The Following Alternate Location Has Been Scheduled for this Event:
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday April 20 at 2:30 pm at the Logan Square Branch of the Chicago Public Library 3030 W. Fullerton Ave (cross street: Sacramento). Chicago, free parking, wheelchair accessible (Bus route:74 Fullerton, Blue Line: Logan Square)
Here’s a riddle: What kind of “presidential library” is empty of both documents and artifacts, but chock-full of clout and basic humbug? Answer: The proposed Obama Presidential Center, a billionaire-funded, city subsidized boondoggle that, if built, will pave over a major chunk of Jackson Park and set a dangerous precedent for future lakefront “development” and privatization of the commons. Chicago based writer and critic Hugh Iglarsh examines the non-library from a left perspective, focusing on the major players (gentrification!) and concluding that it’s an all-too-fitting monument to the Obama presidency and the larger neoliberal project. Iglarsh will be joined by Charlotte Adelman, chief plaintiff of the ongoing federal lawsuit against the OPC, who will discuss the prospects of the battle to prevent the de-greening of historic Jackson Park.
The Following Alternate Location Has Been Scheduled For This OUL Event:
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday March 23 at 2:30 pm at the Logan Square Branch of the Chicago Public Library 3030 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago, (Cross Street Sacramento) free parking, wheelchair accessible (Bus route: 74 Fullerton, Blue Line: Logan Square)
The nation is already descending into yet another preposterous, precisely time-staggered quadrennial major party big money candidate-centered electoral extravaganza—one that could very well re-elect an aspiring fascist leader to the imperial presidency. It is an apt moment to reflect on the all-too-rarely noted problem that the United States is authoritarian by constitutional design. U.S. politics and policy are poisoned beyond all democratic recognition by an explicitly anti-egalitarian charter drafted and passed by 18th Century slaveholders and merchant capitalists for whom popular sovereignty was the ultimate nightmare. Street will discuss how U.S. politics and policy are badly distorted by the nation’s exceptionally durable charter and how we might finally and productively stop playing “Simon Says” with militant anti-democrats like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.
Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, teacher, journalist, historian, author and speaker
based in Iowa City Iowa and Chicago, Illinois. He has authored seven books to date and essays and commentaries have appeared in a wide variety of media venues such as CounterPunch, Truthdig, Black Agenda Report, the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and CNN to name only a few.
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday December 15, at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. (cross street Sheffield) Chicago, free parking, wheel chair accessible (Bus route: 74 Fullerton, Red line: Fullerton)
By both its supporters and detractors, neoliberalism is usually considered an economic policy agenda. This presentation argues that it is much more than that: a complete worldview, neoliberalism presents the competitive marketplace as the model for true human flourishing. It has enjoyed great success: from the struggle for “global competitiveness” on the world stage down to our individual practices of self-branding and social networking, neoliberalism has transformed every aspect of social life in the West and beyond. This talk explores the sources of neoliberalism’s remarkable success and the roots of its current decline. Neoliberalism’s appeal is its promise of freedom in the form of unfettered free choice. But that freedom is a trap: we have just enough freedom to be accountable for our failings, but not enough freedom to create genuine substantive change. If we choose rightly, we ratify our own exploitation. If we choose wrongly, we are consigned to the outer darkness and then demonized as the cause of social ills.
Adam Kotsko is on the faculty of the Shimer Great Books School at North Central College in Naperville where he teaches in the humanities and social sciences. He is the author, most recently, of “The Prince of This World,” a study of the political legacy of pre-modern Christian ideas about the devil, and “Neoliberalism’s Demons,” which argues that the contemporary political-economic order functions on the basis of a logic of moral entrapment that echoes the theological concept of demonization.
All OUL programs are free of charge and open to all
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday November 10 at 2:30pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago (cross street Sheffield), free parking, wheelchair accessible (Bus route: 74 Fullerton, Red Line: Fullerton)
Election and Populism in the Era of Trump
Open University of the Left welcomes back Dr. Anthony DiMaggio. Populism in the era of Trump includes both left and right wing components. The popular narrative in the U.S. media is that rising economic insecurity and anxiety is linked to the embrace of right-wing politics and to Trump voting.
DiMaggio takes apart this myth, explaining what factors are really driving the rise of left and right-wing protest in America. His discussion covers popular protests, including the Tea Party, the Madison protests, Occupy Wall Street, the Fight for $15, Trump and Sanders populism, the anti-Trump protests, and #MeToo. He will also discuss the just concluded outcome of the 2018 midterm election with an eye toward examining how citizen discontent and populism impacted voting in the House and Senate.
Anthony DiMaggio is a Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday October 13, at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park branch of the Chicago Public Library at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago (cross street Sheffield), free parking, wheel chair accessible (Bus route: 74 Fullerton, Red Line Fullerton)
OUL welcomes back long-time political activist and professor of sociology at Purdue University Northwest Kim Scipes. Kim will talk about what he has learned from studying CIO labor organizing in Chicago during it’s years of greatest strength (1933-1955). He will compare this to what activist Jane McAlevey, a current organizer, is now proposing. Kim will speak specifically about current community work in Michigan City, Indiana. The intent here is to help deepen current organizing efforts in Chicago and beyond.
All Open University of the Left event are free of charge and open to all.
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday September 15 at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park branch of the Chicago Public Library at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. (cross street: Sheffield) Chicago, (Red Line: Fullerton) free parking, wheelchair accessible (Bus route: 74 Fullerton).
Dr. Steve Macek presents: Higher Education Under Siege
Since the late 1960’s, higher education has been under attack from the right as a breeding ground for leftist of various stripes. During this time, we’ve witnessed one wave after another of such attacks.
It is not a coincidence that this reactionary public relations campaign against higher education has coincided with the casualization of much of the university workforce, a political attack on the rights of faculty unions and dramatic cuts to government financial support for higher education. Though not as visible or well publicized as the right’s ideological attacks on the supposed “liberalism” of the academy, the decline in state support for post-secondary education, the corresponding rise in average tuition and student debt, and the increasing “adjunctification” of college instruction have also been part of a carefully coordinated campaign, which is funded and lead by many of the same right-wing organizations and wealthy individuals.
Open University of the Left welcomes back Steve Macek who is a Professor in Communication and Media Studies at North Central College and a member of the Executive Committee of the Illinois AAUP.
All Open University of the Left event are free of charge and open to all.