“César Moro between indigenism and surrealism”

That is the title of this really interesting dissertation.



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Some random notes from earlier

The book I bought and then lost was Judith Shapiro, Community of Scholars.

Badiou has a book or essay called “Vat is een volk?” that I should read.

Michael North’s book The Baltic would be worth reading. So would Lefebvre, Marxist theory and the city.

Kant’s 1764 observations on feeling; the sublime and the beautiful; have to do with race; so does the origin of the 3d critique on aesthetics; mestizaje was supposed to improve the looks of women; these ideas have something to do with the Caucasus that I must reconstruct.

There was Georg Foster, who traveled with Captain Cook, and attempted to understand the concept of races, apparently said there were no races (this is something to be verified).

See also Arendt on Kant’s 3d critique, and Kant’s introduction to Anthropology. It is from Kant’s discussion of the inner and outer judge that some of these ideas about race come; also, the idea of natural science and teleological nature come from the debate on race.


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Filed under ALFS presentation, Race book

Some things I learned at the conference

I learned a number of the things one normally learns, about new work, ideas, books. I learned that I have to actually write the proto-article I presented on: it is time to write it, and the thinking will come in the writing. Here are some of the other things I learned.

My projects are many and complex. They are like those of the stars and people who get invited to be keynote speakers. This is why I always end up in conversation with those people. And someone told me that it involves having the kind of thick education that many professors don’t have anymore.

Anyway, the reason I don’t develop my projects well enough is that they need R1 time and confidence, ideally, or barring that a more positive or at least less hostile work environment; and also that I’ve always been taught to be tentative, to limit myself, not to jump in with both feet. Jumping in with both feet is something within my power, as well as leading myself from the head and not pushing myself from the back (this last is what those who say their problem is not liking to write do). And standing up against mistreatment.

Also, I remember that in Reeducation I was not only accused of being too logical, but having excessive powers of concentration and focus. I kept saying these were just my academic training, and that I needed them, they were a tool of my trade, but my Reeducator was looking for pathology and thought he might be able to tackle me with an OCD diagnosis. I was afraid of this because I was afraid of the drugs I would have to take, and tried to show that I could destroy or disable my powers of concentration and focus on my own, without drugs (thus also proving I was not wicked, and trying to earn the right to something more like psychoanalysis).

The other part of Reeducation was academia and in it I was shocked to find myself, first, in a teaching-and-pampering situation and next, in a research-first situation where research wasn’t an intellectual endeavor but a measurable production endeavor for the university as industrial complex. It took me a long time to understand these situations and my lack of comprehension of them.

I think that for my article on neoliberalization these things are important. I remember some of the first signs of it when I was a student. We took them seriously but did not understand them as completely as I do now (and it’s not a question of hindsight; the information existed but we did not have it). I think that the whole time I have been a professor is the time in which this destruction has been happening. We’re accused of not having stood up to it but in my case it has been not understanding it, or at least not understanding it immediately. I have only become really able to understand it recently.


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Filed under ALFS presentation, Banes, Da Whiteman

The question

How is it that, according to da Silva, the mestizo subject is produced? This is the question for today.


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Things I could do in addition to museums, general exploration, the conference, and work

Starting tomorrow at 4 (I missed one today, Monday), these films.

6 October, Friday, 18:00, Casa de Cultura de Morelia. Trabajos (artísticos) gastronómicos. Art opening.

I am abroad trying to work and this has different challenges than does trying to work at home. I am facing some demons, one of which was finding out what day I present at this conference. It is 6 October, Friday, and I am relieved as this gives me some time. I feel so much more inspired and calm in Mexico, generally speaking, but it is difficult now because I am giving classes virtually at my institution, and feel the weight of it.


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Los pasos perdidos

I really need to start cracking on work but it turns out that there is a major celebration here in Morelia, Michoacán. And I suppose the beginning of all voyages to Latin America are like the second chapter of Los pasos perdidos: first you arrive to a country that is clearly 3d world and mysterious, no matter how familiar. Then you sleep, and then…

This morning I woke up feeling the mountain air and looking at the stone streets that have been here since the 16th century I felt I was in Old Castile about 50 years ago–where I was then, in fact. Then I saw soldiers and armed police and realized many streets were blocked off, and discovered it was for a parade celebrating the 252d birthday of the prócer José Ma. Morelos. After much circuitous walking, and fortunate purchase of newspapers, I secured a place in a café with a view of the parade, and saw it, composed of regiments from every ideological state apparatus, excepting the Church but including schools and universities, all dignitaries and many, many military. The countryside is at war, as we know, and the military were applauded.

I walked and saw very many other things but the most interesting was a man with people getting their pictures taken next to him. Someone standing next to me asked who it was and I said I did not know, but a third person explained that it was an important figure in the autodefensas of Michoacán (although he did not really look like or have the aspecto of Hipólito Mora, a famous leader in this).

There is a great deal else to recount but even sufficient contextualization of what I have noted down here would take a lot of writing. I visted Morelos’ birdthplace which was a casa de salud in his time (born 1765), and learned that Morelia’s streets were paved during the presidency of Miguel Alemán.


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My first enemy

All these years I have felt sorry for my colleague because he was depressed and not as well educated and hadn’t had as much fun in life as I have had and wasn’t as inspired, so I made allowances for his vagaries, but now I realize his waif act has always been just a cover story for his enormous passive-aggressive plan. Everyone has always encouraged me to feel sorry for people who behave badly instead of be angry at them, but I declare this is actually very bad training. Very bad because now that I see who this person is, I am his enemy — whereas had I never gone into denial, I would just have been cold-neutral.

I have had people who were my enemies and realized it, but this is the first time I have decided to become someone’s enemy.


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