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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Vacation

Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates's The Water Dancer in a nice hot tub. Playing with Penny for an hour on the couch. Watching Jeeves and Wooster, The Read, and silly baking shows high as kites with Eric munching delivery pot stickers and basil tofu. Restoring my batteries, recovering my bearings, pick your metaphor. Vacation.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, December 27, 2019

All Passion Spent

An afternoon with Wendy Hiller tallied with my mood perfectly. I think I'm actually starting to feel a bit better at last.

Help Beat Trump and His Collaborators Now Or Kiss Your Ass Goodbye

Yoscha Mounk, writing in The Atlantic:
“Many observers of India have been surprised that Modi has grown so much more extreme in his second term in office. But a comparison of populist governments around the world suggests that India is following a predictable pattern of what would-be authoritarians do when they win reelection.”

“As we’ve seen in countries including Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, populist leaders are at first hamstrung in their ability to concentrate power in their own hands. Many key institutions, including courts and electoral commissions, are still dominated by independent-minded professionals who do not owe their appointment to the new regime. Media outlets are still able and willing to report on scandals, forcing the government to tread somewhat carefully.”

“Once these governments win reelection, these constraints begin to fall away. As the independent-minded judges and civil servants depart, populist leaders feel emboldened to pursue their illiberal dreams.”

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

And What Have We Done

This is yet another Christmas in wartime, lived in dangerous destructive denial of the many wars being illegally, immorally, catastrophically waged in our names for plunder, for power, and for poll numbers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Uganda, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere, right now, and across the planetary archipelago of military bases and at our many (imaginary) borders and in militarized prisons and detention centers and carceralized social spaces throughout the nation as the colored lights twinkle and smiling puppies tinkle, and the slogans robotically exhort us on to buy, buy, buy as the world burns, burns, burns! And as every year, the dumb numb contrarian thought...

Hark, the Herald Fugelsang

Your annual reminder,

Christmas Effects by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

As every year on this day, a remembrance for a scholar who mattered to me when it mattered quite a lot:
What’s “queer?” Here’s one train of thought about it. The depressing thing about the Christmas season -- isn’t it? -- is that it’s the time when all the institutions are speaking with one voice. The Church says what the Church says. But the State says the same thing: maybe not (in some ways it hardly matters) in the language of theology, but in the language the State talks: legal holidays, long school hiatus, special postage stamps, and all. And the language of commerce more than chimes in, as consumer purchasing is organized ever more narrowly around the final weeks of the calendar year, the Dow Jones aquiver over Americans’ “holiday mood.” The media, in turn, fall in triumphally behind the Christmas phalanx: ad-swollen magazines have oozing turkeys on the cover, while for the news industry every question turns into the Christmas question -- Will hostages be free for Christmas? What did that flash flood or mass murder (umpty-ump people killed and maimed) do to those families’ Christmas? And meanwhile, the pairing “families/Christmas” becomes increasingly tautological, as families more and more constitute themselves according to the schedule, and in the endlessly iterated image, of the holiday itself constituted in the image of "the" family.

The thing hasn’t, finally, so much to do with propaganda for Christianity as with propaganda for Christmas itself. They all -- religion, state, capital, ideology, domesticity, the discourses of power and legitimacy -- line up with each other so neatly once a year, and the monolith so created is a thing one can come to view with unhappy eyes. What if instead there were a practice of valuing the ways in which meanings and institutions can be at loose ends with each other? What if the richest junctures weren’t the ones where everything means the same thing? -- Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Tendencies, Duke University Press, 1993, pp. 5-6

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sunday Brunch

Woke up in a terrible mood this morning. Then I remembered why. Mourning. It was wet and grey this morning, but the showers were getting sporadic so we risked our long Sunday walk and brunch after all, and it turned out to be lovely if a bit soggy. Mean to read Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Water Dancer in a hot tub today and watch old 70s episodes of "The Tomorrow People" tonight. It's lucky I'm on vacation, I don't know if I could get out of bed feeling like I do if I had teaching to confront on top of this sad old feeling I've got...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, December 20, 2019

Speaking of "Hope Is A Discipline" ...

...going to read Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of Utopia: A Graphic History in a nice hot bath now. Then I'm going to eat a marshmallow Santa and watch The Tomorrow People and Phryne Fisher on DVD with Eric and a lovely cannabis edible assist. Vacation.

The Season of Losses

A bit over three years ago I had a nose bleed that turned into a life threatening loss of liters of blood and weeks in the hospital, and I have never entirely recovered my bearings in the aftermath of that event. I was diagnosed with a blood condition about which there is little understanding (the tell-tale "ideopathic" term was part of the diagnosis from the beginning and remains to this day) and for which there is little in the way of treatment (I don't drink alcohol anymore or take blood-thinning painkillers, which means all the painkillers, and I do yoga and take long walks with Eric and so on, which means I lost about a hundred twenty pounds over the last couple years and Eric and I are closer than ever after eighteen years, all of which has been great, but to this day I get my blood-tests and the doctors look at the results and do their double-takes and say something on the order of, well, my, my, your blood platelet count sure likes to run low, now, doesn't it? which inspires enormous confidence). To this day, I have panic attacks when the subway stalls and I start to imagine bleeding again confined in a train car in the tunnel beneath the waters of the Bay surrounded by panicky commuters as I bleed from the eyes, as happened in the emergency room that night. The 2016 primary fights were taking place at the time of my bleeding incident, and as I lay in my hospital bed, getting poked with needles for test after test hour after hour, I saw the rise of Trump and the idiotic undermining of the already-vulnerable HRC by fauxvolutionary fanboys as a clear preview of the hell we have been living through for the last few years. Those nights in the hospital bed were the first of the long insomnia nights that have plagued me ever since from time to time. You know, the US has always been a disgusting racist conformist money-grubbing anti-intellectual shithole, but I wanted to believe the experience of George W. Bush's idiocies and crimes had inspired a diverse ascendant Obama coalition ready to assume responsibility for the governing of the nation, push the Democratic party in more sustainable and equitable directions, and force a GOP ever more beholden to a diminishing straight white Christianist-authoritarian Base to abandon its post-Nixonian rush into authoritarianism and reactionary conspiracism. That's not at all what happened as we all know by now and the loss of hope for an embrace of nonviolent progressive change in the face of a diversifying population, climate catastrophe, and the palpable failure of market ideological pieties felt a lot like my loss of blood: the loss of the force that keeps me going. In the years since, I've lost a lot of my joy and passion for teaching as I wonder whether teaching theory really contributes to clarity about historical change when so many privileged students seem to spout theory to rationalize their complacency or provide their cynical opportunism a self-promotional self-congratulatory gloss and also as I observe so many of my best students struggling under conditions of extreme psychological distress and economic precarity... does anybody really need to be reading the lovely but esoteric Walter Benjamin or that scumbag Sigmund Freud to understand the threat posed by fossil fuel companies or Trump's Education Secretary or gun-toting bigots in this historical moment we are struggling through here and now? I have adapted my syllabi to reflect these lived urgencies (teaching theory surveys usually means at least half a term of a parade that is relentlessly stale, pale, and male as Rebecca Solnit once put it), but I am forever bedeviled by discouragement and anxiety where before teaching was a real consolation and fuel for me. During this difficult season I also lost first my beloved cat of sixteen years Sarah, then I lost my long-estranged father to early-onset Alzheimer's, then just yesterday my Mother also died, after a completely unexpected heart attack and period of nonresponsive nightmarishness on a ventilator over the last week. So much loss, of connections, of support, of standards, of hope. Mariame Kaba reminds me that "Hope Is A Discipline." I have a few weeks of winter break ahead of me in which to rest and recharge my batteries, read escapist entertainments and prepare for Spring's renewed efforts. I am reminded, as ever, of Donna Haraway's admonition that nobody knows all that is happening in the world, even the most knowledgeable, and that this means none of us knows enough to be fully justified in despair. I am despairing a bit right now, but I know that I don't know many things that would answer my despair if only I connect with them and I know the space of teaching is a space in which those connections are as well fostered as any. The art world remains a place of frivolous predation but actual artists and their actual art can be a far different story. After so much loss, I await a season of gains by rising generations in a world educated by intersectional feminism, environmental justice, and abolition democracy. We can only do our best. I wish you all the best for the coming struggles. And, you know, happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, December 13, 2019

Grading Is Done

My last three student papers arrived at the last minute (one was literally the last minute, that is to say, it arrived the minute I sat down to input final grades!), and so it turns out I don't have to fail anybody at all, which means I can sleep comparatively peacefully tonight after all. Normally I would watch Xanadu to celebrate the end of the grading marathon, but I'm not exactly feeling celebratory as Mom's weird deathly unconsciousness back in Indiana has me haunted on my haunches, waiting for who knows what exactly...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Grading and Ongoingness

Still quite a few students haven't handed in their final papers yet and my grading deadline is now LOOMING. Sometimes it feels as though I care more about getting some of these kids to pass the class than they do themselves. Perhaps I should be more encouraging, but I'm utterly spent, my exhortation engine is empty. My Mother is still in the ICU back in Indiana (landscape of nightmares long since escaped), has occasionally seemed to possibly regain some kind of modest consciousness, but is still not expected to survive the coming days. I'm stuck here, she's stuck in some weird unreachable in-between, everything is stuckness, it stinks.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Today's Random Wilde

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Grading and the rest...

My Mom had a heart attack yesterday and she is presently in a coma. She is not expected to survive. I am grading final papers. I get updates on the phone with my brother. It is as if everything is happening on the surface of some distant moon. I still send my usual chipper and/or cajoling e-mails to student stragglers to get their papers in before the deadline. I spent most of yesterday grading twenty or so finals and staring into space and feeling weird, sometimes with my face star-spangled with ambivalent tears. I am tired and distressed and distracted.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Grading

Day two of my final grading marathon, and many more days to come as papers from (the terrifyingly many more than usual this term) students with extensions keep trickling in... Penny purring and stretching over the keyboard keys, silky grey veils of rain hissing like static outside the window, hot chocolate steaming in my mug and chillhop beats in the background make grading seem a somewhat cozier prospect than it might otherwise be. Very ready for a few weeks off.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily



Kamala Harris wasn't my first choice (Elizabeth Warren still is for now) but a debate stage dominated by unqualified uncharismatic white guys is a stupid travesty and a recipe for disaster.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Sunday Walk and Brunch

Rained out of our walk, we'll likely order in Chinese and watch holiday baking shows with the cat instead. We can use the rain and I don't mind the rest, so it's lovely. Working on final lectures this weekend, the critical theory concludes on the note of environmental justice and the queer theory survey ends with leftover student presentations and a few scattered notes of conclusion. A joyless, utterly onerous week of grading mountains of papers while at once begging, badgering, and cajoling another inevitable handful of students to meet their writing deadlines so that I don't have to fail them is about to begin. Not my favorite thing.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, November 25, 2019

Sunday Walk and Brunch

I spent the day today prepping lectures for the upcoming week, to make up for yesterday's long day visiting the Rose Garden after brunch at our diner on Piedmont. It's been a month since our last long stroll, I've been breaking in a new pair of vegan Doc Martens and my bleeding blistered feet had no truck with our usual hike. They fit like a dream at last, but for three weeks they were a toothy mouth gripping each foot like a metal trap. It's nearly Thanksgiving, so Eric and I have been enjoying our annual revisit of Peter Jackson's Tolkein adaptations. The first movie was one of our first dates, so the saga has a long romantic history for us. We've made it through five of the films by now and will probably wait till Thursday afternoon to finish off "Return of the King." We fast forward through most of the ponderous mechanistic battle scenes and teenage boy "humour" and Samwise Gamgee wankery, it's amazing how much more manageable the four-hour extended editions are when you trim an hour or two of grunting straight guy idiocy from each one. Anyway, spent today scribbling about Combahee and Haraway. Even with the Republicans going full Nazi-enabling nihilist in the background, texts like these make me feel hope. Here's hoping they give my students some strength for what is coming.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, November 22, 2019

Prep Prep Prep

Just two weeks remain this term and I'm prepping a lecture for Tuesday (Audre Lorde, Combahee, Haraway, Butler, as if I'll honestly cover that much in a single session, what dreamworld am I pretending to be living in...?) and trying to change the Symposium schedule for my Queer Manifestations next week to accommodate what is already a spate of absences and conflicts and excuses that seem to me likely only to proliferate in the coming days to the ruination of my many Virgo exertions to keep things organized and going smoothly. It's getting kinda hectic.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily... Even Hourly!

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Teaching

Yesterday was a bear of a day, with meetings and lectures from dawn to sunset, but everything went reasonably well and I'm trying to take it easy today in the aftermath. As it turns out, this aftermath seems to require the filling out of many forms and many e-mail consultations with colleagues. Taking it easy isn't what it used to be.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Trumpproval

Maybe the Cheeto Nazi Death Cult can't defy gravity forever. Maybe they won't take us all down with them after all...

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, November 15, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

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

Prep

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

Grading

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

Prep

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

Prep

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

Blech

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.

Trumpproval

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!

Prep

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

Prepping

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

Trumpproval

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]

Older

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: dcarrico@sfai.edu Wednesdays, 1-3.45pm Room: FM SR2; August 30-December 6, 2017
Course Blog: https://queermanifestations.blogspot.com/
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
Introductions
Week Two | Wednesday, September 6
Plato, Symposium
Co-facilitations:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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.)
Co-Facilitations:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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
Co-Facilitation:
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)