Friday, June 11, 2010

an excerpt from my "essay" aka elongated op-ed/rant

...I should disclose that I have a strong personal affinity to the notion of global citizenship. My college education has groomed me to believe in it, and to act as a global citizen. It was a combination of exposure to these loose theoretical “metaphors” and also a growing consciousness of the precarious situation of non-citizens (stateless peoples) that my affinity for the ideology has shifted. It seems to me, in a period where the most basic of rights are being violated for non-citizens, the priority ought to be ensuring that at least everyone has the protections afforded by legal recognition of their status - citizenship. If we accept this notion, then it follows to adopt the most readily secure form of security available: national citizenship. The institution of citizenship at the national level has become more elusive, but not less valuable. It affords the right to be protected form the increasingly egregious measures taken in the name of national security. In short, I think this is not the right time for idealism, but for grounded legal activism. What I mean, specifically, will be addressed later in the essay....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

paradox of neoliberalism

if neoliberalist critics are pissed that the role of the state in distributing rights and protections and membership has been hijacked by privatization, shouldn't they be calling for a re-strengthening of the state as the proper geography of rights-dispensing institutions?

instead, sociologists are calling for a "capitalization" on the transformations offered by neoliberal globalization. conferring rights via the 'global city,' or rather, just recognizing that rights are being demanded in new neolib, transnational spaces.

how can they at once critique the inequalities that transnational guestworker programs have created and simultaneously acclaim the post-national membership ideal?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Finals Week

I write to you from the Peets next to CVS, as I muse about my finals week schedule this quarter.

What I've been thinking the most about is how much I miss in-class finals. Term ID's, short answers, 2-3 page written essays. Post-final euphoria, hearing people yell and laugh as they exit exam rooms. The feeling of kicking a final in the ass, walking out and being DONE. Summer, beach, sun, awaiting you as you exit Peterson 108.

It seems like those kinds of finals have phased out of my life, and instead I have twenty page papers and research summaries replacing blue books at the end of each quarter. This blogpost is doubtlessly overly sentimental, and I fully expect that in the coming year I will have yet another encounter with an in-class final, but for now I miss the comfort of regurgitation. In those in-class finals, yes, they are grueling and exhaustive, but you only have to understand events! things! "Explain: Iran-Iraq War" At most, we get asked for a comprehensive essay on "pan-arabism in the 20th century," etc. But in these research papers, there's no cushion or easy fallback on specific events. I have to actually think. A lot. I have to actually argue, engage in the discourses of 20 different books, scholars and their theories.

For now, I'm just missing the comfort of an in-class summary of what "happened" that one time, that one place...

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to feel like as I move into my senior year I am challenged and capable of some higher engagement in scholarship. But it's a little exhausting, no?