Dwayne Dixon of Silver Valley Redneck Revolt spoke at the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy shortly after Charlottesville, and was joined in conversation by historians Vincent Brown, Timothy McCarthy, and Lisa McGirr.
What does this time of escalating political discord demand of us—our ethics, our social selves, and our bodies? How can communities protect themselves from racist terror when the state is indifferent or hostile? From the perspective of his experiences with Redneck Revolt in Charlottesville, VA, and Durham, NC, anthropologist Dwayne Dixon discusses armed self-defense and the need for a diversity of tactics in anti-fascist resistance.
DWAYNE DIXON is a lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. His research examines the role of media, urban space, and global imaginaries in the lives of young people in contemporary Japan. He is currently studying the ways small arms and their optics are incorporated into bodies through prosthetic practices with specific attention to the influence of the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on firearms theory and training. He is a long-time activist and part of the Durham 15 who are facing charges in North Carolina for removing a Confederate statue and for armed self-defense in the face of the KKK.
VINCENT BROWN is Charles Warren Professor of American History, Professor of African and African-American Studies, and Director of the History Design Studio at Harvard University. Brown is the author of “The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery” (2008), as well as numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals. He is Principal Investigator and Curator for the animated thematic map “Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761: A Cartographic Narrative” (2013) and was Producer and Director of Research for the television documentary “Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness” (2009). He is currently completing a book entitled, “The Coromantee War: Charting the Course of an Atlantic Slave Revolt.”
TIMOTHY PATRICK McCARTHY is an award-winning scholar, teacher, activist, and public servant. He holds a joint faculty appointment in Harvard’s undergraduate honors program in History and Literature, the Graduate School of Education, Harvard Business School, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he is Core Faculty and Director of Culture Change & Social Justice Initiatives and the Emerging Human Rights Leaders Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Dr. McCarthy is also the Stanley Paterson Professor of American History in the Boston Clemente Course, a college-level humanities course in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and co-recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. A historian of politics and social movements, he is author or editor of five books from the New Press, including “Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love,” forthcoming in 2018. Dr. McCarthy graduated with honors from Harvard College and Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in History.
LISA McGIRR is a professor in the History Department at Harvard University where she teaches twentieth-century United States history. McGirr has a broad set of interests at the intersection of social movements and politics. Her most recent book, “The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State,” a Financial Times best book of 2016, examines how Prohibition pushed the federal government in the direction of policing and surveillance. Her first book, “Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right” (Princeton, 2001, 2015) investigates the deep and tenacious roots of the grassroots Right in the United States. McGirr co-edited “American History Now” (Temple University, 2011) with Eric Foner. She has held numerous fellowships, including from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Currently McGirr serves as a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She earned her PhD from Columbia University.