For Friday, [May 24] June 21

* Contact J.H. on speaker – pick things up from the office before leaving – sign payroll upon return, and visit the library – visit REI and the ASUC store in August – see R.W. June 12 *

I will write and submit the abstract here, and so should you. (The conference starts on a Thursday and I’ll teach my first class, farm the other two out, and go.) // Note that the leyes nuevas (promulgated 1542 although not enforced) abolished indigenous slavery. This gave indigenous persons a right others (Spaniards, Africans) did not have even in Spain, and was done because in the Americas it was so easy to justify enslavement of indigenous persons in the absence of an absolute prohibition. (Slavery had been abolished in France in 1315 and this stuck, although the concept was not applied to the colonies.)

I will finish my book orders for the grant and also work as much as I can on the syllabus and reading for that class. I will clear out at least some of my files and paperwork.

I will make my plans for Florida and beyond. I will look up the Rob Stone books as well.

I will visit the ASUC store and REI. I will see Liz and Susan for work, and maybe others, for fun.

For the abstract, very rough:

Is it Bhabha, Mary L. Pratt, Said, who, how many say that looking at oneself through the eyes of the metropolis is a colonial trope? In Cecilia Valdés Villaverde represents Cuba with New Orleans eyes (Cuba sees itself through other eyes) but the New Orleans through which Cuba is seen is itself a construction based upon Northeastern tourists’ perceptions of Haitian immigrants. What was the French, but also heavily Spanish Louisiana actually like, before Americanization and also before the refrancesamiento created another fantasy image of the state? I will look at C. V. and K. Chopin but also G. W. Cable and A. Carpentier, but also N.O. press and lesser known writers like Charles Gayarré.

Axé.

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Very well.

I have finished ordering books on the one little grant and now I will order the rest on the other. I need the Galaxia Gutenberg García Lorca complete works in four volumes, and they are available for 200 € plus shipping from La Central. I also need the Cátedra edition of Así que pasen cinco años and as good an edition of the essays and manifestos as I can get.

I have to find out how to use my little university grant, to do this. I must also use it to reserve that room, for that talk.

Axé.

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And we’re off…!

…to the races! Coming back to that paper again, I have decided not to worry that F. da Silva’s formula is too facile. I will take it for now. YES Descartes and Bacon with their division of Man and Nature, cosmic Subject and Object, enabled modern imperial ideology to “[define] women and colonies into nature” (Maria Mies) and so YES this parallels patriarchal marriage (where the husband guides and forms the wife) and yes “[t]hese associations are built into our gender-formative national imaginary.” (Goff 2019). Yes it was a mere op-ed that convinced me to drop doubt and actually work with the F. da Silva paradigm I have been struggling with, but I think that is fine. The images are helping me visualize that scene of separation and subordination and I will become articulate enough to finally explain the “scene of engulfment” and paradoxical establishment of the Latin American subject, I know.

For other reasons, I liked these lines from Goff:

Empire is materially established by exploitative flows between imperial cores and subjugated colonies. But imperialism is sustained, nourished, and mobilized by conquest masculinity. Oftentimes, our arguments against imperialism dash against this rock: Masculinity is self-protective, paranoid, and fragile, and so it must be walled in by a psychological fortress.

Meanwhile, I have two books in my Amazon list waiting to be bought but that I want to get in libraries. They’re both about Spanish North America and they both have material on Louisiana. One is by Robert Goodwin and the other is by Carrie Gibson; both came out this year.

Axé.

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Pablo E. Pérez-Mallaína

This is a historian with fascinating interests: daily life on the Indies fleets in the 16th century; shipwrecks; civic reactions to 18th century earthquakes in Peru; general history of Latin America, and more. He says he got interested in shipwrecks because he wanted to see how people recovered from that kind of trauma, so he could learn some of their techniques.

When you are on a sinking ship and must throw things overboard to try to save it, you are to throw in this order: the King’s silver; other peoples’ silver; women, children and old men; slaves; apprentices; seamen; officers; captain. This is apparently the meaning of “women and children first!” and “the captain stays with his ship!”

These rules were not and are not followed, however. In a real shipwreck survivors tend to be young, strong men because they can beat most other people to the first places on lifeboats and rafts.

Axé.

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Didier Fassin

I would like to read more of César Aira, and I would like to read this book. “Politics … involves struggle against the scandalous inequality of human life and thus can never be reduced to mere governance.”

(What is happening to us here is political and ideological, and cannot be solved by mere governance although this is also important — we need governance but must see that the problem goes beyond this.)

I am also traumatized. I am not like this person (graduate school was not my trauma)

(I am putting myself in a program of trauma treatment, now that I see what the landscape is. It involves renouncing self-doubt, remembering that authorities are paper tigers, and keeping in mind that I can buy an annuity and escape.)

What am I? An intellectual, an artist and an activist.

(I think I will have microdermabrasion, yoga and shiatsu massage. In my self-directed trauma treatment I will remember to put all my priorities first, regardless of any crises others may have.)

Axé.

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Moishe Postone

Postone is in the category of people I should have read, and would like to read.

Axé.

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Cultures of reading

I was going to make note of, and then donate my issue of the January, 2019 PMLA but I think I will keep it, for now. I often do not even read PMLA, it seems boring, but then once in a while it has things of interest.

Here, there’s an article on Fanon’s radio; one by Emily Apter on untranslatability that starts out discussing Auerbach’s correspondence with Benjamin, from Istanbul; one on anticolonial reading and one on Juan Moreira; one on racial imaginaries of reading … and more. I am quite interested in all of this.

*

How do you get interested in things? I have many thoughts on this question, but sitting in Northern California among trees taking notes on theories of writing and reading is a strong memory in me, and my interest is partly in the material and partly in the fact it is my indigenous activity. I am from here and this is what I do here.

Axé.

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