reading list

For “User Agreement,” our research process absorbs overlapping bodies of knowledge—academic, legislative, artistic, political, philosophical—surrounding the subject of peace. Here’s what we’re reading, an open set of suggestions that we’ll continue to synthesize and compare as we go.

“There are no homeless words. Humans are the homes of words, their sovereign masters… Words live within us, they leave and return to us. They serve us devotedly from the moment we are born until we die.” – Chinghiz Aitmatov

“The reasons for writing a book can be brought back to the desire to modify the existing relations between a man and his fellow beings. The relations are judged unacceptable and are perceived as an atrocious misery” – Georges Bataille, Oeuvres Completes, vol.2, 143

“Civil Disobedience Manual”

Jane Addams
“Newer Ideals of Peace”

Saul Alinsky
“Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals”

Hannah Arendt
“On the Nature of Totalitarianism: an Essay in Understanding”

Black Lives Matter
“Guiding Principles”

Partha Chatterjee
“Nationalism as a Problem”

Eileen Crist
“The Poverty of Our Nomenclature”

Frantz Fanon
“The Wretched of the Earth”

Jo Freeman
“The Tyranny of Structurelessness”

Mahatma Gandhi
“An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth”

Boutros Boutros Ghali
“An Agenda for Peace”

Antonio Gramsci
“Selections from the Prison Notebooks”

Thich Nhat Hanh
“Peace is Every Step”
“The Art of Communicating”
“The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology”

Donna Haraway
“Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene”

Stefano Harney & Fred Moten
“The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study”

Simon Harrison “Four Types of Symbolic Conflict”

Daisaku Ikeda
“For the Sake of Peace: Seven Paths to Global Harmony”

V. Jabri
“Critical Thought and Political Agency in Time of War”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Strength to Love”

Ursula K. Le Guin
“A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be”

Subcomandante Marcos
“The Fourth World War Has Begun”

Margaret Mead
“Warfare is Only an Invention—Not a Biological Necessity”

Jean-Luc Nancy
“The Inoperative Community”
“Being Singular Plural”

Reza Negarestani
“The Militarization of Peace”

Claudia Rankine

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“Reveries of a Solitary Walker”

Kumkum Sangari
“The Politics of the Possible”

Elaine Scarry
“The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World”

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
“Can the Subaltern Speak?”

Henry David Thoreau
“Civil Disobedience”

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
“Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection”

UN Committee on Human Rights
“Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

Vladimir I. Vernadsky
“The Biosphere”

Paul Virilio
“The Aesthetics of Disappearance”
“Politics of the Very Worst”

Cornel West
“A Love Supreme”

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