Author Archives: knewman4

Class, Politics, and the Return of Roseanne

When ABC brought Roseanne back to life on March 27 it attracted more than 25 million viewers to its initial episode—and an additional 5-10 million caught the second airing or streamed it online. In today’s media ecosystem these numbers are … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Class at the Intersections, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Working-Class Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Karl Marx Makes a Comeback

Several months ago the Communist party in Russia updated their visual propaganda by giving three of their most controversial icons—Lenin, Stalin, and Karl Marx—a makeover. In their new poster series, Stalin looks handsome and serious in a puff of vaping … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Labor and Community Activism, The Working Class and the Economy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bottom Chefs: A Working-Class Lens in the Competition Kitchen

Last week Top Chef Boston aired its Thanksgiving episode (filmed in July) in which the chefs had to squat over open fires, stir pots with large wooden spoons, and to try to cook a Thanksgiving feast limited by the ingredients … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Working-Class Hero Explains How to Save our “Wounded Colossus”

Bob Herbert had no childhood dreams of becoming a journalist. As he explained in a recent interview, he grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, in an African American family that he once described as “working-class with a middle-class sensibility.” In … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Culture of Success

This semester I am teaching a freshman seminar on the college novel. We started with This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald’s bizarre, Princeton-set contribution to the genre. The main character, Amory Blaine, starts life in Minneapolis with many material advantages. But … Continue reading

Posted in Class and Education, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

60 Years Later: On the Waterfront and Working-Class Studies

For most Americans On the Waterfront is not a politically controversial film—it’s simply one of the best films of all time. Many know that the film’s director Elia Kazan did something shady and some might even know that he testified … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Labor and Community Activism | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Serfs for Hire: Learning about Labor from Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones

At first glance HBO’s new series, Silicon Valley, doesn’t seem to have much in common with Game of Thrones. Silicon Valley is a comedy in which men (only) vie for immortality behind computer screens, while Game of Thrones is a … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Labor and Community Activism | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Which Side Is Culture On?

Last week I got a call from a reporter at The Guardian asking me to weigh in on the newest anti-union salvo from the Target corporation: a creepy, personal, direct-to-camera attack on unions, delivered by two red polo-shirt wearing Target … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sing Out! Lessons from the Extraordinary Life of Pete Seeger

Like thousands of fellow Americans, I have spent the last week listening to Pete Seeger’s recordings, poring over his many obits, and inhaling Alec Wilkinson’s wonderful short biography, The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger. With this work … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Labor and Community Activism, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Reading Capital: Books that Shaped Work in America

I teach American literature and media history at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and for many years I have taught a course called Capital Fictions—a class in which we examine the ways in which literature shaped, and was shaped by, … Continue reading

Posted in Class and Education, Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments