Category Archives: Movement

Punctum Books

…[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.

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The MLA Subconference

CoyoteCoat

I just signed up for the MLA Subconference, and so should you.

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Huey P. Long

For the new year I propose we study some texts of alleged demagogue Huey P. Long, whose analysis may not be entirely scientific, but who is extremely interesting. An installment:

Ladies and Gentlemen: —

I have only 30 minutes in which to speak to you this evening, and I, therefore, will not be able to discuss in detail so much as I can write when I have all of the time and space that is allowed me for the subjects, but I will undertake to sketch them very briefly without manuscript or preparation, so that you can understand them so well as I can tell them to you tonight.

I contend, my friends, that we have no difficult problem to solve in America, and that is the view of nearly everyone with whom I have discussed the matter here in Washington and elsewhere throughout the United States—that we have no very difficult problem to solve.

It is not the difficulty of the problem which we have; it is the fact that the rich people of this country—and by rich people I mean the super-rich—will not allow us to solve the problems, or rather the one little problem that is afflicting this country, because in order to cure all of our woes it is necessary to scale down the big fortunes, that we may scatter the wealth to be shared by all of the people.

We have a marvelous love for this Government of ours; in fact, it is almost a religion, and it is well that it should be, because we have a splendid form of government and we have a splendid set of laws. We have everything here that we need, except that we have neglected the fundamentals upon which the American Government was principally predicated.

How many of you remember the first thing that the Declaration of Independence said? It said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that there are certain inalienable rights for the people, and among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;” and it said further, “We hold the view that all men are created equal.”

Now, what did they mean by that? Did they mean, my friends, to say that all men are created equal and that that meant that any one man was born to inherit $10,000,000,000 and that another child was to be born to inherit nothing?

Did that mean, my friends, that someone would come into this world without having had an opportunity, of course, to have hit one lick of work, should be born with more than it and all of its children and children’s children could ever dispose of, but that another one would have to be born into a life of starvation?

That was not the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that all men are created equal or “That we hold that all men are created equal.”

Nor was it the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that they held that there were certain rights that were inalienable—the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Hear the speech. See it.

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Slavoj Žižek

Global capitalism has no problem in accommodating itself to a plurality of local religions, cultures and traditions. So the irony of anti-Eurocentrism is that, on behalf of anti-colonialism, one criticizes the West at the very historical moment when global capitalism no longer needs Western cultural values in order to smoothly function. In short, one tends to reject Western cultural values at the very time when, critically reinterpreted, many of those values (egalitarianism, fundamental rights, freedom of the press, the welfare-state, etc.) can serve as a weapon against capitalist globalization. Did we already forget that the entire idea of Communist emancipation as envisaged by Marx is a thoroughly “Eurocentric” one?

This is a smart article, and you should read it all.

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Plan Mérida

According Gustavo Gil, director of political analysis at Integralia, a Mexico City consultancy firm, the rule of law should replace military aid as the central pillar of the Mérida Initiative.

“As long as Mexico’s institutions are unable to impose the rule of law,” he says, “the routine violation of human rights will continue.”

Gil cites a 2013 study by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), which indicates that 94 percent of all crimes committed in Mexico go unpunished —  “a damning indictment” of the country’s security policies, he says.

Mexico’s failure to hold its own security forces to account is costing lives — but so, too, is the failure of the U.S. policy-makers to ask quite where Mérida Initiative money is going.

Despite reports from Mexico’s National Secretary on Security that 10,000 people died violently in the first half of 2015, President Obama has requested a further $116 million in spending from Congress, for handover in 2016.

The bill for the Mérida Initiative —in terms of U.S. spending and lost human lives— looks set to rise, with no upward limit in sight.

Tout lire.

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Cut from my document, but it is so juicy

If we are to have student activity…

CHAIR MUST MANAGE AND LIMIT THE POWER OF THOSE INSTRUCTORS WHO WITH ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT OR COMPLICITY HAVE:

1. Discouraged students from the major: stop putting them in a position to do so (get them out of 300 and 400 level courses where they have this kind of influence);

2. Worked against the creation and sustenance of extracurricular activities: stop putting them in a position to do so (again, get them out of 300 and 400 level courses where they have this kind of influence);

3. Sent Spanish Club and Sigma Delta Pi dormant / have not had time to do all related paperwork. We must allow someone responsible to revive Sigma Delta Pi and support current leaders in broadening (and making official again) the activities of the Spanish Club.

I can hardly believe that I am having to make such low level recommendations, but it is so. Parties from above are about to kill several majors and at the same time, suggest that random student activity will save them. Ce n’est pas vrai: no desperate activity should be encouraged and one should organize.

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Ryan Craig

C’est donc en raison de ses faiblesses et non de ses réussites que l’université américaine présente une menace: tout l’invite à inventer d’urgence des solutions innovantes et, pour les rentabiliser, à les diffuser à l’étranger. L’Asie sera sa première cible, pour des raisons démographiques et économiques. Mais l’Europe sera également touchée si les Etats-Unis créent ou promeuvent des programmes ou des approches attentifs à l’employabilité des diplômés.

Ces nouveaux modèles seront payants : le marché, en tout cas en France, est prêt, car, depuis dix ans, la croissance du privé et des filières sélectives est spectaculaire. Les fonds d’investissement ne s’y trompent pas : quand leur intérêt pour l’éducation relevait il y a cinq ans de la sphère privée – quelle école pour mon enfant? -, il est désormais de plain-pied dans leur agenda professionnel. Le pedigree de Ryan Craig en témoigne : il dirige University Ventures, l’un d’entre eux…

Read the whole thing.

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