Anxiety in Academia: Trump Trauma Observed

SINCE THE Donald Trump election victory, I have spoken to hundreds of students in my UCLA identity community. Most have expressed severe distress, telling me of their anxieties about the future. Young women and men seeking to work for environmental change, for racial and gender justice, or to pursue creative careers in the arts have been disheartened by Trump’s retrograde actions and appointments and his sexist, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric before and since his inauguration. I share these reactions entirely. But these conversations have taken a far grimmer turn when I discuss Trump and his policies with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students, Muslim students, and others whose anxieties are more immediate and more intimately personal.

A Journey to Armenia: Visual Reminders of Genocide and Oppression

One of my objectives was to link the Armenian tragedy to a broader historical and global context, not to diminish the tragedy of the millions of Armenians who lost relatives, but rather to highlight the deeper pattern of oppression that will, among other things, advance the long overdue international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

In Defense of Identity Politics

The great promise of identity politics is its ability to raise powerful consciousness among oppressed groups of people and also build bridges among those groups. When that occurs, the results have the power to create more permanent alliances that challenge the egregious injustices that still pervade American society and politics.

A Salvo Against War, Torture, and Racism: The Art of Mariano Gonzales

Working in political isolation from most of his artistic colleagues in Alaska, Mariano Gonzales continues a noble tradition of critical visual consciousness that goes back many centuries and that thrives in the early decades of the twenty-first century. His politically and socially charged images challenge his audiences to think about the major issues of their times.

Correcting the Canon: The African American Feminist Art of Meta Fuller

In 2012, the gap between the rhetoric of inclusion and the reality of exclusion remains huge. Renée Ater’s new book, Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller, goes a long way in correcting the glaring omission of one of the key African-American woman artists of the twentieth century. Learn how Meta Fuller went from making her art in the evenings after finishing her domestic chores to creating one of the most remarkable Pan-African artworks of that era.

Last Links: The Jewish Connection to American Social Realism

The number of contemporary American Jewish political artists is enormous — and growing in the early years of the twenty-first century. These creative visual artists follow in the paths of their distinguished Social Realist predecessors by inviting, even compelling, audiences to reflect on such problems as global warming and environmental degradation, continuing manifestations of racism, sexism, and homophobia, seemingly intractable global warfare and American military adventurism, domestic poverty, economic injustice, excessive incarceration, and scores of others.

Tikkun Olam Starts at Home

In 1957, my parents and several other families helped the first African American family move into Levittown, Pennsylvania. That post-war suburb had been previously all white because the developer, William Levitt, a rabbi’s grandson, refused to sell houses to blacks.