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The Martyrs Shuffle is an experimental magazine. It brings together scholars from across the arts and sciences, working at the crossroads between the university and everyday political life. It takes its name from a line in Baraka’s “Brief Reflections on Two Hot Shots,” a polemical essay first published in Kulchur in 1963. For Baraka, the “martyr’s shuffle” describes the ideological missteps of the public intellectual, whose performative appeal often trades on a politics of respectability, catharsis, and representation. The Martyr’s Shuffle emerges in part, then, out of our shared opposition to this dominant public-intellectual trend, and in part as a creative response to Baraka’s clarion call to choreograph a radical political project. Our magazine is a collective intellectual engagement. Our goal is to think and write about the anxieties and realities (social, cultural, political, and economic) of our current historical moment.

Editor & Publisher 

Garry Bertholf (Humanities Unbounded Initiative, Duke University)

Associate Editor

Alden Young (School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey)

“A writer must have a point of view, or [they] cannot be a good writer. [They] must be standing somewhere in the world, or else [they are] not one of us, and [their] commentary then is of little value. … An idea must be specific and useful, and must function in the world…”

—Amiri Baraka

Editorial Collective (clockwise from top left):

Subah Dayal (Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU)

J.T. Roane (School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University)

Abdul Adan (former Miles Morland Foundation Scholar and Caine Prize Nominee)

Julius Fleming, Jr. (Department of English, University of Maryland—College Park)

A.D. Carson (Department of Music, University of Virginia)

Axelle Karera (Department of Philosophy, Wesleyan University)

Candace Wiley (Tulsa Artist Fellow, Oklahoma)

Marina Bilbija (Department of English, Wesleyan University)

Tyson Patros (Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU)

Darius Bost (School for Cultural and Social Transformation, University of Utah)

Keren Weitzberg (Department of History and the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London)

Wendell Marsh (Buffett Institute for Global Studies, Northwestern University)

Chenjerai Kumanyika (Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Rutgers University—New Brunswick)

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