Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sunday Walk and Teaching This Week

Swift sunlight and a sweet breeze this Sunday for our walk to brunch at the Piedmont Cafe and Bakery then on to the Morcom Rose Garden, a bit faded from the delirious madness of its spring profusion but still stuffed with thousands upon thousands of blooming bushes. Beautiful tho' the day is we didn't have to wait for a seat for brunch and had the rose garden much to ourselves. It was all simply lovely and relaxing and Eric and I were both in silly moods, cracking each other up the whole way. Penny was waiting for us when we returned, yawning from her nap and dragging a plastic straw in her mouth to interest us in a game of catch. I plan to spend the rest of the day reading Transcendenalists and environmental writers like Mary Austen and Aldo Leopold and promoters of national parks and racist heteronormative fantasies of wilderness for upcoming class discussions. Tuesday we'll be reading Bill McKibben on math and the rhetoric of environmental concern, Naomi Klein on climate debt and reparations, Brentin Mock on racism in environmental organizations and activism, Rob Nixon on slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor and Tim Morton on hyperobjects and the end of the idea of the world (tho' Morton's take is the fashionable one I must say I strongly prefer Nixon's myself). Wednesday we'll be touching on the classics, Emerson's Nature, Thoreau's Walden,and less well known work by Mary Austin, and a couple of pieces by Aldo Leopold. Thursday we'll be talking about Muir and the redwoods, then the promotion of Ken Burns' "America's Greatest Idea" documentary about the national park system and resistance to that promotion, as well as Lisa Campbell on the racism of conservation thinking, and William Cronon on "The Trouble With Wilderness." I find most of this work richly rewarding and so I am hoping my students are inspired to really talk about it with critical energy and creativity. This has been a lovely day and I would like to think it begins a lovely week of good work.

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