21 March 2022

Dear Everyone:

This is a message full of things to know — or at least, things I think you might find of interest or useful somehow. The last week has featured information coming down from various corners of CUNY; you’ll find those several items below, in addition of course to the things generated in and through the program — please see below for all!

First, I begin by offering thanks to Tanya Agathocleous for organizing the terrific session around Talia Schaffer‘s book, Communities of Care, for last week’s Friday Forum. As those who were able to attend will know, the conversation ranged widely, representing the expansive scope of the book — from what it might mean to approach digital archives “sideways” to the nuanced distinctions between populations and communities, and threaded throughout with attention to care as both an analytics and an ethics. I hope you’ll have occasion soon to read the book, and gratitude again to Tanya and Talia for their generosity and, for sure, care!

Relatedly, my first news item is to encourage you to join us for this week’s Friday Forum, “The Post/Decolonial and the Literary.” Organized by Val Fryer-Davis and featuring panelists Ashley Dawson, Peter Hitchcock, Sonali Perera, Sharanya Dutta, Judah Rubin, and Inma Zanoguera Garcias, this roundtable focuses attention on the link and difference between the postcolonial and the decolonial: “Literary studies especially has tackled this tension, asking how literature can do postcolonial and/or decolonial work under continuing neocolonial structures. What makes a work of literature postcolonial or decolonial? This roundtable discussion poses a series of statements and questions related to this topic, highlighting work that scholars in the English Department have done through coursework, reading groups, and independent research over the past two years of remote teaching and learning. This roundtable continues ongoing discussions of the post/decolonial happening right now in the department, and within the field as a whole, with the hope of encouraging future debates and collaboration between post/decolonial scholars.” As usual, the event is free and open to the public, and registration is required: 


Other noteworthy things to share:

1. Graduation! In person, at the Barclay Center, 9 June. Commencement ceremonies will be held for everyone from 2020 to the present. More details are to follow shortly from the events planning office I have no more information than this, so please hold off on specific questions — just wanted to get the date out so that you can start planning accordingly!

2. The CUNY-wide Graduate Education Task Force website has launched, and with an ask for input from you! Please visit this link to find out more about the task force and submit ideas for the task force’s consideration:

3. The James Gallery will reopen in the next month(s)! The testing center will move elsewhere in the building. We get the art space back as an art space!

And, finally, I close this Monday’s note by sharing my current musical obsession — Elliott Carter’s CatĂ©naires — (here’s Bruce Hornsby’s rendition — there are many others on-line:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3zlWumyKiY). It’s a single line of notes — no chords — played ever so quickly and with all the dynamics possible. This is what vibrancy sounds like, I think! and what creativity comes of constraint, and what joy comes of practice and work and art! My offering of energy to you on what is here, in the NYC area, an impeccably early spring day.

Abundant well wishes as ever,


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