My Beautiful Wickedness


It’s 9 pm and I’ve got a couple of choices.
September 7, 2007, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I got home about two hours ago (a 12-hour day on campus, up at 5) and immediately had to run out to pick up my new glasses. I look like an alien librarian, which could be sexy maybe if I work it a little. But I hadn’t really had anything to eat since breakfast and between my husband wanting to share his new Paul McCartney album (this is a big deal to him, but not so much to me) and my kid urgently wanting to explain the intricate plot of her latest favorite book and the restaurant noise and the ringing in my ears (is that fatigue? is that dehydration? is that high bp? is it the beginnings of tinnitus?) and the cellphone chatter from the person behind us, I was in rough shape. I feel like Stretch Armstrong.

But now I’m back home and for the first time in sixteen hours, I’m completely by myself in a quiet place. I have a buttload of work to do. I have my tenure app to finish up, I have an book chapter proposal to write, I have some assignments to grade and an assignment to write. I have a five-year program plan to draft by Tuesday and a faculty line proposal to submit (also by Tuesday) and meeting minutes to write up from the WST meeting today. I have two letters of recommendation to write.

I really really really want to finish Ned Blackhawk’s Violence over the Land, which has been tremendously helpful so far in catalyzing some of my
thinking about violence as a technology of colonialism in settler-states like the US and the ways that violence is
interpolated into daily structures of interaction so that it no longer has to be sanguinary to be effective. My students
are loving this book so far and it’s stimulated some good questions (and many not so good, except insofar as we’re trying to
create a fear-free classroom where people can work through some of the racism of received “knowledge” about American Indian history…so yeah, I get some doozies) about accomodation, acculturation, resistance, complicity of the Utes
with the Spanish. I am not yet going with his whole theory of the deformation of Ute and Shoshone society through repetitive trauma…but I haven’t read the whole book yet and so I will try not to let my “argh, could we just give the French theory about trauma and the damaged body a rest?” get in the way here. I suspect that there’s some racism in my “why do we need to do this big theory song and dance about Indian history?” or what I’m referring to as my biggotty “isn’t theory to analyze the problems of emotionally complicated whitey, Prof. Blackhawk?” attitude. The unlearning just never stops, does it?

And if I wasn’t reading that, I’d want to read this, something that blogger SaraSpeaking has been assigned in her class: Rosemarie Garland Thompson’s “Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory,” NWSA Journal 14:3 (2002). We’re trying to rethink our curricular offerings and to me, disability studies is a fundamental part of what we ought to be doing, but when
I tried to defend my position today, I think I could have been a lot clearer. (Leave to one side that we have no one
on our faculty full-time who does what one might even generously call disability studies and the guy that
they have on staff who has a PhD in disability history isn’t teaching disability history per se…)

All these choices. Would it be wrong of me to say that all I really want to do is to go to bed?

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4 Comments so far
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Not wrong at all. You’ve had a rough day. All the work (and the fun stuff) will be there tomorrow, and you’ll be better able to deal with them if you’re rested.

(Granted, I’m sure this is a moot point by now… but still.)

Comment by magniloquence

I hope you did get some rest….

Comment by imfunny2

Rest. It’s a waste of time to read anything important when you’re wrung out.

Also, little known fact: new glasses resent immediate heavy-duty work. Let them watch a movie with you first, or view paintings in a gallery someplace, or at least relax on your nightstand. Then they’ll work better for you.

Comment by Penny

Hah, nah, I put off reading that article until after I’d had a decent night’s sleep. 🙂 But if you ever get a hankerin’ I’d definitely recommend it; it’s kind of entry-level to begin with, but gets meaty fast, and a lot of the things Garland-Thomson has to say about the intersections of disability and femaleness are just really, really interesting.

Comment by baby221




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