Here in New York we are making the turn into winter. It’s getting darker. The temperature is heading onto the single digits, and the Public Seminar crowd is tearing through the closet looking for hats, gloves, and those little rubber balloons you put on the dog’s feet when it snows. We didn’t watch the World Series, because we don’t care who wins as long as the
Mets Yankees (sorry, we are having an editorial dispute here) Phillies aren’t in it. But we were happy to get an article from historian Robert Greene II reminding us that the Nationals aren’t the first Washington D.C. team to bring a championship series to the nation’s capital: what about the Homestead Grays? In this section, we also draw on our archives for an interview with poet and essayist Virginia Valenzuela, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the student mobilization against guns.
We are also interested in technology this month, with a terrific essay about digital infrastructure and smart factories from Birgit Mahnkopf: to read the second part of this essay, you’ll have to head over to our new friends at Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, a German web magazine in the Eurozine network. Look out for more great material coming out of this partnership. We added three other great articles to help you think more about technology: Patricia Ticineto Clough asks what it means to be human in the digital age; and Adam Tomasi praises digital activism.
We’re also inviting you back into The New School with a curated trio of articles. Julia Foulkes has a brand-new piece this week about composer Henry Cowell, convicted of sexual offenses in 1936, when homosexual acts were a criminal offense, but still embraced by friends and colleagues in our Greenwich Village home. We added a terrific essay by Andrew Woods about the conspiracy theories that swirled around the University on Exile, and Mark Larrimore on Anatole Broyard.
One of our editors thought that an essay of mine about the politics of sex at universities would be a nice companion piece to the Cowell essay. Henry Cowell probably wouldn’t have been brought back to teach today, given the precise nature of his offense: is that right or wrong? That’s up to you to figure out. We round out the issue with an essay by my friend Beata Zwierzyńska, on the troubling emergence of “LGBT-free zones” in Poland, and an excerpt from historian Susan Ware’s new book about the fight for women’s suffrage 100 years ago.
So relax, kick back, and know that whatever else happens this winter – Public Seminar has you covered, for a nice week of reading, every Wednesday.
Claire Potter is co-executive editor of Public Seminar and Professor of History at The new School for Social Research. You can tweet with her @TenuredRadical.