amor mundi

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

Monday, August 21, 2017

Syllabus for "Queer Manifestations" This Fall

Queer Manifestations

Wednesdays, 1-3.45 FM130, August 30-December 6, 2017
Dale Carrico; e-mail: dcarrico@sfai.edu Wednesdays, 1-3.45pm Room: FM 130; 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 Documents in Contemporary Art, MIT/Whitechapel Gallery, 2016 ISBN: 9780262528672 (Purchase book). All other texts are available online or will be handouts.

Course Requirements: Attendance/Participation, 20%; Co-Facilitation, 20%; In-Class Report (15 minutes), 20%, Seminar Paper, 18-25pp., 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 lgbtq 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
Week One | Wednesday, August 30 Introduction
Week Two | Wednesday, September 6 
Plato, Symposium
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Three | Wednesday, September 13 
Oscar Wilde The Soul of Man Under Socialism
Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
Preface for The Picture of Dorian Gray
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from Wilde
___________________________________
In Class Report:  ____________________________________
Week Four | Wednesday, September 20 
Susan Sontag, Notes On Camp
Bruce La Bruce, Anti-Camp
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": RECOGNIZING BACKWARD
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________

Week Five | Wednesday, September 27 
Harry Hay, Mattachine (handout)
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": RECOGNIZING BACKWARD
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Six | Wednesday, October 4 
Valarie Solanas, SCUM Manifesto
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": PUBLIC RAGE
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________

Week Seven | Wednesday, October 11 
Sandy Stone, The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttransexual Manifesto
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": PUBLIC RAGE
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Eight | Wednesday, October 18 
Eve Sedgwick, Axiomatic
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": QUEER WORLDING/DEFIANT FLOURISHING
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Nine | Wednesday, October 25 
Judith Butler, Undoing Gender
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": QUEER WORLDING/DEFIANT FLOURISHING
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Ten | Wednesday, November 1 
Sarah Lamble, Queer Necropolitics
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": QUEER WORLDING/DEFIANT FLOURISHING
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Eleven | Wednesday, November 8 
Alison Kafer, Feminist Queer Crip
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": AGAINST HOMONORMATIVITY
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Twelve | Wednesday, November 15 
Sara Ahmed, Feminist Killjoy
Co-Facilitation: Three selections from "Queer": AGAINST HOMONORMATIVITY
___________________________________
___________________________________
In Class Report: ____________________________________
Week Thirteen | Wednesday, November 22 Thanksgiving Holiday
Week Fourteen | Wednesday, November 29 Our Symposium
Week Fifteen | Wednesday, December 6 MFA Reviews

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Barbara Lee Speaks for Me

Sunday's Walk

Eric and I took a short walk (just down the hill and around the corner from our apartment building, probably half a mile or so) to Chapel of the Chimes this morning, the magical columbarium designed by Julia Morgan. I love these spaces -- of which there are a few in the neighborhood, bordering on a couple of stunning and famous cemeteries -- which inevitably seem impossibly vast compared to their exteriors, as interlocking interior chapels unfold into one another one after the other, like pavilions inside a pup-tent in the Harry Potter universe. This will be a nice place for us to revisit later in the year when it is colder and wetter out. Oakland is a truly wonderful place to live in.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Syllabus for Peace In Pieces This Fall at SFAI

HUMN-237-01 | Fall 2017
Peace in Pieces: Histories, Theories, and Practices of Nonviolent Politics

Instructor: Dale Carrico; e-mail: dcarrico@sfai.edu
Thursdays, 4:15-7pm Room: MCR; August 30-December 6, 2017
Course Blog: https://peaceinpiecessfai.blogspot.com/

Rough Basis for Grade: Attendance/Participation, 15%; Co-Facilitation, 15%; Reading Notebook, 15%, Midterm Precis/Toulmin, 3-4pp., 20%; Final Paper, 5-6pp., 35% (subject to contingencies)

Course Description:

The arc of the moral universe is a longing... and it bends from just us. In this course we will read canonical texts in the theory, history, and practice of nonviolent resistance and world-making. This course is provoked and inspired by stories and strategies of reconciliation connected to traditions of nonviolent politics. But is this "non-violence" simply an alternative, at hand, or another fraught artifact we are making under duress? We will take seriously and look critically at the subtle and structural violences that ineradicably shape everyday life. We will consider legible testimonies to violation, in a variety of textual forms, while simultaneously considering the cultural ideals of persuasion which often accompany definitions of violence and its limits. We will both take up and take on the many paradoxes of nonviolent activism and violent order that complicate the teaching of what passes for peace. The State as site of violence and alter-violence. Nonviolence, interfaith dialogue, and freethinking. Spontaneity and training. Assembly, occupation, Black Bloc. Prerequisite: ENGL-101 Satisfies: 3-Units of Humanities; Critical Studies Elective, Liberal Arts Elective

Week One | Thursday, August 31

Introductions

Week Two | Thursday, September 7
Howard Zinn, Introduction to Thoreau on Civil Disobedience and Reform
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau, A Plea for Captain John Brown

Week Three | Thursday, September 14

Karuna Mantena, The Power of Nonviolence
Correspondence of Count Leo Tolstoy with M. K. Gandhi

Week Four | Thursday, September 21

Screen film, "Iron-Jawed Angels,"dir. Katja von Garnier

Week Five | Thursday, September 28

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam
Ella J. Baker, Bigger Than A Hamburger 

Week Six | Thursday, October 5

A simplified Toulmin Schema
Also: Karl Rogers and Rogerian Synthesis

Week Seven | Thursday, October 12

Gene Sharp, selections From Dictatorship to Democracy
Arundhati Roy, War Is Peace
George Ciccariello-Maher, Planet of Slums, Age of Riots
[Midterm grading]

Week Eight | Thursday, October 19

Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, A Third Reconstruction

Week Nine | Thursday, October 26
Must Eichmann Hang? [In-class Handout]

Week Ten | Thursday, November 2

Angela Davis, selections from Are Prisons Obsolete? Chapters 1, 2, 6

Week Eleven | Thursday, November 9

Carol Adams, An Animal Manifesto

Week Twelve | Thursday, November 16

Final Paper Workshop

Week Thirteen | Thursday, November 23

Thanksgiving Holiday

Week Fourteen | Thursday, November 30

Judith Butler, Notes Toward A Performative Theory of Assembly, chapters 1-3 [purchase the book]

Week Fifteen | Thursday, December 7

Judith Butler, Notes Toward A Performative Theory of Assembly, chapters 4-6

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bannon May Be Out But White Supremacy Is Still In

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that obscenity is officially gone, but I honestly expect we'll discover in months to come that like Manafort and other rats who have been sacrificed to Trump's sinking stinking shit ship Bannon still has Trump's ear whenever he really wants it and may even still be on the payroll in some informal advisory capacity. Also, it pays to recall whenever the faces we put on structural evils fall to our resistance we cannot mistake their defeat for the defeat of the structural social evil they have symptomized. With the Trump administration (and America more generally) there are many more faces of white supremacist cishet patriarchal greedhead militarist evil who still need to go. Keep your eyes open, and keep up the fight.


Breaking

I've handed in my grades, dealt with the now-inevitable student e-mails complaining about these grades, written letters of recommendation, and now I have just under two weeks before my Queer Manifestations graduate seminar and an undergraduate course surveying (and pressuring) the canon of nonviolent politics begin at SFAI in the City. I've got syllabi to prune and polish and an optimal public transportation route to SFAI's new graduate campus at the Fort Mason Art Center to figure out in upcoming days. But despite that, I'm treating these days as a brief but welcome break from work. Just finished Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140 (which felt like a lovely coda after the six week "Green Rhetoric" intensive I just completed) and now starting N.K. Jemisin's much garlanded Broken Earth trilogy. Reading for pleasure again, what a concept! Anything to distract me from the dreadful deathly demoralizing drip drip drip of daily news is bolstering for my sanity.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Trump Is Indeed Presidential -- For Republicans

By far the majority of Republicans haven't stood for anything but white resentment and the infantile pleasure of reflexively pissing off liberals on every given issue whatever the merits for at least twenty years now, and Trump is precisely what looks "Presidential" from that vantage: He is the son of a Klansman and is a vulgar eugenicist reacting impulsively from moment to moment to perceived sleights while forever on the lookout for occasions to assert personal dominance, without anything like principles or a plan or even a sense of the day after tomorrow to guide him. His whole life and certainly his whole campaign modeled the Presidency with which we are now grappling: his voters have got what they wanted, though many of the worst of them clearly want even more of the worst of it. If you do not proceed on that understanding (and if that understanding isn't enough to get you out in protest now and into a voting booth as soon as possible) you probably cannot be reached or relied on as far as I'm concerned. The genocidal bigot and bully Andrew Jackson was similarly "Presidential." Trump Presidential is not so very far from war criminal W. Presidential less than a decade ago. None of this is the least bit surprising or unexpected.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wrapping the Present

Just ordered some new clothes for fall, something of an early birthday present to myself. At this point I've lost over sixty pounds this year and most of my shirts ensphere me like stadium domes and my trousers fall right down about my ankles without a belt clutching them tight. It all feels rather unreal, and distinctly strange spending hundreds of dollars on clothes I wouldn't have been able to wear for the last decade or even six months ago, really. I still superstitiously keep all my circus tent clothes folded in a drawer for the day when all that weight suddenly re-appears. Be all that as it may, I don't think I can maintain my professorial ethos while swimming in folds of fabric -- so a new wardrobe it needs must be. Of course, I'm still sticking to the changed eating and exercising habits that brought me to this pretty pass, and so there is the added perplexity that I might shrink still more in months to come, enough to render today's investment a bit moot. It's not like I'm skinny again yet -- as I was back in the days of the W. Bush administration, say. Man, these Republican assholes really wear me down to a nub.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Charlottesville Syllabus

Professor Walter Greason's Suggested Resources on Collective Racial Violence in the US Storified here. It is good this harrowing compendium of documentary video is made so handily and concisely available. Professor Greason says early on that a course he taught based on all the materials presented here was so traumatizing for students he subsequently separated the material into several different courses. Later in the thread, asked who should be taught this material he proposed: "Advanced students in junior high; most students in high school; everyone in higher education." Of course, far from everyone in higher education is confronted with this history. Traumatizing though it may be, in Trumpmerica conveying and processing this history with students is absolutely necessary work.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wake Up And Smell the Nazis

Hard to believe, but some, it seems, are only just now sniffing the white aynrancid wind.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday's Walk

Took a break from end of term grading to walk with Eric to a diner on Piedmont Avenue for omelettes, then walked further along to the beautiful Morcom Rose Garden where the trickle of the stepped waterfall and the faint perfume of roses in the air had hardly anyone to compete with for our attention -- since there was almost nobody else with us there in that truly magical place, and on a warm sunny blue-skied Sunday yet.     

Tolkien Snubs the Nazis

This is doing the rounds today, but I guess I found it a heartening reminder too.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Unnovation

For every substantial innovation, a thousand repackagings of failure and stasis as "innovation."

Tech + Company =

Appending the word "tech" to "company" rarely says anything about technology but usually signals everything about irresponsibility.

Monday, August 07, 2017

All the intelligence in so-called AI is in the people coding and using it.

Artificial Intelligence as a discourse functions primarily to deny responsibility for and disavow knowledge of the crimes, frauds, and abuses enabled and mediated by algorithms.

It Shouldn't Work -- But It Does

Republicans break government when elected so they can declare government broken to get elected.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Yep

One Week To Go...

My last week of instruction beckons... All their midterms are graded, all the works are read, my lecture notes are just sketches and I'm on my last legs, but I am as ready as I ever will be to take on a last, vast avalanche of papers and final projects... and scarcely two weeks ahead I begin two brand new courses for the Fall in the City, a course on queer manifestos and another on conceptions of political "nonviolence" at the Art Institute. It's been months since I gave these upcoming courses any thought, immersed as I have been in the daily scrum of lecturing- preparing- and-grading my way through these bonkers intensives, and the minute I do give them thought I am immediately in a hot strobing panic to prepare anew... but I honestly can't divert my energy into the next teaching tasks until these summer intensives are done. Onward, here we go...

Monday, July 31, 2017

Still Teaching...

Two thirds through, my summer intensives have just two weeks to go now. Spent the weekend grading in addition to the usual reading and lecture prep, and there is a whole pile still left to grade for my other course... The expression "burning the candle at both ends" feels to me viscerally real these days... I've felt so tired while remaining so focused for so many days in a row by now it's like a burning sensation in my head. Definitely I hope I can distribute intensives across the two separate summer sessions in the future... The slow-motion technocolor trainwreck and killer clown crime spree that is the Trump/Republican administration is not exactly helpful, always strobing in the background as it is... I have learned a lot teaching new environmentalist and digital democracy texts for these freshly updated syllabi, though. And there are bright and earnest and funny and interesting students in both classes to give me a measure of pleasure and hope. Perhaps something in all this will strike a spark and I can return to making some kind of contribution to these discussions again...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Still True

Deregulatory "tech" disruption is nullification masquerading as a gift economy.