One recent example of how racialized bodies are abused happened recently. At the New Chaucer Society Conference, I spent a portion of my conference tweeting one night at #NCS14 in a “twitter rant” or “PSA.” In it, I related the incident of another junior colleague who had an incident happen to her at one of the NCS cocktail hours. In it, a cisgendered, male, able-bodied, and white junior colleague decided to articulate vocally his surprise that she, a WOC (woman of color) medievalist, had such a “good job.”
Likewise, he also proceeded to school her in how she should be a medievalist by suggesting that she should teach “ethnic fantasy literature” to undergraduate students. My colleague replied, I have neither expertise in ethnic literature nor in fantasy fiction. However, even this clear response did not seem to stop this male white medievalist from explaining her place in the academic world. And her place is apparently not one of authority in medieval studies—where she has completed a Ph.D., written peer-reviewed articles, and obtained an academic job—entirely because her body is non-normative.
Intersectional racism/sexism means that my colleague’s non-normative body will always have questions and “advice” like this lobbed at her (and yes, also lobbed at me). Likewise, no one will ever ask or “advise” this white, male, cisgendered, able-bodied white junior faculty member to teach ethnic fantasy literature or wonder surprisingly or loudly about the fact that he has obtained a tenure-track job in medieval studies. This is a classic example of white, male privilege. And yes, his comments to my WOC colleague are a form of racism (racial/gendered microaggressions). The structures within academia and our field have imagined authority as white, male, upper-middle class, and cisgendered. Divergence from this standard operating body is imagined as a disturbance.
So I have noticed there are a lot of questions about what I do for a living, framed mostly as “are you a student or a professor?” which is kind of amusing because although I’ve been working in college eduction for the last few years, I’m neither.
I have explained this several times before, but we…
Important reminder to profs about making class materials accessible to students with disabilities
“Because it remains at bottom the only element of sociality…in a world in which exteriority, anonymity, and solitude have taken hold, music—-regardless of type—-is a sign of power, social status, and order: a sign of one’s relation to others…Music has thus become a strategic consumption, an essential mode of sociality for all those who feel themselves powerless before the monologue of the great institutions.”—Jacques Attali, Noise (1977)
Please understand that I will continue to write as long is there is one person left on earth who cares, who wants to learn, who is willing to fight. I will post these works for as long as you are willing to see them.
“The United States has more people in prison than any other country and incarcerates people at a higher rate than at any other time in history. Our crime rate, however, is not higher than in other countries or than it has been historically. Why, then, are so many Americans behind bars? The answer lies in the United States’ use of mass incarceration as a strategy to reduce crime, particularly to fight illicit drug use. Yet mass incarceration has not been effective at reducing crime and illicit drug use. It has, however, destroyed families and communities and has exacerbated racial inequality in that the primary victims of intensified law enforcement have been people of color.”—Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach – Racism and the Criminal Justice System (via oupacademic)
a varsity jacket but it has three arms and it’s melting
your football shoulder pads have grass growing out of them and they constantly hum
you shove nerds not into lockers, but into other planes of existence. your football is always singing, singing, singing. the astroturf changes colors beneath you, and whispers the name of every person you’ve ever loved.
Hit shuffle on your iPod, media player, or phone and write down the first 10 songs. Then pass it on. There’s one rule - no skipping!
—Full disclosure, the shuffle on my iPhone is the. worst. I swear I listen to more than four artists:
Who do you think, Interpol
Song seven, Interpol
Be my druidess, Type O Negative
Girls and boys, Blur
Entertain Me, Blur
In Praise of Bacchus, Type O Negative
Analyse, Thom Yorke
I’m just a killer for your love, Blur
The Undoing, Interpol
Dan Abnormal, Blur
“It saddens me to see girls proudly declaring they’re not like other girls – especially when it’s 41,000 girls saying it in a chorus, never recognizing the contradiction. It’s taking a form of contempt for women – even a hatred for women – and internalizing it by saying, Yes, those girls are awful, but I’m special, I’m not like that, instead of stepping back and saying, This is a lie.
The real meaning of “I’m not like the other girls” is, I think, “I’m not the media’s image of what girls should be.” Well, very, very few of us are. Pop culture wants to tell us that we’re all shallow, backstabbing, appearance-obsessed shopaholics without a thought in our heads beyond cute boys and cuter handbags. It’s a lie – a flat-out lie – and we need to recognize it and say so instead of accepting that judgment as true for other girls, but not for you.”—“I’m not like the other girls”, Claudia Gray (via elisabethofyork)
I really love the music community on Tumblr for small underground artists such as myself. I love the fact that alot of internet people and friends are also musicians and are friends with my friends and it does feel like a large family and for that i would like to thank whitecelicamegwilhoiteexguru and lambentleague for making me feel connected to tumblr in a way that made me feel excited and accepted, for the advice i have been given, and the fantastic music i have to listen to. :)
“In spite of its strong Crusader underpinnings, there was nothing unusual about the African slave trade until 1492. It fit a pattern that had existed for centuries wherein slaves from Europe were sold in Egypt, Central Asia and India, while slaves from sub-Saharan Africa were sold in North Africa, Spain and India. The slave trade declined towards the end of the 15th century because the European market was saturated. Lisbon had about ten thousand Muslim and African slaves and could use no more.
The discovery of America changed this picture. It transformed what was up till then a small trade in ivory, gold and slaves into an intricate global web of trade, piracy and politics. The initial objective of Spain in her American colonies was gold. In their hunt for precious metals, the Spanish obliterated the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs of Mexico, the Mayans of Guatemala and the Incas of Peru. Ninety percent of the men were killed while the women died as a result of slavery and diseases brought in by the Europeans. Within a span of ten years, from 1500 to 1510, the population of Cuba decreased from about one million to twenty thousand. When the Mayan gold was exhausted, the Spanish went after the silver mines of Mexico. The residual indigenous population was enslaved and put to work in the silver mines. Working conditions were so harsh that by 1520, the American colonies were almost drained of their native manpower.
It was about this time that a new crop, unknown in the Americas up until then, was introduced into the New World. The discovery of America had resulted in a vast interchange of agricultural products between the New World and the Old. The potato, tomato and red pepper traveled from the Americas to Europe and Asia, while sugar and cotton went in the other direction.
The introduction of sugar transformed America, Europe and Africa alike. Its impact on history was far greater than that of Mayan gold treasures or the rich silver mines of Mexico. To understand how it happened, it is important to know the process of sugar extraction. The word sugar derives from the Sanskrit word su-ka-ra, meaning a sweet substance. Sugarcane is a tropical crop, which originated in the Indo-Gangetic plains in ancient India. Until the 16th century, it was imported in small quantities into Europe by Muslim merchants and their Venetian partners, and found its way to the dining tables of the rich. When direct European contacts were initiated with India (1496), it became more readily available. Demand multiplied. The islands of the West Indies, and some in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, were ideally suited to grow sugar cane, a crop that is labor intensive. Native American labor had been exhausted. Moreover, the Native Americans were not suited for the kind of backbreaking work required on the sugar plantations. So, labor had to be imported.
An extract from Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, PhD on the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and how it relates to Muslim people and Muslim history in Africa.
Although I’m dubious about the last part involving peoples being somehow inherently suited or not suited to “backbreaking labor” (which definitively is not suitable for ANYone) this is a good overview of how economic, social and geographical forces shaped American chattel enslavement of African peoples.
“Students of color are allowed to enter the classroom but never on an equal footing. When they walk in, they are subject to the same racial stereotypes and expectations that exist in the larger society. Students of color do not have the advantage of walking into a classroom as individuals; they walk in as black, brown, [yellow] or red persons with all the connotations such racialization raises in the classroom. They do not walk into a classroom where the curriculum embraces their histories. They walk into a classroom where their histories and cultures are distorted, where they feel confused about their own identities, vulnerabilities, and oppressions. There is no level of liberal reforms that can alter these experiences for students of color without directly challenging the larger systems in society.”—Critical Race Theory Matters: Education and Ideology| Margaret Zamudio, Caskey Russell, Francisco Rios & Jacquelyn Bridgeman (via sinidentidades)