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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Teaching Days

A little Mulvey, a little Mercer today, leftovers from last week's lecture. But the main event for today is lecturing on Michel Foucault and Angela Davis. Suspect I'll only get through half of my Davis material, but it's not the worst thing to be teaching Davis nowadays a couple classes in a row -- it's the best thing. In the Queer class it's a writing workshop, so less prep now but more bother then, in any case well worth it. We're a month out from final grading and there is a zany energy in the air already.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Teaching This Week

Finishing Arendt and moving on to Fanon (with whom Arendt was in conversation) and then talking about Laura Mulvey and Kobena Mercer (on Mapplethorpe) in connection to Fanon. Probably I'll end up talking Mulvey and Mercer next week, I've tended to lag about thirty to forty-five minutes behind my lecture notes when it comes to it. In Queer Manifestations on Wednesday we're turning to Eve Sedgwick, Jaspir Puar (reactionary homonationalism and racist homonormativity), and Alison Kafer (from Feminist, Queer, Crip). I'm running behind on the syllabus in that class too, but with all the discussion and presentations it's a bit like a rolling bacchanal-slash-conference all the time in there, the scheduled topics bleed rather promiscuously into one another. I can scarcely credit it, but we're just a month out from end of term now, and the syllabus bristles with workshops and symposia, lecturing (with all its attendant performance anxiety) is soon giving way to students presenting their work for one another. That will be a relief for me.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, November 04, 2019

Less Than One Year Out

The stupid racist assholes who failed to secure Trump a mandate but scraped by an electoral college win last time around could definitely manage to do so again. If it happens, kiss your ass goodbye. Elizabeth Warren is my candidate now by a mile -- Harris never seemed to step up to the plate. I'm inclining to Castro for Veep, but who knows? It's easy to see this Silly Season will be as filled with ugly fascist bigotry and lies from the Republicans, timidity, panic and fauxvolutionary circular firing squads from the Democrats as 2016 was, and that was literally unbearable to live through, so don't expect me to belabor the obvious here.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Teaching This Week

I didn't get around to Naomi Klein in my lecture last week, so this week we begin with her. Then I'll be reading from William Burroughs and we'll move into Hannah Arendt and the Biopolitical Turn. Not sure if we'll manage to get through all the notes I've crafted for today, but there it is. Tomorrow I'm finishing up Judith Butler and going over a host of short queer manifestos by queer artists and queer theorists which should be a lot of fun tho' the potential for mess is also a bit high. Fall is two-thirds through, and writing workshops and symposia begin to fill the syllabus as final weeks and final projects beckon. End of term frankly cannot come quick enough, teaching in Trump times is quite demoralizing and exhausting.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Oh, and about the news of the day? Impeach all the Trumpublican Nazi motherfuckers. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Haven't done one of these for a couple of days, so here's a couple today:

Monday, October 21, 2019


Late papers still coming, thesis students sending me fresh new excerpts, it's a bit of a tumult! Lecture tomorrow is Barthes, Debord, and Naomi Klein. We'll see how far I get. The queer theory survey the next afternoon feels like even more of a crapshoot, Sandy Stone, Judith Butler, Zoe Leonard, Ulrike Muller, Marlon Riggs, Allyson Mitchell, Holly Hughes, Wu Tseng, Carlos Motta, student presentations. I hesitate to craft long lectures for a class with so many inputs and rapid changes of tone and focus. It's crazy on my nerves but the experience in the classroom itself has been pretty energized. Another week, here we go!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Brunch and Walk

Beautiful autumnal stroll to our Piedmont Street diner and bakery -- the weather was so nice we actually had to wait for a table (we avoid the many hipster brunch spots along Piedmont where this is commonplace, ours is more a friendly shaggy greasy spoon), then we walked to the Rose Garden which was also more than usually thronged even as the roses are browning and fading by now a bit. What a lovely day! Much of my grading is behind me at least, but I've still got lectures to craft: Finishing up Barthes, moving on to Debord for Tuesday and maybe some Naomi Klein. In the Queer theory survey course for Wednesday it's Judith Butler, with still a bit more Sandy Stone and student presentations galore. A bit overstuffed, but whatever will be will be. I'm in no mood to work at all, but work I will anyway.

Friday, October 18, 2019


Graded papers all the long day through, listening to Sibelius symphonies one after another as I go. At this point I have formed such a forceful association between grading and Sibelius I can't really listen to his work any time other than when I'm grading, which is a pity. Quite a few left to do, but I'm waiting for stragglers at this point, so I suppose I'll be turning to lecture prep for the rest of the weekend and just grading papers as they continue slowly to trickle my way...

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Screening and discussing John Carpenter's "They Live" in my critical theory survey course, an old fave, by now feeling a bit faded. Tomorrow's Queer theory survey is taking a field trip to the library to check out research avenues for their final papers (yes, they're already starting to think about final papers and it's scarcely mid-term now), then talking about Sandy Stone's manifesto "The Empire Strikes Back," assigned but not yet discussed from last week. All this has meant that there's somewhat less to prepare this week and I've been considerably less stressed in consequence. A stack of grading arrives today to wipe that smile off my face soon enough, tho'.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sunday Walk and Brunch

Superquick note this morning to say yesterday was dreamy, Eric and I took it easy for once, set aside work, had eggs at our favorite diner on Piedmont then strolled through the sweet autumnal breeze at Mountainview cemetery overlooking the whole City skyline, Oakland and San Francisco spread out like a mirage of the future... A beautiful day, followed by a lovely night at home, dinner, weed, and a movie, who could ask for anything more? I don't think I gave Trump and his disgusting bigot celebrants and their ongoing crimespree bloodbath a thought the long day through for once. Is that what it will be like if we manage to prevail over those assholes for good? Nice to think: There's got to be a morning after...

Friday, October 11, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, October 07, 2019


Writing workshop tomorrow on the Toulmin Schema for the analysis of arguments, followed by a mini-lecture on Barthes' Mythologies -- Wednesday, we're still finishing up Valerie Solanas and also turning to Sandy Stone's "Empire Strikes Back" on TERFS (not yet so named) and connecting queer to trans discourse via Haraway. These days I'm always too nervous to really enjoy what happens in the classroom -- but that said, these are texts I've loved teaching in the past and would sure love to find myself loving teaching again in the present...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, October 04, 2019

Week That Was

...whew! A rather hectic week ends. Intermediate Reviews on top of the usual lectures kept me rather busy these last few days. Fortunately my thesis students are brilliant and wonderful, and also one of them is writing about sf flicks I can obsessively geek out about with her as an added bonus. Next week looks a bit less strenuous, which is good because this insomniac needs to catch up on his sleep.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, September 30, 2019

Prep Prep Prep

The week ahead is pretty daunting, with Intermediate Reviews for my MA thesis students in addition to the usual two lectures. It's Benjamin and Adorno in critical theory, a lecture I've done a million times but which covers a lot of ground. Wednesday in "Queer Manifestations" we're a bit behind and so we're all over the map, Audre Lorde and Combahee, but also Valerie Solanas and lots of other stuff. There's no way to prepare, really, it's going to just play out in discussion, we'll see what they respond to and what they don't. Materials for the thesis reviews came in over the weekend so I need to find the time to re-read and comment on them very carefully. As often happens, it really doesn't feel like there are enough hours in the day to prepare for what I need to get done in the days to come. Yesterday Eric and I took a break for brunch and a walk to the Rose Garden, after all these years we've skipped the last few weeks and I've missed it enormously. The place was stuffed with faded blooms, stately red and pink, the yellows are mostly gone now, and there was scarcely anybody else around. It was lovely. Who knows when we'll have the chance again, weekends are getting awfully busy these days. I feel as tired at the beginning of October as I usually do by the end.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Teaching Day

The Freud lecture went well enough yesterday, at least I had a full house more or less. Today's lecture in Queer Manifestations picks up the discussion of camp left over from last week (reading Sontag's "Notes On Camp" and Bruce La Bruce's riff "Notes On Camp/Anti-Camp"), then there are student presentations, short discussion pieces from Derek Jarman, Harmony Hammond, Tee Corinne, a handful of short pieces charting Harry Hay's activist evolution from the first Mattachine meeting to Gay Liberation Front to Radical Faeries. I've also assigned Audre Lorde -- one of the pieces, Uses of the Erotic, is one of my favorite pieces on the whole syllabus -- but I worry we won't get to Lorde, I may have to push that off to next week (for which I've assigned Combahee so the pairing makes a lot of sense). We'll see. So much depends on how talkative they're feeling and whatever mood I'm in by then -- something of an office hour marathon in prospect before lecture today, which may be exhausting since intermediate reviews for my MA thesis students are around the corner...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Also, Too

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, September 23, 2019

Prep Prep Prep Prep

Freud tomorrow. The only way I can tolerate him is to turn him into an anti-anti-social Nietzsche. So that's what I do. Wednesday, I still have stray Sontag/La Bruce remarks left over from last week's lecture (my cold slowed me down somewhat), and then we turn to Harry Hay and Audre Lorde. Re-reading her "Uses of the Erotic" for the first time since I last taught it two years ago, I got such a charge of inspiration from it I honestly think I should probably just re-read it weekly to fend off Trumpmerican-epoch depression and disgust.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Greta Is Right

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” -- Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Silly Seasonings...

Still too early to lose myself in this nonsense, but I will say I'm pleased to observe Elizabeth Warren's steady and substantial climb, disappointed that Kamala Harris hasn't caught fire on the trail, and really rather nauseous about the inevitable prospect of inevitably ugly attacks inevitably coming for Warren from the two grumpy old men and their poseur posses to come.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, September 20, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, September 19, 2019


The last two days' teaching with a cold were a slog. I was tired and muzzy and my voice hardly held up. I told myself it was smoky and sultry and compelling like Patricia Neal but that fable would convince nobody. Here's to a few days' recuperation and prep for some compensatory wowing next week...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Teaching Day

Marx today for the millionth time. Still a bit muzzy in the aftermath of my bug, hoping the exactions of the crowded snuffling grumbling trains and buses of my commute into the City don't claw me back into dis-ease...

Monday, September 16, 2019

Prep Prep Prep

Marx tomorrow, Sontag and Bruce LaBruce on camp/anti-camp Wednesday. This cold has gotten in the way of my usual prep a bit, I'm still rather muddled and tired. I'm happy because I no longer have a sore throat -- that's the worst cold symptom in my book -- but I have replaced it with a rather impressive echoing cough that is sure to keep the students entertained. Fingers crossed my voice doesn't give out while I'm blathering on hour after hour tomorrow about Marx...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Wouldn't You Know It --

Felled by an unexpected bug, looks like I'm under the covers this weekend. Felt a little scratch in my throat as we popped Galaxy Quest into the blu-ray, and by the end of the film my head was spinning and every muscle aching. I can transcribe my Marx notes for Tuesday sitting up in bed at my laptop as easily as anywhere else, I suppose.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Getting Through...

After news broke that Matthew McConaughey is teaching a class at the University of Texas this semester, the Onion responded with their usual shenanigans. "McConaughey was reportedly forced to apply for food stamps Thursday after his first month working as an adjunct professor... 'I’m teaching a full course load and won’t have as much time to make a few extra bucks selling my blood plasma.'" It's far from the funniest or most insightful of their japes, but I am encouraged that the jokes don't land unless people already have a pretty good sense of the absurd predicament of adjunct labor, which I take to be a sign that our critique really is finally starting to get through. Presumably, this means the problem will be addressed around when the grandchildren of my current students decide to devote their lives to teaching... (assuming anybody is still alive by then).spoof. The article talks about McConaughey being forced to scrounge food, rely on public assistance and sell his plasma – familiar stories to all of us.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Teaching Day

Teaching Wilde today. For the millionth time, and a personal hero. You'd think by now I wouldn't feel this agony of nerves! So annoying.


Three new national polls all have Trump’s job rating below 40%:
It's always mattered before, it mattered in the mid-terms, let's see if they can lie cheat and steal their way into making it not matter enough in 2020...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Today's Random Wilde

All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Teaching Day

Nietzsche today, refusing philosophical denial and re-enchanting the world via a billion billion local gods (or just "a touch of the poet"): "On Truth and the Lie" and Ecce Homo, book-ends highlighting the striking continuities in his thought. I've taught this material so many times by now -- will this time be one of the triumphs or one of the meh-lectures? I honestly never know till it's over each time, even if I teach it three times a year.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Gerry Anderson Helps Make Amor Mundi More Positive

Anything can happen in the next half-hour!


Spent much of this weekend transcribing Tuesday's big Nietzsche lecture and looking over a stack of Wildean observations for Wednesday's discussion...

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Just in case you're celebrating...

...happy Star Trek Day! (53 years old today, which means, yes, kids, flabbergasting to believe tho' it may be, he's older than Star Trek.)

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, September 06, 2019

Ace Returns!

Seeing Ace again made me gasp with joy. She's my favorite companion, in most of my moods anyway, with Donna my second favorite, probably, Barbara third, if you really want to know, and Sarah Jane much more than a companion or she would be first, a choice surprising nobody I'm sure (not least because she rather reminds me of the real life hero who raised my husband Eric). Anyway, the Collection is finally giving us a season of Doctor Radagast, and I could not be happier!

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks for Me Daily

Teaching Day

Off to the City. Today we're taking up Fontenelle on the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, Kant's Sketch of a History With A Cosmopolitan Purpose, a chapter of W.E.B. DuBois' on double consciousness and even, if there is time, Oscar Wilde on our dispossession by our possessiveness. I never quite know how much of this material I'll manage to get through in a single lecture, my notes are ten pages long and it's hard to believe we'll get through them all... Lots of preliminaries before we really dig in next week.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Labor Daily

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Sunday Walk and Brunch

Quite hot today, high summer comes to Oakland in September. We cut our walk a bit short, stifled and panting like pups. Many of the flowers have brown paper edges now from the heat. Working up lecture notes for next week's classes: Fontenelle, Kant, DuBois in critical theory, Plato's Symposium and also a little Cocteau and Genet and Harlem Renaissance in the Queer Manifestations course. Always feels a bit overwhelming, this torrent of material...

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, August 26, 2019

Prep Prep Prep

Transcribing lecture notes, crafting assignments, feeling serious first day jitters for tomorrow...

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily


Eric wasn't feeling well enough for our usual brunch and stroll this afternoon, which is probably for the best: have spent the day printing syllabi, filling out paperwork, fiddling around with the wording for some new assignments I'm trying out, and giving my notes for next week's introductory lectures a looksee. I've been teaching over a quarter century now, and I still never feel the least bit ready to begin week one...

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily


It's always mattered before -- it mattered last November -- maybe it will matter enough to overcome GOP cheating, deception, rigging to matter again in 2020... via CNN:
A new national CNN/SSRS poll finds that President Donald Trump's approval rating stands at 40%. His disapproval rating is 54%. His approval rating is down from late June when it was 43%. His disapproval rating is slightly up from 52% in late June... Over the last month and a half, a lot has happened in our national dialogue. Trump went after four congresswomen of color. Then he turned his sights on Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is black. More recently, there were the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. And fears are growing over a potential economic slowdown. [And all this is before the utter insanity of the latest I'm buying Greenland and ordering businesses to stop selling to China and tantrum-throwing at the G7.] All together, it seems like recent news cycles are causing a downturn in the President's fortunes. His approval rating does seem to be sliding, which is troublesome news heading into 2020. Presidents' approval ratings have been highly correlated with their re-election margin. In the midterm elections, Trump's approval rating lined up nearly perfectly with his party's vote share in the House elections... [O]ur CNN poll is not... the only poll to show that Trump's approval rating is down. Take a look at these other probability-based polls that meet CNN's standards and were completed over the last two weeks. AP-NORC puts the President's approval rating at 36%, down from 38%. Fox News gave Trump a 43% approval rating, a decrease from 46%. Gallup shows Trump's approval rating at 41%, down from 42% in late July and 44% in early July. Monmouth University pegs Trump's approval rating at 40%, down from 41%. NBC News/Wall Street Journal found Trump had an approval rating of 43% among all adults, a decrease of 2 points from 45% in July among registered voters and 1 point from 44% in their last poll that surveyed all adults in June... Together... they make a fairly strong case. Adding in the CNN poll, Trump has an average decline of 2 points in his approval rating... Normally, a 2-point drop in a president's approval rating would not be a big deal. For this president, however, a 2-point movement is a bigger deal than usual. Trump's approval rating has been unusually stable. Any sort of movement is noteworthy with him. According to Gallup, no president has had as narrow a range (35%-46%) of approval ratings than Trump. Trump's still within that range, though now more toward the middle than the upper part of that range as he had been earlier in the year. Trump needs to be able to break out of the narrow range... for reelection. No president has won an additional term with an approval rating as low as Trump's is currently. [Emphasis added.--d]


Fifty-four years old today, truly hard to believe! To all my friends, here and elsewhere, and my many wonderful students so far, past and present, I love you and thank you all for making life so much better...

Friday, August 23, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Here Is the Syllabus For My Upcoming Fall Queer Theory Survey Course, "Queer Manifestations"

Queer Manifestations

Wednesdays, 4.15-7 FM130, August 30-December 6, 2017
Dale Carrico; e-mail: Wednesdays, 1-3.45pm Room: FM SR2; August 30-December 6, 2017
Course Blog:
Office Hours: Before and after class, and by appointment. (I will also be available on Chestnut Street on Thursdays)
Required Texts: David J. Getsy, ed., Queer (On reserve in the library. Recommended purchase: Documents in Contemporary Art, MIT/Whitechapel Gallery, 2016 ISBN: 9780262528672.) All other texts are available online or will be made available as handouts.

Course Requirements: Attendance/Participation, 15%; Co-Facilitation, 15%; In-Class Report (10-15 mins.), 15%, Symposium Presentation, 15%; Seminar Paper, 10 pp., 40% (subject to contingencies)
Attendance Policy:  Attendance and punctuality are expected. Necessary absences should be discussed in advance whenever possible.
Course Description: There is something queer about the manifesto form as such, in its bringing to voice and vision a derangement in our sense of what is politically possible and important. In the deadening epoch of the closet the queer manifesto is an interruption of silence, but like every manifesto it is above all an unembarrassed and emancipatory eruption of desire into the collective work of historical and political worldmaking. Into the prosaic efforts of partisan organization and legislative reform, the ranting and raving of the manifesto is an invigorating and interfering infusion of political poetry. We will read radical manifestos flung from the scrum of insurrection and frustration across continents and through generations of lgbtiq civil rights and liberation struggles and we will contemplate hallucinations of promise and formulations of protest from visionaries in the belly of the beast, from Plato's Symposium to Solanas's SCUM.
Provisional Schedule of Classes
Week One | Wednesday, August 28
Week Two | Wednesday, September 6
Plato, Symposium
Selections from "Queer": 1. Natalie Clifford Barney, The Unknown Woman -- 2. Jean Cocteau, The White Book
3. Richard Bruce Nugent, You See, I Am A Homosexual -- 4. Jean Genet, Our Lady of the Flowers
In-Class Report:
Week Three | Wednesday, September 13 
Oscar Wilde The Soul of Man Under Socialism
1. Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young -- 2. Preface for The Picture of Dorian Gray -- 3.Wilde on Trial
Also, from "Queer": 4. Jack Smith, Statements, Ravings and Epigrams
In Class Report: 
Week Four | Wednesday, September 20 
Susan Sontag, Notes On Camp / Bruce La Bruce, Anti-Camp
Selections from "Queer": 1. Helio Oiticica, Mario Montez, tropicamp -- 2. Amy Sillman, AbEx and Disco Balls: In Defense of Abstract Expressionism -- 3. Charles Ludlam, Manifesto: Ridiculous Theater, Scourge of Human Folly -- 4. Gregg Bordowitz, The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous
In Class Reports:

Week Five | Wednesday, September 27 

Harry Hay, Mattachine, Radical Fairies (handout)
Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic -- Poetry Is Not A Luxury
Selections from "Queer": 1. Derek Jarman, At Your Own Risk -- 2. Tee Corinne, On Sexual Art -- 3. Harmony Hammond, Class Notes -- 4. Elmgreen & Dragset, Performative Constructions: In Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
In Class Reports:
Week Six | Wednesday, October 4 
Valarie Solanas, SCUM Manifesto / The Combahee River Collective Statement
Selections from "Queer": 1. Hudson, Sex Pot -- 2. Catherine Lord, Their Memory Is Playing Tricks on Her: Toward A Calligraphy of Rage -- 3. Hanh Thi Pham, Statement -- 4. Zanele Muholi, Isilumo siyaluma (Period Pains)
In Class Reports:

Week Seven | Wednesday, October 11 

Sandy Stone, The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttransexual Manifesto
Selections from "Queer": 1. Susan Stryker, Transgender History, Heteronormativity, and Disciplinarity -- 2. Renate Lorenz, Drag: Radical, Transtemporal, Abstract -- 3. Paul B. Preciado, Videopenetration -- 4. Ma Liuming, Fen-Ma Liuming
In Class Report:
Week Eight | Wednesday, October 18 
Eve Sedgwick, Axiomatic
Selections from "Queer": 1. Zoe Leonard, I Want A Dyke for President -- 2. Ulrike Muller, Bulletin -- 3. Marlon T. Riggs, Black Macho Revisited: Confessions of a Snap! Queen -- 4. Allyson Mitchell, Deep Lez
In Class Report:
Week Nine | Wednesday, October 25 
Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (This link brings up an entire book -- for our discussion you need read only the "Introduction: Acting in Concert" and Chapter One: "Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy," pp. 1-39.)
Selections from "Queer": 1. Toxic Titties, The Mamaist Manifesto -- 2. Holly Hughes, Breaking the Fourth Wall -- 3. Wu Tsang, In Order To Fall Apart As Complex Beings, We Need First To Be Able To Live -- 4. Carlos Motta, We Who Feel Differently: A Manifesto
In Class Reports:

Week Ten | Wednesday, November 1
Jaspir Puar, Homonationalism and Biopolitics (Introduction to the book Terrorist Assemblages)
(supplemental) Jaspir Puar, I'd Rather Be A Cyborg Than A Goddess
Selections from "Queer": 1. K8 Hardy, amifesto -- 2. Emily Roysdon, Queer Love -- 3. Richard Fung, Beyond Domestication -- Prem Sahib, To Make Queer Art Now
In Class Report:
Week Eleven | Wednesday, November 6
Alison Kafer, Feminist Queer Crip
Selections from "Queer": 1. Malik Gaines, A defence of marriage act: Notes on the social performance of queer ambivalence -- 2. Vaginal Davis, Twee & sympathy: A manifesto -- 3. Alexandro Segade, On Queer Reenactment -- 4. Gordon Hall, New Space Education
In Class Reports:
Week Twelve | Wednesday, November 13
Workshopping Final Paper

Week Thirteen | Wednesday, November 20
Our Symposium (first panels)
Week Fourteen | Wednesday, November 27
Our Symposium (second panels)
Week Fifteen | Wednesday, December 4 
Sara Ahmed, Feminist Killjoy and Concluding Remarks.
In Class Reports (Last Call)

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Today's Random Wilde

Leyendo y releyendo, a lo largo de los años, a Wilde, noto un hecho que sus panegiristas no parecen haber sospechado siquiera: el hecho comprobable y elemental de que Wilde, casi siempre, tiene razón. (Reading and re-reading Wilde throughout the years, I notice a fact that people who praise him apparently haven't in the very least: the basic and verifiable fact that Wilde is almost always right.)
-- Jorge Luis Borges

Here Is the Syllabus for My Upcoming Fall Critical Theory Survey Course in the City, "The Point Is To Change It"

Critical Theory A: The Point Is To Change It

Fall, 2019, San Francisco Art Institute
Instructor: Dale Carrico,;
Course Blog:
Mondays, 4.15-7pm, Studio 18, 8/26/19--12/6/19

Rough Basis for Grade: Att/Part, 15%, Reading Notebook & 2 pp. Final Report, 15%; Presentation, 15%; Midterm Precis/Toulmin Schema, 20%; Final Paper, 5-6pp., 35%.

                Course Description:

"The philosophers hitherto have only interpreted the world, but the point is to change it." -- Karl Marx

"Feminists are no more aware of different things than other people; they are aware of the same things differently. Feminist consciousness, it might be ventured, turns a 'fact' into a 'contradiction.'" -- Sandra Lee Bartky

"Artists inhabit the magical universe." -- William Burroughs

This course is a chronological and thematic survey of key texts in critical and cultural theory. A skirmish in the long rivalry of philosophy and rhetoric yielded a turn in Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud into the post-philosophical discourse of critical theory. In the aftermath of world war, critical theory took a biopolitical turn in Arendt, Fanon, and Foucault -- a turn still reverberating in work on socially legible bodies by writers like Haraway, Spivak, Butler, and Puar. And with the rise of the global precariat and climate catastrophe, critical theory is now turning again in STS (science and technology studies) and EJC (environmental justice critique) to articulate the problems and promises of an emerging planetarity. Theories of the fetish define the turn of the three threshold figures of critical theory -- Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud (commodity, sexuality, and ressentimentality) -- and fetishisms ramify thereafter in critical accounts from Benjamin (aura), Adorno (culture industry), Barthes (myth), Debord (spectacle), Klein (logo), and Harvey ("tech") to Mulvey and Mercer (the sexed and raced gaze). We think of facts as found not made, but facts are made to be found and, once found, made to be foundational. Let us pursue the propositions that fetishes are figures we take to yield false facts, while facts are figures we have fetishized to yield paradoxical truths.

                Provisional Schedule of Meetings

                Week One | August 27 -- Fact, Figure, Fetish
Maps, Stories, Warnings by Way of Introduction

                Week Two | September 3 | Ancients and Moderns, Margins and Centers
Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, Digression on the Ancients and the Moderns  -- Immanuel Kant, Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View -- W.E.B. DuBois, Of Our Spiritual Strivings -- Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism 
                Week Three | September 10 | Nietzsche and the Fetishism of ressentiment
--supplemental Selections from The Gay Science 

                Week Four | September 17 | Marx and the Fetishism of Commodities
Marx on The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof from Capital
-- supplemental Marx and Engels, Theses on Feuerbach and Marx on Idealism and Materialism

                Week Five | September 24 | Freud and Sexual Fetishism
Sigmund Freud, Fetishism -- from Freud's Study of Schreber: 1, Psychoanalysis and Scientificity 2,  Storytelling  3, Psychoanalysis and Patriarchy (Homosociality and Homosexuality) 4. Psychoanalysis Brought to Crisis.

                Week Six | October 1 | Commodity, Aura, and Culture Industry
Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility -- Adorno and Horkheimer, The Culture Industry 

                Week Seven | October 8 | Nature As Fetish; Or, Ideology Is Structured Like A Language
Roland Barthes, Mythologies  -- Workshop: The Toulmin Schema
--supplemental Daniel Harris, The Futuristic

                Week Eight | October 15 | "I Knew It Had To Be Something Like This"
Screening John Carpenter, dir. They Live.  Submit Midterm Precis/Toulmin Schema
                Week Nine | October 22 | Being to Having, Having to Appearing, Appearing to Branding
Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle -- Naomi Klein, Taking On the Brand Bullies from No Logo 
-- supplemental Naomi Klein, Patriarchy Gets Funky

                Week Ten | October 29 | Out With The Old, In With The New
William Burroughs,Immortality -- Hannah Arendt, Reflections on Violence
-- supplemental Burroughs, On Coincidence -- Arendt, The Miracle of Forgiveness and Must Eichmann Hang?
                Week Eleven | November 5 | Racial Fetishism and the Gaze 
Frantz Fanon, Selections from Black Skin, White Masks -- Laura Mulvey,Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema -- Kobena Mercer On Mapplethorpe 
                Week Twelve | November 12 | The Carceral Archipelago and Abolition Democracy
Michel Foucault, from Discipline and Punish, Introduction, Docile Bodies, Panoptism -- Angela Davis, selections from Are Prisons Obsolete?
-- supplemental Michel Foucault, from History of Sexuality: We Other Victorians, Right of Death and Power Over Life

                Week Thirteen | November 19 | Intersections and Performances
Audre Lorde, Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference  -- The Combahee River Collective Statement -- Donna Haraway, A Manifesto for Cyborgs -- Judith Butler, Intro. and Ch. One from Undoing Gender

                Week Fourteen | November 26 | Workshopping Final Paper | Hand in Final Notebooks/Reports

                Week Fifteen | November 3 | Fact, Figure, Fetish in Planetary Assembly
Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic -- Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor -- Bruno Latour, To Modernise Or Ecologise? -- Gayatri Spivak, Theses on Planetarity

                Course Objectives:

I. Contextualizing Contemporary Critical Theory: The inaugural Platonic repudiation of rhetoric and poetry, Vita Activa/Vita Contemplativa, Marx's last Thesis on Feuerbach, Kantian Critique, the Frankfurt School, Exegetical and Hermeneutic Traditions, Literary and Cultural Theory from the Restoration period through New Criticism, from Philosophy to Post-Philosophy: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud; the postwar biopolitical turn in Arendt, Fanon, and Foucault; and the emerging post-colonial, post-international, post-global planetarity of theory in an epoch of digital networked media formations, anthropogenic climate catastrophe, and polycultural assemblies.

II. Survey of Key Themes in Critical Theory: Abolition Democracy, Agency, Alienation, Assembly, Aura, Capitalism, Cisheteronormativity, Critique, Culture Industry, Discourse, Ecology, Equity-in-Diversity, Facticity, Fetish, Figurality, Humanism/Post-Humanism, Ideology, Intersectionality, Judgment, Normativity, Patriarchy, Performance, Planetarity, Post-Colonialism, Precarity, Queerness, Race, Recognition, Resistance, Scientificity, Sociality, Spectacle, Textuality, Violence, White Supremacy.

III. Survey of Key Critical Methodologies: Critique of Ideology, Marxism/Post-Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory, Science and Technology Studies, Environmental Justice.

IV. Connecting theoria and poiesis: thinking and acting, theory and practice, creative expressivity as aesthetic judgment and critical theory as poetic refiguration, etc.