Art in Public (2011)
To say Art in Public is a philosophical argument for government funding for the arts is both true in its general representation of the goal of the book and false in its descriptive inadequacy. Lambert Zuidervaart’s latest book does, in fact, make a strong case for such funding, but the way it makes its case is perhaps just as important the case itself. In the course of making his case for government funding for art as necessary to public justice, Zuidervaart goes far beyond philosophical aesthetics as usual and into social theory. He draws not only on his long engagements with reformational philosophy and critical social theory, but also on his leadership experience in a non-profit arts institution. Art in Public is a seminal work that should be read not only by philosophers of art and culture, but also social and political theorists and anyone with an interest in the fate of culture.
—Matthew Klaassen, PhD Student
My Name is Khan (2010)
Name is Khan follows
the journey of Rizwan Khan, a Muslim boy with Aspberger’s Syndrome,
from his childhood in India to his adult life in pre- and post-9/11
America. Unlike most popular Bollywood films MNIK isn’t a
musical. Despite its many light-hearted moments MNIK deals with
its subject matter too seriously to provide opportunities for chorus
lines and item numbers. It is a true Bollywood film, however,
delivering refreshingly unsophisticated moral reflections on a
melodramatic rollercoaster supported by a lovely score, beautiful
camera work and a large, wonderful cast. To identify MNIK’s major
theme as the Muslim experience in post-9/11 America would be an
oversimplification akin to calling Forrest
a film about how even a simple man can get rich. MNIK is
ultimately a film about family and humanity. It’s uplifting
overall but the journey it takes us on includes elements of darkness.
The well-prepared viewer will have a box of tissues close at hand and
a chair that will remain comfortable for two hours and 50 minutes.
Loose Change (2006)
The United States government planned the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center – this film’s controversial statement challenges the popular opinion of the modern American. The taboo subject of domestic terrorism requires alternative arguments to create constructive societal debate and dialogue. The critical and damning evidence presented in this documentary film may not prove its premise, but it alerts and assists a healthy critique of institutions and information.
—George Deibert, MWS Student
From Dictatorship to Democracy (2002-2010)
Gene Sharp has been called “the Machiavelli of non-violent struggle,” but it might be better to call him “the Lao Tzu of non-violent regime change.” Written at the request of exile Burmese democrat U Tin Maung Win, From Dictatorship to Democracy has been printed in 33 languages, reaching freedom movements worldwide. While essentially a handbook for democracy movements, it also serves as a concise summary of the relationship between dictatorial regimes, the people they control and the external entities that may support or help defeat such regimes. If you've read the ICISS report, “The Responsibility to Protect,” then you probably also want to read FDTD to gain additional insight into some of the happenings in the world today. It has been placed in the public domain and is available for free download or purchase on the web.
October 2011 >