Howard Zinn, Failure to Quit: Reflections of an Optimistic Historian

Howard Zinn, Failure to Quit: Reflections of an Optimistic Historian

Just closing out a bunch of tabs in my browser and…

  • Romeo and Juliet entire play
  • drone captured video of orcas socializing
  • Reich’s “The Economics of Racism”
  • half-watched episode of Parks and Recreation
  • NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel majority opinion
  • Article on therapeutic applications of community agriculture
  • Wikipedia on the Gnadenhutten Massacre 
  • Google: “How often do most people wash heavy blankets?”
  • Article on the birth of the cyber left
  • Henry Winkler’s IMDB page
  • 24 Signs Your Awkwardness is Out of Control
  • 12 different tabs of books I want to read
  • Evil-Level Sudoku puzzle I’ve been working on for like three weeks
  • Dictionary page for “animus”
  • Current issue of Columbia Law Review
  • This gif: http://omitlimitation.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/lrv7v.gif

Welcome to my brain.

Anonymous said: (different anon) It seems like "white people jokes" aren't actually *just* about white people; by teaching stereotypes, they serve to reinforce and police boundaries. e.g. when "white people" are stereotyped as skinny nerds, that implicitly supports the stereotype of black people as large muscular violent dangerous etc.

But there’s the reality that stereotypes against white people, white men in particular, don’t work the same way they do against people of color. At the end of the day, whatever jokes are made about white people, they’re still viewed as full individuals and not reduced to a stereotype. Have you read “Redefining Rape”? It’s a good book and has some stuff on this.

I’m simply not convinced that 1) stereotypes about whites have meaningful impact on how they are perceived as a group and 2) the construction of anti-Black stereotypes or any other racist stereotypes relies on a singular form of whiteness to be socially potent. Whatever jokes/stereotypes are made of white people, they are still viewed and portrayed as a diverse group, a privilege which other racial groups do not have.

-mm

Anonymous said: Hey, for real, teaching and learning history has *always* been a political act.

Believe me, I’m aware. Doesn’t mean that post didn’t make some good points, hence why I reblogged.

When a racist on the bus is able to convince a group of what appeared to be reasonable people that ISIS has infiltrated Michigan and is carrying out door-to-door executions

When a racist on the bus is able to convince a group of what appeared to be reasonable people that ISIS has infiltrated Michigan and is carrying out door-to-door executions

If you ever think historians are a bit weird, you’re right. It takes a certain kind of person to look at something and essentially think, “I bet if I spent years rooting around in people’s basements, I might have a more nuanced understanding of this.”

It’s becoming more and more clear that in the U.S., trying to learn history is becoming a political act

medievalpoc:

The history that you learn in school depends on which political party is in power in your district. Even college presidents are trying to control which version of History young people are allowed to learn.

People can say what they like about Medievalpoc “pushing an agenda”. My point? There is no neutral ground. To tell a story is to have a reason for doing so; to write about history is to shape the way toward the future.

History is much, much more than dusty lists of dates and the names of deceased white men. History is dynamic, interpretive, constantly changing and a living, breathing past we can all see ourselves in. History helps us form our identities now. History is where we can learn what harm has been done, and what we can do to correct it.

It’s my hope that we can all find opportunities here to feel empowered, inspired, and enlightened by History.

History is a weapon.

When I’m chatting online with my partner in gif-dom, redplebeian

When I’m chatting online with my partner in gif-dom, redplebeian

Anonymous said: Any advice on writing a CV for grad applications? I feel completely unaccomplished. Love your blog!

Don’t worry about feeling unaccomplished. If you had already published a bunch of peer reviewed articles, won a ton of fancy fellowships, and written a book, you probably wouldn’t be applying to grad school. Most people’s CVs are pretty thin when you start—where you did your undergrad, did you make the Dean’s List, maybe working in a library—so just be honest. 

Grad school is really competitive and everyone who applies is qualified. Often it’s going to come down to a particular faculty member who wants to work with you or something like that. I applied to nine schools, got accepted to three, only one with a full funding package. I got into a prestigious school I thought I had no shot at and got turned down from a small state school program I thought of as a backup. My best friend, who is without exaggerating the smartest person I know, didn’t get any acceptances her first time around, but several the second time. I was told that my letters of recommendation and writing sample were what got me accepted—most of my experience on my CV had little to no relevance to what I do now.

Anyway, all that is to say that if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, that will come through in your application, and that counts for more than people might realize. Because the reality is that everyone who applies is qualified and most people are going to be at the same level of expertise as you.

best of luck, I’m sure you’ll be great!

-mm

When people ask my position on the rebellion in Ferguson

When people ask my position on the rebellion in Ferguson

Y'all feel me on being a woman in academia, am I right?

Yeah, I'm a Marxist historian and social theorist and I'm sick as fuck of cis-dudes thinking their penis gives them insight into Das Kapital. Working to build a left where Marxist-Feminist is redundant.

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