These recommendations include some of the films and books I consumed this semester.


Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice

One of the most original sci-fi novels I’ve read in a long time.

Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber

An Afrofuturist novel that, in my opinion, far outstrips Binti.

Bruce Cumings, The Korean War

Many Americans know very little about this war, and misperceptions of it continue to distort political discourse in the US. As a result of this conflict roughly 1 in 5 people in North Korea were killed.

Henrik Ibsen, Enemy of the People

A response to his critics, Norwegian Nobel-laureate Ibsen wrote this play to explore themes of conformism and rebellion.

Nancy Isenburg, White Trash: A 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

This work tracks the development of the idea of poor and working-class whites as the “offscourings” and scapegoats of bourgeois society from the initial phases of colonization to the present.

Jefferson Cowie, Stayin Alive: the 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class

A history of the decline of working class political power in the US. With the neoliberalization of the economy– a bipartisan project that has led to stagnant wages, diminished social protections, and dizzying inequality– working class discontent was funneled by Democratic and Republican party elites into “cultural” issues.


Hell or High Water (2016)

Nominated for an Oscar. Two brothers undertake a series of bank robberies to pay off their mortgage.

Blue Collar (1978)

Paul Schrader wrote and directed this story of autoworkers robbing their own union local.

Man from Reno

A deliberately-paced neo-noir about a Japanese crime writer in SF.

Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Andrei Tarkovsky’s brilliant first film. A young boy whose family has been killed by Germans joins the Soviet army as a scout.

Queen Bee (1955)

Joan Crawford dominates in this boozy melodrama.

Free State of Jones (2016)

Based on historical events, this film dramatizes the efforts of a cross-racial alliance of fled slaves and Confederate deserters to make their own state.

Carancho (2010)

Ricardo Darin plays a sleazy personal injury lawyer in this thriller.