7 September 2020

Dear Everyone:

Those of you who joined us for Friday’s Critical Karaoke Greatest Hits were treated to a slate of immensely creative and joyfully fun eruptions of brilliance — exactly the thing to launch the year and more immediately the long, last weekend of summer. Huge thanks to Will Arguelles and Christian Lewis, and to all who provided welcome laughter and no small amount of profound insight into time (“they don’t stop coming”; “who are you? begin again”; “what is the length of an mmmbop?”) and being (Scooby Doo and Derrida’s cat and what they tell us about the crucial need for fellowship and levity; “take me as I am”) and desire and care (“got a whole lot of options”; “I wanna fall through the stars”). The music invoked took us from Polish lullaby to Snoop Dogg and so many places in between and beyond; I’m not sure there’s a better illustration of the vibrant heterogeneity (and heterogeneous vibrancy!) of the program’s students than has been represented across the iterations of critical karaoke over the years — since before Will and Christian and certainly through their orchestration. Thank you to all of you who’ve participated in this event!

I hope the weekend was good and not laborious and leads into a week when the semester’s routines can emerge with greater clarity. However you’re making your way through the onslaught of so much, maybe such routines can help — as a kind of scaffold, maybe, or metronome, even — a regularity inside the onslaught. Still and yet so grateful to keep time with you all.

I hope also that you’ll be able to join us for this coming Friday’s Forum, “Recommendations: I wish I had read…“!  With faculty colleagues including Mario DiGangi, Joan Richardson, Ashley Dawson, Siraj Ahmed, Kelly Josephs, and Todd Craig, we’ll be sharing what we wish we had read while in graduate school but didn’t know about or didn’t get a chance to while in school! Please join us with your own recommendations of such — and interpret “read” broadly to include seeing or listening or whatever else you wish you had encountered in graduate school! The zoom link for this event will follow separately.

Finally, for now, happiest wishes to all who welcome a new year this week!

abundant well wishes, as ever —


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