Between the Lines

Between the Lines

40 years of books without bosses, 1977-2017

Events

  • Christopher Samuel on “Conform, Fail, Repeat” - Edmonton

    Pride Centre of Edmonton 10618-105 avenue / accessible entrance with lift at 10610-105 avenue, 1 block west of MacEwan LRT , Edmonton, AB

    Anti-globalization activists have done little to slow capitalism’s global march. Many of the gains made by decades of identity-based movements have been limited to privileged subgroups.The lesson of these movements is clear: struggle for change is essential, but the direction of change matters considerably.

    Like movements of the past, current social movements such as Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and the growing anti-Trump movement, must navigate a path between reformism and radicalism, pragmatism and idealism, capture and independence.

    In Conform, Fail, Repeat: How Power Distorts Collective Action Christopher Samuel uses Pierre Bourdieu’s central “thinking tools” to show how power and domination force movements into a no-win choice between conformity and failure. With special attention to North American LGBTQ politics and the G20 protests in Toronto, Conform, Fail, Repeat shows how Bourdieu’s work can give movement observers as well as participants new tools for tracking and avoiding the pitfalls of conformity and failure.

    Christopher Samuel holds a PhD in Political Studies and is a research consultant in Toronto with special interest in labour, social movement politics, and identity.

  • Tom Slee on “What’s Yours is Mine” Toronto

    Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Beeton Auditorium, toronto, ON

    Get the scoop on the so called “sharing economy”

    The news is full of their names, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. Lyft, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, and many more companies have a mandate of disruption and upending the “old order”—and they’ve succeeded in effecting the “biggest change in the American workforce in over a century,” according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

    But this new wave of technology companies is funded and steered by very old-school venture capitalists. And in What’s Yours Is Mine, technologist Tom Slee argues the so-called sharing economy damages development, extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, and presents the opportunity for a few people to make fortunes by damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk.

    Drawing on original empirical research, Slee shows that the friendly language of sharing, trust, and community masks a darker reality.

  • Toronto launch of “Freethinker:The Life and Works of Éva Circé-Côté”

    Another Story Book Shop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON

    Poet, playwright, and librarian, Éva Circé-Côté was a prolific journalist writing for progressive newspapers under a number of pseudonyms. As a feminist and a freethinker who fought for equality and secularism, she offers a non-conformist perspective on Quebec society and politics in the first four decades of the twentieth century. Join author and award winning historian Andrée Lévesque for a presentation on Freethinker: The Life and Works of Éva Circé-Côté

    “This beautifully written and argued book sheds new light on Montreal’s cultural ‘avant-garde.’ Her perspectives on everything from war through nationalism will overturn many readers’ understandings of Quebec ideas and society over the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a stunning contribution to the history of Canadian and Quebec women.” – Bettina Bradbury, professor emerita, History and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University

    Freethinker is translated from the 2011 Clio prize winner, Éva Circé-Côté, libre penseuse, 1871–1949.

  • Christopher Samuel on “Conform, Fail, Repeat”

    Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Beeton Auditorium (first floor), Toronto, ON

    Anti-globalization activists have done little to slow capitalism’s global march. Many of the gains made by decades of identity-based movements have been limited to privileged subgroups.The lesson of these movements is clear: struggle for change is essential, but the direction of change matters considerably.

    Like movements of the past, current social movements such as Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and the growing anti-Trump movement, must navigate a path between reformism and radicalism, pragmatism and idealism, capture and independence.

    In Conform, Fail, Repeat: How Power Distorts Collective Action Christopher Samuel uses Pierre Bourdieu’s central “thinking tools” to show how power and domination force movements into a no-win choice between conformity and failure. With special attention to North American LGBTQ politics and the G20 protests in Toronto, Conform, Fail, Repeat shows how Bourdieu’s work can give movement observers as well as participants new tools for tracking and avoiding the pitfalls of conformity and failure.

  • Randle W. Nelsen on “Degrees of Failure: University Education in Decline” Toronto

    Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Beeton Hall (first floor), Toronto, ON

    Come to a free talk with Randle Nelsen!

    In Degrees of Failure, Randle Nelsen brings together such diverse topics as campus parking, college sports, helicopter parents, edu-business as edu-tainment, and technology in teaching to show how continuing inequities, grounded in large part upon social class differences, are maintained and reproduced in our universities.

    Paying special attention to the role played by professors in solidifying status-quo arrangements, Nelsen makes the strange familiar for those outside the university bureaucracy and the familiar strange for those whose participation in university settings is a routine part of everyday life.

    “Nelsen’s analysis of what is wrong with twenty-first-century universities involves a sharp-eyed dissection of much that has become normal, taken for granted, in the routines and priorities of neoliberal higher education – from car parking to curriculum design. There is, though, optimism at the heart of this book—an optimism rooted in the conviction that another university is possible. The alternative entails a fundamentally different approach to knowledge, to learning, and to pedagogy. But this is not some fantasy—as Nelsen’s account demonstrates, it is already within our reach.” – John Yandell, Department of Culture, Communication and Media, University College London Institute of Education, and co-author of Rethinking Education: whose knowledge is it anyway?

  • Poh-Gek Forkert on how a small community took on big trash

    Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Beeton Hall (main floor), Toronto, ON

    Come on out to hear Dr. Poh-Gek Forkert talk about her involvement in a big environmental battle. Her book, Fighting Dirty tells the story of how one small group of farmers, small-town residents, and Indigenous people fought the world’s largest waste disposal company to stop them from expanding a local dumpsite into a massive land fill. As one of the experts brought in to assess the impact the toxic waste would have on the community, Poh-Gek Forkert was part of the adventures and misadventures of their decades-long fight.

    “Fighting Dirty is an inspiring read for all activists battling against the money and power of corporations. It shows that when a small group of determined, committed citizens don’t give up, leaders and unexpected opportunities will emerge. When the cause is just, good people can win.” —David Suzuki, internationally-renowned environmentalist.

  • SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism with Richard Swift

    Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Beeton Hall (main floor), Toronto, ON

    Financial collapse and crisis; disgust at bankers’ greed; the devastating effects of yawning inequality: all these and more have led to widespread dissatisfaction and disenchantment with capitalism. People are crying out for an alternative but are continually told that one does not exist. Richard Swift examines the past shortcomings and present health of not one but many other paths to changing the world, including socialism, social democracy, anarchism, ecology and degrowth.

    Combining the practical with the visionary, he shows that finding alternatives to capitalism is no longer an academic issue for the left – it is an urgent planetary necessity.

  • Andrée Lévesque speaks on the life and works of freethinker Éva Circé-Côté

    Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Beeton Hall (main floor), Toronto, ON

    Poet, playwright, and librarian, Éva Circé-Côté was a prolific journalist writing for progressive newspapers under a number of pseudonyms. As a feminist and a freethinker who fought for equality and secularism, she offers a non-conformist perspective on Quebec society and politics in the first four decades of the twentieth century.

    Andrée Lévesque is the author of Freethinker:The Life and Works of Éva Circé-Côté which was translated (by Lazer Lederhendler) from the 2011 Clio prize winner, Éva Circé-Côté, libre penseuse, 1871–1949.

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