution and mourn its “death,” backed by the not-insignificant resources of the union, instead of centering and supporting with those resources the people of the institution who are subject to, in CUNY professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s formulation of structural racism, “the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death” (Golden Gulag 28)?
“Prisoners for Profit: CUNY Prison Divest and the Carceral State” (co-author with Ashley Agbasoga, Melissa Marturano, and Christina Nadler), GC Advocate, spring 2015.
We hope this interview can raise awareness about CUNY’s investments in private prisons, mobilize our community to protest these investments with CUNY Prison Divest, and enable us to think more critically about the need for the abolition of all prisons. Prisons and the prison system (known as the prison-industrial complex because of its extensive links to capital) tear apart, terrorize, and incapacitate communities that are composed predominantly of poor people of color.
“Teaching Against Stop-and-Frisk and Racial Profiling,” CUNY Academic Commons, July 24, 2014.
I knew that many, if not all, of my students would be affected by stop-and-frisk, whether the young men targeted or their family members and friends. I also knew they would have experienced racial profiling in its other forms, whether the school-to-prison pipeline in operation at New York City public schools, the general entrapment of the prison-industrial complex and its attendant political economy, or the surveillance of department-store staff and their collusion with police (as experienced by a CUNY student that fall in a high-profile incident).
“Funding Celebrity Profs: Paul Krugman and the Prestige Economy of Public Higher Ed” (p. 28-29), GC Advocate, spring 2014.
The terms of Krugman’s hire represent a fundamental contradiction in the hegemony of the “lack of money” that rules the practices and discussions of public higher education. Indeed, there is always money to be had, at CUNY as elsewhere, whether it’s to hire a celebrity professor to add value by virtue of his or her name, or to build a $350-million “world-class” science center, as CUNY is doing at City College. Note that Krugman is also “world class.” CUNY is desperate for world-class status, even if it means running its students, faculty, and staff into the ground.