Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘imperialism

Thursday Night Links!

leave a comment »

* CFP: The 9th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverse. CFP: Horror(s) of Childhood and Adolescence. CFP: Trans Futurisms. CFP: Critical Comics Studies. And CFP coming soon: The X-Men Animated Series.

Depictions of death on TV and in the movies are unrealistic; the characters are awake and carry on meaningful conversations, then suddenly close their eyes and die. That’s not how it works. In the days when deaths occurred at home, most people had seen a relative die. And today we have a lot of knowledge about what happens in the body as it begins shutting down.

* Almost micro-targeted to my mental illness: How many US cities can you name?

What Fan Fiction Teaches That the Classroom Doesn’t.

* So much of college administration is rule by decree under the sign of emergency.

California Governor Signs Bill Allowing College Athletes To Profit From Endorsements. Free labor from college athletes may soon come to an end. And please don’t worry: Ending the sham of NCAA amateurism will not end Title IX.

* Here come the esports majors.

* The Cult of Rich-Kid Sports.

Anatomy of a Polite Revolt in Columbia’s English Department. Reckon it could probably stand to be a little less polite.

* My university is dying.

Former College Towns Left to Adapt to Business Loss.

* The inaugural issue of our journal Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the EcoGothic is finally live.

* Earth is a fire planet, the only one we know.

Humans Are Disturbing Earth’s Carbon Cycle More Than the Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Did.

First as Tragedy, Then as Fascism: Ecologist Garrett Hardin’s enduring gift to the nativist right. The Delusion and Danger of Infinite Economic Growth. Now That’s What I Call the Anthropocene™!

What If We Really Are Alone in the Universe?

* ‘Sci-fi makes you stupid’ study refuted by scientists behind original research.

* Amber Guyger found guilty of murder at trial in fatal shooting of neighbor Botham Jean.

* The toll of #MeToo.

* This time they can’t use procedural tricks to stymie the march of progress! *five seconds later* Ah, well, nevertheless.

The Week That Everything Changed. Paralyzed and teetering on the edge of a cliff. High on His Own Supply. Crazy. Shoot Migrants’ Legs, Build Alligator Moat: Behind Trump’s Ideas for Border. Government Plans to Begin DNA Testing on Detained Immigrants. Trump Administration Separates Some Migrant Mothers From Their Newborns Before Returning Them to Detention. After two ICE officers came to a Pacific Northwest community, longtime residents began to disappear. Will Trump ever leave the White House? The only way out of this catastrophe is for everyone on both sides to pretend Pence isn’t completely dirty even though he very obviously is. President Pence’s First and Worst Choice.

 

* Somehow Elizabeth Warren keeps attracting the right enemies. Warren’s plan for workers. Warren and the selfie line.

How Bernie Sanders convinced me about free college.

* Snowden in the Labyrinth.

* John Kelly, man of honor.

“shoddy system backed by extremely shoddy research and jackboot instincts should be applied globally”

* WeWork is really shaping up to be the Enron of our moment, narrowly edging out Uber.

The Enduring Myth of “The Economy.”

* The Boeing whistleblower.

* Welcome to Estonia’s Isle of Women.

* How they teach slavery, then and now.

* Turns out you can say something so stupid you get fired from Fox.

The Supreme Court will hear three cases next Tuesday that ask whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That alone is enough to make them three of the most important employment discrimination cases in many years. But there are additional layers to these cases, layers that could imperil all workers regardless of whether or not they are LGBTQ.

* I suppose this is canon (again).

* Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino in conversation.

Star Trek: Discovery Became The Most Popular Streaming Show In The World.

* The His Dark Materials sequel is here: The Secret Commonwealth.

Why Has Transphobia Gone Mainstream in Philosophy?

Five Years Later, Do Black Lives Matter?

* Is it weird that no one can sustain a media operation of any size no matter what the topic or longevity?

More than 30,000 children under age 10 have been arrested in the US since 2013: FBI. Hard at work to double that number by 2025.

* Absolutely psychotic nation.

* Great country. Truly great.

* Only in America!

* When your industry is so racist you have no choice but to level up.

* Superheroes are real.

* get you a man who can do all three

* Food mascots and whether or not I’d be able to kick their ass.

* A cultural history of an incredibly self-referential tweet.

* Don’t vape!

Stop Getting Married On Plantations!

* america.jpg

* This one is a real america.jpg too.

* america.jpgs all over.

* Nothing gold can stay: the end of BoJack Horseman.

He Spent Years Infiltrating White Supremacist Groups. Here’s What He Has to Say About What’s Going on Now.

* Tor.com takes up one of my favorite elements of the Foundation series, the Encyclopedia Galactica.

* And I feel like this is worth at least two weeks of therapy.


Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Links!

leave a comment »

* After Isle of Dogs, I’m filled with nothing but dread for The French Dispatch. Here’s what we know so far.

* Is true crime over?

Astronaut Accessed Estranged Spouse’s Bank Account from International Space Station. How can they say true crime is over when we have the first-ever crime in space!

* Once again, for the people in the back: The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point. In Bolsonaro’s burning Brazilian Amazon, all our futures are being consumed. We’re Living Through A Climate Emergency Right Now — We Just Aren’t Paying Attention. The Limits of “Experiencing” the Climate Crisis. In a Devastated Town, Sanders Explains His Plan for a Climate Revolution.

After Standing Rock, protesting pipelines can get you a decade in prison and $100K in fines.

* Kirkwood professor who stated he supported Antifa resigns.

* Tenure, with variations.

On December 22, 1973, an embattled President Richard Nixon met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the armed forces. It was a ceremonial meeting, not the sort where important decisions are supposed to get made. But one of the generals realized something was deeply off. Nixon was agitated. “He kept on referring to the fact that he [Nixon] may be the last hope, the eastern elite was out to get him,” the four-star general later said. It seemed the president was “trying to sound us out”—to see if, “in a crunch,” the generals would overthrow Congress and the judiciary, and keep the criminal president in power. Through a White House, darkly.

* The US is already occupying Greenland.

A brave band of scholars set out to save us from racism and sexism. What happened?

In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.

Kids left without either parent at home for 8 days after Mississippi ICE raid. And updating a story from yesterday: Federal Agencies Have Been Sending Employees Articles From White Nationalist And Conspiracy Websites For Months.

* Innocent man spent months in jail for bringing honey back to United States.

* How segregation makes your commute worse.

* State of the unions: what happened to America’s labor movement?

* Tarantino corner! ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Is a Science Fiction Film. Tarantino’s gruesome revenge fantasies are growing more puerile and misogynistic. Stop, you’re both right!

* There’s a Latinx void at the heart of video games.

How David Koch Changed the World.

* Slouching towards autokill drones hovering over every street corner.

The machine always wins: what drives our addiction to social media.

When Kids Are Straight Until Proven Otherwise.

* Occasionally, though, one can sense the fears emerging out of the anonymous voices. A therapist talks about patients who are “one bad night away from suicide” now facing new burdens of paperwork. A parent writes, “Medicaid enrollment limits tell my son his life is worthless and he might as well die because he is diabetic.” Another respondent worries that enrollment caps will “limit my ability to get my asthma treated and medications covered.”

* Marvel’s making some interesting moves on Disney+. I might actually watch WandaVision.

* Playful chess variants.

* I’d listen.

* And that’s how you quit a job.

Just Another Monday Morning Linkpost

with one comment

* I asked “If you were going to do a NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF THEORY AND CRITICISM lit crit class where the gimmick was that you always returned to a foundational text for application, what would you choose?” and got some really good ideas. Right now, if I do it rather than a multiple-choice or wheel-of-fortune variant, it looks like it’s going to be Frankenstein.

* CFP for SFRA 2019, at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Her Eyes Weren’t Watching God: The Empathetic Secular Vision of Octavia Butler.

N.K. Jemisin – Building a World.

Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien in first look at ‘Lord Of The Rings’ author’s biopic. Deadwood Movie Confirmed for Spring 2019 Premiere. And the new Aladdin movie looks worse than I ever could have possibly imagined.

* This week I went on a journey into the madness of The Phantom Podcast, which reviews the Star Wars prequel trilogy as if the series began with Episode 1, and I regret nothing. Scroll all the way down.

Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided: There’s scant evidence that they’re effective. They can, however, be psychologically damaging—and they reflect a dismaying view of childhood.

* america.jpg

Students and Faculty Plan Walkout Over Johns Hopkins’ ICE Contract.

* How to Make Grad School More Humane.

Should You Allow Laptops in Class? Here’s What the Latest Study Adds to That Debate.

International Graduate-Student Enrollments and Applications Drop for 2nd Year in a Row.

* WTF Is Going on at Wright State? Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously.

* “Student Loan Relief or Paid Vacation? These Workers Get a Choice.” Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans.

* The real political correctness on campus is the feckless submission to anyone remotely rich and powerful, no matter how they behave.

* Every tweet in this thread is enraging. Every one.

* Plan S and the humanities.

Julian Glander’s Art Sqool is about Froshmin, a small, round person who is going to an art school run by an artificial intelligence that is going to help Froshmin become a great artist. Or at least some kind of artist. Actually, thinking about it, the weird little robot who evaluates all of your art doesn’t make any promises about ability or skill or fame or recognition as a product of the time that Froshmin spends at Art Sqool. Wait, shit, is this a scam?

When Jamaica Led the Postcolonial Fight Against Exploitation.

When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)

How Flight Attendants Grounded Trump’s Shutdown.

The battle for the future of Stonehenge.

* The Museum at Auschwitz.

* 250 dead, $91 billion in damages: 2018 was a catastrophic year for U.S. weather; 4th-warmest for globe. A hole opens up under Antarctic glacier — big enough to fit two-thirds of Manhattan. Melting glaciers reveal ancient landscapes, thawing mummies, and long-dead diseases. Rising Temperatures Could Melt Most Himalayan Glaciers by 2100. Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us. Global warming could exceed 1.5C within five years. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’. The end of the Colorado. Polar thinking.

A Huge Climate Change Movement Led By Teenage Girls Is Sweeping Europe. And It’s Coming To The US Next.

Latinos, blacks breathe 40 percent more pollution than whites in California, study says.

Liberal Democrats Formally Call for a ‘Green New Deal,’ Giving Substance to a Rallying Cry. More here.

* Day care for all.

* Ugh. Gotta preserve this flawless system.

Please Stop Writing Nancy Pelosi Fan Fiction.

Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead.

* Meanwhile, it sounds like things going great in Britain.

Brett Kavanaugh Just Declared War on Roe v. Wade.

* Parable of the Talents watch: Missing Migrant Children Being Funneled Through Christian Adoption Agency.

“I made mistakes”: Jill Abramson responds to plagiarism charges around her new book.

* On the NPC meme.

* Sesame Workshop has finally given up on Bert and Ernie.

* On the end of The Good Place.

* Patreon planning to completely betray its user base, of course.

* Google is already way down that road. As is everyone else.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is preparing for New York’s establishment Dems to eliminate her district.

* Headlines from the end of the world: “Ketamine Could Be the Key to Reversing America’s Rising Suicide Rate.”

Sexual Abuse of Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From Shadows. 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.

Customs And Border Protection Apologized After An Agent Questioned A BuzzFeed News Reporter About Trump Coverage.

* “Hackers using black-market Israeli ICE-breakers to extort a billionaire who’s replacing his employees with robots, at the behest of a shadowy tabloid/petromonarchy alliance, is actually the cyberpunk future we were promised, and yet.” But for real.

* On Jaws 4. On a legally distinct Harry Potter.

* Young engineer upgraded the LEGO bionic arm he built for himself.

* I’m amazed it’s even legal to sell these paintings in Germany.

* Where do the lines cross?

Fun fact, if you want to go from one side of Maui to the other you have to take this weird, 30-mile, up-and-back-down detour UNLESS you are Oprah Winfrey, who owns a private 4-mile road that she has paved and everything, connecting the narrowest part of the route.

* Finland gave people free money. It didn’t help them get jobs — but does that matter?

* The meat industry vs. lab-grown meat.

* On autism in women.

* Neoliberalism evolves.

* An antibiotic-style treatment for cancer? Let’s hope.

* Maybe she’s born with it.

* And not all heroes wear capes.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Reading, A Great Idea Whose Time Has Come

leave a comment »

SFFTV Special Issue CFP: Global Utopian Film and TV in the Age of Dystopia.

* CFP: The Sixth Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, June 27-29, 2019.

* CFP: 20th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Europe.

Pasadena on Her Mind: Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Her Hometown.

* The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy talks to the great Lisa Yaszek.

* When your stalker signs up for your class.

When massive open online courses (MOOCs) first captured global attention in 2012, advocates imagined a disruptive transformation in postsecondary education. Video lectures from the world’s best professors could be broadcast to the farthest reaches of the networked world, and students could demonstrate proficiency using innovative computer-graded assessments, even in places with limited access to traditional education. But after promising a reordering of higher education, we see the field instead coalescing around a different, much older business model: helping universities outsource their online master’s degrees for professionals. To better understand the reasons for this shift, we highlight three patterns emerging from data on MOOCs provided by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) via the edX platform: The vast majority of MOOC learners never return after their first year, the growth in MOOC participation has been concentrated almost entirely in the world’s most affluent countries, and the bane of MOOCs—low completion rates—has not improved over 6 years.

* US academics feel the invisible hand of politicians and big agriculture.

Augsburg University in Minnesota suspended a professor for using the N-word during a class discussion about a James Baldwin book in which the word appeared — and for sharing essays on the history of the word with students who complained to him about it. “Teaching & the N-word: Questions to Consider.” I have always personally abided by the use/mention distinction out of deference to black artists and what I see as an injunction not to rewrite their work for them (which has always seemed, to me, like centering whiteness too, just in a different way). But the social consensus around that is *rapidly* changing; I’m not at all sure what’s best, and it seems like a pedagogical minefield that the contemporary moment is completely unprepared to think through in a careful way.

* Fairfax was preparing to be Va. governor. Then Northam said he was staying put.

Giant Mirrors. Ocean Whitening. Here’s How Exxon Wanted to Save the Planet. Students Are Preparing for the First Major U.S. Climate Strike Next Month. There’s a big hole in the world’s most important glacier. Hell yeah, Upper Midwest. Climate signs.

* The Anthropocene started in 1492. On the Importance of a Date, or Decolonizing the Anthropocene.

* A history of “woke.”

How the Seattle Times is empowering reporters to drive subscriber growth.

“Nothing to me is more revealing of the core pathology of the modern Republican party [than] the way that it sees widening access to the ballot and higher turnout as a threat.”

Trump’s Labor Board Just Gave Its Blessing to One of the Most Deplorable Worker Abuses in the Country.

* ‘Willful Ignorance.’ Inside President Trump’s Troubled Intelligence Briefings.

* Lord of the Rings as D&D Campaign.

Trump Allies Think Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Hiding or Dead. It Started on QAnon.

The U.S. Needs to Stay Out of Venezuela.

* Snopes officially declares Facebook unfactcheckable.

* Automated background checks are deciding who’s fit for a home.

New York Insurers Can Evaluate Your Social Media Use—If They Can Prove Why It’s Needed.

We Followed YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Down The Rabbit Hole.

* As Drug Prices Rise, Is Boston’s Prosperity Based On A Moral Crime?

* Invincible has a solid voice cast, but for some reason I thought this show was going to be live action, and now I’m broken-hearted.

* Cop watch: FBI Warned Law Enforcement Agencies of Threat Posed by Non-Existent ‘Pro-Choice Extremists.’ Revealed: FBI investigated civil rights group as ‘terrorism’ threat and viewed KKK as victims. No Heat for Days at a Jail in Brooklyn Where Hundreds of Inmates Are Sick and ‘Frantic.’ Mentally Ill Prisoners Are Held Past Release Dates, Lawsuit Claims. Prison gerrymandering is distorting democracy in states across the Midwest and nationwide, leaving incarcerated people with inequitable representation—or none at all. ICE Agents Are Using Pennsylvania’s Courthouses as a Stalking Ground. The State Supreme Court Can Stop Them. One Lawyer, One Day, 194 Felony Cases. The criminal justice system also has an ‘alternative facts’ problem. The FBI Has Your DNA Now.

* This was cool: In new research they plan to present at the USENIX Security conference on Thursday, a group of researchers from the University of Washington has shown for the first time that it’s possible to encode malicious software into physical strands of DNA, so that when a gene sequencer analyzes it the resulting data becomes a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of the underlying computer.

Wisconsin basketball star has no plans to stop protesting racism during the national anthem.

* Breaking: everyone from uncontacted and isolated tribes is in the Bad Place.

A new study finds Americans take the pain of girls less seriously than that of boys.

* The lost boys of #MeToo.

* Will Anyone Save Black Colleges?

* A spectre is haunting the 2020 Democratic primary.

* Brexit still going great.

Almost 20 years after measles was eliminated in the U.S., 2019 could see the highest rates of the dangerous disease in three decades, an expert has warned.

* Let children be bored again. I ran this parenting suggestion by my seven year old and got a big thumbs down.

* I wish there were a different author than Jesse Singal, but the story is genuinely fascinating: How a Twitter Mob Derailed an Immigrant Female Author’s Budding Career.

* New to podcasts? Choose your genre!

* And these stamps sure are pretty.

Just a Few Links for Thursday (Really!)

leave a comment »

* Essay prize for graduate students and early-career, pre-TT science fiction studies scholars: The Foundation Essay Prize 2019.

* The call for papers for the 2019 conference at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii (Friday, June 21 – Monday, June 24, 2019) is available. Should be a great time!

* Among other terrible things, Brazil’s rising fascist has vowed to destroy the rainforests.

* Cheating to win, part 102: Supreme Court Makes It Harder for Tribal North Dakotans to Vote. Brian Kemp Is Blocking 53K Applicants From Registering To Vote, Most Of Them Black.

* Kavanaugh backs Trump administration on jailing and deporting immigrants for crimes committed years earlier.

Figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection detail the separation of 6,022 “family units” from April 19, 2018 to August 15, 2018, according to a report published by Amnesty International on Thursday. Noting that the term “family unit” has varying applications in the U.S. immigration enforcement world — sometimes referring to individuals in a family, and other times referring to family groups containing multiple people — Amnesty observes that even on the low end, the figure reflects the largest total ever disclosed by the border enforcement agency in the context of the family separation crisis.

* This description of an afternoon with Trump is really something else.

It’s Time To Go To War With The Supreme Court. Here’s How.

Trump Administration Seeks to Stifle Protests Near White House and on National Mall.

* Corruption all the way down.

* It seems like the thousand-year storms come faster and faster every year. UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That. What Is Eco-Socialism?

In effect, Amazon’s system taught itself that male candidates were preferable. It penalized resumes that included the word “women’s,” as in “women’s chess club captain.” And it downgraded graduates of two all-women’s colleges, according to people familiar with the matter. They did not specify the names of the schools.

* Elsewhere in Amazon’s total surveillance nightmare.

The Silence of Sexual Assault in Literature.

* How We Roasted Donald Duck.

Moons can have moons and they are called moonmoons. Yeah, if I were a scientist I’d probably be phoning it in right now too…

Monday Afternoon Links!

leave a comment »

* A prediction: China will produce some of the world’s most interesting scholarship on American literature within a generation. A secondary effect of this production will be a boost for the humanities, if from a most unexpected quarter.

* The Meta-Anthropocene: Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans? A look at the available evidence.

* The Anthropocene and the Theater of Disappearance.

* Dialectics of Jacobin: The Socialist Case against the SAT.

* Language in a time of climate change.

* The cruel optimism of college football.

5 Takeaways From Turning Point’s Plan to ‘Commandeer’ Campus Elections.

Here’s to Unsuicide: An Interview with Richard Powers.

* Making the rounds again, but worth rereading: The Invisible Labor Of Minority Professors.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space.

Mark Carney warns robots taking jobs could lead to rise of Marxism.

* James Comey is not a hero. (UPDATE: Seriously.)

In Racine County, neatly maintained homes and dream houses are being designated ‘blighted’ to make way for Foxconn.

* 10 years after the Wire.

First, socialism – the belief that the earth belongs to labor – is my moral being.  In fact it is my religion, the values that anchor the commitments that define my life.  Second, ‘old school’ implies putting in work year after year for the good cause.  In academia one runs across people who call themselves Marxists and go to lots of conferences but hardly ever march on a picketline, go to a union meeting, throw a brick or simply help wash the dishes after a benefit.

Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind.

How Much Is a Word Worth?

The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations. Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency.

So to recap: the most terminally insecure president ever sits in the White House, advised by one of the most war-crazy hacks in the history of federal service, at the outset of a fully avoidable proxy war with an enemy that possesses thousands of lethal thermonuclear warheads aimed directly at us.

The history of the left in the United States is in large part a history of betrayal: of the repeated embrace of imperial ventures for the sake of shortsighted aims, always coming back to haunt the left and the empire’s victims. It is a history blighted by the self-serving conceit that the domestic and the foreign, or what was once the interior and the frontier, can be understood apart from each other. And until very recently, it was a history forged by white elites too sheltered from the racial consequences of their choices to anticipate the havoc they would unleash.

Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn. Probably will work itself out.

* Too real.

* And this is arguably what went wrong with humans too: The Lebowski theorem: No superintelligent AI is going to bother with a task that is harder than hacking its reward function.

A Few Quick Thoughts on BLACK PANTHER I Haven’t Already Seen Elsewhere

with 2 comments

(1) I haven’t seen anyone point out that this was the MCU’s take on a Bond movie, right down to M, Q, a Bond girl, an extraneous mission in Korea, and even a Felix Leiter.

(Updated.)

(2) I loved pretty much everything about the Wakandan world-building; pretty much my only minor quibble there was a slight over-reliance on American idioms (like Shuri giving the finger, or the General saying someone “did not get the memo”). It’s a small thing but it fits into point (4) below about the inability of Marvel to imagine a Wakanda that was genuinely independent from Western hegemony, much less the hegemon of the world that it would actually be.

(2a) I do feel a bit like I want to rewatch the T’Challa scenes from Civil War though because I think there was quite a bit of retconning and reimagining happening here; the later scenes with Cap seem not to have happened, and the earlier position of Wakanda in the United Nations seems a bit hard to square with the treatment here.

(2b) Shuri was awesome, incidentally. I demand a Shuri spinoff.

(3) I’ll leave it to others to say “Killmonger was right” but you really do feel your heart sink in the third act as the Wakandans begin to fight each other. For me the real “heart sink” moment was when the planes started exploding over the Wakandan capital; perhaps it was the presence and participation of Everett Ross but you really feel the gut-wrenching rupture of the Wakandan Afrofuturist utopia in that moment.

(3a) Killmonger was right though.

(4) I also had an unhappy moment of clarity about the prominence of Wakanda in the Infinity War trailer. As some of you know I’ve written a chapter on “Wakanda as Nation” for an upcoming collection called Afrofuturism in Time and Space.

Not to belabor the point, but a few more quick quotes from the chapter:

With regard to Wakanda specifically, this problem of interpretation has only compounded over decades of Marvel comics, which frequently upend Wakanda’s historic inviolability in the name of giving individual Black Panther stories sufficient emotional stakes. Thus an African nation that was never colonized historically becomes, over the long run of Marvel stories, the site of repeated meta-imperial11 incursion, from the U.S., from alien invaders, from supervillains like Dr. Doom, from the Atlantean king Namor the Sub-Mariner… As Ta-Nehisi Coates notes in an interview with the science fiction news website io9, part of his task when he took over Black Panther in 2016 was precisely to reestablish Wakanda as the undefeatable global superpower it was always intended as, but never quite was allowed to be.

[…]

We see a similar contradiction in the depiction of Wakandan trade, which has the effect of eroding and destroying Wakandan traditions through Western influence even as Wakanda is ostensibly the more powerful trading partner in this equation—replicating the colonial narrative but with an ahistorical logic that takes the superiority of Western values as axiomatic (and totally untied to the West’s brutal practices of invasion and domination). Already by the 1970s, Black Panther is unsure whether he has done the right thing in entering foreign markets at all, wondering if the reforms he and his father have instituted in opening Wakanda to the world have actually doomed the country—as are many of his countrymen. It is relatively late in the game that Marvel writers even begin to interrogate the techno-progressivist, secular assumptions behind the foundation of the Wakanda story: that a monarch would actually strip-mine a “sacred” site, the Mound, instrumentalizing its special properties for technological gadgetry and even selling parts of it to the West in the name of economic development, all without any cultural struggle or resistance from the population—much less the nearly magical faith that doing so would make things in Wakanda better rather than worse.

Indeed, by the “Doomwar” storyline of the 2010s, the presence of the vibranium within Wakanda has proved to be such a “resource curse” that the heroic resolution of the story sees T’Challa activate a process he has invented that renders all the vibranium in the world (both inside and outside Wakanda) inert, in order to protect it both from foreign invaders like Dr. Doom but also to break the country’s cruel-optimistic dependence on the resource.

[…]

Here, as always, we see the fundamental tension in Wakanda as both/and/neither/nor, as it has been reproduced again and again across its fictional history: an Afrofuturist vision of African superiority that nonetheless must always be disciplined by final subordination to the West…

So, look back at that Infinity War trailer. Based on my study of fifty years of Black Panther stories for my chapter, I’m feeling very confident that white supremacy will reassert itself here again precisely as it always does in Wakanda stories; we’ll never get to see Wakanda become the global hegemon it by all rights ought to be because it’s going to get catastrophically smashed up beyond all recognition before it gets the chance. Count on it.