#ReBIT18 – The Question of Medium

Texts, conversation, and friendship … I value these three things more than anything else. Whether books or gestures or habits or art, conversations about texts among friends – new friends, old friends, everyone in between – just make me happy. It’s the sort of thing that makes work-life worth living. I do small, seminar-style symposia…

Draylen Mason, photographed

The last couple of days have had a bunch of photos of Draylen Mason circulating, the kid who was killed by the somehow suddenly sympathetic bomber in Austin. You can guess all my feelings about that last part.   But these photos of Mason … I find them so moving and so difficult to look…

Derek Walcott, In Memory

Rest in peace, Derek Walcott. A winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, he needs no new recognition. He was as great a poet as one can imagine. His non-fiction is fantastic. In a post-Fanon, post-Césaire world, he refashioned the meaning of the Caribbean for more than one generation of intellectuals. That is the world….

Do widzenia, Zygmunt Bauman

Rest in peace, Zygmunt Bauman. In my waning days as a teacher of things European, I started regularly teaching a course on death. First, I taught it as an elective at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, then, second, I taught it as a first-year seminar at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. The course really had…

Making Sense of Violent Resistance

I’m teaching a course this semester entitled Black Power, Black Panther. The course is pretty much what it sounds like: a course on the Black Power and Black Panther movements. There are plenty of similarities between the movements, and of course plenty of very intensely contested differences. More about those in another post. We started with two…

Words for Violence

I ran into three of my students while walking across the quad this afternoon. We stopped to talk. I planned to wave and nod, but they wanted to talk. All three are African-American.   They wanted to talk – or sound off, as much as anything – about “yet another” murder of an unarmed Black…