I’ve barely written at all this year, on my VCU site or on any of the other spaces I frequent online. I think the only online space that’s seen much of me lately is Twitter, in part because it’s so merciful for people who are low on resources. Over the next couple of months I’ll be reorienting where I write and how. Thats…tough. Writing is (for me at least) profoundly contextual. I find my own writing dictates my thought process, and my thinking is a precarious thing. I would love to be the kind of bold thinker whose voice takes one message and one character regardless of context, but I’m not so lucky, nor so well formed.
This is where I’ll be writing for the summer, and for the foreseeable future. I may revert to Tumblr when I need to be less formal or to connect with colleagues there, and I’ll remain a source of endless mindless chatter on Twitter, but I’ll do most of my long- and short- form writing here. It’ll be an easy transition, as no one’s reading me here these days. High-Investment Low-Impact is a good writing situation for me.
My work with VCU’s ASPiRE program went well enough that they’re not yet getting rid of me. Our 2015-2016 schedule was incredibly fun, but this coming year we’ll be doing things a little differently. We’ll be moving away from the reading groups and toward more engaged actions: I’m hoping to partner with VCU Art Ed faculty Courtnie Wolfgang for some of it! Many events will be collaborations between ASPiRE and VCU’s common book initiative, with whom I’m also partnering this year. Expect a schedule by late summer.
This year I’ll also be launching an oral history project in collaboration with my colleague at IU Fidelia Igwe. This represents a number of labor of loves for Fidelia and I: most notably charting and archiving the impact of mass incarceration on both individuals and communities. We’ve had a tremendous amount of support already from incredible people who work in radio, archives, and oral history, most especially Tim Hensley at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. More thanks will come to them soon.
I’m headed back to CRE this summer, but I’m not facilitating a workshop this year. Instead I’ll be receiving training from the Sustained Dialogue Institute on incorporating sustained dialogue into programming at VCU. There’s a lot of potential for this work in Richmond and in our student body. Through VCU’s Institute for Inclusive Teaching I was able to meet with Dr. Adrienne Dessel this year to talk through the program she works with at the University of Michigan, and as it happens their work is housed in UM’s University College, which I hope is a good sign for future work that might be done in my unit at VCU. We’ve already had luck launching VCU’s first Safe Spaces course, which might be paving the way for similar programming. While I’m not running any training at CRE I am happy to note that my co-facilitator from last year and I will be revising a paper this summer for publication in the fall.
Finally, my work in FI will be shifting a bit in the upcoming year. It’s my last year working as coordinator of curriculum and textbooks for our 111/112 course sequence. I’ll be teaching an odd set of courses this year: in addition to my FI class I’ll be running a section of ENG215 (with the topic “Culture | Counterculture”) and an independent study “Biopolitics and the Arts” for a particularly ambitious student from the spring.
That’s it for updates, especially since this new site is low in readership. I’m hoping to check in over the course of the next week during CRE, where I’ll be getting a great deal of guidance both for my work at VCU and for the pending launch of our oral history program.