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Friday, April 12, 2013

Thinking Outside of Exceptionalism

It is hard to outside of it, because then you seem to be saying "nothing is remarkable about Spanish culture" (then why study it?) or "Spain has resolved its historical problems" (not true).

So what I want is what, a way of looking at it as a sort of everyday unhappiness rather than as a neurosis, to borrow Freud's formulation. In other words, a set of problems to be worked on but not mystified. Working on them is, precisely, a demystification.

So I have to step around my own romanticism. I am moving toward a more ideological and less theological kind of criticism.

[Went to the gym today, came back did all my emails about exam scheduling, wrote some on my chapter, and it's still only 10:10. The only other work I'll do is meeting with student and grade appeal hearing.]


I never wanted to be a senator but here I am. Don't congratulate me; it's not a particularly big honor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a near permanent senator in the Southern style because I am a big believer in shared governance. Take my advice: be on a senator or even chair a senate committee, just do not be an officer.

Your place may be more insulated against the evil winds of corporatization than some, but senate is a good place to fight this. Here is what the corporatizers' project is on senates: they want to redefine them smaller and so structured as to limit the number of Fulls on it. What you can do as a senator is vote against this effort when it comes. And explain, when they say the size is unwieldy and the number of fulls makes it top heavy, that you need precisely the numbers and the authority those fulls represent in case senate ever needs to do anything (like vote no confidence in something) and be seen as a representative body and not just a cranky group.

Also, they are trying to get sleepy senates to vote to limit freedom of faculty in all sorts of ways, like freedom of Senate to speak to the press as Senate. And to rubber stamp things like giving away copyright. At Minnesota the senate is apparently as we speak having the opportunity to reject effort from deans to get themselves empowered to declare faculty disabled by fiat, i.e. designate people they don't like as disabled and put them on unpaid leave ... based on the deans' quasi whims!

In sum, you can get a lot of bang for buck by just showing up and voting AAUP style principles down the line, and saying something once in a while to stop less experienced faculty from getting bamboozled.