Hearing the Community in Its Own Voice: Clyde Woods, 1957–2011


  • George Lipsitz




He came back to Santa Barbara from his trips to Port-au-Prince and New Orleans with a chilling prophecy. Those cities were not backwaters left behind by modern society, he proclaimed, but rather, as laboratories of neoliberal accumulation by dispossession, they were glimpses into our future. What happens to any of us at one moment can happen to all of us eventually, he argued. This ability to see a portent of the future in what others discerned to be safely in the past reflects a more general affinity in Woods’s work: his talent for interruption, disruption, inversion, subversion, disguise, and surprise. In his writing, teaching, and activism, Clyde consistently turned hegemony on its head, finding truth in ideas and evidence located 180 degrees opposite of dominant ideas and practices.