In this episode AnthroPod travels to the Southern California Library to speak with Damien Sojoyner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. Recorded in November 2017, the conversation begins by addressing the library itself, which has served as an archival institution as well as community organizing space in Los Angeles since the 1970s. We also discuss Sojoyner's recent book project, First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles, which critiques the trope of the school-to-prison pipeline by examining public schools in California as sites of enclosure for various forms of Black life. Scaling out, Sojoyner reflects on the current political moment, including educational policies under the Donald Trump administration and the relevance of racial capitalism to contemporary race relations in the United States.
Further Reading and Listening
- Damien Sojoyner is the author of First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles, published in 2016 by the University of Minnesota Press
- Clyde Woods offers a different take on enclosures in Development Arrested: The Blues and Plantation Power in the Mississippi Delta
- George Lipsitz documents the career of musician Horace Tapscott in How Racism Takes Place
- Erica Meiners discusses the trope of white women as teachers in Right to be Hostile: Schools, Prisons, and the Making of Public Enemies
- NPR's This American Life produced a segment about Besty DeVos in an episode entitled “Private Geography”
- Racial capitalism is a concept developed by Cedric Robinson in Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition
Tariq Rahman produced this episode of AnthroPod. Special thanks to Damien Sojoyner for sitting down with us, and to Marios Falaris for his invaluable feedback as Executive Producer.
AnthroPod features interviews with anthropologists about their work, experiences in the field, and current events. To pitch your own episode ideas or to offer feedback, email us at [email protected].
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Intro: All the Colors in the World by Podington Bear
Outro: cure by fascinating earthbound objects