This July, we are hosting study groups on a range of political, literary, socially and cultural topics. Each study group is free to attend and will meet three times in book stores, galleries, and cafés in Oakland and the Bay Area. Study group sizes are limited. See full descriptions below.

This month’s group are currently closed, but you can sign up here to learn about upcoming study!

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Love and Anti-Fascism: Rosa Luxemburg’s Reform and Revolution

Wednesdays, July 10, 17, 24

with Scott Ortega-Nanos

Join us for a non-hierarchical, inclusive reading and discussion of Rosa Luxemburg’s seminal work, Reform and Revolution. Together, we will explore the divisive yet pertinent issue of reform vis-a-vis revolution through this classic and inspirational text.. but without dogma, party agendas, infighting, and “theory-flexing”.. instead, we will place the unifying principles of love and anti-fascism at front and center. No previous familiarity with the text and/or revolutionary history is necessary; anyone with an open political consciousness is welcome to participate.

Possible texts: Rosa Luxemburg’s “Reform or Revolution?”, Eduard Bernstein’s “Evolutionary Socialism” (excerpts), Tony Cliff’s “Rosa Luxemburg” (excerpts)

Prose Architectures: A Renee Gladman Study Group

Saturdays, July 6, 13, 20 (Mission, SF)

with Aku Ammah-Tagoe

How might Renee Gladman’s experimental writing about enigmatic, disappearing urban spaces help us think about Bay Area cities? We’ll look at works by this writer, artist, and critic, and explore the space of San Francisco through short city walks.

Possible texts: One of Gladman’s Ravicka novels, selections from her art book *Prose Architectures* and her essay collection *Calamities*. Perhaps excerpts from Rebecca Solnit, Italo Calvino.

Malcolm X: The Man, the Legend, the Legacy

Monday July 8, Wednesday July 10, Friday July 12

with Alaina Morgan

One of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century, Malcolm X has provoked inspiration for racial activism and anxiety for establishment figures. This study group will take a deep dive into Malcolm’s Autobiography as well as considering why his image and lessons have endured for the past sixty years.

Possible texts: The autobiography of Malcolm X

Radical Study in the Bay

Tuesdays, July 9, 16, 23

with Laura Nelson

Join for a collective study of radical histories of education in the Bay Area. Each session, we will turn to a different social movement or example of radical study through a careful engagement with primary source materials and meetings at or near the locations of these former projects. Possible areas of focus may include: the California Labor School, Black Panther Schools, the SF Liberation School, the San Francisco State Experimental College, the Indian University on Alcatraz. Together, we will think about the ways people have come together in community to envision and bring about different worlds through education.

Black Liberation and the Erotic

Wednesdays, July 17, 24, 31

with Ra Malika Imhotep & Chika Okoye

This class will explore how Black feminist writers have articulated liberation as an embodied practice.

Possible texts: Audre Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic”; adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism; Angela Davis, “Lectures on Liberation”, and others

Intro to Asexualities!

June 30, July 4, July 7

with Akande X

This study group will begin to grapple with narratives and orientations of asexuality. We will look at philosophy, fiction, and personal narrative to understand the basic, intermediate, and advanced questions that are being asked of asexuality within queer studies.

Possible texts: Queer Phenomenology- Sara Ahmed, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace- Patty Yumi Cottrell, still, nothing: Mammy and black asexual possibility- Inna Hawkins Owens (not the entirety of these texts, only bits and pieces that are pertinent to the study)

Depression: A Public Feeling

Mondays, July 8, 15, 22

with Melissa Mack

Through a reading of Ann Cvetkovich’s “Depression: A Public Feeling,” the group will consider depression as a social and historically specific phenomenon. We will explore dominant and especially alternative methods of treating depression, and discuss whether depression (and other “negative” affects) might be a source of social, cultural, and political transformation.

Possible texts: Depression: A Public Feeling, selections from Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother, Jack Halberstam’s Queer Art of Failure, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Touching Feeling, and the anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color

Simone Weil: Praxis in the Presence of an Absent God

Saturday, July 6, 13, 20

with Andrew Wilson

An investigation into the relationship of spirituality to politics based on the life and work of Simone Weil.

Possible texts: Various works by Weil; possible supplementary texts, (all texts will be provided in .pdf form)

Quo Vadis: An Orientation for Personal Freedom 

Tuesday July 2 7-8:30pm and Saturday July 13 and 20 2pm-3:30pm (Downtown Oakland)

with Elliot Ikheloa

“Quo vadis” in Latin translates to “where are you going?” We will look at a few short texts, videos, and music selections that focus on the theme of mission and mortality. I hope to inspire helpful reflections and interesting conversations for anyone in the middle of an important transition.

Blood and Oil: ReOrienting the Middle East Against Imperialist Perspectives

Thursdays July 11, 18, 25, 6pm (Downtown Oakland)

with Saam Niami

This will be a three-part series intent on informing and radicalizing the public against the imperialist grasp on the Middle East, heavily influenced by Edward Said’s quintessential “Orientalism.” We will discuss the western crackdown on Middle Eastern socialism in the mid-century, deconstructing the western propagation of Islamic oligarchy in the Gulf States, and de-barbarizing the rise of the Islamic State.

Possible texts: Excerpts of Edward Said’s Orientalism and various historical texts