Dear all, I am reporting back for duty after a long hiatus. I am very sorry for having neglected my virtual home for so long, but I guess I got mine: my virtual plant died and my virtual goldfish, whom I forgot to feed, got really skinny. I will have to find a virtual blogsitter for next time.
What happened? Let’s see: I finished a chapter, sent in some applications for various potential monetary sources for next year (including a research grant), sent out a few abstracts for conferences etc. and attended an Asian-American Studies conference over the last two days. I also attended some lectures, including George Lipsitz. I was looking forward to that talk, as I really enjoyed his books The Possessive Investment in Whiteness and American Studies in a Moment of Danger. Sadly the talk was spectacularly underwhelming. I got another chance to speak with him during a meeting with grad students the next day, but what I got were sadly still more platitudes that could have been broadcast on Air America Radio (which is good fun–don’t get me wrong), rather than any rigorous critical insights. Too bad. I was, however, utterly impressed with the keynote speaker of the conference whose work I am hereby recommending to all of you. His name is Vijay Prashad and he is truly a great example of what it means to be a public intellectual. He is a historian/diaspora studies scholar, political activist, has published several great books (among them The Karma of Brown Folk and Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting), has published an insane number of critical articles, is a community organizer (used to work here in Chicago with Jesse Jackson), lectures incredibly frequently all across the nation (as well as in South Asia), writes monthly columns for Z Net and Counterpunch, has a nine month-old daughter and is only around 40. Truly impressive.
Apart from that nothing really happened in my life and I have to admit that I have no idea what happened in the world, so I will make this a short post today. I will, however, return to the Baudrillard strand I have neglected for too long and write something there. Haven’t been a good host, I must admit. Tea and crumpets anyone?
So: I will try and post daily again from now on, but you might have to deal with thoughts from/on my dissertation for a while, as I have to finish another chapter within the next, well, 10 days (it’s already 50% done, so I hope it won’t be as bad as the other one–you never know, though, the other chapter was also supposed to be shorter and ended up being 90 pages long). Sorry again for the long silence. It was sadly necessary. So everybody who is interested can now meet me over at the Baudrillard strand where I will continue posting while listening to Mainz vs. Bremen on phonostar.