22 February 2021

Dear Everyone:

This weekend felt absurdly short! Like it just began and then poof, it was gone!  I know for some – maybe many? – people who work in higher ed, weekends and weekdays are meaningless insofar as the kind of work we do doesn’t readily stay contained to regular business hours. Deliberate compartmentalization of time has for me been helpful in avoiding subsumption by the work, and in COVID times, in giving contour to days and hours that can seem undifferentiated. It is sometimes effortful, having to create mental footholds and rely on fictions of time, but for me a useful practice – or maybe it’s a tactic…

This turns out to be a leggy way of saying, hope the weekend felt as such (restorative, relaxing, different) in some satisfying way, and, we’ve made it to another Monday, however abruptly – hurrah for us!  And also, I know it’s really hard yet and still, and you made it to another Monday – keep going, keep going, keep going.

Other bits:

Please join us at week’s end for what is sure to be a most excellent Friday Forum, registration and full description here!  Co-sponsored with Comparative Literature and organized by Sonali Perera, Where is the Indian in Aztlán? The Changing Geographies of Indigeneity in the Era of Mass Migration is a talk by María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo (NYU), author of Indian Given (Duke UP 2016). With response by Chandan Reddy (University of Washington, Seattle), author of Freedom with Violence (Duke UP 2011). I’m so looking forward to this.

You’ll perhaps have seen the announcement from GC President Garrell’s office regarding the now launched Provost search. Nominations for candidates can be entered here, and please direct all inquiries to provostsearch@gc.cuny.edu. President Garrell’s message notes:

“As an essential part of the search process, the search committee seeks input from the campus community on current issues and priorities, ideal qualities and qualifications for the next provost, and any other information or insight that will help guide the committee’s efforts. If you are interested in providing input to the committee, please contact Patti Myatt (pmyatt@gc.cuny.edu).”

If you have ideas, do make yourselves heard!

Finally for now, I know I’m writing to you in the context of the manifold urgencies confronting so many right now: from the cruel infrastructural design of Texas to the streets of Myanmar to Tigray in Ethiopia to the uneven distribution of COVID vaccines to the detriment of Black and brown communities in the US, and to attacks on subways and attacks on (especially elderly) Asian people in NYC and elsewhere – and this list goes on and on — there’s so much that needs attention that it’s difficult to know where to land, where to focus. FWIW, try following one thing, pulling on one thread, whether by writing or calling or donating or joining or in whatever ways, and always by reading and learning more, and perhaps think about how the work you’re doing in and through academic life can amplify the ideas and communities and ways of being and living that will, in the end, extinguish this list. Working with ideas won’t ever be sufficient in itself, but, that work is necessary to the realization of the worlds we want and need; very grateful so many of you are pushing toward those ends.

Til next Monday, if not before!


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