October 28, 2022

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The Edge

‘The Best Kind of Bumpy Ride’: Book Launch of Naeem Inayatullah’s ‘Pedagogy as Encounter’

On October 19, The Park Center for Independent Media and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival hosted a book launch with author and Professor of Politics at Ithaca College Naeem Inayatullah for his new book, “Pedagogy as Encounter: Beyond the Teaching Imperative.”

Aida Hozić, Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Florida, joined Inayatullah for an engaging discussion that probed concepts such as the assumption that teaching is possible at all, and how to bring politics to the classroom.

“The deepest assumptions are the ones I claim are really not possible to learn,” Inayatullah said. “These are the assumptions that hold our world together, and that we’re not really conscious of. And that if we expose those assumptions to the light of day, we might lose our friends. We might lose our family members. We might lose our orientation toward the world.”

Watch the full recording here.

The Continuing Trouble and Tragedy within ‘Death of a Salesman’

During last month’s book launch for Claire Gleitman’s “Anxious Masculinity in the Drama of Arthur Miller and Beyond: Salesmen, Sluggers, and Big Daddies,” Miller scholar and Professor of English at Rhode Island College Susan Abbotson interviewed Gleitman.

Their conversation produced incisive examinations of the book, contemporary drama, and thematic resonances with today’s cultural environment.

Following the launch, Abbotson published an analysis of Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” in which she posits it “is not a realistic play and was never intended as such. Its plot is full of holes, its characters unpredictable, its truth subjective.

It is a play that can raise more questions than offer answers. I suspect this might have been fully intentional. Its indeterminants allow for a greater degree of possibility, permitting an audience a variety of paths to a more personalized enlightenment.”

Read Abbotson’s essay here.

Watch the launch of Gleitman’s “Anxious Masculinity” here.

Journalists at Suffolk University on the Decline of Local News

Last month, a panel of seasoned journalists and scholars gathered at Suffolk University Law School to participate in a discussion on the crisis in community journalism and local governance in the United States. The panel, titled “The Decline Local News and Rise of Polarization,” was to examine the effect this decline has had on government accountability and democracy more generally.

Joshua Darr, an associate professor of political communication at Louisiana State University, argued on the panel, “What happens when you read national news is you read about partisan conflict and that reinforces divisions, it reinforces partisan identity… Polarization slows when newspapers become more local. The problem is, it’s so easy to get national news. It’s a lot harder to get local news.”

Read more from the panel on The Edge.

From Indy Media

Media Isn’t Doing Nearly Enough to Defend Democracy — But It’s Not Too Late to Change

Over the past two years, much of the Republican party has claimed that any elections they lose must be illegitimate, with some Republicans encouraging threats of violence toward election workers.

Now, writes Brian Hansbury in Salon, election denier are on the ballot across the country. Lying and spurring violence should be political non-starters for candidates in a democracy.

But too many newsrooms, rather than depicting these candidates as dangerously unfit, have been protecting the electoral viability of anti-democratic extremists. It is unacceptable for journalists who know the 2020 presidential election was free and fair to still frequently describe those who lie about it as mere “skeptics” who “dispute the results.”

Read more on how journalists can advocate for democracy in election coverage.

Healing from Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation

Acclaimed documentary Healing from Hate shows an inside look at the bold work of the group Life After Hate — an organization founded by former skinheads and Neo-Nazis who have dedicated themselves to transforming racist, white-supremacist attitudes.

The film, directed by Peter Hutchison, emphasizes the group’s engagement with issues of masculinity and fear, giving voice to men who turned to hate groups to validate their sense of manhood after feeling a deep sense of inadequacy and shame. The de-radicalizing work documented in the film represents a teaching tool that helps to draw crucial connections between antisemitism, anti-Black and anti-Asian racism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate.

Watch the trailer here and watch on Kanopy here.

In Other News

1. US sanctions Iranian foundation that funded bounty on Salman Rushdie | The Independent

2. A Political Party Unhinged From Truth | The Atlantic

3. Georgia DA Asks Supreme Court To Let Lindsey Graham Testify In Election Probe | HuffPost

4. Iran protests: Police sacked after clashes in Zahedan | BBC

5. US voters with disabilities face maze of new restrictions | The Guardian

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The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.