Reclaiming Freedom with Boston Review at Harvard Book Store





January 26, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and Boston Review welcome AZIZ RANA—professor of law at Boston College Law School—and BRANDON M. TERRY—John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University—for a discussion of Reclaiming Freedom, the Fall 2023 issue of the Review.

About Reclaiming Freedom

Freedom has a dual legacy. On the one hand, it stands for the great struggles long associated with the left, from abolition and anticolonialism to women’s and queer liberation. On the other hand, it has long been the watchword of an exclusionary right—playing a central role in the politics of neoliberalism and resurgent white nationalism. Rejecting this view of freedom as an exclusively right-wing concern, this issue reclaims freedom as a fundamental political value essential to any vision of a more just world.

Aziz Rana leads a forum on the path to a different politics of freedom. In the United States, he argues, reactionary uses of freedom at home have been emboldened by U.S. imperial power abroad. But the language of freedom can be genuinely liberating by building emancipatory institutions of collective agency and self-rule. Featuring eleven respondents—including Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jefferson Cowie, political theorists Adom Getachew, Lea Ypi, and Nancy Hirschmann, and philosophers Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò and Philippe Van Parijs—the forum clarifies how both political messaging and institution building are essential to extending real freedom to all.

Including essays on the legacy of Cold War liberalism, fifty years of liberation theology, violence in Israel/Palestine, and the Stop Cop City movement; reviews of M. E. O’Brien’s Family Abolition, Melissa Kearney’s The Two-Parent Privilege, Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek’s After Work, and Paul Lafargue’s The Right to Be Lazy; an interview on Black existentialism; and prose poetry.

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Aziz Rana
Aziz Rana

Aziz Rana

Aziz Rana is a professor of law at Boston College Law School, where his research and teaching center on American constitutional law and political development. In particular, his work focuses on how shifting notions of race, citizenship, and empire have shaped legal and political identity since the founding.

His first book, The Two Faces of American Freedom (Harvard University Press) situates the American experience within the global history of colonialism, examining the intertwined relationship in American constitutional practice between internal accounts of freedom and external projects of power and expansion.  His forthcoming book, The Constitutional Bind: How Americans Came to Idolize a Document that Fails Them (University of Chicago Press, 2024), explores the modern emergence of constitutional veneration in the twentieth century -- especially against the backdrop of growing American global authority -- and how veneration has influenced the boundaries of popular politics.

He has written essays and op-eds for such venues as n+1, The Boston Review, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Dissent, New Labor Forum, Jacobin, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Nation, Jadaliyya, Salon, and The Law and Political Economy Project. He has articles and chapter contributions published or forthcoming with Yale and Oxford University Presses, The University of Chicago Law Review, California Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Texas Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal Forum, among others.

He received his B.A. from Harvard College, his J.D. from Yale Law School, and his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.

Brandon M. Terry
Brandon M. Terry

Brandon M. Terry

Brandon M. Terry is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and the co-director of the Institute on Policing, Incarceration, and Public Safety at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. A scholar of African American political thought, Brandon is the editor, with Tommie Shelby, of To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Harvard University Press, 2018) and the editor of Fifty Years Since MLK (Boston Review/MIT 2018). He has published work in Modern Intellectual History, Political Theory, The New York Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, Dissent, The Point, and New Labor Forum. He is currently at work on two books. The first, which will be released in 2024, is The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement: Political Theory and the Historical Imagination (Harvard University Press). It critically explores the ethical and political significance of the ways that different narrative modes of African American history influence contemporary politics and public philosophy. The second is tentatively titled Home to Roost: Malcolm X Between Prophecy and Peril (Penguin/Random House) and concerns the political thought and legacy of Malcolm X.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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