I’ve been on an unintentional vacation from blogging this month.  There are several causes. I am preparing to apply for a few assistant-associate jobs. I decided to prep all my fall lectures because I’ve got so much work this fall. I’ve been trying to stay in New England as much as possible and haven’t always had consistent internet access.  And I didn’t schedule a break from work obligations, so I’ve been trying to keep up with research, writing, grants, students, etc.  Anyway, I don’t often use this space to address such things, but I didn’t want you to think I was throwing in the towel.

So I don’t have a single issue narrative, but a compendium of things to think about (in no particular order):

1. A friend who works in political philosophy once shared a little conference paper he wrote on art manifestos.  It is my belief that sociologists of social movements and culture have nothing to say about them.  Here is a list of 100 Years of Design Manifestos, just a small set of the larger “art manifestos” in which I have an interest.

2. Here’s Caramanca’s short Times piece on Das Racist as one e.g. of Obama era racial hip-hop. I don’t know the band, nor am I that interested in them, but I remain captivated by Caramanca’s interests.

3. I really like the idea of found postcards from lost Royals.  Maybe this book goes on the Christmahanachukah wish list.

4. A fascinating, sobering look at Jewish dead from the Holocaust, making the argument that our cultural touch-point may be Auschwitz but 70% of the Jewish dead were Polish or Russian, and killed in the years before the war. It is a narrative about how historical memory is often erased when the dead are members of a persecuted group.

In shorthand, then, the Holocaust was, in order: Operation Reinhardt, Shoah by bullets, Auschwitz; or Poland, the Soviet Union, the rest. Of the 5.7 million or so Jews killed, roughly 3 million were pre-war Polish citizens, and another 1 million or so pre-war Soviet citizens: taken together, 70 percent of the total.

I think I’ll leave it there for now.  I promise to continue to prioritize my real (offline) life and then to pretend to be remorseful about that.  I’ll be in SF for the ASAs and plan on being at that blogger party.


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