…[W]hy is everyone so afraid to write what they want to write, to publish what they want to publish? Why, we ruminated together, whether we are seeking tenure-track jobs or have tenure already or simply want to get inside the covers of a book, are we besieged by so many anxieties and fears regarding what we think we are allowed to say, allowed to write, allowed to express? Might it be possible, we wondered out loud, to found a press that would specifically answer to the specific desires of singular individuals who might almost be dying (inside) to write something that they have convinced themselves in advance is unpublishable and for which no existing publisher would take the “risk”? And might a publisher then perform the (loving) function of a form of self-care that attends to these singular desires, that allows them to flourish and find their way into the world that would be sustaining of the spirit and dignity that gave birth to them?
It is the connection of desire to reality that possesses revolutionary force.
Passing more of the cost of college on to students (who incur additional debt in the process) means that more of the revenue used to finance higher education is “unsecured.” In California, which is leading the trend towards privatization, more than half of the financing for public colleges now comes from tuition dollars, not state funding. That means administrators are free to use student fees to finance development projects such as luxury stadiums. As a result, public universities in that state are already paying $1 billion each year in interest alone to Wall Street. This neoliberal restructuring is not a withdrawal of state support so much as it is an active program of turning higher education over to financiers and manager-elites. More than twenty years ago, in The University in Ruins, Bill Readings wrote that, as universities lost their status as bastions of national culture, they would become “bureaucratic corporations.”
Clearly what I should read today: 68:1 (June 2015).
It has Nicholson on Moro, of course, but it is the issue as a whole that looks nice to me.
These are speeches that have been given or are about to be given, whose texts I need and must remember to request.
Newfield, Christopher. “The Great Mistake: How Private-Sector Models Damage Public Universities, and How They Can Recover.” Presented at University of Washington, Seattle, yesterday.
Washington University, Provost. “The University Is Not a Business.” Soon to be presented in St. Louis, Missouri.
If it were not for Facebook, I would not know about these texts, so Facebook is research.
I was to spend an hour on research and writing this morning but I only spent about five minutes. Then I spent nearly two hours on administration and correspondence. I next spent four hours in class, an hour on class preparation, a half hour at a meeting, and an hour and a half in office hours.
This means 6.5 hours were spent on teaching activity and 2.5 on administrative activity, with just a pinch of research. I should, and probably will spend another hour on teaching related activities tonight, at which point it will have been a ten hour day.
I bought a book that I was tired of getting by inter-library loan. I ordered a good used copy online. It is an overpriced book and I had only ever seen it in paperback. I thought I would receive a paperback copy.
When it arrived, it was in hardcover. I heard myself say: “Oh, look! I got a whole one!”
Filed under News, Working
Today’s review item involves Althusser and Lacan. We must study the items named in the title of this post and come to a deeper understanding of them. I am writing about how political euphemism functions to undermine the integrity of the speaker, or rather, the subject(ivity) it interpellates. What I am saying is more naive than what Althusser or Lacan would say, I believe, because I am assuming some preexisting “integrity.”
Is this wrong? Who is the “I” who says “I shall not, I shall not be moved”?
I dreamed I had washed and dried, in the washer and dryer, a wool cloth coat with a faux fur collar, by mistake. This ought to have ruined it, I would have thought, but it came out fine.
I dreamed I was at the MLA translating Fernando del Paso, and I had hired a team of Spanish speaking typists from China to transcribe my work.
It was unclear where the MLA was taking place, but it seemed to be in a large provincial city along a tropical river, perhaps an Amazon tributary or a similar river in Africa.
Does anyone have ideas for interpretations of these dreams?
Filed under News, Questions
We decided we will try to host an MLA roundtable at Philadelphia on 21st century Spanish programs. There is more to come on this, although perhaps not on the blog.
We decided our research and writing hours would be M-F 8-9 and Tuesday and Thursday, 9-11 and 1-3. These hours can move somewhat (e.g. 7-8, 10-12, 2-4), but we are not working on research or writing in late afternoons, evenings, or weekends unless we feel like it.
This plan adds up to 13 hours a week, and it can add up to more. All university obligations end Friday at 3, so we do have Friday late afternoons available if we wish, and all weekend. We can also use late afternoons, evenings, and weekends for teaching and service if we wish, but we will not let these activities crowd into our official research hours.
I railed as usual about my anger at professors who repeat standard advice on working but do not give inside information and will not believe one’s own research could be valid. Don’t write that, where will you publish that, you should not have written that, you will never get anyone to believe that, are things I have been told too often and that I have a great deal of anger about having been pedantically told.
I feel completely different when I am working on my own projects and topics, things I care about and believe in, than I do when I am working on what is merely acceptable and marketable.