Monthly Archives: June 2016

Slow adopters

I am adamantly opposed to the idea that shrinking the production of Ph.D.s is good for history as a professional endeavor.

So am I. Claire Potter appears to be writing an interesting book.


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Filed under Teaching, What Is A Scholar?

Agamben or the author as gesture

Now I need Agamben for two different projects so I have no choice but to study. Here, the author is gesture.


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Filed under Poetry, Race book

Writing group report

Last week I finished a draft of a report for the department on an ongoing service and teaching initiative. It has been judged good. I will keep working on it, two hours per week, and spend another hour or so a week implementing aspects of it, for the foreseeable future.

I also got two conference panels together, one on the prison project and one on the Vallejo project. I am waiting to hear about my conference proposal on the race project.

This week I will work out every day. I will finish grading, and I will do the errands I need to do for the sake of life in general. I will get up early and read fiction at night.

In terms of writing, I will continue with the article on curriculum. In terms of research, I will work on Vallejo.

I need a shiatsu massage and I will look out for one. I also need to file papers, and I will keep this in mind — I should ideally do a small portion of this most days, or perhaps designated two hours a week for this, starting now and extending into the future.


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Filed under What Is A Scholar?, Working

Carlos Alonso on curriculum

Here are some of his 2013 thoughts. Watch the video and tell me what you think. What is the value of the humanities education, the Ph.D., and the life of the mind generally?



Filed under Bibliography, Questions, Subconference, Teaching, Theories, What Is A Scholar?, Working

The best Brexit article

If the EU worked well for any nation in Europe, it was the UK. Thanks to the skepticism and paranoia of Gordon Brown, Britain dodged the catastrophic error of the single currency. As a result, it has been relatively free to pursue the fiscal policies that it deems socially and politically desirable. The fact that it has consistently chosen neoliberal ones is not really the fault of the EU, the stability and growth pact notwithstanding. But in contrast to southern European members of the EU, Britain is scarcely constrained at all. Instead, it has benefited from economic stability, a clear international regulatory framework and a sense of cultural fraternity with other member states. One could even argue that, being in the EU but outside of the Eurozone, Britain has had the best deal of any member state during the 21st century.

This has been abandoned. Meanwhile, nations that might genuinely describe themselves as ‘shackled’, have suffered such serious threats to their democracy as to have unelected Prime Ministers imposed upon them by the Troika, and have had their future forcibly removed thanks to the European Union, might look at Brexit and wonder.

“Thoughts on the sociology of Brexit”, read it all.


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Filed under Movement, News

Fascism speaks the language of love

Sara Ahmed explains.


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Filed under Theories

Sobre la ansiedad

This artistic description, explanation and set of antidotes is really good.


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Filed under Arts, Resources

University of Wisconsin-Madison

A friend writes on this article:

Let me see if I understand. This state university is essentially becoming a for-profit academy. They can’t afford not to spend the money to keep the grant winners. Of course, that money spent to keep grants is public money being spent primarily to make money, not to educate. So that is the university as investment house. Research and learning are not really the point. Dollars drive knowledge, what gets to be known and what gets to reproduce its institutional status. The only legitimate use of public dollars is to make money. There is no public good beyond that to be served by higher education as such. That is the narrative in force right now and it is highly of cynical, especially given its power among nativists and a majority of voters.

Not enough people see the long term benefits of higher learning across the fields of knowledge and we are at that place where there is too little public support for knowledge that is critical or not supportive of commonplace understanding. The collapse of public faith in the inherent benefits of public higher education, while largely attributable to the activities of the Right since 1981, must be attributable too to some lack on the part of faculty. We and our immediate forebears witnessed these problems rising (adjunctification, exploding administrative ranks, corporatization, inability to engage in public rhetoric) and did too little to abort them. Now perhaps I expect too much. A small subsystem cannot control the whole. But I cannot escape the sense that too many faculty members abandoned the public and their students, because little of the market fundamentalist agenda is good for either the public or our students.



Filed under ALFS presentation, Movement, News, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Viaje hacia la noche

This is an interesting video on a surrealist poet, that I still have to watch.

Viaje Hacia la Noche from Realidad Visual on Vimeo.



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Filed under Arts, Poetry

Los Super Seven

It is the weekend, so we will sing! Here is a version of “Plane wreck at Los Gatos” I had not heard before.

It is a very important song by Woody Guthrie, sung here by an important tejano group. The norteño accordeon comes in around 0:47 and surprised me with its combination of appropriateness and ostranenie. Woody sings the song as Woody sings, but the speaker in the song is Mexican-American.


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Filed under Movement, Songs