Two new books on Play and Activism

Posted on August 22, 2011

[posted from Comm-Org listserve]

From: “Ben Shepard” <>

Hello friends and supporters,

I am writing to let everyone know that books two and three of my study on play, creativity and social movements have just come out.  For those who helped provide interviews or stories or photos, thank again for all your help throughout the years.  If I have not been in touch for a while, please forgive the blast email.   If you are interested in a review copy, please let me know.

These works consider much of the public space activism and ethnography I have been involved with in New York over the last dozen years.  The Beach Beneath the Streets, co-written with Greg Smithsimon, considers the interlocking variables of expression and repression in public space, with chapters on various types of space, including queer piers, community gardens, bonus plazas, bike lanes, street parties, and, of course, policed spaces.

The Beach Beneath the Streets: Contesting New York’s Public Spaces
Benjamin Shepard and Greg Smithsimon.
(State University Press of New York Press.)

Part two of the series, Play, Creativity and Social Movements, is an ethnographic study of social movements born of creative activism from Lower East Side Collective to Reclaim the Streets, The Clandestine Rebel Clown Army and The Absurd Response to an Absurd War.  It considers intersections between the Dada, Situationism, community gardening, DIY culture, and the ascent of the global justice movement from the vantage point of the streets of New York.  It highlights a world in flux from the teargas in Seattle through the altered access to public space seen after 9/11 and the anti war movement.

Play, Creativity, and Social Movements: If I Can’t Dance Its Not My Revolution
2011,  Routledge.

The softcover of part one of the series, Queer Political Performance and Protest: Play, Pleasure, and Social Movement,  was just published.  To Purchase the softcover book through Routledge (discount code ER166), go to:

For more on the  new books, see:

If any of you would like to review a copy of the book or could order a library copy of the book, just let me know.  The information on ordering library copies is listed in the Routledge and SUNY websites listed.

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