Archive for ‘links’

June 5, 2016

Of Interest (5 June, 2016)

I suppose I could have organised this week’s Sunday Reading links by theme, but nah.

 

Two important things by Sara Ahmed this week. First, a piece on her recent resignation from Goldsmiths, sexual harrassment, institutions and the archive. Then from a couple of days earlier, this, on progressive racism and racism as a structuring force in progressive movements.

[Reading the two pieces together is instructive; particularly when Ahmed says, in the piece on progressive racism, “The response to a challenge of diversity of the University takes the form of a statement of how the university promotes diversity.  Indeed, diversity as a form of good practice (One World Week, Black History Month) is used as evidence that there is not a problem with a lack of diversity.” Goldsmiths’ response to the incidents that led to Ahmed’s resignation almost appears to have been written to this guideline; it’s remarkable.]

 

Hannah Black on the workings of “identity politics”.

Carmen Maria Machado watches a stranger maybe write a novel.

Scott Long on the meaning (and elevation, and not) of marriage.

At Strange Horizons, Portia Subran, Kevin Jared Hosein and Brent Ryan Bellamy discuss the works of Nalo Hopkinson.

Muhammad Ali watches Rocky II with Roger Ebert.

I’ll be glad when Game of Thrones thinkpiece season is at an end, but this piece by Lili Loofbourow says some great things about the narrative incoherence of the show when it strays from family drama. [I squeaked with joy at 'we extend these incidents conspiratorial credit ("what happened to Hodor was terribly sad and clearly brilliant — we'll find out why soon").']

Iona Sharma on learning Gaelic and re-learning Hindi. Via about half the people I know (how weird and great to see someone you know in one context being ‘discovered’ by people you know in a different context.)

Camalita Naicker on passing as Indian in India, Africa in the Indian imaginary, and shared forgotten histories.

And while on the subject of anti-African (and anti-black) racism in India, a news story on multiple recent instances of mob violence and another on a forgotten African past in India.

Snigdha Poonam’s great (and terrifying) story on children in Kota IIT-preparation institutes killing themselves. (Avoid the comments unless painfully misguided how-not-to-feel-suicidal advice particularly amuses you.)

Most people have by now read this statement by the woman who was raped by Brock Turner, but it’s powerful and direct and horrifying. (Trigger warning for some graphic, detailed descriptions.)

Siddharth Varadarajan on the aftermath of the Gulberg society massacre.

 

May 29, 2016

Of Interest (29 May, 2016)

 

 

Names:

Kat Chow on outdated terms, identity, and being “Oriental”.

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd on caste, language, and adding that “Shepherd” to his name.

Kennetta Hammond Perry (whose book I still haven’t read, and need to) on Black Britons and Britishness.

 

Clothes:

Tyler McBrien on the significance of Julius Malema’s sartorial choices.

Fabiola Jean-Louis’s paper gowns, and the history of race in America.

Despite its title, this interview with Yuna doesn’t go particularly deeply into questions of fashion, race or wearing the scarf, but the pictures more than make up for it.  (#CoatsICovet)

 

Books & films &c.:

Sukruti Anah Staneley on Wingstar, Tinkle’s superhero from Mizoram.

This interview with Álvaro Enrigue about/around Sudden Death is so great.

Vajra Chandrasekera on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook” and Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.

Genuinely the only piece of commentary on Game of Thrones that you need to read. Sorry, all other thinkpieces.

 

May 22, 2016

Of Interest (22 May, 2016)

Unsorted, but (unsurprisingly) mostly about empire and activism and books:

 

Shoaib Daniyal on the Hindu Right’s targeting of Akbar as a national symbol. I have my reservations about this piece (and rolling my eyes at “a Hindu Pakistan”) but mostly, yes.

All trees are the most superlative tree, but this is a pleasing map of superlative trees.

Charlotte Cooper on fat, the (UK, but also applicable elsewhere) left, and class.

Reading Claudia Rankine reading Adrienne Rich is a good thing.

Kavita Bhanot on Vedanta’s sponsorship of the London Jaipur Literature Festival, and more broadly, what the JLF does and means.

I have tried and failed to watch (sober) this alphabetical-order edit of The Wizard of Oz, but here it is for anyone unwise enough to wish to attempt it. (Via Debbie Reese on Twitter.)

Yasmeen Ismail on her I’m A Girl.

Abigail Nussbaum on Sofia Samatar’s The Winged Histories.

I’m (pleasantly? maybe?) surprised this piece on drone operator PTSD and child soldiers by Laurie Calhoun doesn’t reference Ender’s Game.

Ntina Tzouvala on Eye in the Sky, drones, and the law.

I’d never seen these clips of Janelle Monáe interviewing Nichelle Nichols but look (and look)! (If there’s a longer version available anywhere, please let me know!)

Via Sandeep Parmar, this interview (by Fred Johnson) with Forrest Gander.

Catherine Baker on the geo/politics of this year’s Eurovision.

Jaymee Goh on Southeast Asian steampunk, editing The Sea Is Ours, space, worldbuilding, #OwnVoices. Several things; it’s a good paper!

Frank B. Wilderson III on Afro-pessimism is v. good, and I want to come back to it.

 

 

May 15, 2016

Of Interest (15 May, 2016)

 

Bodies in the world:

Ruby Tandoh on clean eating and the wellness industry.

I love Your Fat Friend and you should read all her things. This recent piece is good.

Rinaldo Walcott on the decision to put an image of Harriet Tubman on the US $20 bill.

Morgan Jenkins on “Lemonade”, healing and community.

Paul Gilroy interviewed by Rosemary Bechler on activism, location, universities.

Antonia Randolph and the necessity of spaces for black vulnerability.

 

Books and film in the world:

I have such mixed feelings about Film Crit Hulk (they don’t use Hulk-ish linguistic ticks at all, other than the allcaps, and said allcaps is exhausting for me to read at length) but this, on cinematic language, is good and relevant to my genre interests.

Two Black Panther links: Evan Narcisse on the politics of the character (via Kajori Sen) and Rebecca Wanzo on the high stakes involved in Coates’ and Marvel’s versions (via Rukmini Pande).

Keguro Macharia thinking through African poetry. (See also Aaron Bady, here)

This year’s SF count at Strange Horizons. See also this piece about it by Niall Harrison (bonus: several Guardian commentors explaining that women don’t read or write much SF and why can’t we make Romance a more gender-balanced genre instead?)

May 8, 2016

Of Interest (8 May, 2016)

It’s been a while! Links this week are loosely divided into actual categories.

 

Books:

This interview with Jessa Crispin is perfect. (Also see Crispin on the self-hating book critic.)

Kei Miller on the unbearable (or stupid and limited) whiteness of the Forward Prize.

Vicky Smith at Kirkus on the White Default and mentioning race in children’s book reviews.

Chris Taylor on the legacy (afterlife?) of C.L.R. James’s The Black Jacobins.

 

Empire, maps, the structure of the world:

Rohit Gupta on the shape of the planet.

Karina Puente’s gorgeous illustrated Invisible Cities.

This record of correspondence between B.R. Ambedkar and W.E.B. Du Bois is doing wonderful things to my heart.

Tressie McMillan-Cottom on Anne-Marie Slaughter’s trickle-down feminism.

Subhas Rai and Himal’s right-side-up map of South Asia. Great at all times, but particularly in times like these.

Maps of the end of the world, by Allison Meier.

Great moments in apartheid, and also the use of language.

 

Film/TV:

Samira Nadkarni being brilliant on Captain America: Civil War. I’m finding the disgust of most people I know who’ve seen the film cathartic, post-AoU; as Marina Berlin points out here, this probably has to do with the fact that it’s released outside the US first, so the critical discourse hasn’t (yet) been dominated by people steeped in US-centric imperialism. (Then again, it’s probably also because I’ve shut out the voices of people who might disagree on this.)

Salman Adil Hussain on the women Zindagi Gulzar Hai imagines.

Rukmini Pande on racism and erasure in fandom, after recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens related badness. (You should read Rukmini’s twitter, also; she’s continued to say good and important things since storifying this.)

Harneet Singh’s interview with Gulzar is full of great moments, particularly the bit about his children’s songs.

 

April 17, 2016

Of Interest (16 April, 2016)

Unsorted (spot the themes though):

 

Via Darran Anderson, this piece by Christopher Turner on utopianism in architecture.

You have probably read this already but just in case: Sara Ahmed interviews Judith Butler, and they are both great and therefore this is also pretty great. (Link goes to a PDF)

Danika Parikh on Zac Goldsmith’s attempts (i.e. Modi, Hinduism, islamophobia) to reach out to British Indians.

Joe Macaré interviews Walidah Imarisha here. (Via Josh Kitto)

Long, impressive piece on B.R. Ambedkar, by Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

Tiara Jante interviews Rasheedah Phillips (of Black Quantum Futurism and The Afrofuturist Affair) here.

The Ladies Finger on recent events in Kashmir.

Naben Ruthnum watches DDLJ, his first Bollywood film. (I too identify with nearly being driven away from the films by Lata Mangeshkar.)

Shaheen Ahmed on the erasure of Assam’s syncretic traditions.

At We Are Wakanda, a review of the new Black Panther.

An extract from Minnie Vaid’s The Ant in the Ear of the Elephant.

Timothy Yu on the (a) problem with “Have They Run Out Of Provinces Yet?” (Via Sandeep Parmar)

Shruti Ravindran is fantastic, this piece on two Mumbai biologists and the natural wonders of Aarey Milk Colony is fantastic.

Sharon Irani interviews Appupen about Rashtraman and his recent work.

Nathan K. Hensley on drones, empire, space.

Via Keguro Macharia, Vijay Prashad on international scrutiny of caste-based violence, and India’s response to this.

Gautam Bhatia on Ambedkar’s revolutionary constitution.

 

April 3, 2016

Of Interest (3 April, 2016)

Unsorted:

Two (or possibly three) interviews with Victor LaValle: a conversation with Lincoln Michel that is spread out across here and here, and another with Samuel Sattin at the Rumpus, here.

Namwali Serpell on Nnedi Okorafor and Afrofuturism.

Shing Yin Khor on food, authenticity and appropriation.

A profile of Naezy, a young Muslim rapper in Mumbai, by Bhanuj Kappal.

Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive, an ebook by Professor Achille Mbembe, at Africa is a Country.

An interview (by Tom Lamont) with Laura Mvula, about anxiety and success and her new album.

Via Subashini Navaratnam, this piece on the use of African fractals in the building of Benin City.

On Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas: Nilanjana Roy, here, and Jai Arjun Singh, here.

Ijeoma Oluo on not always loving your body.

Sofia Samatar being correct on the subjects of Gormenghast and fantasy and language (and I nearly cried at this piece because yes)

Megan Milks on personal pronouns, being “we”, subjectivity.

This interview with Sarnath Banerjee (by Ratik Asokan) is great and annoying in equal parts and therefore very good indeed.

March 20, 2016

Of Interest (20 March, 2016)

Unsorted:

Nisi Shawl’s crash course in Black SF history.

Supriya Nair interviews Sunil Khilnani about his new book, Incarnations.

I’ve come to Doreen Massey’s work very recently (I wasn’t expecting space/landscape to play as big a part in my research as it has come to do); here’s “Landscape/space/politics“.

Sharanya Manivannan on the Karaikal Ammaiyar approach to existing in public.

Look at these glorious freshwater crabs. Look at them all colourful and smiley.

John d’Addario on Gran Fury. Via Chapati Mystery.

A Helen Oyeyemi interview (with Lauren Oyler) in which she continues to say good things. Via Aaron Bady.

Eric M. Gurevitch on Handsome Nanda, the Therigatha, and empathetic criticism, feat. a Very Long Footnote. Via Nilanjana Roy.

Amit Chaudhuri on Rhodes Must Fall.

Fandom Following’s Wendy on Personal Favourite White Boys and Problematic Faves. Via Rukmini Pande.

Ramzi Fawaz on diverse mutants and superheroes, the hollowness of some current “diversity” discourse, and a much more nuanced reading of Umapagan Ampikaipakan’s infamous column than most of the outraged responses I’ve seen. Via Niall Harrison.

And via Fawaz’s piece, this good thing, by Alexandro Segarde.

Vinay Lal on Godse, the RSS and the murder of Gandhi. Via Bhuvi Gupta.

China Miéville on social sadism.

I meant to link to this weeks ago: Aman Sethi on the Jat agitation, water and the economy.

(Finally a self-plug) Here is a roundtable on South Asianness, folklore, etc., featuring Arun Jiwa, Suna Dasi, Vajra Chandrasekera, Laila Borrie, Shveta Thakrar, Sukhbir Cheema and me.

March 13, 2016

Of Interest (13 March, 2016)

Unsorted links about SF and empire and race:

 

Debbie Reese collects responses to J.K. Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America”.

Roz Kaveney in the TLS is insightful about Tolkien and also voices some of my frustrations with much of the Tolkien criticism I’ve read.

Phenderson Djèlí Clark has some fantastic black history and SF essays on his blog (and you should read them all, obviously), here’s one on SF and racial terror.

Esther Wang on the appeal of fictional worlds where everyone is white. (I feel this essay so hard.)

Vajra Chandrasekera has a new column at Strange Horizons, of which this is the first installment, and it’s great (and advocates blowing things up; I do like this man). His recent review of Binti is also fantastic.

K2 on colonial settlers in The Revenant. (Fun fact! Apparently Grace Dove wasn’t invited to the Oscars.)

Sofia Samatar’s “Notes Toward a Theory of Quantum Blackness” is beautiful; the things it links to and references are vital.

Rega Jha on only one of a long history of atrocities perpetuated on Indian culture by our colonial overlords. Via Sunny Singh.

Andrew Yang on Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings.

Dr. André M. Carrington, whose book I’m very eager to read, interviewed here by Noah Berlatsky. Via Matthew Cheney.

The Ramayana in Persian (an extract from a book by Audrey Truschke), and a Persian Mahabharata (Yael Rice, via bint battuta)

Aaron Bady on A. Igoni Barrett’s Blackass.

February 28, 2016

Of Interest (28 February, 2016)

Rohith Vemula/JNU/India/This Cultural Moment:

How Delhi Police put out our candlelight vigil for Rohith.

Asha Kowtal on the insidious decentring of caste from the discourse. “Because our history is being distorted even before it is fully formed.” (Via Amba Azaad.)

In recent weeks I’ve kept linking to things Ravish Kumar says/does because he’s great; here’s an interview.

A photo essay in the Caravan by Nikhil Roshan, as a group of JNU students waited to be arrested.

Lawrence Liang on Gandhi, Tagore and Anti/Nationalism.

 

Books:

This awards season, remember the Gold Star Awards (and be glad that the Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo exists and is in the world)

Claudia Rankine is interviewed here by Lauren Berlant and some good things are said. (Via Kawrage on twitter.)

Sarah Howe is interviewed by Greg McCartney, and she also says good things. (Via Sandeep Parmar.)

Ethan Robinson reviews Nancy Jane Moore’s The Weave, and in the process also offers a reading of the entire genre, and of assumptions in fiction in general, that I’d find useful and important even if a) he wasn’t a friend b) I hadn’t edited this.

Smriti Daniel on the Noolaham Digital Library.

Kuzhali Manickavel’s continued explorations into SF on the radio are still great. “It is neat how advice about sex can also be advice about interacting with aliens.” (Via Blaft)

E.R. Truitt (whose book sounds relevant to the interests of many who read this) on our imaginary North.

Adam Roberts on the wrath of Achilles John Wick.

Nayomi Munaweera is author-photographed twice.