paper trail

A people’s history of COVID-19 in New York City

Connie Mae Oliver. Photo: Marc Basch

This afternoon, the Brooklyn Rail hosts an event, “A People’s History of the Pandemic in NYC,” featuring poet Connie Mae Oliver, Meral Agish and Lori Wallach of the Queens Memory Project, and Denise Milstein and Ryan Hagen from the NYC COVID-19 Oral History, Narrative, and Memory Archive.

At The Atlantic, Morgan Ome talks with Cathy Park Hong about her book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, anti-Asian racism in America, and coalition building: “The rhetoric has changed from We want more Asians in Hollywood. It’s not just about representational politics. It’s also about confronting class inequity among Asian Americans and trying to build solidarity with other people of color.”

For the first issue of the LA Times Image, the paper’s newly relaunched style magazine, Vinson Cunningham sat down with historian and author Robin D. G. Kelley to talk about Cedric Robinson’s concept of racial capitalism, LA politics, and how fascism must be met with internationalism.

Asymptote Journal surveys the reactions to news that two of Amanda Gorman’s translators are no longer working on her books. Marieke Lucas Rijneveld resigned from translating The Hill We Climb after commentators questioned the hiring of a white person for the job; soon after, Catalan translator Victor Obiols was removed by the publisher. For Asymptote, Allison Braden outlines some of the issues in play: “In one camp, translators argue that the issue is representation in the field . . . not whether a white translator is incapable of translating an author of a different background. Another contingent believes the incident signals a threatening policing of who is eligible to translate, a step closer to a world where the validity of one’s experience and ideas is contingent on identity.”

In Adweek, Mark Stenberg looks at the controversy around Substack Pro, the financial incentives the newsletter platform is offering to authors who have argued against trans rights, and the authors who are leaving the platform to show solidarity with trans people. Jude Ellison Sady Doyle points out that Substack “curates” its writers: “Substack is actively bringing the bigots in. Then it’s giving them paychecks.”

At Columbia Journalism Review, Sam Thielman profiles Adbusters magazine, an anti-consumerist publication started in Vancouver, BC, in 1989 as a newsletter. In the 1990s and 2000s, the magazine became influential among young leftists, with slick parodies of corporate advertising and a famous picture of a ballerina on the Wall Street bull during Occupy Wall Street in 2011. Graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook remembers his encounters with Adbusters in the ’90s: “Here was something that fought advertising using its own tools. The line was very clear, and the copy was very well-written.”