Please join us in welcoming Ward Churchill for his St. Louis book launch for two PM Press-published titles: the new edition of Pacifism as Pathology and Wielding Words Like Weapons. Churchill is an imminent activist-scholar and his discussion is sure to be timely, fascinating, and lively. Co-sponsored by Black Rose Book Distro Collective, StL.
Pacifism as Pathology has long since emerged as a dissident classic. Originally written during the mid-1980s, the seminal essay “Pacifism as Pathology” was prompted by veteran activist Ward Churchill’s frustration with what he diagnosed as a growing—and deliberately self-neutralizing—”hegemony of nonviolence” on the North American left. The essay’s publication unleashed a raging debate among activists in both the U.S. and Canada, a significant result of which was Michael Ryan’s penning of a follow-up essay reinforcing Churchill’s premise that nonviolence, at least as the term is popularly employed by white “progressives,” is inherently counterrevolutionary, adding up to little more than a manifestation of its proponents’ desire to maintain their relatively high degrees of socioeconomic privilege and thereby serving to stabilize rather than transform the prevailing relations of power.
Wielding Words like Weapons is a collection of acclaimed American Indian Movement activist-intellectual Ward Churchill’s essays in indigenism, selected from material written during the decade 1995–2005. It includes a range of formats, from sharply framed book reviews and equally pointed polemics and op-eds to more formal essays designed to reach both scholarly and popular audiences. The selection also represents the broad range of topics addressed in Churchill’s scholarship, including the fallacies of archeological and anthropological orthodoxy such as the insistence of “cannibalogists” that American Indians were traditionally maneaters, Hollywood’s cinematic degradations of native people, questions of American Indian identity, the historical and ongoing genocide of North America’s native peoples, and the systematic distortion of the political and legal history of U.S.-Indian relations.
Ward Churchill was, until moving to Atlanta in 2012, a member of the leadership council of Colorado AIM. He is a life member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and currently a member of the elders council of the original Rainbow Coalition, founded by Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in 1969. Now retired, Churchill was professor of American Indian Studies and chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies until 2005, when he became the focus of a major academic freedom case. Among his two dozen books are Agents of Repression and The COINTELPRO Papers (1990, 2002), both coauthored with Jim Vander Wall, as well as A Little Matter of Genocide (1997), and Acts of Rebellion (2003).