Power seems to follow men, whose informal networks easily slink into the shadows.
You have one body and twenty-four hours in a day. An organizer asks what you’ll do with them, concretely, now.
October 4, 2018
On “Sokal Squared”
Even where they exist as departments, fields like gender studies are less institutionalized, more poorly-resourced, and more disadvantaged in hiring, promotion, and funding compared to mainline counterparts like psychology—doubly disadvantaged in the case of even newer fields like fat studies, also targeted in the hoax. They also tend to employ more women, people of color, and LGBTQ people, whose individual marginalization is compounded by the structure of academic institutions. The low impact factor of most of the journals that published the hoaxers’ papers testifies not just to the barrel-scraping to which they were reduced when more prestigious journals rejected them, but also to the struggle their fields face in the broader academic community. This is to be lamented, not celebrated, for these fields do in fact produce valuable and effective scholarship.
June 29, 2018
Stanley Cavell, 1926–2018
Philosopher Stanley Cavell, the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard, who died on June 19 at age 91, published his first book, Must We Mean What We Say?, during the strike. The book’s essays cover a broad range of subjects, from modernist music and Beckett’s Endgame to Kierkegaard and King Lear. But one area—political theory—is noticeably absent. And yet, two essays, which were composed over the course of the ’60s, speak directly to the most pressing political issues of the decade: civil rights and the war in Vietnam.
March 8, 2018
Events without a subject are random. But subjects are just as artificial as endings.
I hate travel (ethnography), yet here I am (philosophy).
Gone is the task of providing “equipment for living,” in the words of Kenneth Burke.
May 26, 2017
On graduate labor and the Yale commencement protest
On Monday, Peter Salovey, president of Yale University, strode down the tree-lined streets of downtown New Haven, garbed in voluminous robes, a massive pendant, and a velvet cap with a gold, dangling tassel. Before him walked a scowling bulldog puppy that strained against its leash. Handsome Dan XVIII, the university’s mascot, was processing in his first commencement, and both figureheads were being very, very good boys.
Many of Sanders’s campaign proposals rested on unexamined assumptions about gender and race
October 14, 2016
Had all my radical professors, all my fire-breathing grad student friends, signed this oath?
Throughout the 20th century, loyalty oaths have had painful consequences for both those who signed and those who didn’t.
September 1, 2016
Graduate labor activists can’t afford to treat thinking as part of our professional development and building our unions as something else.
Downplaying the importance of compensation as an issue for grad unions, as even some union professionals do, limits the sense of who has a stake in this struggle.
August 26, 2016
Deans often feign surprise at graduate student complaints, and claim not to notice the thousands petitioning them every semester.
We need an Obama or Clinton NLRB to step in at Harvard and Yale, in other words, because Obama’s and Clinton’s friends and allies, their cronies and chiefs of staff, are preventing workers at those universities from exercising their rights. The reason we need to put a Democrat in the White House is to keep Democrats at bay in the private sector. The reason we need an Obama or Clinton to run the state is to stop Obamism and Clintonism in civil society.