28 March 2022

Dear Everyone:

By my count, we’ve just about six weeks to go of the semester, including the week of spring break — absurdly late in the term as ever. It all might feel especially something of a slog right now — appropriate to mud season, perhaps — and given that, I’m particularly grateful for the energies culminating in and emerging from the Friday Forum last week on decolonial and postcolonial literary knowledges. From flamenco to climate to literary form and everything in between, the panelists made clear that there is no topic and no worldview that does not benefit from illumination by decolonial and postcolonial frameworks and orientations. The Forum provided a beautifully textured sense of the liveliness of such heterogeneous work. Thank you to all who participated as panelists —Ashley Dawson, Peter Hitchcock, Sonali Perera, Shoumik Bhattacharya, Sharanya Dutta, and Inma Zanoguera Garcias — and to organizer Valerie Fryer-Davis — for sharing with us time, effort, and, indeed, energy!

This deco/poco forum was the first of a series that allows us to revel in and learn from work people in our extended English Program world are doing — so fun! Here are the next two:

First, as Nancy Silverman circulated earlier (and thankfully helped to organize), a special opportunity to hear from alums! 4p, per usual, on 1 April: “The texts, songs, toys, and other material artifacts of childhood play an important role in the development of the child, especially in closed communities like the Orthodox Jewish community. With their essays in Artifacts of Orthodox Childhoods: Personal and Critical Essays, edited by Dainy Bernstein, as a jumping-off point, Meira Levinson, Hillel Broder, and Miriam Moster discuss these artifacts through scholarly and personal lenses. They consider the normative and subversive aspects of a Middle Grade series about Devora Doresh, Orthodox girl detective; the long-lasting effects of a child’s first siddur (prayer book); and the dynamics at play in ultra-Orthodox songs about Chanukah.” Full description and Zoom registration link may be found here: https://www.gc.cuny.edu/events/book-talk-artifacts-orthodox-jewish-childhoods  

And second, on 8 April, please join us for a book event around current doctoral candidate Eric Dean Wilson‘s After Cooling: on Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort, published in 2021! This book takes us on a road trip that is also a journey into science and commodification, writerly craft, and scholarly curiosity. The entanglements of the personal and the political economic, comfort and planetary toxicity, and writing and knowledge, comprise this utterly discomforting and yet beautiful book. This event features remarks by the phenomenal Cindi Katz and Wayne Koestenbaum as well as by the fabulous author. Registration information to follow!

As reach the term’s end, we’ll have more occasions to acknowledge and celebrate the endlessly fascinating work emerging in and through the program’s orbits. I hope you’ll find joy in that — it seems really quite vital to find joy in all the places and moments and ways we can!

Abundant well wishes, as ever,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.