Month: May 2021

EP22: The Colonial Lens (ft. Uahikea Maile, Max Liboiron, & Pam Palmater)

EP22: The Colonial Lens (ft. Uahikea Maile, Max Liboiron, & Pam Palmater)

Scholars want to decolonize everything, and universities say they are doing the hard work of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.  But is anything really being done, or is it all for show? In this episode, we approach these questions through three words that are common inside and outside of academia: decolonize, reconciliation, and colonialism. 

  • First (@7:05), Uahikea Maile is Assistant Professor of Indigenous politics at the University of Toronto. Last summer, he was part of a land defense against the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope that would be built in Hawaii on Mauna Kea, which is sacred to Native Hawaiins. He takes us inside the struggle and explains that the telescope will not be built despite the powerful forces, including governments that wish it to be.
  • Then (@18:39), Max Liboiron is an Associate Professor in Geography at Memorial University and head of the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research. They explain what colonialism is and how it relates to land and research, including “well intentioned” environmental work that is itself colonial and dispossesses Indigenous peoples. They also make the distinction between “decolonialism” and “anti-colonialism.”
  • Finally (@38:58), Pam Palmater is Chair of Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. She points out that the point of reconciliation is to uncover and expose the truth in the service of making amends but politicians have appropriated the term and rendered it superficial in the service of their own ends. So too have universities. She asks how universities and others hold themselves to account and take action when it comes to reconciliation — or not. 

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————-

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

 ——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW——————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. 

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer this week is Jay Cockburn and our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants this week are Addye Susnick and David Moscrop. We also had research assistance from Franklynn Bartol and academic advising from Dr. Marc Spooner. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, as part of a project looking at higher education policy in Canada. The lead academic advisor is Dr. Marc Spooner at the University of Regina, and Franklynn Bartol is the research assistant

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

EP21: Letters From Herzl (ft. Rashid Khalidi & Faisal Bhabha)

EP21: Letters From Herzl (ft. Rashid Khalidi & Faisal Bhabha)

Gazans live in an open-air prison within an apartheid state. Backed by the United States and USD $3.8b a year in military aid, Israel dominates Palestinians. Recent Israeili airstrikes on Gaza have left over 200 Palestinians and a dozen Irsaelis dead. The moment continues a history that is settler colonial, one-sided, and disproportionate. And yet media and academic censorship has consistently silenced or punished those who speak out in support of Palestinians. In the face of that, many radical academics simply remain silent. In an age where ‘decolonization’ has become an academic buzzword, we must ask: will we stand by our purported ideals? On this episode, host Gordon Katic says “colonialism is not a metaphor” as he dives into settler colonialism and the costs of resistance, criticizing Israel, and speaking up for Palestine. 

  • First (@11:05), Rashid Khalidi is a Palestinian American historian and Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. He’s also the author of The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017. He analyzes letters between Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and Rashid’s great-great-great uncle, Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi.  The letters, among other documents, reveal  that colonialism was always an explicit element of political Zionism. 
  • Then (@46:29), Faisal Bhabha is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and former Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. In June 2020, he participated in a debate about the International Holocaust Remeberance Alliance’s definition of anti-semitism. He criticized the definition as vague and confusing, and subject to conflation of criticism of the state of Israel as anti-semitism. He takes us through the controversial debate and the fallout, including attacks against his career and attempts to remove him from the classroom. 
——————-STATEMENT FROM YORK UNIVERSITY——————-
York University unequivocally supports academic freedom. We refer you to a public statement on academic freedom issued on September 29, and can be found here.
President Lenton has steadfastly affirmed the University’s commitment to academic freedom for all York University Faculty members which includes Professor Bhabha’s participation in the panel held by Ryerson Universitys Centre for Free Expression and co-sponsored by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Within legal limits, academic freedom is rightly afforded a great deal of protection. As the President has stated, York believes that academic freedom is vital to the furtherance of robust and respectful dialogue, particularly where there may be disagreement and different perspectives. Universities play an essential role in creating a place where difficult world issues can be discussed, where arguments can be held up to scrutiny and be challenged, and where people can hopefully learn from each other and work towards solutions.
– Yanni Dagonas, Deputy Spokesperson, York University

——————-FURTHER READING——————-

——————-EPISODE CITATIONS——————-

We cited a lot of sources in this episode. You can find a selection of them through the links below.

On social media

  • On Twitter, writer Mohammed El-Kurd describes the violence in the streets and links to videos, May 12, 2021
  • Mohammed El-Kurd speaks out on television against Israel’s actions in Gaza
  • Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz tweets his thanks to the U.S. for blocking the U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing Israel’s attack on Gaza
  • The Gravel Institute makes it plain on Twitter: “This is what colonization looks like.”
  • Writer Andray Domise tweets “Academics wanna decolonize everything except actual colonies, get these soft mother fuckers outta here, lmao.”
  • A video of the late Michael Brooks is circulating on Twitter in which he explains that despites to make it sound complicated, the Israel-Palestine issue is actually “super simple”

In the news

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

 ——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW——————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters.  

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer this week is Ren Bangert and our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants this week are Franklynn Bartol and David Moscrop. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, as part of a project looking at higher education policy in Canada. The lead academic advisor is Dr. Marc Spooner at the University of Regina, and Franklynn Bartol is the research assistant

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

EP20.1: Solid Strunk (ft. Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge)

EP20.1: Solid Strunk (ft. Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge)

In this bonus episode, we talk more with Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge.  Trevor has a forthcoming book called Story Mode: Video Games and the Interplay Between Consoles and Culture. It’s coming out this November.

The book looks at the shifting politics of major franchises, including Metal Gear. Metal Gear offered a trenchant critique of war, militarism, big data, surveillance, and the deep state. But for Trevor, Metal Gear eventually lost its way– the series ended up lionizing warriors. By the end of the series, its politics aren’t much better than a Marvel movie.

Trevor and Gordon talk about Metal Gear and what went wrong, but it’s part of a much wider-ranging conversation about the politics of video games. We also return to that perennial debate: are video games art?

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW——————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters.

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer on this episdoe was Ren Bangert, and our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants are Addye Susnick and David Moscrop. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, which provided us a research grant to look at the concept of “public intellectualism.” Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia is the lead academic advisor. It was also part of a wider project looking at the politics of video games, housed at UBC and also advised by Lennart E. Nacke at the University of Waterloo.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

 

EP20: The Revolution Will Not Be Streamed (ft. Destiny, Trevor Strunk, Cypheroftyr & T.L. Taylor)

EP20: The Revolution Will Not Be Streamed (ft. Destiny, Trevor Strunk, Cypheroftyr & T.L. Taylor)

It was billed as “the biggest event in the history of the terminally online.” A debate: socialism vs. capitalism. On your left side, the esteemed Marxist economist Richard Wolff. On your right, a StarCraft player-turned-Twitch intellectual: Steven Bonnel II, better known as Destiny. We dissect the debate, and its limitations. But more broadly, we ask, why are gamers becoming an emerging political commentariat, and what does that mean for the rest of us? Twitch is reshaping political and intellectual discourse, whether we like it or not; is it making that discourse more vibrant and more inclusive, or more phoney and more bro-y? 

  • First (@7:09), Steven Kenneth Bonnell II, better known by most as Destiny, is a Twitch streamer and liberal political commentator with over 350,000 subscribers on YouTube. He talks about Twitch-stream intellectualism — or a lack thereof — and how it intersects with gaming. He also digs into his debate with Marxist economist Richard Wolff and the politics and pageantry of making a living online.
  • Next (@33:55), Trevor Strunk has a PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and hosts No Cartridge, a podcast about Marxist dialectical action. He breaks down the Destiny vs. Wolff debate and takes us into the world of gaming politics — including the “them versus us” mentality that draws and keeps our attention.
  • Then (@51:47), T.L. Taylor is a Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT who researches online communities and gaming culture. She wrote the book on Twitch. Literally. It’s called Watch Me Play. She explains the history of gaming spaces and the evolution of gaming that brought it about — and what that means for streamers and those who follow them.
  • Finally (@1:11:22), Tanya DePass, known as Cypherofyr, is a Twitch streamer, activist, and journalist. She’s also the founder of the not for profit organization, I Need Diverse Games. She introduces us to her online community and discusses the struggle to create more inclusive, diverse gaming spaces while reminding us that many games are inherently political, despite what some suggest.

——————-SUPPORT THE SHOW——————-

We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. 

This week, our generous Patrons can listen to Gordon’s full, completely unedited interview with Destiny. 

——————-FURTHER READING & LISTENING——————-

—————————-CONTACT US————————-

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly.

—————————-CREDITS—————————-

Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn, our assistant producer is Ren Bangert, and our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants are Addye Susnick and David Moscrop. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, which provided us a research grant to look at the concept of “public intellectualism.” Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia is the lead academic advisor. It was also part of a wider project looking at the politics of video games, housed at UBC and also advised by Lennart E. Nacke at the University of Waterloo.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.