this cautionary tale holds lessons for downstairs workers in the corresponding Mansions of Academe
It’s been nearly two months since I’ve posted. What could I say that wasn’t bad news? But now the Brett Kavanaugh hearings have happened and all hell has broken loose. Women protesting all over the place, occupying offices in government buildings, clamoring for the white boys in charge to listen to their stories and pay attention. The best quickie is the Instagram mashup that has Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction leaning over Kavanaugh and shouting, “You did it!! You know you did it!”
Here is what I wrote on September 29, 2018. I was responding to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Lindsay Ellis, from September 27: As Kavanaugh Allegations Widen, Elite-College Alumni Recall Harassment From Decades Past Students, by Lindsay Ellis. She has said she wants to post it in various places so I figured I’d post it here, too.
The Mansion of the Kavanaughs
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Hannah Devlin and Sarah Marsh report on a Guardian newspaper investigation indicating that a culture of bullying is “thriving” at leading British universities:
Hundreds of academics have been accused of bullying students and colleagues in the past five years, prompting concerns that a culture of harassment and intimidation is thriving in Britain’s leading universities.
A Guardian investigation found nearly 300 academics, including senior professors and laboratory directors, were accused of bullying students and colleagues.
Dozens of current and former academics spoke of aggressive behaviour, extreme pressure to deliver results, career sabotage and HR managers appearing more concerned about avoiding negative publicity than protecting staff.
Their feature-length article goes into detail about their investigative findings and shares stories of individuals who have experienced bullying behaviors in academic workplaces.
When media devote coverage to bullying and related behaviors in academe
This is not the first time that the Guardian has highlighted bullying…
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When I first met Jack he asked what my favourite Beatles track was. Well that changes between about 6 tracks but currently it is Revolution. So I said “Revolution!” As there are 6 versions in the public domain (see below) he asked me “which version?” To which I replied, “the live version.”
Not everyone knows about the “live” version especially in the UK as it was recorded for the Smothers Brothers show in the USA and, unlike Hey Jude on the David Frost show, it was never shown on TV here in the UK at the time. Vevo finally made it available online in 2015. But why Revolution and not Please Please Me, Hard Days Night, I Feel Fine, Drive My Car, Taxman, Strawberry Fields, A Day in the Life, I Am the Walrus or I’ve…
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Seeking the light
Two weeks ago, I highlighted Janice Gilligan White’s insightful and hopeful writings about recovering and healing from severe workplace mobbing. Among other things, Janice’s recollections of obsessing over the details of her experiences capture what so many bullying and mobbing targets go through:
Getting past my own personal circumstance was very difficult for me. I found myself constantly trying to piece together every last detail of my story.
I had to decide how much more time I was willing to spend on all of it.
There is a truth to workplace bullying / mobbing I had to accept; much of what happened I would never know. The destruction of my career and reputation was done behind closed doors of which I had been denied access.
It’s part of common, larger dynamic that I’ve characterized as the challenge of getting “unstuck”:
One of the biggest challenges…
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To read in conjunction with David Bollier and George Monbiot on the commons as an “asset over which a community has shared and equal rights” and Arthur J Miller’s A Union Vision (2011). Re-read Rich’s Organizing: The Arts and Sciences (2009).
Also in Counterpunch
The environmental crisis grows ever more dire but we are no closer to a grand political solution because that requires nothing less than a revolution: we must replace corporate power with economic democracy and war with peace. In the US we are caught between the reckless climate denial of the Republican Party and the opiate incrementalism of the corporate Democrats. One side denies that environmental destruction is real, the other denies that there is much we can do about it. Both serve the insatiable demand for war, power and profit that sends us hurtling toward the cliff. While we must pursue every means we have to assert democratic control over government and capital we cannot wait for a new day to dawn. We must act in the here and now. Take climate destruction into your own hands; join the commune.
Many Roads to Revolution
The “commune” referred to…
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The week before this past week, more of the same. ICYMI and want to catch up on theater — plus a recommendation/introduction to a group blog I think you will enjoy reading and should be following.
Tropics of Meta aims to offer a fresh perspective on history, current events, popular culture, and issues in the academic world. Founded in 2010, ToM has published over 700 essays by historians, social scientists, artists, filmmakers, and creative writers both within and outside the academy, giving voice to communities across the United States and the world.
❝Unlike many academic blogs, we do not focus on a particular subdiscipline or regional or thematic specialization. Rather, our platform is open to a broad and inclusive discussion of issues ranging from cities to technology, from music, food, and film to gender, race, and sexuality. We are particularly interested in urban history, legal history, media studies, oral history, and public history.❞
This week was a banner one in Trumpian surrealism, as the big, wet president vowed that even if all the Fake Ass Friends betray him, Kim Jong Un while always open his ever-loving arms. And a vainglorious “mole” in the White House gave the chattering classes the injection of top-grade Saigon Blonde heroin that they have been jitterily jonesing for for months.
Meanwhile, an arch-Catholic fascist pat of Land-o-Lakes butter is cruising on his way to the Supreme Court, continuing his ceaseless quest to make transvaginal ultrasounds a human right. Mr. Kavanaugh was not completely undeterred, though. No, no one could stop Our Fair Haired Boy from Newark, NJ, Cory Booker, from doing his A Few Good Men bit, or Kindergarten Cop, or whatever.
You’ll like me when I’m mad
Strange times indeed. Aretha Franklin, Burt Reynolds, and the Village Voice are gone. The labor movement teeters on the edge…
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by Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre
Several years ago, during a tenure-track search, I asked two questions – two questions which I ask of every scholar applying for a position with our institution. The first is innocent enough: “How important is racial/ethnic diversity in your scholarship and teaching?” Not surprisingly, all enthusiastically answer in the affirmative. Then I ask my second question: “Which scholars and/or books from racial and ethnic minorities do you include on your syllabus and why?” Here is when the squirming begins, revealing the candidate’s lack of academic rigor.
During one particular search, two of the candidates from different Ivy League schools provided problematic responses. The first replied that regardless of a strong commitment to diversity, they were unable to think of any scholar of color at the moment. The second, grasping for straws, offered the name Paul Ricœur, and then proceeded to convince me why…
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Protests, Movement, and Memory: The Chicano Moratorium
By Irene Sanchez
Originally published on
The Southwest Political Report
August 29, 2018
Protests have been used to challenge injustice in society. The freedom to peacefully assemble is part of the first amendment rights of the U.S. constitution. Time and time again these so-called guaranteed rights have been not only violated, but also met with repression. Today, August 29th, marks the day Chicana/o/x people rose up for social change in 1970 to protest the Vietnam war, that event was called the Chicano Moratorium.
Chicana/o/x people have been struggling to be recognized for generations. We have been struggling for a right to live with dignity and respect in the land that was once a homeland and still is. This land, the Southwest, is also a place where no matter what generation one may come from or country now from Latin America, regardless…
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