Bottomless Thursday Links, No Refills
* Cheryl Abbate has decided to leave Marquette. Marquette has apparently decided to suspend John McAdams, though who knows for how long. As an untenured junior faculty member (who has, incidentally, been a subject of McAdams’s unsubstantiated attacks in the past, as has nearly every other professor I know on campus), I feel somewhat constrained speaking about all this, and so I won’t — but I’m unhappy about the first and queasy about the second, and will be free to discuss this all at length with you in a mere four or five years. It’ll still be relevant then, I’m sure: I expect this whole tangled mess to be a go-to example on Academic Freedom and Repellent Speech for many years to come, not to mention the lawsuits. It’s a very complicated and miserable situation that seems like it just got a whole lot more complicated and miserable. I’m sorry for a campus and for the students that are going to be dealing with the fallout from this situation for a long time.
* CFP at Milwaukee’s Own C21: “Indigeneities.”
* Hugely disappointing news from Vermont: they’ve giving up their plan for single payer. I really thought this was how it would finally come to America.
* But dead men loot no stores. Property-based ethics.
In recent weeks and months, the power of the gesture has never been clearer: “hands up” transforms the visual sign of surrender into one of political resistance. Nevertheless, it’s worth looking at the complex cultural and historical work the move engages—the multiple moves it makes. As my students register, “hands up” isn’t quite the Black Power salute, given that it rehearses a moment of full-body interpellation by the police. But as one student observes, part of its force is rooted in this very repetition. To throw one’s hands up in the stadium, in the street, and (perhaps most powerfully) for the camera is to convert that gesture of surrender into something else: a shared performance that makes visible the deeply historical and split-second choreographies of power in which bodies deemed criminally other—deemed threatening, which is to say deemed black—become the objects of state violence. “Hands up” cites and reroutes these choreographies, a physical disruption not unlike playing dead in solidarity with the dead, a form of protest to which it is closely aligned.
* Police Investigating Texas Officer For Tasing 76-Year-Old Man. Ohio Detective Berated Girlfriend of Black Man Shot and Killed by Cops. California Cop Tweets That He Will ‘Use (His) God Given And Law Appointed Right To Kill’ Protesters. Wesleyan University Forced to Pay Police Overtime for Protesting Police Brutality. UPenn President Criticized For Joining Protesters’ ‘Die-In.’ Cops Off Campus.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the same standard doesn’t necessarily apply to police. In a splintered 8-1 ruling, the court found that cops who pulled over Nicholas Heien for a broken taillight were justified in a subsequent search of Heien’s car, even though North Carolina law says that having just one broken taillight is not a violation of the law.
* Of course Americans are OK with torture. Look at how we treat our prisoners. The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built. They Said ‘No’ to Torture: The Real Heroes of the Bush Years. Skinny Puppy demands $666,000 in royalties from U.S. government for using their music in Guantanamo torture.
* Need to learn to think like an administrator? There’s a retreat for that.
The Arizona Board of Regents on Friday approved a 20 percent raise in base pay for Arizona State University President Michael Crow that pushes his total annual compensation to nearly $900,000.
The $95,000 raise is his first increase in base pay since 2007, before the recession, and could be enough to place him back among the top 20 earners for public-college presidents.
* Straight Talk About ‘Adjunctification.’ Come for the one or two sensible points, stay for the nightmare flame war…
This risk of bias is not a reason to question content like Serial that draws attention to the problems inherent in our criminal justice system. It’s a reason to question a system of judicial elections that makes judges vulnerable to their influence.
* Both I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything and Jackie’s Story and UVA’s Stalinist Rules, working from opposite directions, suggest that universities should just not be in the business of adjudicating sexual assault claims at all.
This past Friday, over 1,300 Oberlin students signed a petition for college administrators asking for understanding and “alternative modes of learning” as they continue to cope with what’s happening across the country.
They asked for the normal grading system to be “replaced with a no-fail mercy period,” and said “basically no student …especially students of color should be failing a class this semester.”
This actually really threw me. I think I must be getting old.
* It’s unclear how many people changed their views in the course of the yearlong debate. And questions remain. The most obvious one is whether the boycott has had any effect. In one specific sense, no. The ASA said it would not work with any Israeli universities, but it has not yet had any offers to do so. On a broader level, though, the vote has left an indelible mark. “We got into the mainstream press and triggered a number of conversations not visible before about Israel-Palestine,” says the ASA’s president, Lisa Duggan, a professor at New York University. “In that sense we had done what we wanted to do.”
* And they say there’s no accountability: Top Financier Skips Out On Train Fare, Gets Barred From His Profession For Life.
* The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.
* Cuba’s cool again. Please be advised.
* Reading the gospel of New Athiesm leaves you with the feeling that atheism is simply a reprimand — a stern “hush hush” to the querulous children of faith. But the problem with this view is that it drains atheism of the metaphysical force of its own position. What makes atheism so radically different from agnosticism is precisely its desire to meet the extraordinary truth claims of religion head-on with rival propositions about the world. Hitchens’s claim that “our belief is not a belief” could not be more wrong. On the contrary, as the literary critic James Wood writes, “atheism is structurally related to the belief it negates, and is necessarily a kind of rival belief.” He claims being an agnostic would be “a truer liberation” since it would mean disregarding the issue altogether. The atheist, on the other hand, is always trapped in a kind of negative relationship to the God whose existence she denies in the first place, but whose scandalous absence she is forever proclaiming — a paradox memorably captured by Samuel Beckett’s Hamm when he exclaims, “The bastard! He doesn’t exist!”
Written by gerrycanavan
December 18, 2014 at 8:52 am
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with Aaron Sorkin, academia, academic freedom, academic job market, academic jobs, accountability, addiction, adjunctification, administrative blight, administrative bloat, Alaska, America, American Studies, Arizona State University, atheism, Barack Obama, Bitcoin, boycotts, Bush, California, campus police, capitalism, Center for 21st Century Studies, Cheney, Christmas, class struggle, climate change, clowns, college, college football, college sports, copyright, Cuba, daily affirmations, depression, ecology, Elf on the Shelf, English departments, Eric Garner, ethics, evolution, feminism, Ferguson, film, finance, financial aid, first-year English, free speech, games, Guantánamo, guns, hands up, Harry Potter, How the University Works, income inequality, indigenous futurism, indigenous peoples, investments, Israel, J.K. Rowling, Lord of the Rings, male privilege, Marquette, Marvel, Matt Taibbi, Michael Brown, NCAA, neoliberalism, North Carolina, NYPD, Oberlin, Ohio, Palestine, Parks and Recreation, pedagogy, Peter Jackson, police brutality, police state, police violence, politics, prison, prison abolition, prison-industrial complex, property, protest, protests, race, racism, rape, rape culture, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, science fiction, Serial, single payer, slavery, socialism, St. Louis, Star Trek, Star Trek 3, surveillance society, tasers, Teach for America, television, tenure, the courts, The Hobbit, the law, The Newsroom, The Racket, think like an administrator, Tim Burton, torture, trigger warnings, tuition, Twitter, Uber, University of Michigan, UPenn, UVA, UWM, Vermont, Werner Herzog, Wesleyan, white privilege, women