Category Archives: What Is A Scholar?

Vallejo y yo

I had written this paragraph and thought it was bad, and I later abandoned the paper for lack of time but also lack of hope–based in lack of support or camaraderie, perhaps.

Las fisuras en el sujeto vallejiano, la fragmentación de su corpus poético, las bifurcaciones de su tradición manuscrita, y el enigma de su personalidad son temas entrelazados en muchos estudios. Estos temas son cargados, y no sólo a causa de la pugna de figuras como Georgette o Larrea por definir tanto al autor como el texto, ni por la esperanza de que las llaves de la personalidad del poeta abran paso a una lectura más íntima y certera de la obra. Si se ha querido saber quién era Vallejo o cuál su historia, no es por creer de manera ingenua que la obra refleje al autor y su época sino porque como bien dice Stephen Hart (1998), y el poeta y su obra son enigmáticos por estar impregnados de otredad. ¿De dónde viene esta voz, a la vez tan extranjera y tan de casa? ¿Qué tienen estos textos oblicuos, tan marcados por el desplazamiento, que nos llegan “directamente al corazón”? (Vallejo 1927)

I’m a quick thinker on my feet but a slow/steady researcher and writer. My problems are all about how everyone else wants to work in interval training: push fast for half an hour, then break, then do it again; sweat and strain and suffer and say you hate it but then get a prize, go out and drink/stuff yourself with chocolate/spend. And they say you are immature and lazy if that is not how you work. I HATE PROFESSORS FOR THIS.

I don’t hate them for doing it, but for saying that is how you should do things. They have no joy and no Zen, and they live to condescend to others. I hate them. I really do.

Everything takes time. So many things I dislike doing, I would not mind or even enjoy if not asked to do them in a desperate flurry.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes, Poetry, What Is A Scholar?, Working

The neoliberal self

This is the key to my article “Language and the entrepreneurial university.” How did we get here without realizing it? I saw the signs of it in the 70s and then 80s, and I felt the change happening in the 90s and early 00s but did not understand it, although I had a couple of realizations. Books were coming out on it by then and I read good review essays on them, yet somehow did not connect them directly to my own experience. Even the 2008 crisis did not get me to understand, really. It took my experience on Faculty Senate in 2012-2013, watching how power was flowing and what kind of decisions were being made, to truly understand. How did we get here without fully realizing what road we were walking down? I have been wondering. It is that neoliberalism has these technologies of hiding what it’s doing by recreating you within it. I’d been thinking it was working by euphemism but there is more.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under ALFS presentation, ULS Presentation, What Is A Scholar?, Working

US Latinos writing in Spanish

This is another hip course I could give, at an advanced level, with a baby-level that would be a freshman seminar. SPANISH language writing would be the topic, we wouldn’t work on English language writing, or read a lot of Spanglish.

Algunos nombres: Elizabeth Acevedo (“The Poet X” se ha traducido al español), Gloria Anzaldúa, Herrison Chicas (Carolina del Norte, algunos poemas están en español), Juan Felipe Herrera, Martín Espada (a mí me gusta mucho el trabajo de este último).

Algunos más, todos con redes sociales que se pueden encontrar: Raquel Abend Van Dalen, Yosie Crespo, Oriette D’Angelo, Douglas Gómez Barrueta, Kelly M. Grandal, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, Román Luján, Urayoán Noel, Carlos Pintado, Keila Vall de la Ville.

Axé.

7 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Teaching, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Undergraduate and other research

Here’s a good list of things people undertaking research, need and should do:

1. have knowledge of what a research question is;
2. have basic subject knowledge in a chosen topic area, e.g., its major research questions;
3. develop a capacity for being interested in questions where the answer is nonobvious;
4. have the ability to inquire into one’s own core interests;
5. develop the project topic research question (with self-reflexivity and metacognition);
6. identify a thesis or hypothesis about the topic (one that is interesting and nonobvious);
7. plan the investigation (identify steps and continually revise methods);
8. organize research (including recording and sorting of conflicting information);
9. interpret research results (including results that are contradictory, disorganized, unsanctioned, or anomalous);
10. develop one’s analysis and narrative into a coherent narrative (gaps included);
11. publicly or socially present findings and respond to criticism;
12. have the ability to reformulate conclusions and narrative in response to new information and contexts; and
13. have the ability to fight opposition, to develop within institutions, and to negotiate with society.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Resources, Teaching, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Para una clase de cultura más avanzada

If I think it should be a junior level course, it should be senior / early graduate. This one would be on monuments. Each monument studied would lead to the study of many related things, and one would study their processes of fetichization (I have not worked this out very well yet). Some of the monuments are musical, and some are literary.

1/ Macchu Picchu, study of, fetichization of, nature of, implications of, history of; here we will also study Cusco.

2/ Martí, “Nuestra América.”

3/ Toledo.

4/ Tlatelolco.

5/ Plaza de Mayo.

6/ Cuban son.

8/ 100 años de soledad.

What else, or is this enough?

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Teaching, What Is A Scholar?, Working

The common good

We don’t know, of course, if anyone believes in the common good, or the public good any more, but here are some fragmentary notes from a conversation we had.

1. We should talk much more about research. In class. College has to become more interesting – we cannot allow it to be further redefined as rote credentialing. We need research at lower levels.

2. We need a description of the “academy” from an academic point of view. Everyone else is saying what college should be but what do we say?

3. If the university is a public good, it should be supported by public revenues – not special interests.

4. As a public good, the university has non-pecuniary benefits, and these have value even if it is not measured in gold.

5. The liberal arts – intellectual discipline, intellectual agenda, sets intellectual agendas.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under ALFS presentation, ULS Presentation, What Is A Scholar?

António Cândido

…de Mello e Souza is our topic today. On the theory of getting rid of one book, binder, or at least one file folder each day, no matter how good it is, I am getting rid of a binder of xeroxes of works by him  (if I can — right now, the cat is sitting on it). I have intellectual and sentimental reasons to have it, but it has to go.

In his Literatura e sociedade there is an important 1950 article “Literatura e cultura de 1900 a 1945,” which also appeared in Spanish in the 1991 anthology of Cândido, Crítica radical (Ayacucho). It says the dialectic of localism and cosmopolitanism is key.

There is in that last volume the 1958 introduction to Formação da literatura brasileira, and a discussion of Raízes do Brasil … and a translation of “Literatura e subdesenvolvimento.” I’ve also got a copy of his book on Sílvio Romero.

There is new work out now by Cândido (who only died in 2017), and new work on him too, and I am sure I do not need these photocopies since the texts are available, so they are going.

Yet I remember voices like his, and days spent reading this kind of thing instead of bureaucratic things, legal things or commercial educational products … and I miss the humanities then, and the gentle and educated voices I used to hear, and the people I used to know.

(How then to listen now is of course the practical question here, but I am more interested in the last line of that last paragraph as statement.)

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bibliography, Theories, What Is A Scholar?