the southside group

We are a (roughly) biweekly lunch group composed of George Mason faculty and students. We are open to anyone interested in participating in an eclectic and serious discussion of contemporary problems under the broad rubric of political economy.

Matt Scherer, Steve Pearlstein, and Bassam Haddad are the principal organizers of the southside group. Our emails are on our respective George Mason faculty pages. Email Matt Scherer to be added to the mailing list for further details.

Spring 2020: Political Economy of Digital Technologies

Thursday January 30 12:00pm--2:00pm: Automating Inequality

  1. Eubanks, Virginia. Automating inequality: How high-tech tools profile, police, and punish the poor. St. Martin's Press, 2018.

Thursday February 27 12:00pm--2:00pm: Surveillance Capitalism

  1. Zuboff, Shoshana. The age of surveillance capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power. Profile Books, 2019.

RESCHEDULED: VIRTUAL MEETING: April 30 12:00pm--2pm: Modeling the Climate

  1. Edwards, Paul N. A vast machine: Computer models, climate data, and the politics of global warming. Mit Press, 2010. Available through the library: gmu library link.

RESCHEDULED: VIRTUAL MEETING: May 28 12:00pm--2:00pm: From Counterculture to Cyberculture

  1. Turner, Fred. From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism. University of Chicago Press, 2010. This text will also be available through the library.

Fall 2019 schedule

Wednesday October 23, 12:30--1:30

In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West (2019)

Location Southside Dining Hall, Blackstone Private Dining Room

Wednesday November 20, 12:30--1:30

Postponed until the Spring term

Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (2018)

Location Southside Dining Hall, Blackstone Private Dining Room

Spring 2019 schedule

7 FEB – 1. “Study”

  • Moten, Fred, and Stefano Harney. The undercommons: Fugitive planning and black study. Wivenhoe, UK & New York: Minor Compositions, 2013. Preface—Chapter 3.

28 FEB – 2. The Color of Law and a Consumer’s Republic

  1. Rothstein, Richard. The color of law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America. Liveright Publishing, 2017.
  2. Cohen, Lizabeth: A Consumers’ Republic: the politics of mass consumption in postwar America. Vintage 2003. --- Chapters 3,4,5.

21 MAR – 3. Gentrification: The Brooklyn Brownstone – with Prof. Suleiman Osman

***We will meet at 'the Globe' this week.

  • Osman, Suleiman. The invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the search for authenticity in postwar New York. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Available through GMU library

4 APR – 4. More “Study”

  • Moten, Fred, and Stefano Harney. The undercommons: Fugitive planning and black study. Wivenhoe, UK & New York: Minor Compositions, 2013. Chapters 4–7.

18 APR 5. Neoliberalism and Home Rule: DC – with Prof. Johanna Bockman

  • Bockman, Johanna. "Home rule from below: The cooperative movement in Washington, DC." Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC (2016): 67-85. + etc.

2 MAY – 6. Public Palaces

  1. Klinenberg, Eric. Palaces for the People: how social infrastructure can help fight inequality, polarization, and the decline of civic life. Penguin, 2018.
  2. Honig, Bonnie. Public Things: democracy in disrepair. Fordham University Press, 2017. Introduction and Epilogue.

More details:

Meetings in Southside Dining Hall, Blackstone Private Dining Room. If you don't have a meal plan, the PPE program will cover your lunch. Sign in at the cash register rather than paying when you arrive.

All people welcome. Questions?