Teacher Appreciation Week and Affective/”Women’s”/Immaterial Labor and the Gig Economy

I didn’t sit down to write a blog post.

Even if I had, I would’ve preferred to write it for my recreational beer blog (nursingbeer.wordpress.com).

I sat down to plan my classes for tomorrow, and to finish reviewing and enter student essay grades, but something felt… wrong.

I’ve decided to change the tone of the blog for this post. It’s got a little more… me in it.

I hope it makes you appreciate a teacher today, or feel appreciated if you are one.


 

In my anxiety-induced procrastination today, I found my way to essays about not wanting to grade student essays.

How teachers feel at grading time. via Giphy
How teachers feel at grading time. via Giphy

Those short essays were funny, but they hit too close to home (I just graded essays for two composition classes). In my attempt to cheer myself up before returning to work, I stumbled upon facebook posts and articles about teacher appreciation week. Which, in turn, led me to this petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/include-adjuncts-loan-forgiveness-program.

I would encourage anyone who reads this blog to take a moment to go sign that petition, it is to extend public service loan forgiveness to adjunct instructors at colleges. It doesn’t solve the problem in the industry, but it certainly takes a step in the right direction.

Reading that petition made me realize how littled I’ve said thank you to some of the teachers in my life. So, I’d like to take a moment to do that here, and send some thanks to all of the teachers that have shaped me into the person that I am today, whether I was grateful at the time or not. I’m sorry I didn’t realize how brutally competitive, unfairly compensated, and downright thankless your job was until I started doing it. (And for the record, I have a VERY  reliable and reasonably compensated position at a cool college with a mission I am 100% politically behind, so I’m not griping about my own situation here. Really.)

No one who hasn’t taught can understand just how much of the job is about performance, about affective labor, about entertainment, and yet, how none of that part of the job is really taught or compensated. Even the least internalizing instructors must, I imagine, take in some of the affect of the classroom, and I know from experience that a great class can totally make my day, but a bad meeting can wreck me for days.  I know, though far less than those brave souls in TT jobs in these departments , that when teaching emotionally and socially difficult classes — such as courses in Ethnic Studies, or Women’s/Gender/Queer Studies, etc — you relive the trauma of discovering brutal histories of inequality and violence over and over with your students. That shit wears on you. And I know how teaching required courses — such as core degree courses  in composition — faces an instructor with a semi-hostile to openly hostile body of students. That shit wears on you.

Thank you. Thank you for doing it.

I couldn't find a really good "Thank You"Gif, so I figured, what says thank you better than puppies! via Giphy
I couldn’t find a really good “Thank You” Gif, so I figured, what says thank you better than puppies! via Giphy

And no one who has avoided the adjunct shuffle can appreciate just how much it mirrors the “gig” economy, which, if you remember your Italian post-marxists and your early- and mid-century feminists, is really tied to older models of exploitation and precarity. So, if someone tells you that the neoliberal industrial restructuring of the university has afforded you greater mobility, flexibility, and choice, I’ll understand if you scream and tear out your hair. (And again, I’ve got it great in this regard.) (If you haven’t read up, some names for you: Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emma Goldman, Simone DeBeauvoir, Margaret Benston, Sylvia Federici, Rosi Braidotti…  it is an incomplete list if ever I wrote one, and I’ve bounced back and forth across the century with the names that either came to mind or came to mind after searching things I remember encountering, but my point isn’t about this… today)

So for all the instructors I forgot to thank for grading my papers and giving me detailed feedback. And I am sorry.

I'll let Tom Hiddleston say it for me, it looks much better coming from him, I assure you. Via Giphy.
I’ll let Tom Hiddleston say it for me, it looks much better coming from him, I assure you. Via Giphy.

Sorry for all the times I didn’t read and then tried to sneak by the discussion; for all the times I challenged your authority; for all the times I half-assed my assignments because life was soooooo important; for all the times I made your life harder, your job less fun, and your emotional drain greater. Thank you, belatedly, for all the lessons you planned; all the guides you wrote; all the discussions you led; all the friendships you facilitated; all the ideas you developed in me; all the skills you helped me to cultivate and hone; all the times you “put on a face to meet the faces that you meet” in the classroom.

To all my teachers: thank you, however belated it may be.

Assignment: Decolonizing Late Victorian Biopolitics

I’ve been thinking a lot about colonialism, Empire, and the history of biopolitics and I think that I’ve come up with a pretty nifty assignment on the subject for an undergraduate course on biopolitics and Empire in the Twentieth Century. This assignment uses the “Digitizing ‘Chinese Englishmen'” project of Adeline Koh. You can find the project overview here: http://chineseenglishmen.adelinekoh.org/

The assignment asks students to think critically about class and gender, and their relation to biopolitics, in the context of colonial Singaporean literature.

The idea here is that this would function as a mid-unit assignment building towards a major essay. Students will have already read excerpts from Galton’s Inquiries into Human Faculties and its Development, Nordau’s Degeneration, and either excerpts from Lombroso on criminology or from one of his English followers, as well as G.W. Harris’s 1914 essay “Bio-Politics.” This means students will already be familiar with eugenics, degeneration, criminology, and biopolitics and have seen how they work to reinforce social values surrounding race, class, sex, and gender in Stoker’s Dracula.

When I teach Dracula, I tend to emphasize the novel’s fraught gender politics — its vilification of the New Woman and the simultaneous instrumentality of Mina’s subversive agency in saving the day. While Dracula engages abstractly with colonialism and Empire, this assignment will serve as a pivot to get students thinking about these issues in an actual colonial context. In this way, it serves as a pivot point between the first essay (on Dracula and the turn of the century) and the second unit, which would then bring the reversal of degeneration in Aimé Césaire’s “Discourse on Colonialism” to bear on midcentury British and Anglophone literatures (such as Jean Rhys’ Voyage in the Dark and/or George Lamming’s The Emigrants).

With some work, I think the assignment could adapted for use in an American Literature class, especially as a segue into Global American literature. For example, to teach gender in a global context it can be read after Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” instead of Stoker’s Dracula.

I’ve pasted the assignment below, feel free to use, adapt, or remix as needed!

Creative Commons License
This work by Steven Pokornowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Decolonizing Late-Victorian Cultural Politics

This assignment builds on our recent class readings on degeneration, eugenics, criminology, and early bio-politics in England at the turn of the Twentieth Century. We’ve already seen how Victorian biomedical and social science normalized and reinforced gendered, sexualized, and racialized biases through the deployment of clinical language.

We have already examined how these issues are put into dramatic play in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, but now we will complicate our understanding by examining Anglo-Singaporean sources from the “Digitizing ‘Chinese Englishmen’” project.

You will be tasked with choosing and reading one of two short stories published in the 1898 Straits Chinese Magazine, a Singapore based literary magazine that ran at the turn of the century.

You can choose between “A Victim of Chap-Ji-Ki” or “The Awakening of Oh Seng Hong”, both published in Volume 2 Issue 6 of the magazine, and available to read online through the “Digitizing ‘Chinese Englishmen’” Project here: http://chineseenglishmen.adelinekoh.org/table-of-contents/

After choosing and reading your story, you must complete these two brief written responses:

  1. Analytical Application of Critical Concepts

After choosing and reading your story, you must write a 1-2 page critical analysis of how the short story circulates common Late-Victorian beliefs about sex, gender, and class as they relate criminality and national degeneration. Cite specific passages from your short story and explain directly how they relate to concepts from the readings by Galton, Lombroso, Nordau, or Harris.

  1. Personal Reflection

Please include also a brief .5 page personal reflection on your analysis. Were you surprised at how similar these gendered portrayals of criminality and degeneration were to those you read about in the UK and Europe? How does this view of Chinese-Englishness make you reconsider the scope and effects biomedical or social science in colonial and imperial biopolitics? How does your story make you reconsider their role in Dracula?

 

 

 

 

 

ACLA 2016 Seminar in Review: Biopolitical Modernities

Near the end of March, I attended the American Comparative Literature Association’s annual conference. Evan Mauro and I collaboratively organized a two-day seminar titled “Biopolitical Modernities: Empire and Biological Governance in the Long Twentieth Century”, and I have to say, it was one of the most productive and rewarding conference experiences I’ve ever had.

The papers were all outstanding and the dialog and conversation was both rigorous and invigorating. We also got some excellent feedback, comments, and questions from folks visiting from other seminars. It was truly amazing.

[DISCLAIMER: I’m recapping these papers based on my own notes and memory, take them as brief blurbs intended to arouse your interest and allow you to find intellectuals working on these topics, not as ironclad recapitulations of papers given or arguments made. I cannot do any of these great papers justice.]

On Day 1 we had four presentations.

First, Jennifer Wang’s “Unhistorical Forms of Life in Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations and Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem” got us started by reading Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem against Nietzsche’s conceptions of historical and unhistorical life. Wang focused primarily on complicating the concept of “unhistorical life,” demonstrating how McKay’s novel shows relations between unhistorical life, empire, and black modernity and argues that we must consider unhistorical life on its own terms (rather than simply as the grounding for historical life that is also left bare).

Ramon Soto-Crespo then presented “The Neobuggarón: Sexual Trash, Biopolitics, and Latin/o America.” Soto-Crespo examined how contemporary anthropological discourse has missed a moment of transition, wherein the figure of the buggarón has been revived through sexual tourism as a neoliberal construct. The neobuggarón ends up having high stakes, as the market vitalizes an invisible sexual identity that does not seek political agency and defies regulation.

Molly Hall then gave a paper titled “Biopolitical Sacrifice and Cnsumption in Padmanabhan’s Harvest.” In this paper, Hall read Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest through the lens of Giorgio Agamben’s biopolitical theory, examining how the factory farming of organ donors in the play at once makes them commodified objects AND hyperregulated and fetishized subjects.

I rounded out the first day of the conference by presenting “‘To cleanse them from pollution’: Medicine, Race, and Degeneration in Dracula and Biopolitics.” I had a two part argument. (1) That we need to historicize biopolitical discourse and understand that, given its emergence directly out of clinical/medicalized justifications for empire, colonialism, and eugenic endeavors, it is a provincially European postcolonial formulation that can benefit from dialog with postcolonial, disability, critical race, sex, and gender studies and queer theory. [Though I didn’t mention it at the time, obviously settler colonial criticism also applies here.] (2) The entangling of biology and politics and the turning of the clinical gaze onto the nation’s population at the end of the Nineteenth Century contributed to the formation of an assemblage that produced perceived threats of bioinsecurity to justify racial and social violence. [Feel free to email me for more info or a copy of the talk: steven.pokornowski@gmail.com]

Day 2 was just as productive and engaging.

Jih-Fei Cheng started us off with a fascinating paper on “Magnification and the Microbiopolitical.” Cheng performed a settler-colonial reading of the history of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), and by extension in some measure, the origins of virology itself. Ultimately, Cheng critiqued the concept of scale as it has been elucidated in virology, as a visual iteration and translation of coloniality and the colonial racial form. [And as someone who has done some research on early virology, it was eye-opening seeing some of Jules Crevaux’s and others’ remarks about TMV infected plants being “made mulatto.” I thought that historical connection between race, colonization, Empire, and exploitation was really illuminating.]

Sonali Thakkar then presented “Unesco and the Politics of Racial Plasticity and Racial Reeducation.” Thakkar gave a fascinating critical history of the 1950 UNESCO statement on race, examining how the drafts of the statement veered more and more towards a goal of racial reeducation, while also failing to meet the original goal of positively defining race. The stakes of this intellectual reformation are greater than they appear, as the negative definitions of race offered by UNESCO in the end seem to contribute in some measure to the emergence of a postracial discourse. [This is also really interesting because at nearly the same time that the interdisciplinary board of thinkers in UNESCO tried to destabilize race as an object of scientific discourse and reeducate the world on race, the UN was participating in international sterilization projects with International Planned Parenthood and the London Eugenics Society.]

My co-organizer, Evan Mauro closed out the seminar for us with “The Social Life of Sensation: Logistics and Settler Colonialism.” Mauro’s paper looked at the argument between Brooks Adams and William James over what the “New Empire” of the U.S. should look like, examining how the neocolonial strucure of American Imperialism in the Twentieth Century was radical in its nature as trade colonial Geoeconomic/Debt imperialism. Mauro connected the establishment of logistics for settler colonial purposes to the global control of logistics through economic and trade relations as a neoimperial/neocolonial structure.

 

SLSA 2015 Coming Right Up!

Been a long time since I posted to this blog, but I’ll have some new materials up again soon, don’t you fret!

I’ll be on the road in Houston this week for the annual meeting of the Society of Literature Science and the Arts, themed “After Biopolitics” this year. If you’re there on Thursday, do come check out my panel during session 2!

Here is the crucial info:

Session 2(G): BRC 1OTH FLOOR SEMINAR ROOM 1060A

Session Title: Virtual Bodies, Material Effects: Medical Technology, Biopolitics, and the Occlusion of Alterity

I’ll write an update about the conference and my paper after the fact.

Post-Graduate Healthcare Advice OR Structural Violence and the Kafkaesque Machinations of the State

I’ve been planning this blog post for a long time. You see, I recently graduated from my Ph.D. program, meaning my university provided healthcare came to an end and I faced “the market” through Covered California.

It’s hard to figure where to start in a story like this, so let me start with a brief preface about privilege, visibility, and healthcare.

I come from a relatively comfortable working class family. As a child, I had some great healthcare. My dad was a union man and his union had some very good health insurance (I believe he was and is Teamsters local 710). My mother, being a nurse, could always bug other healthcare professionals for recommendations and help. I stayed on my father’s insurance as long as I could, but 23 came and went and I opted to take my grad program’s healthcare plan at UC Santa Barbara. Although the care can sometimes be inconsistent, the convenience and ease of student health insurance is unparalleled. I was also healthy enough to avoid any major healthcare costs, save one surgery.

And thus, I found myself 29 years old, graduating from a Ph.D. program, and actively seeking my own healthcare for the first time in my life. I applied for healthcare via Covered California and automatically applied for Medi-Cal at the same time. This was in late-March. I was finally able to purchase healthcare through the Covered CA marketplace in mid-May, just before my 60 day tax penalty window closed. If I had run into but one more snafu, had linguistic trouble, less access to the internet, or less reliable mail service, I would be paying through the nose for this come next April. (So, again, my relative privilege is visible in how I resolved this problem).

The online application process itself is convoluted and requires multiple steps, including the submission of personal documents to validate your residence and income. Furthermore, because the rates that one pays for insurance vary based on those two factors, one can not simply buy insurance when needed. (Sidenote: if anyone in need of healthcare is reading this, the best way to get help is by far to contact the Covered California Service Center via phone, when I FINALLY got my situation sorted out, it was through the help of someone there. Here is a link to their contact info. Be prepared to spend a couple hours on the phone, though… literally.)

So, from late-March to mid-May, I attempted to get healthcare. During that time, I monitored my application status on the Covered California website, and noticed that I hadn’t received clear word about whether I qualified for Medi-Cal or not (supposedly it was not-so-directly stated in the first correspondence I got from Covered CA…). So, seeing the slump and no word on Medi-Cal, I applied separately to that. Which indirectly held up my Covered CA status, because you cannot be “double covered.” This sent me down to a local branch of the Department of Public Social Services, often referred to with some resentment as ‘the Welfare Office’ among some groups. What I saw there was a revelation.

My day at DPSS began around 10am, as I queued up with the rest of folks without appointments and waited to get inside. I live at the edge of Koreatown and Westlake in LA. It was a short walk to a local DPSS office, there were actually two within a mile of me. I was going to submit my residential, identification, and income documents in person, and in hopes of speaking to someone about the timeline and whether I was even actually eligible for Medi-Cal at all. The two-and-a-half hours I waited in line to speak with someone exposed me to a more diverse crowd than I’ve seen anywhere else in LA. I heard four different languages being spoken, saw folks of all races, and saw people of all ages — including children trying to entertain themselves in a sea of bored folks waiting in line. When my time was up and I got to the front of the line, I asked the clerk about my eligibility and about my application through Covered CA. I learned that he wasn’t sure if I was eligible, he’d have to pass the info on to the actual caseworker upstairs who had access to my residential/income/and district info and could determine that. He also explained that although one applies to Medi-Cal directly through Covered California, it can take up to three months for your application to be processed that way (read: one month longer than the system allows for before locking your Coverd CA app and giving you the individual mandate tax penalty). He lauded me for taking the initiative in applying and for coming in person, saying I sped things up.

Fast forward a couple weeks. I still have no word from Medi-Cal and hence no word from Covered California. Finally, I break down and call the help line. I am informed by the Covered CA rep that I was definitely not eligible for Medi-Cal, because of the relative poverty of my residential district. About 2.5 hours later, I’ve selected a healthcare plan and spoken to a sales rep from Kaiser Permanente about it. Then, I had to immediately call my DPSS caseworker and cancel my Medi-Cal claim, or risk having my health insurance pulled.

A few days later I paid for my insurance, beat the tax penalty, and everything was peachy keen… er … well kind of.*

The reason I want to tell this story is not to complain, if anything, the experience made me even more conscious of how privileged I was to have avoided waiting in line at DPSS to this point in my life. There are two key points to this story: 1) as a lesson for seniors graduating college or people leaving advanced degree programs, 2) as a lesson about structural violence for people privileged enough not to have had to seek healthcare through the marketplace or to have applied for medi-cal or social assistance programs.

This whole process has been like being trapped in a Kafka novel peopled with characters out of the mind of Samuel Beckett. It’s given me firsthand experience of the violence of deferral and displacement enacted on the poor in this country (and, to be fair, in others). I’m reminded of the work of anthropologist and humanitarian, Paul Farmer, who has written extensively about the suffering of and violence toward the global poor. Although, it hits all the harder because it is right outside my door. And probably right outside of yours.

At the same time that I was getting my taste of this structural violence, I noticed another enactment of it just down the street.**

For several months, a group of homeless folks in tents had begun camping in a small community between Occidental and La Fayette Park Pl on 6 ST. I walked and drove past this small community countless times and found them to be polite, kind, cordial, and quite neat. They had a community trash-bin and signs scolding those who don’t pick up after themselves. I watched this community grow from a raggedy tent or two into a small 3-5 tent neighborhood. I watched kids at the nearby school say hi and chat with them. I noticed how the street actually stayed cleaner with them on it. Just a few days after my visit to DPSS, I saw that they were basically being evicted by the city of Los Angeles. Signs for an imminent tree trimming were posted  all along their one-block of real estate… and nowhere visible nearby. These signs demanded that the space be cleared. After the tents and their occupants disappeared, orange mesh temporary fencing was put up around the area. The tree trimming came and went. The mesh remains. The people have not returned. The street is now much dirtier. It is also less social. A piece of the community was displaced.

Although this displacement may seem disconnected from the deferral enacted by the healthcare marketplace and the social service system, it actually speaks to a broader structural violence directed largely at the poor and needy. It is a violence of deferral and displacement. A violence that millions of Americans suffer everday, and to which millions more are blind. I’d also just like to mention that, given the strong connections between race and poverty, it is hard not to see this structural violence as tied to broader social issues with which the country is currently grappling.

———————————————————————————————-

*The healthcare saga continues and I am still struggling with ridiculous bureaucratic red tape. I finally got this whole healthcare thing sorted out in May, mind you, but I was being charged for healthcare since March. Another 2 or 3 hour phone session later and I had things resolved… or so I thought. I recently received a letter from DPSS about having a new caseworker. And I received a healthcare card from a company I never bought healthcare from, so, a full three months later I am still dealing with this.

**Again, it is but a taste, I still live far more comfortably and with far more privilege and power than many of the folks I stood in line with, something that bears repeating for perspective.

In Memory of Kalief Browder

It was with a heavy heart that I read Jennifer Gonnerman’s new piece in memory of Kalief Browder (found at The New Yorker: here). I want to acknowledge outright that there are a number of other cases of wrongful imprisonment and/or undue process that all bear talking about — such as the cases of Daniel Chong, Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman, Michael Graham, those detained in the now infamous Homan Square Chicago PD blacksite, and many, many more — but I’d like to acknowledge Kalief Browder as an individual in this post.

I followed the developments in New York as Gonnerman and othes chronicled Browder’s three years on Rikers Island awaiting trial for the suspected theft of a backpack (Gonnerman’s first article: here). You may recall that it spurred Bill de Blasio to reform the judicial system in New York.

Obviously, as someone interested in the medical humanities, biopolitics, and the relationship between health and security I found Browder’s story to be an intellectually interesting one, a story that told us something about the hidden machinations of power. A story that a whole population of Americans already know a lot about. On a personal level, his story strikes a chord with me and really reminds me of my own privilege as a heterosexual, normative, middle class, white man, because deep down I know that what happened to him could not have happened to me almost anywhere in the U.S. because I am seldom seen as threatening or criminal. I get the benefit of the doubt, rather than being automatically doubted. And at the same time, I can imagine how those experiences would have destroyed me. But again, I have the privilege to imagine rather than know this in any material, embodied way.

Stories like Browder’s are hard for me to blog about, but I feel compelled to address them (and his in particular). I’m faced with the ethical compulsion to witness someone I never knew, and the intellectual compulsion to speak about his life experiences as a teaching moment on the function of power and the state manipulation of bodies and health. And yet, I am concerned that to do the former is but an empty gesture from a white male Ph.D. While to do the latter smacks of a hollow appropriation of someone else’s life, story, and pain.

Browder’s death is at once similar to and radically different than the recent, high-profile deaths of people of color from state violence made more visible throught the #blacklivesmatter and #sayhername social media campaigns. The violence done to him was a slower one, though, an institutional violence long familiar to Americans of color (but perhaps especially black Americans). It’s a violence that the poor know well, too. A slow state violence that works over years and leaves its marks on minds as much as bodies. (And when I say slow state violence, I am really thinking about something along the lines of the intersection of Rob Nixon’s “slow violence” and Lauren Berlant’s “slow death”)

In a separate post I will talk a little bit about some of the slow, bureaucratic violence of the state in Los Angeles, but for now I want to remember Kalief Browder, though I never knew him. I want to say his name without exploiting his memory and overgeneralizing his experience. I want to say his name without appropriating his story and making it about me and my life and my lessons.

I can’t help but think of the end of the W.B. Yeats poem “Easter, 1916” and feel that it is “our part, / To murmur name upon name” and thus I bear witness to Kalief Browder. May he find in death the peace taken from him in life. 

Update: ACLA 2015, Contamination and Quarantine

I’ve been working hard to complete revisions to the dissertation — which I will be filing in the next two weeks — so my blog activity has slowed considerably. After things calm down later in the month I should have a post or two ready to go.

Until then, let me just plug the seminar I co-organized with the ever-awesome Lindsay Thomas, an Assistant Professor at Clemson.

If you’ll be at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in Seattle in a couple weeks, be sure to stop by our two day seminar: “Contamination and Quarantine.”

Here is a link to our abstract/cfp: http://acla.org/contamination-and-quarantine

We’ve got a great lineup of speakers talking on a pretty broad range of ecological, environmental, medical, and social formulations of contamination that inform the global contemporary.

Here is the breakdown of the crucial information for our seminar, including participants and paper titles:

  • Friday, March 27thStream D (5:00 – 6:40)Suite Parlor 4
    • Viral Control: W.S. Burroughs and the Autopoietics of PowerSteven Pokornowski, University of California, Santa Barbara
    • AIDS in the Great Society: Prosthesis, Containment, and Neoliberal Flexibility in David Foster Wallace’s ‘Lyndon’Travis Alexander, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Too Inoculated to Be Contaminated: Viral Disasters and Betting on Biopolitical Futures in Alexander Laing’s The Motives of Nicholas HoltzRachel Walsh, St. Bonaventure University
    • “Infected Carrier{s}”: Djuna Barnes’ “Blood-Consciousness”Katherine Ryan, San Jacinto College
  • Saturday, March 28thStream D (5:00 – 6:40)Suite Parlor 4
    • Disease Surveillance in Real TimeLindsay Thomas, Clemson University
    • Wall Street Containment: Bartleby’s contagious languageBrett Brehm, Northwestern University
    • Touch – : Samuel Delany’s Sexual EcologySarah Ensor, Portland State University

A Call to Arms from the Center for the Medical Humanities

I’m going to pass along this link: http://centreformedicalhumanities.org/how-on-earth-will-the-medical-humanities-make-you-a-better-doctor/

I won’t offer much summary or criticism, I think it stands on its own and is worth thinking about. In it, Emily T. Troscianko calls for a shift in the Medical Humanities, for collaboration and cooperation across disciplinary boundaries that goes farther than critique, establishes a curriuculum that does more than just offer a history of medicine.

It’s a very short, very good read and, I think, it is also a good starting point for a broader discussion about the role and structure of inquiry, collaboration, and insularity in the future of the university.

Academia is in crisis and adaptation and change are inevitable, we had better face them now and guide them, or suffer the results of our own inaction.

(hat tip to @anitaconchita for passing the article on to me via twitter)

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