First week of November

Happy Friday! I sure hope you have had a good week.

Hey, I have almost nothing to report this week.

A reminder that we have faculty meeting on the 14th just after many of us return from NCA. I will get the agenda and materials out to you next Friday.

Speaking of NCA, I am attaching here again the list of presentations which also includes the time and place of the graduate open house and departmental reception. We will get invitations in your box early next week for you to take with you if you are going to SLC.

I want to note as well the hard work nearly all of you have done on the six-year review. I understand the drafts from the working groups are in the hands of the steering committee and they are pulling the report together by sometime next week. I will circulate the report draft to the whole community late November and that will serve as the document for our December 5 faculty meeting.

Based on your suggestions, I have arranged with Cara Finnegan of the University of Illinois and Kevin Barge of Texas A&M University to serve as our external reviewers. We will arrange for them to join us January 27, 28, and 29. The bulk of the visit will be on the 28th. We will offer them an opportunity to chat with many of you over the course of their visit. For departmental faculty, graduate students, and staff if you could limit the number of appointments you have on the 28th and 29th to the necessary ones—i.e. classes—that will help us effectively schedule our meetings.

And that, really, is about what I have for this Friday.

Take care of yourselves, folks. If you are like me, you are continuing to struggle with the tragedies of our world. In just the last weeks, white men have sent pipe bombs to political opponents, shot African American shoppers in a grocery store, and killed nearly a dozen worshipers in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Even as I write this, my body isn’t sure how to hold itself together. I know how these events (and so many others) have landed on me. I cannot know how they have impacted all of you.

But I know these events and so many more do impact us.

I write these words not so much to urge a specific political action (though, of course, vote!) but rather to remind all of us that we see each other. That we can care for each other in the interstices of our everyday life. My office door is often open. Stop by and see me if you want to chat. Utilize the resources the university has—the Employee Assistance Program, Tell Someone—join Feminist Fight Club on campus.

I take some hope in the fact that the department has supported 20 undergraduate students to attend the NCDD (National Coalition for Dialog and Deliberation) this weekend. I take some solace in the amazing engaged work so many of you are doing (Liz just showed me the cover for her early 2019 book on listening and ethics, for example).

For me, I am taking time to take in the monoprint that hangs over my desk. A student of mine at La Sierra University made the print in 1996. She called it The Ever Better Ego. It was inspired in part by the feminist theory class we had together. The print is a mnemonic of the amazing students who have taught me so much. I have been listening to the series of recordings the remarkable jazz bassist Charlie Haden made with some of the great pianists of our time: Hank Jones, Keith Jarrett, and Brad Mehldau. I have been savoring my Chemex-made coffee. I have been engaging the radical fiber and hair art of Sonya Clark.

Have a good weekend, friends.

Yours,

Greg