Monday, May 09, 2016

Toronto Keywords for Radicals Book Launch

keywordsWhen: Friday May 13th at 8 PM
Where: Imperial Pub (back room) 54 Dundas St. East Toronto

Why, even among radicals, do we find ourselves using the same words—words like “community”, “privilege”, and “occupation” —but meaning different things? How does this dynamic arise and how might it be addressed?

Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (AK Press 2016) addresses precisely these questions. Join Keywords For Radicals contributors to explore the many antagonisms—but also the possibilities—suggested by the worlds within our words.

Books will be available!

For more information about Keywords for Radicals visit: or

This event is wheelchair accessible.


About Keywords for Radicals

“An extraordinary volume that provides nothing less than a detailed cognitive mapping of the terrain for everyone who wants to engage in radical politics.”—Slavoj Žižek, author of Living in the End Times 

Keywords for Radicals recognizes that language is both a weapon and terrain of struggle, and that all of us committed to changing our social and material reality, to making a world justice-rich and oppression-free, cannot drop words such as ‘democracy,’ ‘occupation,’ ‘colonialism,’ ‘race,’ ‘sovereignty,’ or ‘love’ without a fight. —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“A primer for a new era of political protest.” —Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity

“This keywords upgrade puts powerful weapons into revolutionaries’ hands. Unexpected entries expand into new terrain.… Indispensable.” —Jodi Dean, author of The Communist Horizon

In Keywords (1976), Raymond Williams devised a “vocabulary” that reflected the vast social transformations of the post-war period. He revealed how these transformations could be grasped by investigating changes in word usage and meaning. Keywords for Radicals—part homage, part development—asks: What vocabulary might illuminate the social transformations marking our own contested present? How do these words define the imaginary of today’s radical left?

With insights from dozens of scholars and troublemakers, Keywords for Radicals explores the words that shape our political landscape. Each entry highlights a term’s contested variations, traces its evolving usage, and speculates about what its historical mutations can tell us. More than a glossary, this is a crucial study of the power of language and the social contradictions hidden within it.

Kelly Fritsch is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto.

Clare O’Connor is a doctoral student in Communication at the University of Southern California.

A.K. Thompson teaches social theory at Fordham University in New York.

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