Author: Melissa Byrnes

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Remembering 4 June 1989

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On June 4, 2019
Thirty years ago today, iconic protests against authoritarian regimes took place in both Poland and China. Their different trajectories have led to very different stories–and different silences. Here are some resources to track how both are being remembered in 2019. In Poland, years of organizing by Solidarność–the shipyard workers’ union started in Gdansk in 1980–not […]
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Return of the King(s)

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On December 11, 2018
The Bourbon heir to the French throne has thrown his support behind the gilets jaunes protests. On Facebook. I’m mostly reeling from the revelation that Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, dit Louis XX (if you’re counting) has a Facebook page. Of course, his website, “Legitimacy” does announce him as a “modern prince,” which […]

Making Allies

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On November 28, 2018

My former colleague, Shana Bernstein, has good things to say on the importance of forging alliances across race and class lines to disrupt rising racist rhetoric, policy, and violence. The recent rash

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Mike Duncan has a sobering piece in Made by History this week on lessons from the fall of the Roman Republic. In 146 B.C., Rome completed its conquest of both Greece and Carthage and emerged as the most dominant power in the Mediterranean. There was no power left to challenge the legions, and over the […]

Et tu, Dreyfus?

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On October 9, 2018

One of the latest tropes in discussions of the Kavanaugh confirmation has been to refer to France’s infamous Dreyfus Affair.  Kavanaugh supporters (Dreher, Schindler, Brooks) rely on a shallow

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Liberation/Immigration

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On July 4, 2018
There’s plenty to unpack in Trump’s likening of ICE raids to “liberating towns” with military force. Certainly, it aligns with other moments of exclusion and militarization. Me, I’m reminded of the experiences of a couple of suburban French cities in the 1960s—probably because I wrote my first academic journal article about how one of them […]
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