Europe: Amazing and Disturbing

One of the miracles of Europe is the amazing way communication is made possible among users of different languages in the European Parliament. While I do critique some of the outcomes of the transmission model of interpreting, particularly how the success of simultaneous interpretation generates the illusion of speaking in one shared language (which means erasing the differences of separate and unique languages and the worldviews they inspire), the fact that the system works is testimony to what humans can achieve with intercultural cooperation.
One of the miracles of Europe is the amazing way communication is made possible among users of different languages in the European Parliament. While I do critique some of the outcomes of the transmission model of interpreting, particularly how the success of simultaneous interpretation generates the illusion of speaking in one shared language (which means erasing the differences of separate and unique languages and the worldviews they inspire), the fact that the system works is testimony to what humans can achieve with intercultural cooperation.

Occupying the Crisis of Whiteness

The distinctions between being a white American and the institutional structures of whiteness are important. First, the structures of whiteness are 'in' Americans of all ethnicities to some degree, even if only by necessity in order to survive (let alone do well) in today's hyperdrive commercial/consumer-based society. Second: to understand the difference between the genetic-social fact of being white and the institutional structures of whiteness is to realize that the issues raised by the Occupy Wall Street movement are not about white Americans trying to get over or above anybody else. Instead, this could be the historical moment when middle-class white Americans begin to demonstrate a widespread cultural awareness that whiteness - both the personal sense of superiority, and as institutionalized in 'the rules' - is not fair to anyone.
The distinctions between being a white American and the institutional structures of whiteness are important. First, the structures of whiteness are 'in' Americans of all ethnicities to some degree, even if only by necessity in order to survive (let alone do well) in today's hyperdrive commercial/consumer-based society. Second: to understand the difference between the genetic-social fact of being white and the institutional structures of whiteness is to realize that the issues raised by the Occupy Wall Street movement are not about white Americans trying to get over or above anybody else. Instead, this could be the historical moment when middle-class white Americans begin to demonstrate a widespread cultural awareness that whiteness - both the personal sense of superiority, and as institutionalized in 'the rules' - is not fair to anyone.

Dialogue Under Occupation IV

1-4 June, 2010
Dialogue Under Occupation IV
American University, Washington DC

Proposal:

You are invited to participate in an open conversation about the involvement of academics in political activity, specifically the academic boycott of Israeli universities. The facilitator takes no stance pro or con. The question of the roundtable regards the possibility of re-calibration in the Bakhtinian sense of orienting … Read more...

going to Bogota for DUO III

Yep, it’s official.
I will co-present with two colleagues at Dialogue Under Occupation III in March.

Dialogue about Occupation:
an ideological analysis of DUO III discourse

In this presentation, we argue that the “discourse of resolution” offered by such a politically-charged conference as DUO should be conceived of as more than just the transmission of information from speakers to

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released!

Yesterday will be remembered fondly by many. I received the wonderful news from Maria Claudia:

8:24 AM maria: alf was released

Today there are photos on Facebook. Joy in the morning! I would say Alf does not appear any worse for the wear, but no doubt changes have been etched into his character after nearly five months in captivity. Although … Read more...

How NOT to end war

Israel and Palestine may be the world’s best example. News media repeats the fiction of “the Palestinians” as if Hamas and Fatah represent something in common. Hamas follows the breach of the Gaza Strip wall with Egypt with increased suicide bombings in Israel, and Israelis initiate attacks on Palestinian neighborhoods that are disturbingly like pogroms.
What happened to the peacemakers?Read more...

Index: Dialogue under Occupation II (West Bank)

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Dialogue: Violence

UMass will host an extraordinary event in early April: Landscapes of Violence. I approach it with two trajectories, one from the Dialogue under Occupation conferences (DUO 1 in Chicago, 2006; DUO 2 in the West Bank, 2007). The “dialogue” of the DUO conferences is still
“young” (as in, “new” for us in conversation with each other), but I … Read more...

the swirling center

I know its just my peculiar egoism, that brand of juvenile “it’s all about me” self-centeredness, but – come on – it is rather coincidental isn’t it? Top headlines in international news involve Israel and the Palestinians (where I visited last fall) and the bickering of South America’s once-upon-a-time “odd couple” (about which I’ve become interested/involved since the FARC kidnappingRead more...

Persistence will win the prize

Here is the text of the official statement read around the world on February 4th, this one specific to the protest I attended in Boston.
The banner is from a march in (I think) Bogota.
Free Alf.jpg
The anti-narco-terrorism conversation continues. Can millions of people force change? We may have been disheartened – pacifists worldwide could not stop the war against … Read more...