Public Seminar announces the publication of #Charlottesville: Before and Beyond, a collection of essays featuring contributions by scholars and activists, and an introduction by Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy. It is the first book to emerge from and critically respond to the violence that took place in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017, when white nationalists descended on the city to protest the removal of a Confederate monument in a public park near The University of Virginia.

These events occurred a year after a bitterly divisive election brought problems of racism, white identity politics, and America’s fraught history of racism to the fore. The violence that ensued —  four casualties, including the murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer — left the country bewildered, angry, and frightened about ascendant racism.

The essays in #Charlottesville: Before and Beyond attempt to answer questions that still plague us after the violence of August 2017. How much is the current president to blame for the sudden visibility of white supremacist groups? What are we to do with America’s tragic racial history and relics that commemorate the violence of slavery and the Civil War? Where can we turn as political conversation stalls around these important subjects? What lessons can we learn? What are our responsibilities as citizens?

Part one of the book documents and comments upon the immediate aftermath of the violence. The essays in part two, address the context, before and after the outbreak of violence. These essays reflect on the social, political and cultural landscape of the nation, the role of the media, and the logic of “punching Nazis in the face.”

#Charlottesville: Before and Beyond, a project of Public Seminar at The New School, will be available as a pay-what-you-want download in January 2018 in time for the spring 2018 semester.

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About Public SeminarPublic Seminar is an online publishing project of The New School, which serves as an intellectual commons for analysis, critique and debate. Confronting fundamental problems of the human condition and pressing problems of the day, using the broad resources of social research, we seek to provoke critical and informed discussion by any means necessary. We publish articles that in our judgement are useful, constructive, illuminating or thought-provoking contributions to the conversation of the times. For more information, please contact