Orange Sky Day in Berkeley, September 9, 2020

Pandemic Election Survival Edition — UC Berkeley American Studies Seminar Spring 2020

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?

— Allen Ginsberg, America. Written in Berkeley, January 17, 1956.

The 2020 edition of the Secret History of America is set during the apocalypse. Not necessarily the end of the world, although given the prominence of what the Bay Area now calls “Orange Sky Day” in these essays, this possibility is manifestly closer than ever. …


Rick Shubb and Earl Crabb, Humbead’s Revised Map of the World with List of Population, 1969

Public Course Syllabus for L&S 25 — Arts and Design @ Berkeley University of California at Berkeley, Spring 2017

Professors:

Natasha Boas, Independent International Curator.
Michael Mark Cohen, Associate Teaching Professor of American Studies and African Studies.

Lectures:

Mondays, 12–2 in LeConte 3
Wednesdays, 12–2 in the BAM / PFA Theater (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)

Course Description:

What is a counterculture? What kind of culture does a counterculture counter? Can culture be a space of political opposition? Can culture be revolutionary? Activists and artists have asked these questions for generations, seeking out new ideas and new art forms while struggling to create a new world within the shell of the old.

What is a counterculture? What kind of culture does a counterculture counter…


A Seminar in American Studies at UC Berkeley:
Apocalypse Election Now 2016

Who writes the secret history of America? Any of us and all of us can, do, and in this class we will try.

This seminar looks at how politics becomes fiction and fiction becomes politics. Naturally, with such a theme, the 2016 election will be an ongoing object of inquiry for us as we read current events into a cluster of “political” novels by local authors like Jack London, Ishmael Reed and Ursula Le Guin. We will read three non-fiction works, including books by local ethnographers and activists. We will turn these conversations into a collection of essays, two essay…


An Illustrated Soap Box Lecture

“I don’t know what you are even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist” — Donald J. Trump on CNN 2/28/2016

“The time is past when the white world can exercise unilateral authority and control over the dark world…” Malcolm X, December 4, 1963

The 500 year old world historical project of racial white supremacy is coming to an end. Slowly, incompletely, necessarily, whiteness is ending. This is not to say that in the future we will be all be beige or all-tan-everything. There will always be white people. …


Essays from the Political Playground 2016

The 2016 Election is approaching and we are all obsessed and appalled, deeply engaged and sick of this crap. But most importantly, we will not stay silent. As young voters — some voting for the first time — it is our turn now to step up and have our say, to make an intervention, to tune our voices to a political key and broadcast our ideas to the world.

For many of us, this is our first presidential vote. For the country as a whole, this is arguably the most divisive election in US…


Essays from the Political Playground 2016

The 2016 Election is approaching and we are all obsessed and appalled, deeply engaged and sick of this crap. But most importantly, we will not stay silent. As young voters — some voting for the first time — it is our turn now to step up and have our say, to make an intervention, to tune our voices to a political key and broadcast our ideas to the world.

For many of us, this is our first presidential vote. For the country as a whole, this is arguably the most divisive election in US…


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18TH at NOON
SAVIO STEPS on SPROUL PLAZA
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY

In the interests of public education for an educated public, the students and faculty of the University of California at Berkeley will be holding the nation’s first Trump Teach-In.

The event is open to the public and will be held on Tuesday, October 18th starting at noon on the Mario Savio Steps of Sproul Plaza on the campus of UC Berkeley.

This date marks three weeks to day before the most consequential and unprecedented Presidential election in generations. Not only because the nation stands ready to elect the first woman to the nation’s highest office, but because of the rise…


Part 2: “Fickt nicht mit der Raketemensch!” or, the Rocket and the Third Reich

“Fickt nicht mit der Raketemensch!” or, the Rocket and the Third Reich

By Michael Mark Cohen

Part 1: A Romantic Urge
Part 3: WvB’s Secret America
Part 4: The Counterforce

Michael Mark Cohen

Father, husband & American Studies Professor at UC Berkeley. Fan of Honeybees, Gramsci, Messi, and the One Big Union.

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