Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Brilliant Red Thread at Pilsen Community Books

On Wednesday, October 11th at 7pm, Zhana and I will be appearing at our favorite bookstore, Pilsen Community Books, to discuss Don Hamerquist's excellent new essay collection A Brilliant Red Thread. For more on this book, check out my recent review in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

We will screen a short video from Don and lead a discussion of the book and its many lessons. Hope to see you there!

This event will also be live-streamed by our comrades at the Michigan General Defense Committee, but advance registration is required. Please click here to register.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Midwest World History Association Conference

I am honored to be giving the keynote address at the annual conference of the Midwest World History Association, entitled "Outcasts, Pariahs, Criminals: Histories of Others and Othering," at Roosevelt University in Chicago on Friday, September 22nd. I will discuss the historical context of two recent works, Captives and States of Incarceration. 

I will also appear on a Saturday panel with my friends Abby Cunniff and Troy Brundidge, discussing our research in progress on the US prison and policing systems. For more information, check out the conference page here.


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Organizing Against Capitalism 2023

Zhana and I are thrilled to be appearing at the Organizing Against Capitalism conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan later this month. We will discuss our book States of Incarceration, and the present moment.

Check out all the information on the conference here. Thanks to the Michigan General Defense Committee for inviting us, and hope to see you there!

Friday, June 30, 2023

The George Floyd Uprising Reviewed in Inquest

The author David Campbell has penned an excellent review of PM Press's George Floyd Uprising book, featuring me and Zhana alongside some great essays on 2020. Check it out here, in the publication Inquest.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Treason to Whiteness Reviewed in Labour / Le Travail

The scholars Dylan Davis and Patrick King have penned an extraordinary review of Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, the Noel Ignatiev reader I edited with Zhana and Geert, for the Spring issue of the journal Labour / Le Trevail. It is behind a paywall, but can be read here. Many thanks to the authors.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Interview in ArtSci

I was honored to be interviewed about States of Incarceration by the journalist Clair Naylor in ArtSci, the student publication of the college of Arts and Sciences at Governors State University. The issue is available here. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

It's Going Down

It's going down. A full recording of Zhana and my talk in Portland earlier this month is featured on this week's episode of the IGDcast. Check out the episode here. And support IGD!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Captives Reviewed in Theoretical Criminology

The scholar Angélica Camacho has written an excellent review of Captives for the journal Theoretical Criminlogy. It is paywalled but can be read here. Many thanks to the author for such a thorough and generous review.

Friday, May 12, 2023

A Brilliant Red Thread

I have reviewed the indispensable collection of essays by Don Hamerquist, A Brilliant Red Thread (Kersplebedeb, 2023) for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Check out the review here. And be sure to pick up a copy of the book here.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Red May 2023

As part of our Pacific Northwest tour, Zhana and I had the honor of appearing at the opening event for Seattle's Red May 2023! We had a great time, met some cool people, and learned a lot. 

Video of this event is now available here courtesy of Red May. Be sure to check out all their other excellent programming here.

Thanks to Red May and all the comrades in the PNW for having us. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Coming to the Pacific Northwest

In early May, Zhana and I will be traveling through the Pacific Northwest to promote States of Incarceration. Details are as follows:

May 5th: University of Washington, Smith Hall, Room 204, Seattle, 4pm.

May 6th: Pipsqueak, 173 16th Avenue, Seattle, 4:30pm.

May 8th: Lamplighters, 211 4th Ave E, Olympia, 6pm. 

May 10: Alder Commons, 4241 NE Prescott St, Portland 6pm.

Thanks to Sean at Red May and Lucas from Chicago for setting this up.

Friday, April 14, 2023


I am proud to have spent the last four days on strike, along with hundreds of my UPI 4100 union siblings at Governors State University, fighting against austerity in higher education. We have joined two other striking Illinois State universities: Chicago State and Northeastern Illinois. For more information about this unique moment, follow our Twitter page.
4/18 update: After seven days out, we have reached a tentative agreement. It's a start. More importantly, this was one of the most substantive and rewarding political experiences of my life, and the lives of many co-workers... and our workplace will never be the same!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Mass Incarceration on the Cheap

The publication Inquest has run an excerpt from my and Zhana's States of Incarceration. You can read it here.

Be sure to check out Inquest, and pick up a copy of States of Incarceration here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Under the Mask of Philanthropy

For the April issue of the Brooklyn Rail's Field Notes section, I interviewed the activist-scholar Michael Barker about his work on the role of liberal philanthropic foundations in capitalist society. Check it out here

Thanks to Michael Barker and, as always, the excellent Brooklyn Rail!

Friday, March 17, 2023

Captives Wins New York City Book Award

I am very excited to announce that Captives has won a 2022-2023 New York City Book Award, alongside four other excellent titles. Read more here. Thanks to the New York Society Library for this honor.


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Treason to Whiteness Reviewed in the Brooklyn Rail

The scholar John Clegg has penned an in-depth review of Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, the Noel Ignatiev reader I edited with Zhana and Geert, for the Brooklyn Rail

Check it out here, and never miss an issue of the Brooklyn Rail.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Responding to Police Violence

On Tuesday, March 7th at 8pm EST, I will discuss States of Incarceration and related work at an online event called "We Protect Us: Responding to Police Violence" hosted by the Abolition Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Advanced registration is required to attend. Click here to sign up!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

On the Majority Report

Earlier today, Zhana and I appeared on an episode of The Majority Report to discuss States of Incarceration. Check out the episode here.

Thanks to Emma and the rest of the MR crew for having us!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Captives Reviewed in Vital City

The career prison reformer Martha King has penned an in-depth review of Captives for the publication Vital City. It can be read here.

Many thanks to the author for reading with an open mind, and for the honest admission that, thanks to the proponents of new "borough-based jails," we now face the "strong likelihood that, rather than closing Rikers and opening four borough jails, New York City will have an expanded jail system that includes Rikers."

Monday, February 13, 2023

Captives Reviewed in Crime, Media, Culture

The scholar Jane Komori has penned an excellent review of Captives for the journal Crime, Media, Culture. It can be read without a paywall here.

Many thanks to the author for such a generous and sophisticated treatment.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Upcoming Speaking Events in Chicago, Santa Cruz, and Oakland

Next week I will make four appearances to discuss States of Incarceration, Captives, and my present research.

Monday, 2/6, 7pm, at Pilsen Community Books (1102 West 18th St., Chicago). This is a Chicago area release event for States of Incarceration, and I will appear with co-author Zhandarka Kurti.

Wednesday, 2/8, 12:15pm, at UC Santa Cruz (Humanities Building 1, Room 10). Sponsored by UC Santa Cruz Center for Cultural Studies. I will discuss ongoing research into the present jail expansion plan in New York City.

Wednesday, 2/8, 5pm, at UC Santa Cruz (Humanities Building 1, Room 202). Sponsored by the UC Santa Cruz Center for Racial Justice. I will present on Captives and States of Incarceration.

Friday, 2/10, 7pm, at Tamarack (1501 Harrison St., Oakland). Sponsored by the Imaginary Party. I will present on Captives and States of Incarceration.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The George Floyd Uprising

I am honored to be included, alongside Zhana, in a new anthology of writing on the George Floyd Rebellion out now on PM Press! 

Get it here.

From the description: 

"In the summer of 2020, America experienced one of the biggest uprisings in half a century. After George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police, angry crowds took to the streets night after night, fighting the police, looting, and eventually burning down the Third Precinct. The revolt soon spread to cities large and small across the country, where rioters set police cars on fire, sacked luxury shopping districts, and forced the president into hiding in a bunker beneath the White House. Throughout the summer and into the fall, localized rebellions continued to erupt in Atlanta, Chicago, Kenosha, Louisville, Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

Written during the riots, The George Floyd Uprising is a compendium of the most radical writing to come out of that long, hot summer. These incendiary dispatches—from those on the front lines of the struggle—examine the new horizons opened by the revolt, as well as the social, tactical, and strategic obstacles it confronted. This practical, inspiring collection offers a toolbox for all those actively seeking to expand and intensify revolts in the future, and it is essential reading for everyone interested in toppling the state, racism, and capitalism."

 Advance praise:

“Exemplary reflections from today's frontline warriors that will disconcert liberals but inspire young people who want to live the struggle in the revolutionary tradition of Robert F. Williams, the Watts 65 rebels, and Deacons for Defense and Justice.”
—Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums and City of Quartz

“This anthology resists police and vigilante murders. It is not an easy read. We will not all agree on its analyses or advocacy. Yet, its integrity, clarity, vulnerability, love, and rage are clear. As a librarian who archives liberators and liberation movements, I recognize essential reading as a reflection of ourselves and our fears. With resolution, this text resonates with narratives of mini-Atticas. The 1971 prison rebellion and murderous repression by government and officialdom reveal the crises that spark radical movements and increasing calls for self-defense. This volume offers our cracked mirrors as an opportunity to scrutinize missteps and possibilities, and hopefully choose wisely even in our sacrifices.”
—Joy James, author of Resisting State Violence: Radicalism, Gender, and Race in U.S. Culture

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Pod Damn America

In between two totally awesome New York City book events earlier this week, I had a great time sitting down with the Pod Damn America podcast to discuss Captives and States of Incarceration. Check out the episode here, and consider becoming a patron!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Two NYC Appearances: 1/15 & 1/16

I am really excited to be appearing in New York City on Sunday, January 15th and Monday, January 16th, for the first time since the release of Captives and States of Incarceration

I will be discussing these books at the following locations. Hope to see you there!

Sunday 1/15: 5pm at Woodbine, 585 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens. Stick around to hang out at their community dinner at 7pm!

Monday 1/16: 7pm at Our House Infoshop, Broadway Junction (ask a punk).

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

States of Incarceration in Los Angeles Review of Books

The scholar Jason Smith has penned an excellent review of States of Incarceration for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Check it out here. Thanks to the author for his generous and thorough treatment.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

States of Incarceration on Reaktion Books Blog

To mark the release of States of Incarceration, Zhana and I reflected on the project and its major interventions in a blog post for its publisher, Field Notes/Reaktion Books. Check out our short essay here, and pick up the book here.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Dear Rhoda at Pilsen Community Books

On Tuesday, December 13th, I am honored to be joining my friend Dave Ranney for a live reading of portions of the play Dear Rhoda, which he authored with Donna Russell. Based on actual letters recently discovered in a discarded trunk, Dear Rhoda explores the vibrant political scene around the Dil Pickle Club in 1920s Chicago, featuring real-life characters like Clarence Darrow, Lizzie Davis, "Red" Martha Biegler, and Carl Sandburg.

The event will be 7pm at Pilsen Community Books, 1102 West 18th St., Chicago. More information can be found here.

Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Captives Reviewed in The Metropole

The historian David Helps has penned an excellent review of Captives for The Metropole, the official blog of the Urban History Association. Check it out here. Thanks to the author for his time and generosity.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Treason to Whiteness in Los Angeles Review of Books

The scholars Dylan Davis and Patrick King have penned an excellent review of Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, the Noel Ignatiev reader I edited with Zhana and Geert, in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Read it here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

States of Incarceration

I am excited to announce the release of States of Incarceration: Rebellion, Reform, and America's Punishment System, which I co-authored with Zhandarka Kurti, out today on the Field Notes Series of Reaktion Books.

You can purchase the book here.

Critical praise includes:

"This book, perhaps the most synthetic and ambitious look at the George Floyd Rebellion, is an attempt to view the events of 2020 from the perspective of complete social transformation—which is to say, revolution." ― Tobi Haslett, The Brooklyn Rail

“Bold and brilliant,
States of Incarceration is essential reading for those who labor to counter repression and movement capture. The authors offer fierce, fluid analyses of police/state violence and critique progressives' contradictions. The analyses of US history, contemporary uprisings, and current conflicts enlighten and strengthen the work of freedom communities. Share and debate this book.” Joy James, author of In Pursuit of Revolutionary Love, and editor of Imprisoned Intellectuals and The New Abolitionists

“Deeply researched and tightly argued,
States of Incarceration offers a nuanced history of the US carceral state and the politics of its abolition, deftly demonstrating why the latter emerged as the political horizon of the 2020 George Floyd Rebellion. Breaking with those committed to burying the inspiration of this insurrectionary moment as well as those who have lost hope in abolitionism’s potential in the wake of the rebellion’s demise, this book makes a clear and convincing case for holding firm to abolitionism as a dynamic revolutionary politic.” Toussaint Losier, co-author of Rethinking the American Prison Movement

“Abolition is a brick. Will it be used to build the courthouses and carceral institutions of the future, or will it be thrown through their windows?
States of Incarceration makes a powerful case for the latter, poring over the blueprints of our carceral present while imagining what might be born from its smoldering ashes." Geo Maher, author of A World Without Police

“A manifesto written by and for activists. A call to deeply informed activism. A defense and critique of revolutionary violence. A polemic to be taken very seriously. An invitation to leap into an imagined future without carceral states.”
Tony Platt, University of California, Berkeley, author of Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Hard Crackers Issue Nine Available Now!

Issue nine of Hard Crackers is now available! It features new writing from Mushahid Hussain, Beth Henson, Tim Bruno, Adelina Gina, Mike Morgan, Bob Myers, Steven Weidman, Jenny Morgan, Paul Wasserman, and Patrick King. Check it out here.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Hellraiser and The Horror of Police

Happy Halloween! I have two spooky articles out today. 

The first is a review of Travis Linnemann's The Horror of Police, in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Check it out here.

The second is a lengthy assessment of the Hellraiser franchise in light of the 2022 reboot, in Hard Crackers. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Treason to Whiteness in Boston Review

The scholar Mike King has penned an excellent review of Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, the volume of Noel Ignatiev's writing I edited along with Zhana and Geert, for the Boston Review. Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hybrid Moments on the Antifada

To celebrate spooky season I visited my friends at the Antifada and read my recent essay "Hybrid Moments" about the Misfits, the reunion industrial complex, and what, if anything, is the meaning of punk rock. Check it out here, and consider becoming a patron of this podcast.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Everybody Loves Communism

I had a great time chatting with my friends at the Everybody Loves Communism podcast about Captives, abolitionism, and the US political horizon post-2020. Check out the episode here, and consider becoming a patron!


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

States of Incarceration with Tobi Haslett

Zhana and I sat down with essayist Tobi Haslett for an excellent discussion about our new book States of Incarceration, which is out next month on the Field Notes series of Reaktion Books. Check out the interview here and in this month's Brooklyn Rail, and never miss an issue!

States of Incarceration: Rebellion, Reform, and America's Punishment System can be pre-ordered here. I've heard it is already shipping, though the nominal US release is in November.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hybrid Moments

Just in time for October, I have a new essay in Hard Crackers on seeing the latest Misfits reunion, Chicago's Riot Fest, nostalgia, urban enclosure, and the elusive political content of punk rock. Check it out here.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Two Upcoming Captives Events in Upstate New York

I am very excited to be discussing Captives at two Buffalo area events on Friday, 9/30. 

The first is at Niagara University, Dunleavy Hall (room 127), 9 Varsity Drive, Niagara Falls, NY, from 2:30 to 4pm. 

The second is at Burning Books, 420 Connecticut Street, Buffalo, NY, at 7pm. 

Thanks to the Social Justice Speaker Series at Niagara University for making this happen!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Coal, Cages, Crisis on Brooklyn Rail's Common Ground

On Thursday, September 22nd at 1pm ET, Abby and I will appear on the Brooklyn Rail's "Common Ground" discussion series, in dialogue with Judah Schept about his book Coal, Cages, Crisis. What a treat! You can tune in online by following this link and registering in advance.  

This event grew out of my and Abby's review of that book in the Rail's September issue. Check it out here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Captives Reviewed in London Review of Books

I am excited to see Captives reviewed in the September 22nd issue of London Review of Books by the essayist Sarah Resnick. Thanks to the reviewer for a thorough and generous treatment of the book. Check it out online here.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Coal, Cages, Crisis

The prison scholar Abby Cunniff and I have a review of Judah Schept's book Coal, Cages, Crisis (NYU Press, 2022) in this month's issue of the Brooklyn Rail's "Field Notes" section. Check it out here, pick up a copy of this excellent book, and never miss an issue of the Brooklyn Rail!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A Season in Hell

I was honored to sit down with my old friend Natasha Lennard for an interview with Bookforum. We discussed Captives, the present-day significance of the history it details, and the book's creative process. Check it out here!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Treason to Whiteness at Boneshaker Books

On Friday, August 19th at 7pm,  Zhana and I will appear at Boneshaker Books (202 23rd Ave S) in Minneapolis to discuss Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, our new collection of essays by the late Noel Ignatiev. Our Chicago event went great, and we are looking forward to this one! Hope to see you there.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Treason to Whiteness at Pilsen Community Books

On Friday July 22nd at 7pm, Zhana and I will be visiting our friends at Chicago's Pilsen Community Books (1102 W 18th St.) for a celebration and discussion of our new co-edited collection of Noel Ignatiev's political writing, Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity. Come out and pick up a copy!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity

I am thrilled to announce the release of Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity (448 pp., Verso), a collection of essays by the late militant historian Noel Ignatiev edited by Zhana, Geert Dhondt, and me, with an introduction by David Roediger and a biography by John Garvey. Noel's 2019 death was a major blow to friends of human liberation, and we hope this collection will help popularize his ideas and the example he set in life.

Pick up the book here.

Check out this advance praise: 

“This book is the gift of a life well-lived—as steelworker, scholar, race traitor, and fierce anti-racist. Noel Ignatiev had a singular and memorable voice, here preserved for posterity. We will need his ideas and example moving forward.”
—Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship: A Human History

“This collection of Noel Ignatiev’s writings over the past six decades could not come at a more important time in the struggle against white supremacy; they are as pertinent today as they were when they were written.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

“Noel Ignatiev was a tiller in the field of identity studies long before most of us even knew there was such a field. Beyond that, he located the field at the crossroads of race and class. He was an important, innovative thinker, as well as a committed activist for social justice.”
—Russel Banks, author of Continental Drift and Cloudsplitter

“Noel Ignatiev was a giant in one of the most important fields of research to emerge in recent times: how was it that those who had been warring on the shores of Europe on religious and ethnic grounds were magically transformed upon crossing the Atlantic into the new Identity Politics of ‘whiteness’? As the brilliant Ignatiev correctly suggests, the survival of humanity may very well hang on understanding this phenomenon—then acting decisively.”
—Gerald Horne, author of White Supremacy Confronted: US Imperialism and Anti-Communism versus the Liberation of Southern Africa, from Rhodes to Mandela

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Escape From New York II

I am excited to see "Escape from New York," a selection of excerpts from Captives chronicling the rich tradition of escapes from NYC jails, now available as a zine from my pals at Ill Will. Check it out here, and consider supporting their excellent work.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Captives on Kite Line

I went back to see my friends at Kite Line Radio for a two-part discussion of Captives and the lessons of Rikers history for abolitionists today. Check out Part 1 now, look out for Part 2 next week, and never miss an episode of this crucial program.

Update 7/1: Part 2 is now available here.

Friday, June 10, 2022

A.M. Speaks

Last month I was happy to host the Chicago stop of A.M. Gittlitz's #READTHEGREENBOOK tour at Pilsen Community Books. Now the audio is available for listening here.

We discussed Gittlitz’s book I Want To Believe, the enigmatic Latin American revolutionary J. Posadis, the enduring legacy of twentieth century radicalism, revolutionary politics in 2022, meme culture, internet irony, vibe shifts, and why so many dedicated micro-sects turn into cringey cults.

If you haven't picked up this book yet, what are you waiting for?

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Discussion with David Campbell

I recently sat down with good friend and former political prisoner David Campbell, who spent a year at Rikers during the height of Covid, for a lively exchange now transcribed and available on Truthout. We discussed Captives, captivity, and the lessons we have drawn from our respective experiences. Click here to read it.

David is working hard to rebuild his life post-release. If you enjoy this content, consider pledging to his Patreon.

On WBAI's Equal Rights and Justice

I appeared on Mimi Rosenberg's Equal Rights and Justice radio program on WBAI this morning to discuss Captives. It was wonderful to be able to discuss my history of Rikers with people who have spent time working there. Thanks to Mimi for this opportunity and for having me on the show. You can listen here.