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 Heidegger’s meditations on death as a centerpiece – to me, some of the most profound stuff in twentieth century philosophy – and we used that to frame all sorts of stuff, whether readings of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky stories or an interpretation of Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. Continue reading “Do widzenia, Zygmunt Bauman”

Memory, haunting, ready to die

From Marisa Parham‘s Haunting and Displacement in African American Literature and Culture (2009)

“Haunting is not compelling because it resonates with the supernatural, but rather because it is appropriate to a sense of what it means to live in between things – in between cultures, in between times, in between spaces – to live with various kinds of doubled consciousness. It speaks to living not only with the sense that one’s understanding of one’s own social, political, or racial reality passes through other times, other places, and other people’s experiences of the world, but also to living through those experiences in the very literal sense of making it through. Continue reading “Memory, haunting, ready to die”