“If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!” – Jonathan Swift
Welcome to Black Man in the Cosmos. This is a little blog I decided to set up to share some of my writings and works in progress.
I have tried blogging before, mainly through livejournal, but for various reasons it just didn’t stick. However, over the last couple of years I have been collecting ideas for how I wanted to set up my own online presence. I’d like this be a venue to post writings that I have already published in other places, and to share original essays that I am working on.
Props where props are due: A big inspiration for this blog is Steven Shaviro’s wonderful blog The Pinocchio Theory. Shaviro’s writing has encouraged me to think more about the convergence of digital technology, pop culture and political economy. I also think his blog is exemplary in the way he has used online writing as a supplement to the painfully slow and outmoded process of traditional academic publishing.
One of the things that has irritated me about blogs is that older posts and conversations tend to fall off into oblivion and are difficult to retrieve through cumbersome archive or calendar functions. It was important to me that my blog be searchable for easy access to older posts. My hope is that people who come to this blog will find things of interest here whether they were posted that day or six months ago.
As for the title: That’s from Sun Ra. A few years ago I watched the documentary Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, and have been swept up in Mr. Ra’s Cosmo Drama ever since. In 1971 Sun Ra was invited to teach a course at University of California-Berkley and called it The Black Man in the Cosmos. Between my interest in Sun Ra, avant-garde jazz, science fiction and academia it just seemed to fit. Maybe I’ll feel differently and change it somewhere down the road, if this thing works out.
So my plans for the future:
I think I will start out by posting some previously published articles I’ve written, particularly several that have appeared in the GC Advocate, the student newspaper at the CUNY Graduate Center.
I also plan to post short reviews of things I’ve been reading for my dissertation which is about academic novels, and the history of American higher education.
Alright, so that’s enough in the way of introduction. Let’s just get this thing started. More to come soon…