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Entries in weeknotes (41)

Friday
Aug232019

Quentin's Weeknotes 8/17/19-5/23/19

This Week:

  • I went back to work at the Yager Museum after three weeks away. So much to do, including
    • getting ready for Hartwick College's Matriculation (which happened this Wednesday),
    • setting up a new exhibit entitled "Art / Politics: Power, Persuasion, and Propaganda" which I curated
    • preparing to teach MUST250: Collectors and Collecting in a week.
    • getting the fall Museum events schedule up and running, including our welcome back reception, The Horror in the Museum, and much more.
  • I finished reading Dave Neiwart's "Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump". It was good, and quite thorough in its charting of the intertwining trajectories of the patriot and neo-confederate movements. But it held little beyond description, and Neiwart's prescriptions in the afterward struck me as short-sighted.
  • I read this wonderful historical article about W.E.B. Du Bois debating a White Supremacist author in 1912. It's a riveting read, as Du Bois made a literal laughing-stock of this guy, but also for what it says about contemporary "debates" with White supremacists and other sundry ethno-nationalists. As someone (who I can't find right now) on twitter noted, commenting on this article, Du Bois shut these arguments down 100 years ago so we shouldn't have to listen to them today!
Friday
Jul262019

Quentin's (bi)Weeknotes 7/13/19-7/26/19

Missed my post last week, so here's what I did over the last two:

Friday
Jul052019

Quentin's Weeknotes 6/29/19-7/05/19

This Week:

  • I watched "Bone Tomahawk" and I have mixed feelings about it. It was gorgeously shot, cleverly written and featured some masterful acting by Kurt Russell, Richard Jenkins, and Matthew Fox (really!).At the same time, it's a grotesque film, revelling in scenes of violence and sadism. It's also not clear to me that the movie has moved beyond the common trope of Native people as Savages in Westerns.  There are some nods that villains are not Native, but it's hard not to see this as a horror movie where the good guys are cowboys and monsters are (not really, but actually they kind of are) Indians, and that doesn't strike me as very politically mature in the 21st century. And the fact that Matthew Fox's character, an unrepentant racist and Indian killer, ends up being heroic, makes me feel like the Writer/Director wasn't able to see himself as an Indigenous Person (to paraphrase Ta Nehisi Coates), despite his clear ability to write rich, interesting, and complicated characters.
  • I finsihed reading Zora Neale Hurston's early masterpiece "Barracoon". It was stunning.
  • Reading up on Hurston led me to "Real Gods Require Blood", a creepy short horror and ambiguous horror film set in impoverished northern England. Definitely NSFW but absolutely interesting:

    Real Gods Require Blood from Moin Hussain on Vimeo.

  • I read the short, fun, and entertaining Artificial Condition, the second novella in The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. The premise of the series is that a cyborg killing machine gets freed from its controlled programming and has to learn how to live among humans in a non-lethal way. The protagonist is funny and acerbic, but also anxious and nervous about trying to fit in with normal humans. This series explores the character's mysterious backstory a bit, while also adding some new meat. My favorite bit is a new character called ART, a cheerfully annoying but good-hearted sentient space-ship, but the whole of the technocratic, libertarian world that the characters inhabit is so richly realized that it's hard to pick just one thing about it. It's a great series and I'm excited to read more!
Friday
Jun212019

Quentin's Weeknotes 6/15/19-6/21/19

This Week:

You are bereft of hips, as also of arms, hands and feet – try bending your neck to your feet! Your smell is awful; you make people throw-up

Friday
Jun072019

Quentin's Weeknotes 6/1/19-6/7/19

This Week:

  • I listened to a new podcast, entitled This Land. Hosted by Indigenous (Cherokee) Activist and author Rebecca Nagle, it chronicles the background of an upcoming supreme court case that will determine whether half of Oklahoma is Tribal land. The basis is a murder and the question of federal jurisdiction, but the heart of the issue is treaty law, and the extent to which Indigenous groups are sovereign nations whose rights under treaty must be acknowledged. Check it out!
  • I helped my folks get the website of their antique shop looking shipshape. Czech Village Antiques is a great, multi-dealer store in the heart of Czech Village in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Stop by if you're in town.
  • I finished reading the third volume of Nnedi Okorofor's Binti trilogy. The easiest (but sort of misleading) tagline would be "African Harry Potter in Space", but it's really a thoughtful meditation on tradition and change, intercultural agreement and strife, and building community. Also, there are Jellyfish Aliens and flying interplanetary fish. 
  • I attended the New York Archives Conference and gave a co-authored paper (with Shelley Wallace) on archives and archaeology. I wish I coud've stayed longer as it was quite an interesting group of folks.