March in the Midwest #5 – Second Hand Books

For the last in my series of Midwest posts I wanted to end with something that surprised me slightly – the Midwest has a small abundance of good book shops! (Obviously I only visit three places, but as each of them had at least one amazing book shop I feel confident in this assertion).

I actually had to stop myself buying books out of concern for my luggage allowance on the flight home.

Quimby’s, Chicago
The Haunted Bookshop, Iowa City
Jackson Street Booksellers, Omaha
Solid Jackson, Omaha

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What I’ve Been Reading

After a Call for Change, Artists Respond – Jillian Steinhauer  http://hyperallergic.com/182346/after-a-call-for-change-artists-respond Respond – Smack Mellon Gallery http://smackmellon.org/index.php/exhibitions/respond/ For me, the power of art and design to respond to the social and political world is one of its great strengths. However, this brings it with constant questions of how best to respond, when, and with what aims. Can artists/designers affect change? Should we try to? And, of course, struggling over these questions distracts from the actual issues at hand.

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What I’ve Been Reading

beyond ‘talking’ and ‘owning’ intersectionality – Lola Okolosie 
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/fr/journal/v108/n1/full/fr201414a.html
Can we white feminists call ourselves intersectional? – Time-Machine? Yeah!
http://timemachineyeah.tumblr.com/post/72697038500/can-we-white-feminists-call-ourselves
I’m coming to the end of a long process of PhD proposal writing, and this week has been a reminder a) that this is an ongoing process, the proposal will never really be finished just because it’s handed in, and b) of the importance of constant reading, reflection and adjustment.

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What I’ve Been Reading

Bit of a quiet week this week. I’ve only read two things?

Joe Sacco: On Satire

http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jan/09/joe-sacco-on-satire-a-response-to-the-attacks?CMP=edit_2221
I think this is a very elegant response to current discussions about satire, highlighting the power of images and their relationship to power in society. It has also helped me in understanding why I often feel let down or distanced from satirical work.

Satire is meant to cut to the bone. But whose bone? What exactly is the target?

Quimby’s – Links
http://www.quimbys.com/links
This week I started the very exciting busy of planning a research trip (/holiday) to the Midwest of America, taking in the Design Principles and Practices conference in Chicago before driving over to explore Omaha, Nebraska. My Chicago planning lead me to the Quimby’s book and zine store website, and this amazing list of zine, small-press and Chicago-based links. An amazing resource!

What I’ve Been Reading

If je ne suis pas Charlie, am I a bad person? Nuance gets lost in groupthink – Roxane Gay
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/12/je-ne-suis-pas-charlie-nuance-groupthink
The situation in France has been upsetting, disturbing, confusing. Roxane Gay’s article goes some way to unpicking the complexity of feelings around the act, the response and the aftermath.

Demands for solidarity can quickly turn into demands for groupthink, making it difficult to express nuance. It puts the terms of our understanding of the situation in black and white – you are either with us or against us – instead of allowing people to mourn and be angry while also being sympathetic to complexities that are being overlooked.

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What I’ve Been Reading

Over a long Christmas break (of sorts) I did do some reading. Here is what I read.

(I put together this list, and then realised the new year’s biggest news was conspicuous by its absence. I honestly think its too soon to know what to say about any aspect of it.)

Learning Omaha – Chloe Bass
http://hyperallergic.com/137085/learning-omaha-a-city-by-way-of-art-part-1/
As a teenage Bright Eyes/Saddle Creek fan I’ve had a longstanding interest in Omaha, Nebraska, buoyed recently by the community focused residencies at the city’s Bemis Art Center. Chloe Bass’ Learning Omaha is a prime example of this, engaging local teenagers to develop an alternative knowledge of the city, using very nicely designed template materials. This series of posts gives a good ‘artist’s eye view’ of the process of developing the project.

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What I’ve Been Reading 5/12/14

What I’ve Been Reading

Twitter
twitter.com
In the wake of court decisions in Ferguson and New York City, and the following protests, Twitter has been my main source of news. Citizen journalism is important at a time like this, and social media makes a space for so many voices that don’t get heard in mainstream media.

I particularly recommend @IjeomaOluo, but there’s plenty of insightful comment and protest coverage all over the place.

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Introducing: What I’ve Been Reading!

In an effort to make the blog a bit more current, and also to give a bit of insight into my thinking process, I thought I’d introduce a (semi-)regular feature: What I’ve Been Reading!

It is exactly what you’d expect – a selection of things I’ve read recently and thought were worth sharing. Some of it might have popped up on my Facebook or Twitter, but I thought I’d round it all together here and make my own sort of online anthology. But enough intro, let’s just do this!

What I’ve Been Reading

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