Posts Tagged ‘academic’

Currently I’m in the process of reading for my comprehensive exams. Admittedly it is a little unusual for a two-year MA to have both a thesis and comps, but I am actually pretty excited to have the opportunity to do both; it’s good preparation for a PhD program and also just good academic practice in general. Today’s article is “From Public Sphere to Public Screen: Democracy, Activism, and the ‘Violence’ of Seattle” by Kevin Deluca & Jennifer Peeples. This work expands on DeLuca’s book Image Politics: The New Rhetoric of Environmental Activism by utilizing the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle as a site of analysis. DeLuca & Peeples state:

Image events are dense surfaces meant to provoke in an instant the shock of the familiar made strange. They suggest a Benjaminian sense of time, where any moment can open up on eternity, any moment can be the moment that changes everything, the moment that redeems the past and the future.

While I have not read Walter Benjamin (much to my chagrin), the ability to conceptualize of a moment in time, particularly a image-laden performative moment, as a potential site of intervention strikes me as a frame that ties into the ways in which activists articulate goals. My immediate thoughts on this quotation relate to the many times that I have seen activists engage in spectacle, and many times that those activists have been told they are being too confrontational or distracting. But those spectacles allow access to the corporate controlled public screen. The failing that activists risk, though, is engaging in spectacle without meaning; of demanding attention when there is no other substance to be seen.

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Harry Potter and the Millennials: Research Methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation (John Hopkins University Press, 2013) reveals that readers of the seven-book series and viewers of the movie franchise tend be more open to diversity; politically tolerant; less authoritarian; less likely to support the use of deadly force or torture; more politically active; and are more likely to have a negative view of the Bush administration.

New Book Reveals Political Impact of ‘Harry Potter’ Series on Millennials (via klsekelsey)

for later reading

(via moniquill)

huh. interesting.

(via whatwordsmiss)

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This is a summary of college only using two pictures; expensive as hell.

That’s my Sociology “book”. In fact what it is is a piece of paper with codes written on it to allow me to access an electronic version of a book. I was told by my professor that I could not buy any other paperback version, or use another code, so I was left with no option other than buying a piece of paper for over $200. Best part about all this is my professor wrote the books; there’s something hilariously sadistic about that. So I pretty much doled out $200 for a current edition of an online textbook that is no different than an older, paperback edition of the same book for $5; yeah, I checked. My mistake for listening to my professor.

This is why we download. 

Spreading this shit like nutella because goddamn textbooks are so expensive. 

not necessarily art related but as someone who couldn’t afford their textbooks this semester this is a godsend

REBLOGGING because after a little digging, I found my $200 textbook for free in PDF form.

friendly reminder that this exists since I know we’re all going back to college soon

signal boost

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Whoa. The MLA has officially devised a standard format to cite tweets in an academic paper. Sign of the times.

can’t wait to cite @assblaster69 in my final exams

I’m gonna cite wint/@dril in all of my essays, even when not relevant

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Compost has been an alluring metaphor for me precisely because of its productive darkness and mystery. The diverse mix of compost might be the closest thing to our notion of the melting pot. Decaying objects do not and cannot discriminate. Compost, the mixture, or the varied ingredients denote the noun. Compost, the conversion, the change from one state (death) to another (life) allows us to view activism as necessary. Activism, like decomposition, alleviates societal bloat, condenses matter, makes more matter, and moves matter, making room for matter.
Like compost, activism is healthiest when it is diverse. The only times that activism has led to significant social changes have been when a variety of individuals and organizations were coming at the same problem from a variety of angles. That means, among other things, that we need to be self-reflexive when we have the impulse to criticize activists who share our goals but use different tactics arises.
Both activists and academics discuss how hard it is to create change even though change is the only constant in life and happening all the time. Rather than thinking about the very difficult business of creating change out of nothing, what if we consider ourselves as working within an ongoing process of continual change, much like the process of composting? To me, compost is about living out the questions and sitting in the tensions, being in the inquiry, naming my contradictions and making the effort. To be honest with myself, to face myself in the actions and choices of my daily life is to compost. I try to make it a practice, one I show up to—clear about my intentions to dig and heave.

Alison Fisher, “Composting the Tribulations of Activism in Academia”

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Parents who are proud that they have taught their children to be “color-blind” are, in fact, doing their children a disservice by teaching them to ignore differences. When other parents find out that I teach courses on Race and Gender for a living, they are quick to point out proudly, “When describing a person of color, my child never mentions race, but rather the clothes the person is wearing; my child does not even see race.” The reality is, however, that everyone sees race, we are simply socialized to believe we should not mention it…We must discuss race and racism, for ignoring these topics will not end racism; it certainly hasn’t yet.

Dena R. Samuels, “Sounds and Silences of Language: Perpetuating Institutionalized Privilege and Oppression”

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