We stand in solidarity with the uprising unfolding across the country following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Jamel Floyd, and those affected by generations of structural violence against Black communities.

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Adam Theron-Lee Rensch

is a writer and musician based in Chicago. Currently, he is an English PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is finishing his first novel, A Beginner's Guide to Learning How to Die.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Class

In the early 2000s, I spent many nights at the now defunct Emma St Bar & Grill, a truck stop diner located just off I-75 in Findlay, Ohio. Open twenty-four hours, it offered cheap, greasy food and bottomless cups of coffee.

Donald J. Trump, or How He Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Establishment

By occupying the strange position of both problem and solution, democracy in the twenty-first century has become something surprisingly reminiscent of the totalizing, ideologically laden politics to which it is often deemed antithetical.

Tycoons of Despair:
Austerity, Aesthetics, and Sentimentality

This was not the story I intended to write. That was a fictional story, though like many fictional stories it was inspired by a true event.

On Being a Good Ally: The Handmaid's Tale And the Specter of Fascism

Virtually every critical review of the new adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale has drawn parallels between the series’ fictional totalitarian theocracy, Gilead, and the policies and ideological proclivities of Donald Trump’s administration.

Identity and its Discontents

Identity is a complicated thing. It is not, to paraphrase Wittgenstein, like simply hanging a label onto a person, though the contemporary discussion addressing identity—and identity politics, specifically—often imagines this to be the case.

White, Rural, and Poor:
On the Politics of Non-Identity

On a humid day in the summer of 2010, amidst the lingering fallout from the financial crisis, I entered New York’s Penn Station and boarded a train headed for northwest Ohio.

Class Act: Warren's Triangulation

On August 15, 2018, a little over three months before she would form an exploratory committee for the Democratic presidential nomination, Elizabeth Warren issued a press release announcing new legislation. The Accountable Capitalism Act, a hilarious contradiction in terms, promised to “eliminate skewed market incentives” and return America to an era when corporations and workers “did well together.

A New Man Is No Good on Earth: The Great Cowboy Strike

Few narratives remain as endearing to the American mythos as the frontier. The images it has given us—from the small-town saloon of drunken gunslingers to the rugged cowboy wandering a lonely, expansive landscape—symbolize the organizing principles of American capitalism: individualism and self-sufficiency, property rights, a domination of nature, and a masculine celebration of violence as a vehicle for creation (“disruption,” as it is now called in startup speak). In our increasingly borderless world of global capital, the frontier’s legacy continues to validate a conquest of land and people that falsely imagines itself without limits.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2020

All Issues