As we know, advice on writing misses the point for me. I have research problems, not distaste for writing or poor work habits, and advice going to these things offends me because I want different advice, that is withheld.

I wake up in the morning thinking of the movement and how to organize. I think of this as “procrastination” but perhaps I should just go ahead and put the movement activity first. My father put the family first, and his academic job was for that. My academic job is first, but it is not a job, it is a way of proving I am a person with a right to exist.

This is a large reason why I resist academic work: once I figured out I could be a successful academic I lost interest, having now accorded myself the right to exist. That is to say I was interested differently, and wanted another relationship to it, and did not seem to know how to get that, and also seemed to be denied it.


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Neoliberal culture

I’d like to read this McGuigan book, but I do not want to buy it, and we do not have it, and the next university only has it in e-format, and only for its own faculty and students, so the following university is the place. Note that that university is also the richest. Don’t let people tell you the rich prefer e-books.

It is important because it explains why neoliberal culture has managed to colonize us so well. For example we deindustrialize, but we get to gentrify, and it is cool.

Also on these matters: what is the common good? R&D people, applied research people, say that is what they are doing. We say that the production of knowledge contributes [naturally] to the common good. But in practice, we generally mean the good of the researcher and the reputation of the institution. John Wallach, at the AAUP conference in 2018, gave a talk on this, arguing that democracy, not “academic freedom,” should be a first principle.


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Filed under ALFS presentation, Bibliography, Subconference, Uncategorized, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Histories of melancholy

Histories of melancholy. Subjectivity, melancholy.

Hegemonic cultural norms produce “melancholic” subjects, modelled on the Hegelian “unhappy consciousness,” whose identity depends upon the marginalisation of excluded, transgressive subjectivities.

That is from an old, yet interesting critique of Butler.
I always said depression was self-hatred, rejection of self, and also came from subjection, renunciation.

This is good advice on writing, but what did I do today? A syllabus, a mini-grant, and a revise-and-resubmit of a poetry translation manuscript. I avoided my academic piece because it involves going through a depressing series of files — or so I think. (Is it that really, I like these other things better, I sometimes wonder.)

You have to feel like a person, I find, have full access to self, and this is why techniques for “productivity,” while good, always seem to miss the mark. One of my issues is the anxiety of disagreeing with people, if I am speaking for myself and not a cause. It is intolerable and so I switch gears to activism or translation, where I know I deserve to speak since it is not for me.

It is not for you. You are not a full person. Do not do things as you. And I work in what you might call a comfort zone, when I cannot work for me without running into peak anxiety.

I still need to learn that I have a place, and the right to take it, it does seem.


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After neoliberalism?

Clarissa is posting on Wendy Brown who, as we know, is a major critic of the privatization of the University of California as well as one who shows what neoliberal values have done to everything.

Newfield, and my colleagues, want to reclaim the idea of the public good, and the public for that matter, and higher education as public good, but Brown suggests that ship has sailed and that in higher education, now, we don’t work to form an educated citizenry but human capital.


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Committing to memory

These keywords and key phrases: violation of academic freedom, discrimination, and inadequate consideration of case.


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La imaginación histórica y el romance nacional; Martyrs of Miscegenation

1996, F. Unzueta, and I need to see it. It is not here, and it would cost $40 to buy used, so I will actually use interlibrary loan. I had forgotten I was looking for this article by Lee Skinner several years ago and that I had it; now I have read it. National identities in the 19th century, as we know, are sites of negotiation and struggle, and writers used racially marked images in different ways, depending on their politics at a particular coyuntura.
One knows these things.

Skinner says both Sommer and Anderson think of national identities as fixed things, through which national reconciliation is brought about. I don’t agree with all of Sommer but I always read her as proposing that identities were being proposed, forged, posited in these texts, and they did not preexist them.


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Freedom time

I keep not doing all I hope to, but I do hope to go and get this book from the library, Freedom Time.


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