14 February 2022

Dear Everyone:

Today is a day to celebrate Frederick Douglass! He was born in 1818 and chose later in his life to celebrate his birthday on 14 February. I can’t remember when I learned this but so appreciated knowing and still do, as it gave reason to celebrate this day and welcome all the chocolate and expressions of affection and refuse the compulsory sentiments that are supposed to attach to this day! I hope you experience the full range of the interesting and complicated and surprising and funny and difficult aspects of love and loving and all permutations thereof, all the days and not just today, truly.

I will write separately about some other kinds of things we’ll take up as a program. This message, I want to devote to two most excellent items:

First, I’m very happy to share the news that Glenn Burger has been named Distinguished Professor by the CUNY Board of Trustees!  It is a title that recognizes accomplishment and impact, very much befitting the accomplishments of our colleague. Offer him congratulations when you next encounter him, whether virtually or in the real!

Second, I look forward delightedly to welcoming Professor Melissa Castillo Planas to our Friday Forum this week at 4p. The title of the lecture is “A Mexican State of Mind,” and in it, Professor Castillo Planas will explore “the cultural and creative lives of the largely young undocumented Mexican population in New York City since September 11, 2001.” Through this work, she “develops a new analytic framework, the Atlantic Borderlands,” which builds on work by Paul Gilroy and Gloria Anzaldúa and “bridges Mexican diasporic experiences in New York City and the black diaspora, not as a comparison but in recognition that colonialism, interracial and interethnic contact through trade, migration, and slavery are connected via capitalist economies and technological developments.” Find more information here, including the link to register for this zoom event – come join us!

With abundant well wishes – and love!


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