Remember remember

Books I can see for free online, which means barely peer at them, but think the publisher should give me, are:

Aldama, ed. Latino/a Literature in the Classroom. Routledge, 2015.
Venuti. Translation Changes Everything. Routledge, 2013.

I must remember to get the library to buy them, and/or to have our department or its supporters buy them for the library for us.

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An interesting critique of Bourdieu

Here it is.


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I really need to be using Scrivener

It is obviously my style, and I should learn it. Meanwhile, pasting here what I cut from elsewhere:

[Start] If we are an institution of learning then students are learning and so are we. The university may support commercial development, but it serves knowledge first. We and the students are partners in that. We are partners not in the narrow sense of having made a deal with each other, but of having embarked on a common enterprise, started down a common road. Students are our partners, and if we have customers they are our “partners” in business and R&D. I realize this is quaint and the ship may have sailed, but if we are involved in resisting that then we must not be complicit in our own destruction or get coopted by this weird new language.

A passenger may also be a customer, but the word refers to a more specific activity, denotes a traveler, has a different, perhaps more organic role (a customer is someone who has bought something, whereas a passenger is a participant in the event of the train ride). [A customer, important though the revenue they generate is, is external to the operation; a passenger, even though they have paid for a ticket and are not permanently on the train, is still more.]

–market, commodification

–impoverishment when you have arranged everything to maximize profit

–the idea of market infusing and informing every aspect of personality – idea that we are nothing else and nothing more

It says writing and the use of language affect politics. These ideas are of course not unique to Orwell, and the essay and Orwell have been criticized (cf. Menand in the New Yorker), but they are worth remembering.
…ideologically, taking advantage of the complex relationship between language and self, language and world.
… altering the meanings of words while pretending not to have done so. (words masquerade)
…familiar terms are used in deceptive ways … and words are emptied of meaning but continue to be used, empty sign, blocking meaning, working only to obscure events
The redefinition of student as consumer is a different, but related kind of example.
Yet more fundamentally the new terms fundamentally they alter the self-concept of those using them, as well as their relationship to the world they inhabit.

State parks, for instance, once free and for the people, are now funded by user fees. In the past hotels had guests, trains had passengers, doctors had patients, and lawyers had clients, but now customer is the word most widely used. When we are only users and not citizens, and allegiance is shifted to corporations (consider “Nike Nation”),…

I will at a later time write an article on neoliberalization and monetization at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. This is without even talking about private prisons. I have long joked about parallels between this institution and the state universities, as well as connections between us (them printing our letterhead, for instance). And have been noticing, as well as severe restrictions of former freedoms accompanied by a much more officially welcoming attitude to visitors, monetization for some time, e.g. you can no longer send money by US postal money order but must send via private transfer company that charges large fee, and so on. However, today, took clearer note of two things germane to universities: 1/ prisoners cannot be called prisoners or inmates any more, but “offenders” (the parallel to student as costumer); 2/ proliferation of new administrative positions, and particularly the multiplication of wardens: jobs formerly done by different types of guards are now done by wardens for this, wardens for that.

– Essay assignment for someone: investigate and expose infiltration of publications like CHE by commercial entities spouting corporate lines on education. This happens more and more, and subtly. It is a very well organized campaign and a many headed hydra.
– Next: dissertations you are to approve but cannot read in their entirety because they contain trade secrets (and a corporation used your university’s facilities to do its research). Next: the way the counseling center here is now promoting “resilience,” and a psych professor has received major funding to do it. What “resilience” is in the neoliberal universe is revealed below. In general — see what I mean? The enemy is so far inside the gates, has already infiltrated so much, and was not seen clearly enough soon enough, or when seen was not resisted.
– Got a very manipulative phone call — alleged public opinion survey but it was actually a propaganda piece for possible BESE candidate Jada Lewis. Wily, I saw through all the questions and realized that this charter school advocate is a danger. The phone call her campaign surely paid for convinced me to vote for Carolyn Hill. Tell me if I am missing anything. The bottom line is: fund public schools, and do not siphon public money to private enterprise. In addition: people like Jada Lewis who say that only in (certain kinds of) science and engineering are there or will there be jobs, and that education should reflect that, are shortsighted and poor planners, and should not be allowed to lead.

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Lo que no dije, o no he dicho todavía.

Finally, here is something I never understood about how the deans and chairs thought about hiring and enrollment management. While they asked professors for very advanced classes destined to be very small, and fragmented the junior level cohort by offering too many courses, they also hired additional instructors. If asked, I would have advised using research faculty differently (let us teach more junior level and other outreach courses, and reduce total number of 400 level offerings). We might then have combined two instructor hires into one tenure track or tenured language and culture hire, really strengthening the program and department.

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Lo que dije.

Te escribo colectivamente con R. He reflexionado muchísimo, he hablado con varias personas, y mi comprensión de la situación está mucho más avanzada y sutil incluso que el viernes, por ejemplo. Las hojas de estrategia que les había mandado antes me parecen pueriles en comparación con lo que ahora comprendo.

No es el momento para abandonar el barco. R. decía que se sentía derrotado ya y no sabe si puede hablar, pero todos tenemos que hacerlo y se puede, sí. Ustedes dos tienen demasiado miedo. Yo, en cambio, estoy sólida como casi nunca, y tengo muchísima experiencia y una perspectiva amplia. Sé cómo presentar la situación (acá lo explico) pero la cuestión es dónde y con quién; una posibilidad es llevar a almorzar fuera del campus a la jefa y educarla los tres, luego ir con ella al decano. Pero me gustaría tener sugerencias suyas.

Es inverosímil que tengamos todos tanto miedo de una personita. Pero es porque según parece, esa personita es herramienta de otras personas mayores, cuyos intereses no son los nuestros. Sin embargo hay que hablar primero como si el poder que se le ha dado a la personita fuera un error, como si no se hubiera hecho de propósito.

Repito que esta es la hora de hablar, porque ninguna estrategia para salvar el major funcionará si por otro lado la socava la personita. La jefa y el decano tienen que enterarse de esto, porque si no todo esfuerzo será vano. Es imprescindible que se enteren. Y claro, tenemos que dar las clases 300 y 400 nosotros, no se puede añadir otras clases innecesarias, y como vengo diciendo desde hace años, tiene que crearse un major committee en que participemos todos, tal vez con alguno de francés pero sin instructores — para poder hablar oficialmente siempre. O se hace eso o no crece el major: es así que hay que explicarlo, y tenemos que decirlo entre todos.

Además estoy resegura que NO saben cuánto daño ha hecho la personita personalmente y profesionalmente a nosotros tres — se ha creado una situación tóxica en la que R. y yo funcionamos muy mal y sufrimos; tú llegas a esquivar una parte de la tormenta pero también podrías lograr más si no tuvieras que lidiar con esta situación no ineficaz sino anti-eficaz. NO quieren ese nivel de destrucción y NO saben lo fácil que sería corregir la situación. Además, tú has hablado de una queja formal pero el primer paso en eso es explicar la situación y pedir solución administrativa; hay que hacer eso, pues, pero hay que hacerlo bien.

Eso es decir, hay que presentarlo todo en términos muy burocráticos y académicos primero. Hay problemas de (a) profesionalismo — no se están usando el entrenamiento profesional ni los conocimientos nuestros, y (b) gobernancia: se nos fragmenta en comités donde las opiniones y los problemas del programa de francés son prioridad, y donde hay instructores de español cuya agenda no es el major; se toman decisiones bien consideradas que luego se socavan al antojo de alguna personita. Estos son los problemas, identificados de manera bonita, y la buena estrategia es explicar eso primero (antes de pronunciar palabras como discriminación y acoso, aunque sí hay discriminación y acoso y nos afectan mucho).

Hay que tener muy presente que el egoísmo es grande en esta cultura y lo que se supone y proyecta es que uno está por sí mismo y contra los demás. Por eso hay que insistir en: profesionalismo, conocimientos profesionales, gobernancia, gobernancia, gobernancia (palabra muy clave), y el major y los estudiantes. Si se dice primero “me discriminan” o “hay acoso” ya se les cierran las orejas, en parte porque eso es lo que dice la personita; lo clave es evitar que se interprete esto como un conflicto personal entre las personitas y nosotros.

Tu palabra del otro día, legítimo, es clave, F., y funcionará mejor que “razonable” o “justo.” Está en juego la legitimidad del programa, y nosotros somos las voces de nuestro campo, de la Universidad real, y de la profesión. Representamos grandes tradiciones y hay que defenderlas; el miedo no existe, R., porque no son cosas personales que vas a defender sino algo mucho más grande, que también te apoya a ti.

Ultimas cosas: dirán que tenemos que negociar con la personita, encontrar términos medios, pero es que eso ya se intentó y además el conflicto nuestro no es con ella sino como la manera muy mal aconsejada en que la usan. Es decir, el conflicto es con la administración y no entre profesores. No hay que dejar que reduzcan esto a algo personal. Y ojo — noten la cantidad de tiempo y energía que en este lugar nos cuesta defender lo obvio. Parte del problema es que la universidad, aunque no lo haga queriendo, nos haga eso; tienen que darnos paz y espacio de trabajo, cosa que nunca han hecho; si no hay majors es que casi no dan espacio para ellos ni para los profesores.

Palabras claves de este mail: profesionalismo, gobernancia, el major.

Por el campo, la Universidad, y los estudiantes, que merecen graduarse con títulos de calidad.

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A feminist leaves NeoLiberal U

A feminist leaves NeoLiberal U.

This is worth reading.

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That New York LASA

LASA meets in New York in 2016 and I would love to go to the conference and visit some people, and some archives there. But should I? I do not really have a paper idea for it. I am even less inclined to put a panel together, and the deadline is September 8. Then there is this on why not to go to too many conferences, too much spending for too little return.

I, of course, have decided that since my home environment is so inhospitable I should go to conferences anyway, since they make me feel very noticeably better; I have old papers I need to work on further and that are parts of my book(s). It does seem, though, that this conference, however beguiling, is one not to try to force; it will come to me if it does.

My idea, though, for now, is to address the comments I got on my ERIP paper, namely, that what I was critiquing was letrado discourse on mestizaje, when it does not mirror history (although it does try to produce it) and is not the only discourse. These are intriguing and true comments and I would like to write a paper exploring them.

Letrado discourse did seem to filter into popular consciousness through schools and other ideological state apparatuses but did it really create realities to the degree I was taught it did, and we felt clever saying it had at one time? How can it be set into context?

I need research time, more research time, more meditation, more calm. God save me from every form of extraordinary service, and give me the strength to maximize research time in every way I can.


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