14 March 2022

Dear Everyone:

These bright, sunny days promising spring, punctuating the winter cold that seemingly won’t let go — appetite-whetting teasers! The springing-ahead-lose-an-hour is for some more a tormenting reminder that warmth will return than an appealing promise, perhaps, though as a hard-wired early riser, I admit I do rather enjoy the longer day. I’m pretty sure I’ve written before about the difficulties of waiting — waiting out the end of pandemic, waiting out the end of bureaucratic ineffectiveness, waiting the end of the cruelty with which the present is organized and emerges — waiting involving different kinds and degrees of activity, of course — and oh my goodness, is there anything to do but laugh (or laugh-cry) at the slightly out of control roller coaster ride the immediate past years have been such that even the waffling between intense winter and intense spring seems exactly apposite?!

Of the many forms anticipation takes, perhaps one of the very best is the kind of sheer promise that last Friday’s visit with admitted and waitlisted students to the program held. Huge thanks to Siraj Ahmed for orchestrating the most excellent day, and the very many of you — especially our student colleagues — who took part in some fashion (Inma Zanoguera Garcias, Mitchell Wilson, Nik Valdez, Tuka Al Sahlani, Gen Bettendorf, Maddie Barnes, Dasharah Green, Jeff Voss, Sylvia Koman, Katie Williams, Sharifa Hampton, Stefano Morello, Kendra Sullivan, Val Fryer-Davis, Joseph Caceres, Param Ajmera, Labanya Unni — thank you, thank you!). I loved seeing everyone and revel in the knowledge that some of the people new to us will become fast friends and colleagues keeping us company for years to come — one of the best affordances of what we get to do in and through our program, this facilitation of encounter!

Two other things to look forward to with great anticipation!

First, tomorrow!, Tuesday, 15 March, 7p, an opportunity to celebrate and hear from our colleague Wayne Koestenbaum, on the occasion of the publication of Ultramarine, the third volume of his quite brilliant Trance trilogy, out from Nightboat books. He will be in conversation with Mónica de la Torre — please see here for details! https://mailchi.mp/192books/wayne-koestenbaum-and-mnica-de-la-torre-1243916?e=6bc3bc5d94

And, second, as Nancy Silverman announced earlier today (thank you, Nancy!), this Friday, 18 March, in our usual Friday Forum slot, 4p,come join us for what is sure to be a terrific roundtable around Talia Schaffer‘s award-winning book, Communities of Care! To quote from the event description, “Karen Bourier, Sophia Hsu, and Adela Pinch, leading theorists of 19th century ethics, sentiment, disability, crowds, and collectives come together to think about Communities of Care. Among other lines of inquiry, the panel may take up Schaffer’s recommendations for rethinking academic service, teaching, and research according to care community ideas.” Many thanks to Tanya Agathocleous for organizing this event! Open to the public, as ever, and/but zoom registration is required: https://gc-cuny-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYldOGurDojGt02FWBHhP-96IVwfAB4fRsm

I hope you’re able to attend one if not both of these events, and to have a week featuring all kinds of encounters that allow you to glimpse the warmer weather and kinder worlds that are, I feel sure, just ahead…!

abundant well wishes, as ever —


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