Returning the public to the commons

   We went to the public hospital but it was private, but we went through the marked ‘private’ to the nurses’ coffee room, and it was public. We went to the public university but it was private, but we went to the barber shop on campus and it was public. We went into the hospital,…

Rejecting a politics of inclusion

  “If they come for you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” James Baldwin to Angela Y. Davis   The shock and awe presidency of Donald Trump carries on. With its/his daily eruptions of formal and informal initiatives, the two consistent themes are destabilization of societal institutions and increased vulnerability…

How whiteness appears in media representations of campus protests

  Narratives have material impact. They shape what is possible, and even who is possible. Not completely, never permanently, but undeniably.   A June 4 op-ed published by the New York Times started with the header, “campus inquisitions must stop.” An inquisition is an investigation that holds no regard for individual, or purportedly, collective rights.…

On being disciplinarily disobedient

I am fortunate to be a mentor to several amazing, vibrant scholars. I tell them that I am not always sure that I’m good for their careers, but I’m positive I’m good for their hearts. This may sound like a demurring humility or perhaps the emotional (uncompensated) labor that a woman is expected to provide, but it…

Trump and settler colonialism

The caricature of Donald J. Drumpf, sketched through bellicose gestures, is mesmerizing in its shock value. While this political turn holds and has meant immediate danger to already vulnerabilized populations, it is insufficient to see Drumpf’s rise as a one-off celebrity rupture of an otherwise democratic society. It is also insufficient to attempt to determine…

What we may miss in the misery about DeVos

  From the interests of equity and education, there is little doubt that the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is bad news for public education and great news for private interests. But she is not a recent arrival for venture capitalism in education. We must understand the thorny lineage in which she…