Book Club: What should we read next?

Attention constant readers! It is time to choose our next victim book!

Here are the three candidates left over from our original vote, plus one wild card:

bell hooks, Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice

208 pages

What are the conditions needed for our nation to bridge cultural and racial divides? By “writing beyond race,” noted cultural critic bell hooks models the constructive ways scholars, activists, and readers can challenge and change systems of domination.

Biella Coleman, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking

254 pages

Who are computer hackers? What is free software? And what does the emergence of a community dedicated to the production of free and open source software–and to hacking as a technical, aesthetic, and moral project–reveal about the values of contemporary liberalism? Exploring the rise and political significance of the free and open source software (F/OSS) movement in the United States and Europe, Coding Freedom details the ethics behind hackers’ devotion to F/OSS, the social codes that guide its production, and the political struggles through which hackers question the scope and direction of copyright and patent law. In telling the story of the F/OSS movement, the book unfolds a broader narrative involving computing, the politics of access, and intellectual property.

E. Gabriella Coleman tracks the ways in which hackers collaborate and examines passionate manifestos, hacker humor, free software project governance, and festive hacker conferences. Looking at the ways that hackers sustain their productive freedom, Coleman shows that these activists, driven by a commitment to their work, reformulate key ideals including free speech, transparency, and meritocracy, and refuse restrictive intellectual protections. Coleman demonstrates how hacking, so often marginalized or misunderstood, sheds light on the continuing relevance of liberalism in online collaboration.

Sarah Schulman, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

179 pages

In this gripping memoir of the AIDS years (1981-1996), Sarah Schulman recalls how much of the rebellious queer culture, cheap rents, and a vibrant downtown arts movement vanished almost overnight to be replaced by gay conservative spokespeople and mainstream consumerism. Schulman takes us back to her Lower East Side and brings it to life, filling these pages with vivid memories of her avant-garde queer friends and dramatically recreating the early years of the AIDS crisis as experienced by a political insider. Interweaving personal reminiscence with cogent analysis, Schulman details her experience as a witness to the loss of a generation’s imagination and the consequences of that loss.

Something else altogether

You tell me!

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6 thoughts on “Book Club: What should we read next?

  1. Kimberly Chapman

    I’m not much of a non-fiction reader for leisure time since I read that enough for research time. But that being said I won’t stand in the way of others picking those books. :)

  2. Jennie

    Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing
    OR
    The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
    OR
    The Dr Who one mentioned by previous poster, that one looked good too.

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