Friday, March 03, 2006

On Rashawn Brazell

I saw this article in the NY Times and then couldn't find it again. But here it is A Year After a Teenager Was Dismembered, Still No Answer

And from professor kim's blogspot comes a post om Rashawn Brazell entitled "A funny thing happened on the way to last week's panel discussion." "Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah contended that the sheer ghoulishness with which Brazell died should have attracted press and public compassion and concern -- because it's quite likely that whoever killed Rashawn is still walking the street. Clarence Patton of the New York Anti-Violence Project noted that several years ago, another young black gay man was hacked to death and that murder also went unsolved and garnered little press attention." (more)

Another no confidence vote

Case Western's A&S faculty voted "no confidence" (131-44) in their president and provost (97-68). Larry S is gone. Case Western's pres vows to "learn" from this.

MAYBE ALL OF THE REST OF US WHO SUFFER IN SILENCE IN UNIVERSITIES (as so many of us are silent in other spaces as well) SHOULD STAND UP.

Lying Again - So What?

See the video on Bush and Hurrican Katrina. From crooks and liars

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Call for papers: Slavery in Contemporary Art. Trauma, Theory and Tradition in Visual Culture

This is a Call for Papers from the CePog (Centre of Postcolonial
and Gender Studie) University Trier

Call for Papers

Slavery in Contemporary Art. Trauma, Theory and Tradition in Visual Culture
An intercultural and interdisciplinary conference hosted by the
Centre for Postcolonial and Gender Studies at the University of
Trier (October 26-28, 2006)

Submission deadline: March 31, 2006.

Slavery, both in its historical and modern forms, continues to be a
matter of undiminished political and social relevance. Since the
1980s there has been an increasing artistic interest in this topic
with a number of artists working on the subject of slavery. The
significance of their concepts of memory has not only emerged in
their call for alternative images of history but also in their reflections
and attempts to come to terms with the after-effects of slavery. In
spite of a prevailing general interest in slavery, however these
works of art and the individual reflections they express have been
met with little scholarly attention so far.

This conference is designed to bring together scholars and artists
from various disciplines and fields of study, and specifically
addresses graduates, post-graduates and junior scholars/ artists.
Its aim is to consider visual representations, critiques and revisions
of slavery in contemporary art. These can be considered as
instances of cultural transformation, denial, and exposure of
historical traumas. In this sense, paintings and artifacts are no
more illustrations of historical or contemporary events but rather
culturally coded aesthetic symptoms. Interpretations of these
visually coded symptoms provide insights into the history of
mentalities and affects that cannot otherwise be gained. This
approach calls for particular theories and methods yet to be
formulated, which also take into account more established
approaches such as postcolonial and gender studies, media
theory, and discourse analysis.

The conference wants to give an impetus to the formulation of a
theory that considers trauma and visual representation from a
postcolonial perspective. The aim is to develop a transcultural
differentiated paradigm of pictures, which allows for the
international interchange of visual cultures of memory. A special
focus will be given to critical discussions of psychoanalytic
approaches to trauma within the cultural studies - with the objective
of checking the colonising impact of such approaches and
counteracting their universal application to all manifestations of
culture. One question could be whether such approaches are not in
and of themselves specific euro-american attempts or strategies of
coming to terms with traumatic experiences.

While the conference focuses on slavery, we highly welcome
theoretical and methodological contributions from other relevant
areas, such as holocaust and genocide studies as well as studies
of the aftermath of armed conflicts. We welcome all contributions
dealing with visual discourse strategies of memory and repression,
projection, metaphorical displacement, and the inversion of

Presentation topics may include:

* Theoretical and artistic concepts of trauma and visuality

* The impact of traumatic experiences on the formation of body
images. What affects and/or bodily experiences do these symptom
formations evoke?

* Besides visual symptom formations, what other (performative,
verbal or acoustic) traditions do exist, that deal with historical
attempts of coming to terms with the trauma of slavery or the
(partial) failure of abolitionism? The emphasis should be on
mediality under which traumas are being dealt with.

* How does contemporary art criticise traditional visual
representations of slavery? In what terms can the processes of
decoding and recoding be described?

We invite interdisciplinary contributions from history, literary
studies, musicology, cultural studies, history of art, media studies,
ethnology, sociology, narratology, psychology, and philosophy as
well as from the arts and all adjacent fields. As the conference will
be held in English, only English contributions will be considered.

Submission deadline:
Please e-mail your proposals (not exceeding 300 words), your
address, and a short bio, by March 31, 2006 to:

Birgit Haehnel
Melanie Ulz

CePoG: "Slavery in Contemporary Art"
Centre for Postcolonial and Gender Studies
FB III - Kunstgeschichte, Universität Trier
Universitätsring 15
D-54296 Trier

Phone: +49 - (0)651 - 201 - 2182
Fax: +49 - (0)651 - 201 - 3850

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where Are the Good Americans?

Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith in The Nation

"Anyone who sees the photographs of the victims of the Nazi concentration camps must wonder how human beings could ever have allowed such things to happen. They must wonder how people of good will could have stood by while their government committed atrocities in their name. In the wake of that nightmarish era, people often asked, "Where were the good Germans?"

After the publication of the long-suppressed pictures of Abu Ghraib victims and the United Nations finding that torture and abuse are still taking place at the US prison in Guantánamo Bay, America has fashioned its own nightmare. We now must ask ourselves, "Where are the good Americans?"

After an eighteen-month study, five independent experts appointed by the UN Commission on Human Rights have just concluded that practices currently conducted at the US prison in Guantánamo amount to torture: excessive violence, force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees and arbitrary detention of prisoners that violates their right under international law to challenge the legality of their captivity before an independent judicial body. (more)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Birmingham Gets New Look at Past: UNSEEN. UNFORGOTTEN

"UNSEEN. UNFORGOTTEN" Negatives to positives everything alabama

On the Passing of Octavia Butler (Octavia Estelle Butler June 22, 1947-February 25, 2006)

I first read about her death this morning on brownfemipower: women of color blogspot

Wood s lot has a fantastic group of postings on Butler's life and writings.


"The Fascist Soccer Star and the Auschwitz Survivor" By Alexander Smoltczyk in der spiegel

Roman soccer star Paolo Di Canio is infamous for flashing the Hitler salute to his team's far-right fans. The mayor of Rome wants it to stop. He brought Di Canio and his Lazio teammates together with three Holocaust survivors.

Paolo Di Canio, captain of Lazio, has been suspended twice for saluting fans with an outstretched right arm -- the so-called "Hitler greeting." Among Lazio's right-wing fans -- the "Ultras" -- Di Canio has been their celebrated idol since. "Ave Paolo" has become a favorite chant in the Olympia Stadium where they play. On this day, though, Di Canio sits silently in the second row, listening attentively as the mayor explains why they are there.

There are a number of incidents to point to. Recently, during a match against Livorno, a swastika flag and a portrait of Benito Mussolini -- Italy's fascist leader during World War II -- were seen on display in the hardcore fan corner. Even worse, some young fans unfurled a 30 meter long banner with a verse rhyming the place name Livorno with the Italian word "forno." The word means "oven." Livorno, prior to World War II, was home to a large Jewish community. (more)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

(Miscege)NATION - The open secret at the heart of US white supremacy

"An American Secret" By CYNTHIA CARR in the NY Times Magazine

"I was 17 when I learned that my grandfather had been a Klansman. I didn't want to know more then, and I didn't want to talk about it. The news wasn't just shameful; it was frightening. I wondered if I could find out too much, if Grandpa could become someone I wouldn't love. After all, this information suggested that I'd never really known him." [...] "Grandpa had always been so quiet, so abstemious and, I thought, so predictable. He worked his whole life at the Marion, Ind., Post Office and, for a hobby, studied railroad timetables. He owned a single necktie that he would wear out before he bought another. He was a teetotaler who did not allow liquor in the house. I don't remember ever hearing a racial slur. But there was also a fury in him that he never showed the grandkids. I heard the stories with some astonishment: when the alarm clock didn't work, he stomped it in the backyard and smashed it into a telephone pole. When my dad got pericarditis as a boy, Grandpa flew into a rage; it was going to cost money.

He was also intensely secretive. He would not say who his father was. Born out of wedlock, he had taken his mother's last name, and of her we knew little except that she died young. He would not say where she was buried. Every year on Memorial Day, he would go alone with three geraniums to a certain cemetery. After Grandpa's death, we looked hard for that grave and could find it nowhere." (more)