19 April 2021

Dear Everyone:

I’ve mostly stopped asking people how they’re doing because it’s almost unanswerable, at least in the course of any reasonable length conversation. But, in trying to compose this note to you, I find myself wondering anew and wanting to ask each and all, how are you doing? In this past week, I’ve been juggling a bunch of family matters, squeezing meetings in on the road (as a passenger, not driver!), and managing to keep half an eye on the news of the cascading numbers of vicious and often murderous assaults unfolding across the country, assaults which can all too readily be indexed along the axis of race, and so regularly showcase the impoverished state of mental health services and the robustness of the gun industry. Grief and rage and mourning and maybe numbness to get through, and insert all the worst curses you know here. And on top of all that, COVID positivity keeps spiking, too — more cursing here…

I know you’re probably doing the same as I am: juggling and observing and trying not to be overwhelmed by the too muchness of it all. So, maybe I don’t need to ask how you’re doing and instead just wish out loud for the realization of a world in which it’s mundane and boring to ask how you are.

The easy part of this message is to offer robust thanks to Professor Victoria Rosner, who shared with us super interesting work on germs and modernism and domesticity at Friday’s forum, and to Nancy K. Miller for organizing the event, and to Nancy Silverman for managing and hosting all of it. It was terrific to see people gather to think together and I look forward to the next occasion to do so…

…which will be two Fridays from now, 30 April, when Professor Missy Watson, our second candidate in rhetoric and composition studies for appointment to the program, will deliver a lecture.  Please keep an eye out for information and the link!

In shared aggravation, with abundant well wishes,

Kandice

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