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

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.

Barbara Lee Speaks for Me Daily

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


This time next week I'll be off to the City to teach the first of my Fall courses. Today is for polishing and pruning syllabi...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, August 16, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily (And, Often, Hourly)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Into the City...

Off to San Francisco today to preside over an MA student's Intermediate thesis Review. She's writing about experimental scores that build unique soundscapes as a provocation to responsibility, testimony, sympathy. I'm learning a lot, as I always do, and it will be lovely going into the City for the first time in a few months as teaching resumes for Fall. We scheduled the review to miss rush hour in both directions so even the commute should be nice, tho' tonight is sure to be late and dark.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, August 12, 2019

Today's Random Wilde

All trials are trials for one’s life, just as all sentences are sentences of death.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday Walk and Brunch

A lovely walk in the sun and a late brunch at our favorite diner. Feels like the end of summer, sad to say: next week I've an Intermediate Review for one of my MA thesis students, and the following week is the last-minute scramble to prune and polish and print up syllabi, the following week teaching is already well underway...

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

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

Friday, August 09, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses. It has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is. Private property has crushed true Individualism, and set up an Individualism that is false. It has debarred one part of the community from being individual by starving them. It has debarred the other part of the community from being individual by putting them on the wrong road and encumbering them.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Looking At You, Little Brother

YES! Warren Proposes A Public Option for the Internet

Along with her plan to provide reliable low-cost non-predatory financial services via the post office, this is another long-cherished pet policy proposal I always wanted but never expected to see an actually-viable candidate proposing in a Presidential campaign. I've got quibbles, but the more often "public option for the internet" circulates as a phrase in public the better off we are all likely to be, the more likely breaking up Amazon, Google, facebook, Apple, and media giants gets. Follow the link for a whole article, here's an excerpt:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced a plan Wednesday to create a public option for the internet, aiming to ensure universal broadband access... To enact her plan, Warren hopes to first pass a federal law preventing state-level restrictions that have hampered municipalities that want to pursue a public internet system. She would then create an $85-billion federal grant program to shoulder 90% of the costs for utility cooperatives, nonprofits, cities, counties and Native American tribes interested in laying the fiber needed to bring broadband -- contemporary high-speed internet -- to the mostly rural regions that do not currently have it. The entities applying for the money -- for-profit utilities are notably ineligible -- would have to agree to serve as internet service providers for residents they serve, offering at least one high-speed plan and one plan affordable for low-income people. [Whether this actually qualifies as a fully public option on my undersanding depends on the details, whatever they are this is likely a great improvement on the status quo and nudges this regulatory/governance discourse in socially democratizing directions --d] “I will make sure every home in America has a fiber broadband connection at a price families can afford,” Warren writes in a Medium post introducing her rural investment plan. “That means publicly-owned and operated networks -- and no giant {internet service providers) running away with taxpayer dollars.” ... About one-quarter of the population living in rural areas and one-third of the population living in Native American tribal lands lack broadband access, according to the FCC. Warren also hopes major cities will take advantage of her plan, noting that even in urban areas where infrastructure is robust, the cost of high-speed internet keeps it out of reach for many low-income families...


“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” -– Toni Morrison

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, August 04, 2019

The View From Down Under

Sydney Morning Herald:
It was only two weeks ago when Trump inspired an auditorium full of his supporters to chant “send her back” in reference to the country’s first elected black Muslim congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia and migrated to the US as the young daughter of refugee parents. Earlier in the year, Trump smeared all immigrants approaching the US-Mexico border as invaders when he said, “People hate the word ‘invasion', but that’s what it is.” Trump has also referred to Latin American refugees and asylum seekers as “rapists”, “criminals”, drug dealers” and “terrorists”. It’s worth remembering that when a Rwandan politician described Rwanda’s Tutsi minority as “cockroaches” it started a genocide that resulted in the deaths of upwards of one million people in that country. These are the same flames Trump fans with his dehumanising discourse. It is no coincidence that far-right extremists were responsible for 100 per cent of all terrorist attacks on US soil since the end of 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League, and why hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, and other minorities are at unprecedented levels. Much of Trump’s political shtick is pivoted on the white nationalist notion that white Americans find themselves in a do-or-die struggle with non-white immigrants, and thus framing Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, African Americans, and other ethnic minorities to be an external threat, or “invaders”. Just hours before Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27 last year, he posted on social media that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society wants “to bring hostile invaders to dwell among us. It’s the filthy EVIL Jews. Brining (sic) the Filthy EVIL Muslims into the country!! Stop the kikes then Worry About the Muslims!” Making matters worse is the fact that Trump and his supporters are hyping themselves in what can best be described as a positive reinforcement loop, in which his supporters reward his racism with approval, and he, in turn, rewards them, whether that be by calling on a ban on Muslim immigration or channelling funds from the Pentagon for the construction of his border wall. In time, we will learn exactly what drove the suspect to carry out today's mass shooting, but what we know for sure is the United States finds itself in the midst of a domestic white nationalist terrorism crisis.

Tituss Burgess "45"

Janelle Monae's "Screwed" still feels more apt, but this is a lovely alternative for a nice summer afternoon in spite of Trump's America.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

Journalism is unreadable, and literature is not read.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.