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Keywords for Radicals

Keywords for Radicals

The contested vocabulary of late-capitalist struggle
Ed by Kelly Fritschm Calre O'Connor, AK Thompson
AK Press, 2016

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"An extraordinary volume that provides nothing less than a detailed cognitive mapping of the terrain for everyone who wants to engage in radical politics."—Slavoj Žižek, author of Living in the End Times 

Keywords for Radicals recognizes that language is both a weapon and terrain of struggle, and that all of us committed to changing our social and material reality, to making a world justice-rich and oppression-free, cannot drop words such as ‘democracy,’ ‘occupation,’ ‘colonialism,’ ‘race,’ ‘sovereignty,’ or ‘love’ without a fight. —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“A primer for a new era of political protest.” —Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity

“This keywords upgrade puts powerful weapons into revolutionaries' hands. Unexpected entries expand into new terrain.… Indispensable.” —Jodi Dean, author of The Communist Horizon

In Keywords (1976), Raymond Williams devised a "vocabulary" that reflected the vast social transformations of the post-war period. He revealed how these transformations could be grasped by investigating changes in word usage and meaning. Keywords for Radicals—part homage, part development—asks: What vocabulary might illuminate the social transformations marking our own contested present? How do these words define the imaginary of today's radical left?

With insights from dozens of scholars and troublemakers, Keywords for Radicals explores the words that shape our political landscape. Each entry highlights a term's contested variations, traces its evolving usage, and speculates about what its historical mutations can tell us. More than a glossary, this is a crucial study of the power of language and the social contradictions hidden within it.

Kelly Fritsch is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto.

Clare O'Connor is a doctoral student in Communication at the University of Southern California.

A.K. Thompson teaches social theory at Fordham University in New York.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editors — Introduction

Kelly Fritsch — Accessible

Clare O’Connor — Accountability

AK Thompson — Agency

Mab Segrest — Allies

Maia Ramnath — Authority

Anna Agathangelou — Bodies

Christine Kelly — Care

Johanna Brenner — Class

Lorenzo Veracini — Colonialism

George Caffentzis — Commons

Sarah Lamble — Community

Mandy Hiscocks — Conspiracy

Robert McRuer — Crip

Nina Power — Demand

Donatella della Porta — Democracy

Ruth Kinna — Domination

Kate Kaul — Experience

Simon Wallace — Friend

Rasheedah Phillips — Future

Tammy Kovich — Gender

Richard Day — Hegemony

Bryan D Palmer — History

Ana Cecilia Dinerstein — Hope

Himani Bannerji — Ideology

Sumayya Kassamali — Intellectual

Sam Gindin — Labor

Joy James — Leadership

Robin Marie Averbeck — Liberal

Heather Davis — Love

Rosemary Hennessy — Materialism

Eliza Steinbock — Misogyny

Sunera Thobani — Nation

John Bellamy Foster — Nature

Sara Matthews — Occupation

Justin Podur — Oppression

Deborah Gould — Politics

Stefan Kipfer — Populism

Christian Scholl — Prefiguration

Douglas Williams — Privilege

Natalie Kouri-Towe — Queer

Conor Tomás Reed — Race

Jaleh Mansoor — Representation

Silvia Federici — Reproduction

Miranda Joseph — Responsibility

Thomas Nail — Revolution

Rebecca Schein — Rights

Markus Kip — Solidarity

Stacy Douglas — Sovereignty

Kanishka Goonewardena — Space

Patrick Bond — Sustainable

Dan Irving — Trans*/-

David McNally — Utopia

Alan Shandro — Vanguard

Heather Hax — Victory

Peter Gelderloos — Violence

Neil Balan — War

Illan Pappé — Zionism

References

Appendix

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