So much reading to do. So much writing to do. My brain is throbbing. I’m in the process of putting some things together though. After a week spent updating some walking tour material, I am back to making headway on the dissertation. Some new articles are in the works and will be posted by the end of this week.
In the meantime…a poem from Sun Ra: The Immeasurable Equation: The Collected Poetry and Prose
Anything can give up its life
Why don’t you give up your death?
Why don’t you do something different
Something that was never done before?
So that the universe will know you’re here?
So you can stand and speak to the universe
And say “Here I am!
I am just like you:
Endless, Immeasurable, Eternal, Impossible”
The universe has shown you the way
Go out and look at the stars
They’re always around
Go out and look at the sky
It’s always there
Go out and look at the sun
In the morning
It’s always here.
Why do you have to go?
Why should you leave the stars
And the sun and the moon
And the universe all alone?
This is the start of a blog I’ll be doing for the GC Advocate. I’ll cross-post the articles that get posted there:
Welcome to “Academic Affairs.” I am starting this blog with a simple idea in mind: the stories that we tell about academic life can shape and influence the way that all of us (academics and non-academics alike) think about the place of higher education in our society. Here at The GC Advocate we already have great reportage on some of the most pressing issues in higher education. In the past two months we’ve had articles about the ongoing struggle to preserve public education here in the CUNY system, articles about the teaching job market for PhD’s throughout the nation, and coverage of the recent student strikes in Puerto Rico, just to name a few examples. I’d like to come at the topic of higher education from a different angle. I believe that those of us with a vested interest in higher education have to make the case for its importance by telling compelling stories about what the academy means to us and what place we think the academy should have in a pluralistic, democratic society.
This is an outgrowth of my dissertation project, which is on academic novels. Now I’ll be the first to admit that this sounds rather narcissistic and elitist. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that academic fiction is only about the insular, closed world of ivory tower academic life. And yes, there are many novels in the genre that amount to little more than bourgeois comedies of manners set in universities, and who gives a flip about that? However, there are also academic novels that look beyond this enclosed world of the university, and I am most interested in the novels (and films) that draw connections between the university and the world beyond it. In the May 2010 issue I shared my Top 10 list of academic films. I’ll be continuing with that theme by writing short articles about some recent films and novels that depict academic life, while also revisiting some older works that I think are still relevant to things that are happening now.
I hope you will enjoy this column and I hope that you will be encouraged to chime in and share your own ideas and make this a collaborative project.