Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Naomi Klein: Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Rule of Pampered Princelings

New Book: The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created by Jane Leavy

From Jane Leavy, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boy and Sandy Koufax, comes the definitive biography of Babe Ruth—the man Roger Angell dubbed "the model for modern celebrity." 
He lived in the present tense—in the camera’s lens. There was no frame he couldn’t or wouldn’t fill. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the biggest fines. Like all the new-fangled gadgets then flooding the marketplace—radios, automatic clothes washers, Brownie cameras, microphones and loudspeakers—Babe Ruth "made impossible events happen." Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy Walsh—business manager, spin doctor, damage control wizard, and surrogate father, all stuffed into one tightly buttoned double-breasted suit—Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom. 
His was a life of journeys and itineraries—from uncouth to couth, spartan to spendthrift, abandoned to abandon; from Baltimore to Boston to New York, and back to Boston at the end of his career for a finale with the only team that would have him. There were road trips and hunting trips; grand tours of foreign capitals and post-season promotional tours, not to mention those 714 trips around the bases. 
After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927—a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern season—he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. Walsh called the tour a "Symphony of Swat." The Omaha World Herald called it "the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent." In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times. 
Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Malcolm X : The Documentary

Professor Sahar Ullah

Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah holds a PhD in Arabic and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her dissertation "Ingenious Beginnings: The Poetics of the Medieval Arabic-Islamic Prelude” examines Arabic poetics and literary form from the thirteenth century to the modern eras that extend the Iberian Peninsula, Africa, and Asia. Ullah’s research lies at the intersection of literary culture, material culture and longue durée trans-regional intellectual and political histories. Her work has been published in the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry and the Journal of Arabic Literature.  
Ullah is currently working on an article about a medieval Arabic-Iberian love treatise. Ullah received numerous prestigious teaching awards including the Core Preceptor Award and the Presidential Teaching Award – the highest teaching honor at Columbia University.  
She has been invited to speak about her work at the United Nations, U.S. Embassies, and universities around the world as well as media outlets including BBC NewshourChicago Tribune, and the Miami Herald. 
She holds a BA from the University of Miami in English, Religious Studies and Political Science and an MA from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies. 
Through Fulbright and CASA Fellowships, Sahar studied at the University of Yarmouk, Jordan and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. 
Committed to bridging her scholarship with the arts and creative pedagogy, Ullah is the Creative Director and Head Writer for the Hijabi Monologues, and she has consulted for a number of theater and television productions on Muslim cultures including Orange is the New Black. 

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley resigns By Jamie Gangel and Elise Labott, CNN Updated 10:50 AM ET, Tue October 9, 2018

Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge by Professor Wael B. Hallaq

Since Edward Said’s foundational work, Orientalism has been singled out for critique as the quintessential example of Western intellectuals’ collaboration with oppression. Controversies over the imbrications of knowledge and power and the complicity of Orientalism in the larger project of colonialism have been waged among generations of scholars. But has Orientalism come to stand in for all of the sins of European modernity, at the cost of neglecting the complicity of the rest of the academic disciplines?

In this landmark theoretical investigation, Wael B. Hallaq reevaluates and deepens the critique of Orientalism in order to deploy it for rethinking the foundations of the modern project. Refusing to isolate or scapegoat Orientalism, Restating Orientalism extends the critique to other fields, from law, philosophy, and scientific inquiry to core ideas of academic thought such as sovereignty and the self. Hallaq traces their involvement in colonialism, mass annihilation, and systematic destruction of the natural world, interrogating and historicizing the set of causes that permitted modernity to wed knowledge to power. Restating Orientalism offers a bold rethinking of the theory of the author, the concept of sovereignty, and the place of the secular Western self in the modern project, reopening the problem of power and knowledge to an ethical critique and ultimately theorizing an exit from modernity’s predicaments. A remarkably ambitious attempt to overturn the foundations of a wide range of academic disciplines while also drawing on the best they have to offer, Restating Orientalism exposes the depth of academia’s lethal complicity in modern forms of capitalism, colonialism, and hegemonic power. 
Wael B. Hallaq is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches and writes about Islamic law, ethics, and intellectual history. His books, translated into a number of languages, include Shariʿa: Theory, Practice, Transformations (2009) and The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament (2013), which won Columbia University Press’s Distinguished Book Award.