…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.
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.
Postone is in the category of people I should have read, and would like to read.
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.
My student wrote an essay on Bodas de sangre as anti-tragedy and it was great. I then discovered there is a book by George Steiner on this matter and another very interesting one by Ekbert Faas. I never thought I was interested in theatre as a genre but I think that many of the decisions I made as an early undergraduate had to do with not having a good background in literature from high school. I am for poetry because I am, but the additional reason I was interested in it in college was that I had no training in writing about literature and with poems, I could feel sure I was really covering them and yet more importantly, because I could focus on words, images, language. I did not want to discuss novels or theatre because I did not have the personal confidence I felt I needed to comment on characters or action in the world. I am discovering now that with poetry and the essay, theatre is quite the thing for me. Perhaps when I am truly old I will begin to feel really comfortable with narrative.
There are so many teaching guides on this, the students love the film, and you can have them read part of the book. I think I will start using all of this in a systematic way although it is not my personal favorite. They can learn to map the story, summarize, do a character sketch, narrate in a different tense, study the countries visited, and also learn something about who Che Guevara was other than “a Communist dictator” (which is what they say now).
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.