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Issue 1

Far-Flung Commiserators | Jubilee Gestures and Revolutionary Stirrings in Black Lives Matter

Lake Micah

“This is the fire that terrifies our pitiful enemies. That not only are we alive but shatteringly precise in our songs and our scorn.”—Amiri Baraka “But what I'd like to know / Is could a place like this exist, so beautiful?”—Stevie Wonder The condition of our history is one of abject reduction—to metonyms and to misapprehensions, to causes and to effects, to trite little truisms: a surfeit of errant narratives...

#MeToo’s Strike Test | The Harvard Graduate Student Union and the Limits of "Time’s Up" Organizing

Ege Yumusak

A Zoom handshake made it official: last Monday, Harvard University and its student workers’ union agreed on a year-long contract after two years of negotiations and one strike. This week, our 4,500 rank-and-file members—doctoral, masters, and J.D. students, as well as several hundred undergraduate course assistants—will vote to ratify the contract.  As a member of the union bargaining committee, I watched as Harvard slow-rolled the negotiation process over the course...

Drug Money | The Race for a Vaccine

Noah Kulwin

Speaking at a biotechnology conference on June 9 via livestream, Anthony Fauci told the virtually assembled audience that the novel coronavirus pandemic had turned out to be his worst nightmare. Among the few bright spots, America’s best-known immunologist observed, was the pharmaceutical industry’s commitment to developing a vaccine: “The industry is not stupid.” After all, Fauci reasoned, “there’s going to be more than one winner in the vaccine field because...

“More Precisely Revolution” | Notes from the Protests Worldwide

Deshawn McKinney, Henry Shah, Kaamya Varagur, Lily Bou, Shaj Mohan, Zuneera Shah

After a season of lockdowns and social distancing, people are taking to the streets. The U.S. has seen large-scale and widespread uprisings after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the latest in a series of Black victims of police brutality. Solidarity protests calling for racial justice have spread across the world. Meanwhile, uprisings continue in Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, and elsewhere. In an ongoing series, The Drift is...

The Cure and the Disease | Social Darwinism from AIDS to Covid-19

Erik Baker

It was not how anyone expected Bill Hamilton to die. In 1999, Hamilton was celebrating his fifteenth year as a research professor in evolutionary biology at Oxford, where he had cultivated a reputation for unconventional, mathematically sophisticated theorizing. He had recently received both the Crafoord Prize and the Kyoto Prize, arguably the two most prestigious awards for scientists in fields not eligible for the Nobel. His wife had moved out,...

“A Worldwide Mutual Pact” | An Interview with Wendy Brown

The Drift

There are limits to the utility of theory in a crisis. So far, Covid-19 has not exactly occasioned a mass embrace of the mountains of leftist ideas—both theoretical and practical—that have been prepared for such a moment; instead, we’ve witnessed a hardening of the preexisting order, in which the old injustices have only become more grotesque.  Meanwhile, the intellectual class has tweeted, blogged, and otherwise emerged from the proverbial woodwork...

Nature’s Revenge Porn | Animal Documentaries at the End of the Earth

Rebecca Panovka

Google “nature’s revenge,” and the internet free-associates straight to Covid-19. The first several search results read like a back-and-forth debate: coronavirus does, or else it doesn’t, represent an ecological spin on divine retribution. The pope has an opinion on the matter, as does the lead guitarist from Korn. Also in the fray is an organization called The Turtle Conservancy, which weighed in decisively with a March 26 post titled “Mother...

What’s Going On | The Vexed History of “Night Life” in The New Yorker

Phillip Golub

Museums shuttered, Broadway gone dark, orchestras furloughed—now that nothing remotely cultural is going on about town, The New Yorker’s “Goings On” section seems like a relic of a distant past. In fact, it already was one. A feature that has run continuously since the magazine’s first issue, “Goings On” was last updated in 2016, when editor David Remnick announced a parade of new online features: a revolving display of articles,...

Party Politics | The Last Days of Queer Club Culture

Simon Wu

Qipaos over jockstraps, Sailor Moon with a necktie, gym socks. The look is a little self-Orientalizing, but fun, like if Pearl River Mart made a clubwear line. Sookie Sterling, an artist and drag queen, dons a Chinese headdress. Later, on Instagram, the image is captioned “Gung Hei Fat Choy,” with five red emojis. There are other, less classifiable looks, too: a sexy-biker-turned-ballerina talks to an orange, bedazzled cowboy in silk...

The Lotus on Marina Bay Speaks | Poem

Zoë Hitzig

I am master of the evening lightshow. Come 8 o’clock, sun gone, The people belong to me & my electric arsenal. They quit their shiny surfaces & sharp objects. Take off their pointing typing fingers, abandon their minute-made stances until tomorrow. For now it is time to watch lightforms dance color across glass & marinawater. Watch them gather, nod to greet each other, newly deferent. Here the black-iris bulb blinks...

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