The To Do List: How I Did

1.  Talk Brittney’s boyfriend into becoming a children’s show host–Well, no.  But I’m seeding the collective unconscience by mentioning it here.

2.  Do the dishes.  One load is in.  I may get another load run this evening if I don’t fall asleep soon.

3.  Dog to park?  Check.

4.  Hot shower?  Check.

5.  Headache?  Never did really happen.  I got the bad mood, but never the pain.  So, I can live with that.

6.  Read Aime Cesaire.  Check.  Holy shit.  So, here’s the deal.  The Professor is thinking about teaching Discourse on Colonialism but she can’t decide.  She asked me to read it to see if I thought she could get away with it.  She’s asked around the department, but so few people know who Cesaire is that she can’t get good advice about whether it will lead to trouble or not.  I hope she does teach it, though.  He makes a lot of important points, but I do believe that the one crucial distinction he makes is that civilization and colonization are not the same thing.

7.  Yahoo was dumping all my email from Chris and Amanda into spam.  I think I have it fixed.

6 thoughts on “The To Do List: How I Did

  1. Not sure what field she’s in or what questions she’s trying to raise by using Cesaire. However, I’ve always thought that Fanon’s probably a bit easier of a go for students (there’s now a very good California Newsreel documentary on his life and work that takes up one class period). I think that Cesaire raises great theoretical issues that are placed in human scale by Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place. (Speaking of books that afflict the comfortable.)

  2. Mail from the future. I have about a hundred spam all that appears to be just gobbledy gook all with a date of 2038.And apparently, there’s just no reason I should live with such a small penis.Bridgett, I will admit to having been somewhat drunk and stuffed to the gills with potato pancakes, so I could be remembering wrong, but I believe that she *has* to teach Descartes and her argument is that one can read Cesaire’s *Discourse on Colonialism* as a direct response to Descartes *Discourse on Method*.Not necessarily as a direct refutation, but definitely in response.I haven’t read *Discourse on Method* to have my own opinion of her idea (though Project Gutenberg has it up on line, so maybe I will peruse it). But after reading Cesaire, I’d sit through those days in her class just to hear her take on it and what the students thought.And again, not speaking for the Professor, but I believe Fanon is kind of the go-to "weirdo" whenever they need an "outside" voice and so she’d like to expose the students someone they haven’t read and aren’t likely to read in any other class.

  3. None of my students here are likely to have read Fanon and they certainly haven’t gotten sidestream Fanon from other sources when they hit my class. That’s a pretty high-class pedagogical problem to have…

  4. Well, you know who’s to blame for that… Rage against the Machine. If they hadn’t broken up, kids today would still hear them rapping about Fanon.

  5. Thanks, B. that was rather well stated. Now, I don’t HAVE to read Descartes, but it is Philosophy 100 (introduction) and so Descartes is rather common fare. I could revolt even more so and skip him althogether, but instead I read the Discourse and not (just) the Meditations – it freaks my collegues out a bit. Just because he talks about the functioning of the heart for almost 1/6 of the book doesn’t mean the other stuff isn’t really important. Besides it’s in the Discourse that he actually says "I think therefore I am." In the Meditations he says "the proposition I am, I exist must be true."Fanon is, in some ways, more accessible, but I do think that’s true in part for what you’ve said. Saying Fanon is more accessible than Cesaire is like saying Toni Morrison is more accessible than Nikki Giovanni – it’s who we talk about more. Cesaire was Fanon’s teacher and is very helpful in understanding Fanon, which may still appear in the class under the section on "existentialism" instead of "epistemology." But I want to use Cesaire’s discussion of colonialism & his history with Surrealism & Negritude to respond to Descartes’ rationalism, which he takes to be universal but Cesaire claims is still provincial, instead of taking the more typical route to the British empiricists (Berkley, Locke, Hume).Jamica Kincaid – that’s a great point. But I don’t know how to teach fiction philosophically, just can’t do it.

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