commodorified: On a plain pink background the words "Canadian Problem number 61: being a very bored gay rights activist" (canadian queer)
[personal profile] commodorified
One of my very favourite cousins is starting his PhD in education. One of his long-term goals is to help improve how LGBT issues are handled in the Ontario and Canadian school systems.

We talk about this stuff, some, and we talk a lot about the broader education of a queer activist. About racism, and poverty/classism, and feminism, and sex education, and reproductive justice, and disability, and what I came up calling 'linked oppressions' and is now referred to as intersectionality ...

And then again about vulnerability and shame and addiction and trauma and how they can echo down the generations of a marginalised subculture as they do down the generations of a family, and about building community and sometimes about psychology and sociology and anthropology and history and art ...

At one point I was tossing a bunch of books and names at him and suggested that I ought to make him a bibliography, and then, on further pondering, that maybe I should crowdsource it a bit, because while in some ways he and I are different enough for me to be useful to him - I'm a woman, I'm twice his age, my activist and academic experiences and preoccupations are different - at heart we're just a couple of white semirural Protestant SW Ontario kids not that far off the farm or the railroad.

Plus, it might be useful to people other than him.

So, here's my invitation/request: if you identify as an academic—formally or otherwise—and/or as an activist, tell me (him, us) about the books and essays and writers/artists and works that changed you, informed you, showed you aspects of yourself and the world that changed you and changed how you went to work. Your touchstones, as it were.

Everything is welcome: Movies. Music. Poetry, prose, fiction, academic works, famous or obscure, any field, any era. I'm particularly interested in works outside your own usual interests that turned out to be extremely important to you.


1) You don't need to explain why you're recommending something, but you are very welcome to. You also don't need to provide links, but they will be appreciated.

2) All works will be assumed to be both luminous and flawed, which is to say, do not challenge other commenters on their choices, or post dispargements/anti-recs. Those can be very valuable, but not here and now.

If you're reccing something that you consider problematic but still really valuable—or even valuable because it illuminates a really problematic mindset—you're welcome to say so, absolutely. Footnoting other people's recs is not so helpful here. If you know a better work on a topic, just rec it, okay? The goal here is the broadest possible net, and we won't get that if this turns into "your fave is problematic."

3) You can make as many recs as you like, or only one. Pick things that have lasted for you, things that have held up over the years, things that you're profoundly grateful not to have missed.

4) Feel free to link this, but I'd much rather it be linked to individuals or small groups who will be very interested than to larger groups who will be largely indifferent.

ETA: also, please don't reply to comments, as I'd like people to be able to come back and edit their comments (or add to them themselves if they can't edit for whatever reason), plus it makes everything easier to read.

Date: 2016-03-09 11:06 pm (UTC)
kinetikatrue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kinetikatrue
[This is something of an odd list, so far, because the vast majority of my library is currently in storage, so I can't just walk over to the bookshelves to double-check titles and be reminded of other things. Same with music and movies.]

Farley Mowat - works, pretty much, but most specifically his living amongst people and animals writing and stuff about the environment (Never Cry Wolf, People of the Deer/A Desperate People/Walking on the Land, Sea of Slaughter, etc)

Tom Stoppard - Arcadia, but also Rock and Roll

Terry Pratchett - Discworld/Tiffany Aching

Sherman Alexie

Zora Neale Hurston

Florence King - Confessions of A Failed Southern Lady/Southern Ladies and Gentlemen

Nancy Friday - My Secret Garden/Forbidden Flowers/Women on Top series

Curtis Sittenfield - Prep

Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time/A Wind in the Door/A Swiftly Tilting Planet

Kevin Bales - Disposable People

[here's a whole list of stuff on the subject of labor history and related topics that I might whittle down or not - they just all work together is the thing]

Trouble in Mind : Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow - Leon F Litwack
No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States Since 1880 - Allan M. Brandt
Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York - Kathy Preiss
RIVETHEAD: Tales from the Assembly Line - Ben Hamper
Strike! - Jeremy Brecher
Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement - William E. Forbath
Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans - Ronald Takaki
The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture - Neil Foley
Hard Work: The Making of Labor History - Melvyn Dubofsky
Labor Embattled: History, Power, Rights - David Brody
On the Line: Essays in the History of Auto Work - Nelson Lichtenstein
Workers Control In America - David Montgomery

Movies: My Beautiful Laundrette, Pride, Amelie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Shelter, The Weekend, The Wedding Banquet, The Opposite of Love

Music: Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Josh Ritter, Mountain Goats, Weakerthans, Janelle Monae, Steel Train, Anna Fritz, Emma's Revolution, Evalyn Parry
Edited Date: 2016-03-10 01:55 am (UTC)


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