Friendship: An Open Letter to Amit Chakma

Hey Amit,

How are you? Hope your mind is feeling better. I was present during the Senate meeting and turn my back when you came to the mike. But I did listen to your remarks, including with much attention when you mentioned that you consider everyone present there your “friends.” So, I hope it’s fine that I’m writing to you from my personal email account and that I call you Amit.

But you see, it already feels awkward. The previous paragraph would sound very weird for me to write to someone I see as a friend. I’m not saying that you don’t consider me your friend. Rather, I’m trying to understand why I don’t consider you as part of my circle of people.

For now, let’s assume that we are in fact friends. But, in the spirit of academia and essayist investigations, I want to revise our friendship. I proceed in the good faith you mentioned in your “100 days plan.”
When I think about our friendship, I can count only four instances in which we have crossed words:
– Around October 2013, in a SOGS-SGPS meeting, in my position as VP External. I asked some questions directly to you. You didn’t respond my questions; rather, you went into a tangent for thirty minutes and when I tried to say something so we could ‘move forward’ (as you like to say), you didn’t let me talk. (A friend doesn’t do that)
– It must have been April 2014 when I saw you outside the UC and I asked you if it were true that your house has become a “TA shelter” in reference to the April Fool’s Day issue of The Gazette. You seemed lost and said “sure, sure, you can come for dinner.” I didn’t hear back from you about the dinner…
– Summer of 2014 during the TA Awards Ceremony. I was there in representation of PSAC 610 and said a couple of words in the line of “I won’t say much apart from thanking you and congratulating you all for your wonderful work as TAs, but I’m sure we’re all hungry!” People laughed. Then, when the lunch was served (I’m diabetic by the way, but my friends know that), you stood up and said something like “since we’re all too hungry like Jaime we can eat!” I felt ashamed. People laughed timidly and didn’t know what to do or say. Luckily, they did eat their lunch. We were all hungry. I mean, you know how much a TA makes per term, right? My friends do know those things.
– Just a couple of weeks ago, at a gathering for faculty with publications during the last year. (Many of them adjuncts, I imagine you knew). You came to me and asked me what was happening in Toronto. I explained to you about the strikes. I mean, you must be very busy so cannot keep up with all the news. Then you told me “Oh, that’s good, then you all activists will be very tired and will not do the same at Western.” What can I say in response to that?
It’s been difficult times. For me too. I have two kids. (My friends know that). If it weren’t for the UCCB (look it up on Google) and other assistance programs and funds outside the university, Luna and Alejandro would be… no, I don’t even want to imagine. But it’s the true.
Tomorrow night I’m proctoring a final exam. From 7 to 10pm. My students were not happy with the scheduling.
There are so many things to fix, Amit. Many things. But my friends already know that.
I have lost my confidence in you. I tried, and this is an honest email you’re receiving. Writing helps me to think things over.
No, you don’t have my confidence. But at least you should know that. My friends already did before sending this email.
But I do wish you the best luck in your future endeavours,
Jaime
ps – grad students only get 250mb in their UWO accounts. Many times emails get bounced back and communication between faculty-students or students-students can be difficult. Yes, via email.

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(((Trans- & Trance)))

17th Annual Graduate Student Conference | Western University, Canada

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures | Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism

Keynotes by Dr. David S. Ferris (University of Colorado at Boulder) and Dr. Joel Faflak (Western University)

Trans- and trance are ways of life: from transcendentalist impulses in the Epic of Gilgamesh, to Freud’s discussion of the phenomenon of transference, to the rise of transnationalism in modern times, the conceptual import of “trans-“ has always lied in its ability to denote mobility against and across frontiers, positionality along multiple axes, and shifting modes of territoriality within agonistic horizons. Trance almost always followed.

“Trans-” as a concept has steadily grown in importance as a way to inform critical thought and study in many intellectual fields and disciplines.In her 2014 report on “trans-” as one of the American Comparative Literature Association’s “ideasof the decade,” Jessica Berman notes how “‘trans-’ is not a substantive but rather an ‘orientation’ of critical approaches, attitudes, and habits of reading or experiencing”.

The Comparative Literature, Hispanic Studies, and Theory and Criticism programs at Western University invite you to problematize the concepts of “trans-“ and trance at the 17th Annual Graduate Student Conference to be held from March 5-7, 2015 in London, Ontario, Canada. The conference invites papers that engage critical notions of transit, change, and tumult in multidisciplinary contexts, especially those that highlight “trans-“ as a paradigm of dynamic subjectivity negotiating potentially violent domains. As trance culture seeks to reach the elusive state that lies Beyond, so too do the organizers hope that the conference will provide insight into possible conciliatory modes to the disruptions that the “trans-” phenomenon precipitates.

We encourage interdisciplinary submissions, including but not limited to literature, critical theory, cultural studies, digital humanities, linguistics, film studies, visual arts, music, popular culture, architecture, history, and philosophy. Suggested areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Transformation:metamorphosis, posthumanism, science fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, rhetoric, semiotics of architecture, performativity
  2. Trance and the Transcendent:the sublime, the oneiric, the orphic, aesthetics of trance, “the music of the Spheres”, euphoria, consciousness studies, hypnotext and literary mesmerism
  3. Transgression in its various formsproletarian literature, resistance and subversion literature, agitprop, the artist as Revolutionary, experimental literature, the Avant-Garde, the Gothic, queer theory
  4. Transit and Transitions:immigrant literature, displacement, exile, postcolonialism, cosmopolitanism, urban culture, travel literature, border poetics, intersectionality, fluidity
  5. Transsectional figuresthe diasporic writer, the queer, the new feminist, the post- and transhuman, the academic as public intellectual, the digital humanist
  6. Transference:creativity and trauma, psychoanalysis, ecocriticism, literature and epistemology, catharsis
  7. Transfusionlanguage acquisition and development, digital humanities, normcore culture, cultural transmission, medical humanities, new media, pop culture Transtemporal:post-war, post 9/11, literature in an age of terrorism, nostalgia, memory, ephemerality, interruptions, trends, waves, pop-ups
  8. Transculturalism and Transnationalism:hybridity, identity, appropriation, selfhood, folk culture, memes
  9. Transactions:economies of exchange, reader response theory, reception theory, encounters with the Other, linguistic exchange
  10. Translating the trance of the original: translation, transmedial art, photography, Benjamin, Barthes

We are asking those interested in delivering 15 to 20-minute presentations to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to https://www.tfaforms.com/348456 by 10 December 2014. You can also email your abstract, name, paper keywords, institutional affiliation, technical requirements, and a 50-word biography to transtrance17 [at] gmail [dot] com. Abstracts and presentations in both English and Spanish are welcome, and selected papers will be published in an online academic archive post-conference. For more information, please check our Facebook page at Transtrance Seventeenth.

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FIMSGA: A Letter of Solidarity in Support of UWOFA

FIMSGA: A Letter of Solidarity in Support of UWOFA.

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Call for Papers: Conference Proceedings

Jaime R. Brenes Reyes:

Publishing opportunities for Grad Conference at Western…

Originally posted on #BREVITY:

Dear All,

We hope you enjoyed the 16th Annual Graduate Student Conference on Brevity at Western earlier this month. We would like to invite those interested to continue the lively discussions in our online publishing repository.

Submissions should be extended versions of papers presented and accepted papers will be featured on our page (http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/mllgradconference/) at Scholarship@Western. This academic repository, supported by Western Libraries, will also be indexed on Google Scholar. We consider papers as pre-publications, meaning that you will keep authorship rights, and are free to submit versions of your own work to other journals.

Please send your papers to brevitywestern@gmail.com by April 30, 2014. Papers will be reviewed by the conference committee and replies can be expected within the first couple of weeks in May.

Submissions in both Spanish and English will be accepted. All manuscripts must conform to standardized guidelines for formatting i. e. MLA (literature)…

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Book Launch Western University. March 17th, 2014

Jaime R. Brenes Reyes:

Awesome event!

Originally posted on Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace:

simulationThis is an invitation to join us in celebrating

the Indigenous Message on Water

BOOK LAUNCH

Date: Monday March 17, 2014

Hour: 5:00 PM – 7:00 Pm

Location: Chu International Centre

Room 2130 – Western Student Services Building

The University of Western Ontario. London, ON (Canada).

OUR FEATURED SPEAKER IS:

Dr. Carol Hopkins / Nozhem (Mother Wolf)

carol-hopkinsCarol is from the Delaware First Nation of Moraviantown, Ontario. She is the Executive Director of the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, an organization whose mandate is to support Canada’s First Nations Addictions programs. Her strength in the health profession is the ability to blend western and native traditional health & healing practices in a competent and responsive manner.

For more info, please see: Poster book launch UWO

Please feel free to distribute this information widely.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Conference Proceedings, 2013 (and publishing opportunities)

Jaime R. Brenes Reyes:

Conference proceedings from the Laugh Conference (2013) and reminder for the upcoming Brevity (2014) conference…

Originally posted on #BREVITY:

l3

We are proud to announce the first conference proceedings from the 15th Annual MLL Graduate Conference, “Good Laugh, Bad Laugh, Ugly Laugh, My Laugh”. The proceedings are housed at scholarship@Western, an online academic repository supported by the Western University library system, and are searchable through Google Scholar. They can be found at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/mllgradconference/.

The proceedings have been considered as pre-publications, meaning that the authors keep the authorship rights and are free to submit versions of their own work to journals, or to post in blogs.

In addition, we will be looking for papers to publish in the conference proceedings for the 16th Annual MLL Conference on Brevity, which will take place on March 6-8, 2014. Those who are interested in presenting a paper and, eventually, be published can submit an abstract at brevitywestern@gmail.com by January 1st, 2014.

Finally, we would like to thank Jaime Brenes Reyes…

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Full Fees and Empty Pockets: An Evening with Laura Penny

LauraPennyTalk-November14

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November 8, 2013 · 4:51 am