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Field Notes

The Rent is Too Damn High

Tenants in a large apartment complex in downtown San Francisco individually petition their management company to fulfill much-needed maintenance requests, in one case collecting enough documentation of code violations and legal research to fill a literal binder.

Corona Crisis Governmentality

Hypochondria or recklessness? Irresponsibility or paranoia? Daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic in big parts of the world, like in Germany, fluctuates between these two poles. For the more or less foreseeable future.

Back to School

What’s the Use of a University?

The history of the University of California over the last half-century has been written through protest. Student movements and labor actions alike erupt iteratively in response to changes in the UC’s structure. Amid one longer struggle, each generation fights its own particular battles.

Back to School

Against the Wall

Workers don’t sacrifice their time and energy on a whim to agitate for better working conditions. As is happening to so many other workers today, the adjuncts are fighting because their backs are against the wall.

Back to School


How was the New York ruling class going to retake control of City College? The fiscal crisis that devastated New York City in 1975 provided the perfect occasion. The CUNY administration took back the promises it made in 1969.

My Rosenberg COVID-19 Mask

One pleasant Sunday morning about a month ago I waited in a long line for a packet of masks the New York City Department of Health was giving out. The line stretched from one end of Manhattan’s vast Alfred E. Smith NYCHA housing project along St. James Place, as if a store were hiring.

The Spiral

Time turns in on itself like a crashing wave. We often find ourselves adrift in the gyre, lost in the same places with the same events transpiring around us and altered only by the most gentle of inversions.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

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