Category Archives: You Have Nothing To Lose But Your chains

November 20, 2014, 8:12 am

Harvard Housekeepers Strike, Rally

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If you remember this one, you are as old as me.

Citing “pain and sometimes life-altering injuries” acquired while working at the Harvard-owned Doubletree in Allston, housekeepers went out on strike this morning at 5:30 a.m.

What do they want? They want to join a union, something they originally approached Harvard about in 2013.

The workers, who claim they are the first housekeepers in Boston history to go out on strike, are assembling at 9:30 and 5:00 at Harvard’s Science Center Plaza, supported by students and clerical workers.

As an aside, one wonders what Harvard is doing owning a hotel in the first place. Small colleges often build, or partner with hotel chains, to maintain a hotel (Williams and Wesleyan come to mind) because otherwise there might literally be nowhere for visitors to stay, much less a…

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November 5, 2014, 11:36 am

What Would Phyllis Schlafly Do? A Grassroots Education Policy for 2016

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While you were talking about Lena Dunham, Phyllis and her friends were getting the vote out.

You know that political culture is in complete disarray when large numbers of feminists, who otherwise believe that every other issue they hold dear will be put in jeopardy by a Republican Congress, are arguing about whether Lena Dunham is a sexual predator (or not) rather than getting the vote out on Election Day. I didn’t see one Facebook post in my circle from academics who were pounding the streets, working the phones, or driving the elderly to the polls one at a time.

Could we progressives get over cultural politics that divert us from actual policy agendas and electing knowledgeable people who know how to govern? This is the greatest weakness in both parties right now, but in this round it was the Democrats who to…

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October 12, 2014, 3:08 pm

Sexy Darwin

EvolutionI want to start this post, which is really about science and it’s various discontents, by saying: The Nation, a publication to which I am extremely loyal, does not publish enough in its regular edition, or even its blogs about LGBT people. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that it is no longer fashionable on the left, especially among radical queers, to push publications like The Nation to take LGBT people’s politics,or their lives, seriously. Despite the fact that millions of queers are homeless, poor, racially and sexually discriminated against, there appears to be a general consensus that in the hierarchy of global and national suffering, we simply do not rank.

But you do have to credit The Nation with publishing more about sex in the last few years.  JoAnn Wypijewski is doing a great job with the Carnal Knowledge feature, and no longer a backup to Katha…

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September 25, 2014, 4:00 pm

Hello? No, Ello!

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 3.56.05 PMAs if we at Tenured Radical did not spend enough time on Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Skype and blogging, now there is this Ello thing. Ello? Ello is a new social networking site that advertises itself as “totally ad-free. Ello does not sell data about you to third parties, including advertisers and data brokers,” they promise.

News of this Ello started popping up in my Facebook feed last week. Queer academic colleagues were vowing to leave the Big Blue Monster because of a policy that forces San-Francisco based drag queens to use their legal names. It is not just drag queens, and has only been enforced in the Bay Area: I think Facebook is forcing everyone everywhere to use their legal name, but drag queens and friends of drag queens are particularly incensed about it for obvious reasons. Because everyone who is Leftish makes policy with their feet and their pocketbooks…

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September 15, 2014, 11:44 am

Here She Comes, Miss (Zombie) America

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Feminist protesters on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, 1968

In case you are interested, Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, was crowned Miss America 2015 last night. This makes the third Miss America in a row to be a New Yorker. Fittingly, she also bears a remarkable resemblance to the late Joan Rivers.

In case you are still interested, go here to read an incoherent post by a former beauty queen (now a “relationship expert”) about why feminists should not shame the pageant contestants for wanting to be pretty. If feminists don’t like the pageant, she argues, we feminists can send the contestants to college ourselves. Listen, my sweet, we do: it’s called paying taxes.

And in case you are not yet sated with Miss America trivia, you can read about the fact that Miss Ohio, MacKenzie Bart, wanted to be the first…

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June 29, 2014, 11:45 am

Gay Pride: Telling Our Stories

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LGBT Pride Parades are traditionally led out by Dykes on Bikes: in New York, that is the Sirens MC.

Want to tell your story about participating in an LGBT march, parade or demo? Go to OutHistory.org! We love it if you scan and upload pictures too.

Today is the first New York Pride for which I have been in town in many years: I cannot even recall my most recent one. My first march ever was in 1981, the summer following my move to New York. A group of us who had been friends at Yale all marched together under the direction of Anthony Barthelemy, then finishing his Ph.D. in the English Department. John Guillory was there too:  along with Ann Fabian and Terry Murphy (both were American Studies graduate students and not lesbians, though many wished that they were, I am sure), Anthony and John provided adult…

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June 15, 2014, 12:16 pm

School’s Out For Summer: Are You Writing Yet?

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The children in Enid Blyton books were always being sent away: it always went awry in some exciting way, and yet the parents never lost their faith in the soundness of sending their children away.

At least, school is out for most of us. I am coming off a year’s sabbatical, while other people are teaching summer sessions and institutes. I must say, unless I really needed the dough there is nothing I would rather do less than teach in the summer. Nothing. Because summer is for: WRITING. And the summer is for FUN.

The best part of summer writing is long, empty days. One of the most difficult writing problems to manage? Long empty days. Managing free time is only slightly more difficult than realizing that you pushed all kinds of deadlines into June and July, added a conference and a tenure case, and and have…

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May 7, 2014, 11:19 am

Is College Teaching Just a Job?

vintage_circus_posterClearing out a bookcase the other day, I stumbled across an unread copy of The Hedgehog Review that had slipped to the back of a shelf. I was delighted to find, among several interesting essays and interviews, an article by Frank Donaghue that asks the question: “Do College Teachers Have to Be Scholars?” (spring 2012). Part of a provocative special issue on The Corporate Professor, I am sorry to say you cannot click through to it, but here are the answers to the question:

  • No. The connection between teaching and scholarship has been “uncritically yoked” during the same decades that more and more college faculty can expect to work as adjuncts, jobs in which there is generally no time, support or reward for traditional scholarly production. Adjuncting is now the dominant model for college teaching, fueled by the hiring practices of the only faculties that are currently expanding:…

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April 16, 2014, 10:00 am

Never Forget: On the Centenary of the Ludlow Massacre

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The monument at the site of the Ludlow Massacre, located on County Road 44, about 1.5 km west of Interstate 25 in Colorado

On Sunday, April 20, celebrations of Easter will coincide with the centenary of the Ludlow Massacre, a bloody attack on workers for which John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was entirely responsible. On this day in 1914, Rockefeller unleashed Colorado Fuel and Iron Company thugs, professional strikebreakers hired from the Baldwin-Felts Detective agency and members of the Colorado National Guard on over 1,000 workers and their families.

Hired strikebreakers wore the uniforms of the state militia, and together these domestic terrorists launched a day of murder, looting and death by fire. The Ludlow Massacre launched retaliatory attacks against the mining industry all over the state; men, women and…

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April 1, 2014, 8:53 am

Not An April Fool’s Joke: Massive Cuts at USM

les-miserables-poster001In my previous post, I made a reference to massive cuts at the University of Southern Maine. The cuts have sparked student and faculty protests, and an administrative response that is truly scary, both in its willingness to accept scarcity logic as the educational status quo and its desire to impose faculty and staff reductions by intimidation. This includes cutting entire departments to break faculty tenure.

A strong dissent from the New England American Studies Association can be found here. (Where is a statement from the other American Studies Association?)

I have also received permission from Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies Lucinda Cole to reprint her account of the state of things. Some of you may have already seen it on Facebook.

To the ‪#‎USMfuture‬ Student Who Asked Me That Question

At the last three faculty meetings I attended at the…

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