Jordan Stein presents "Avidly Reads Theory" in conversation with Rahne Alexander and Drew Daniel

Wednesday November 13, 7:00PM

@ Red Emma's

The adverb “avidly” is defined as “with great interest and enthusiasm.” Avidly―the online magazine founded in 2012 by Sarah Blackwood & Sarah Mesle and supported by the Los Angeles Review of Books―specializes in short-form critical essays devoted to the intersection of expertise and passion. Now, I hope you and your readers will embrace Avidly Reads, an exciting new series of books that are part memoir, part cultural criticism, each bringing to life the author’s emotional relationship to a cultural artifact or experience. Indeed, the editors and authors in the Avidly Reads series invite readers to explore the surprising pleasures and obstacles encountered in our everyday life.

As an avowed “theory head,” Jordan Alexander Stein confronts a contradiction: that the abstract, and often frustrating rigors of theory also produced a sense of pride and identity for him and his friends: an idea of how to be and a way to live. Although Stein explains what theory is, this is not an introduction or a how-to, but rather Stein’s insights organized around five ways that theory makes one feel―silly, stupid, sexy, seething and stuck. In Theory, Stein travels back to the late nineties to tell a story of coming of age at a particular moment and to measure how that moment lives on and shapes him today.

Jordan Alexander Stein teaches in the English department and the Comparative Literature program at Fordham University. Rahne Alexander is an intermedia artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. Drew Daniel is an associate professor in the Department of English at Johns Hopkins, and one half of the electronic duo Matmos.

More upcoming events

Now in its 19th year of publication, the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is required reading for radicals, leftists, and all who support political prisoners and advocate the end of mass incarceration. The Certain Days calendar is filled with radical historical dates, and 12 thought-provoking articles and beautiful artwork each month throughout the year. All proceeds support prisoners and grassroots organizations. This is a must-have!

Certain Days 2020: Knitting Together the Struggles

The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Hamilton, New York and Baltimore, with two political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons: David Gilbert in New York and Xinachtli (s/n Alvaro Luna Hernandez) in Texas. We were happy to welcome founding members Herman Bell and Robert Seth Hayes home from prison in 2018.

A warm, wise, and urgent guide to parenting in uncertain times, from a longtime reporter on race, reproductive health, and politics.

In We Live for the We, first-time mother Dani McClain sets out to understand how to raise her daughter in what she, as a black woman, knows to be an unjust–even hostile–society. Black women are more likely to die during pregnancy or birth than any other race; black mothers must stand before television cameras telling the world that their slain children were human beings. What, then, is the best way to keep fear at bay and raise a child so she lives with dignity and joy?

McClain spoke with mothers on the frontlines of movements for social, political, and cultural change who are grappling with the same questions. Following a child’s development from infancy to the teenage years, We Live for the We touches on everything from the importance of creativity to building a mutually supportive community to navigating one’s relationship with power and authority. It is an essential handbook to help us imagine the society we build for the next generation.