23 August 2021

Dear Everyone:

My first message of this academic year! This summer melted away all too quickly for my liking, and oh, I am so sorry I’m not writing to announce our first big in-person event. As for many of you, I’m picking my way through the seemingly ever-shifting grounds of how to navigate present circumstances and plan for what comes next. Last year, I’d offered improvisation and flexibility as key concepts and ways of being we’d have to embrace as a program given the intense uncertainties of that time, and that remains true, of course. This year, to them, I think we might add something like willfulnessmulishness maybe even better — to carry us through! 

Accordingly, let us be deliberately contrarian and be excited about the start of a new school year despite the deeply dismaying state of the world! Let us be willfully and warmly hospitable to the cohort of students who are beginning their doctoral studies with us — and who have already been introduced to us through the mentoring program and orientation both of which Nancy Silverman continues to choreograph so adeptly! And of course let’s happy dance deliberately for those who entering their second years under pandemic conditions, and in determined celebration of those who keep on going on in all the different ways you/we are! I know I’m not alone in being immensely tired of all of it and so I invite you to join me in letting our inner mules fly! (how’s that for an image?) The notion that if we can get collectively smarter by working hard with ideas, always with their impact on people and place in mind, that the worlds we want to inhabit can be fully realized continues to hold me; this is what brings us together in this program — I hope very much it’ll be a grounding for each and all of you along these lines.

That’s all maybe a little punchy for a start of year message, I know, but I can’t seem to help it, so aggravating and absurd is the situation we’re in, and in this, the start of my third (and final) year as EO…resilience be damned; mulishness for the win!

bits & pieces

Some things fyi, about some of which more information will follow:

1. our search for a consortial appointment in U.S. Latinx studies continues this fall with a series of seminars to be offered by candidates; our goal is to complete this search in spring ’22.

2. our first Friday Forum will be 3 September, and as has become tradition, will be Critical Karaoke! Please keep an eye out for information from the ESA as to how to be a part of this super fun and amazingly creative event!

3. below, in the message I’m forwarding, please see the most recent information we’ve received regarding CUNY and COVID protocols, and if you have any questions about processes, please don’t hesitate to give a holler.

4. on that note — on giving a holler — at the bottom of my signature line, you’ll find an appointlet link to book an appointment. Please feel free to do so, and no need to let me know in advance that you’d like to. I’ll be holding office hours by zoom for the time being, though do anticipate being at the GC a couple/several days a week this semester — just not sure how that’ll play out yet — details TBA.

5. in fact, all our events and meetings will be remote for the time being. Nancy and I will make information available as we move forward.

6. a reminder that I do my best to respond to email in two or three days. If you don’t hear back from me within 72 hours or so, please feel free to write again — I’m certain not to be ignoring you on purpose! it’s just a matter of volume, truly.

7. please see the attached for this year’s governance information — committees and the like — for this coming year. You’ll see some categories are TBD for now; I’ll make an updated list available down the line. Huge thanks in advance to everyone and on everyone’s behalf, for the work to come,with particular thanks to Nancy Silverman (APO), Tanya Agathocleous (DEO of Professional Planning (title stlll under consideration)), Siraj Ahmed (DEO of Admissions), Mario DiGangi (Satisfactory Progress Officer), and Karl Steel (chair of Curriculum Committee), and with special welcome to Lily Iserson, our new College Assistant.

That’s it for now. As ever, please don’t hesitate to holler with questions or whatnot. I’m looking forward to a stubbornly, implausibly, wonderful year ahead with you all!

all well wishes,


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