Am really exited to be a part of a great roundtable this weekend at the 2017 meeting of philoSOPHIA, Resistant Affects: On Building Active Intolerance Against the Intolerable, at Florida Atlantic University.
The panel will feature presentations from Natalie Cisneros (U. Seattle), Andrea Pitts (UNC-Charlotte), Falguni Sheth (Emory), Perry Zurn (American U.), and myself. It will be moderated by Kyoo Lee (CUNY). We’re going to be building on (and moving beyond) the work in the book that Perry and I co-edited, Active Intolerance (which features chapters from Cisneros, Sheth, and Zurn). This panel tries to continue a line of questioning that Perry and I keep coming back to: what precisely did the GIP mean when they insisted that their work was to heighten intolerance, to embrace a seemingly illiberal virtue and direct it toward intolerable institutions? The GIP, on the first page of their 1971 publication Intolerable 1: An Inquiry into 20 Prisons, succinctly listed some of these: “the courts, the cops, the hospitals and asylums, school, military service, the press, the state, and above all the prisons.” But surely, this list is not enough. And surely, we must do more than simply make such a list. This is what we’ll be thinking about.
The event is open to the public, so please come and join us.
If you’re in the Philly/Glassboro area this week, I’ll be giving a lecture on Feb. 23rd at Rowan University as part of their Theorizing at Rowen series, entitled, “Abolitionist Killjoys and the Social Life of Social Death.”
My dear friend and co-editor Perry Zurn and I did a lengthy interview with Eugene Wolters over at critical-theory.com about our volume, Active Intolerance, earlier this month.
It is a pretty wide-ranging conversation, but focused primarily on a few chapters of the book, but also reflecting on what drove us to work on this book: our interests in prison and police abolition and doing something with Foucault that goes beyond the typical work that makes up most “Foucault studies” scholarship.
I think one of key points comes near the end: thinking about what role folks like us (situated in academia and operating from various positions of structural privilege) have in the projects of prison abolition, black liberation, and human freedom.
Specifically, I’m thinking about a line that I contributed, and in which I’m most invested, comes right at the end:
If prison abolition is really going to be the work of collective liberation, those of us in positions which enjoy and maintain the domination and marginalization of others are going to have lose those positions, actively work to undermine them, and build a world in which those positions simply no longer exist. To think, however, that such “losses” are going to be painful is to presume (wrongly, I think) that what far too many of us hold today is rightfully “ours” in the first place.
Last year, I had the honor and great pleasure of talking with Harsha Walia about her amazing work and her book, Undoing Border Imperialism. An edited version of the conversation is now up online over at Abolition Journal’s website (and will be included in the forthcoming inaugural issue of the journal later this year).
So, have a read at “Dismantle & Transform: On Abolition, Decolonization, & Insurgent Politics (A Conversation with Harsha Walia).”
My deepest thanks to Harsha for the talk and to the folks at Abolition Journal for hosting.
Apparently, it’s deep discount time on books that I worked on:
(1) You can snag Punishment and Inclusion for $15 direct from Fordham University Press right now with their spring sale code FUP-SPRING-2016.
NB: This is a lightly edited version of a talk that I gave as part of the “Thinking Privilege” Symposium at the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, Haverford College, April 8, 2016. It is based on an earlier talk I gave at the 2015 APSA annual meeting as part of a roundtable to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the publication of Iris Marion Young’s Justice and the Politics of Difference. As it was written for spoken delivery, it lacks a complete scholarly apparatus; apologies.
Continue reading “Privilege, The Myth of Merit, and Abolition-Democracy”
NB: This essay, in a slightly different form, is forthcoming in the journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities and crossposted as a “guest post” at XCPhilosophy. I wrote this essay on and off in the years since the acquittal of George Zimmerman and sent it to the journal shortly before a Baltimore jury failed to arrive at a decision in the prosecution of Officer William Porter’s involvement in the death of Freddie Grey, and before prosecutors in Ohio decided not to charge Officers Timothy Loehmann or Frank Garmback for the murder of 12-year old Tamir Rice.
That, in the short time between when this short essay was finished and it could appear in print, two more instances of the criminal punishment system’s failure to hold police officers accountable for the violent deaths of two more black people in this country is itself too much to bear. 
Continue reading “Justice as Failure”
Until the end of 2015, deep discounts are available on both of my books if you order direct:
Since I know none of you can wait for it, you’ll be happy to know that the Introductory chapter of Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, The Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition is now available for download as a PDF direct from, Palgrave Macmillan. The chapter, co-authored by myself and Perry Zurn, sets the stage for the entire collection, introduces readers to the the GIP, and works to re-center our readings of this remarkable group away from merely a footnote to “Foucault Studies.”
Active Intolerance will be widely available on November 18 of this month, and is already available for preorder! And for a limited time, you can order direct from Palgrave and get 30% off the cover price with promo code PMTHIRTY15.
Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, The Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition, (co-edited with Perry Zurn of Hampshire College) is set to drop in print Nov. 18! It is already available on amazon for pre-order… or, you can take 30% by ordering directly from Palgrave with the code PMTHIRTY15.
Also, I’ll be speaking at the University of Richmond next week on Punishment and Inclusion and questions of critical prison theory/philosophy. I’ll post details soon!
Lastly, if you’re going to be at SPEP next week in Atlanta, come and see the panel with Ladelle McWhorter, Natalie Cisneros, Perry Zurn, and Dianna Taylor (who are all contributors to the volume) speaking about their work in Active Intolerance: