grading, climate change
I'm sitting here grading journal entries for an environmental history course where all the students are like "yeah the world is burning we need to stop it" and I'm just like........trying to figure out how best to steer them towards a framework that includes praxis from the impersonal medium of fucking CANVAS and I'm FRUSTRATED.
kommunist manifesto | yorkshire dialect
The opening paragraph of Steve McCaffery's homolinguistic translation of Marx/Engels into Yorkshire dialect:
"Nan sithi, thuzzer booergy-mister mouchin un botherin awl oer place—vunnits booergy-mister uh kommunism. Allt gaff ers errawl Ewerup’s gor-rawl churchified t’booititaht: thuzimmint mekkers, unt jerry plain cloouzvboobiz."
-- From "The Kommunist Manifesto, or Wot We Wukkerz Want Bi Charley Marx un Fred Engels"
experimental classrooms, ablism
There's a lot of scholarship out about how the primacy of the written word in historical practice has traditionally reinforced certain imperial norms by devaluing oral testimony and traditions. This has me thinking: could I teach a history course with no reading or writing? That was purely done by memorizing orally transmitted histories? It's intriguing, but also might exclude some people with certain disabilities which is a real concern I'm trying to sort out.
Resolutions for the next year: publish an article on "Hominology" in Russia so that I can list "Russian Cryptozoology" as an interest on my page for the department and thereby attract the attention of anyone seeking someone at a university who will listen to their bigfoot theories. I just need this, ok?
Forelaws On Board
Here's the archived site: https://web.archive.org/web/20181127125610/http://www.forelawsonboard.net/
Forelaws On Board
A group (or individual?) called Forelaws on Board appears to have sent a somewhat rambling email to everyone in the history department asserting, "Forelaws on board is an effort to update history generally, in line with the origin and progress of astrobiology". Anyone ever heard of this group? The internet says they launched some lawsuits in the 80's and they have an archived website that I'll post shortly.
So the theorist Zooey Sophia Pook has some excellent work on the transformation of difference into data by way of neoliberal technologies that I found to be incredibly useful. Both her "Queer is the New Capitalism" and "If We Are Compelled to Suffer" contain some useful ideas for anyone in the humanities.
And hey, as long as I'm posting controversial opinions about tech and the humanities: a huge amount of what's been written about why we should do digital humanities is just advertising and is devastatingly uncritical of the economic, social, and political infrastructure of the technology they pitch. To be clear: digital humanities, including your favorite project: generally good. Scholarship about why we should be doing digital humanities: generally quite bad.
Hey I really don't like the word "data". Like really at all. It's not that I don't like evidence, that I don't like math, or statistics, or anything like that. It's just that every time I hear it I feel like the massive advertising campaign that's been launched at us to convince us of the existence of a completely quantitative universe which can be understood by very rich companies (and us too if we buy their products and study things that are useful for them) has been allowed to succeed.
The entire discipline of history is extremely uncomfortable with the supernatural. It's like,
Sources: The gods did this, demons are everywhere, a spirit lives in the lake and god told me to do it.
Historians: Culture and discourse did it, it was a...uh...complicated nexus.
In 2020 the burden of proof is on the disenchanters.
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