This is a list of things that keep coming up in my thoughts. It's informed by my reading, listening, teaching, podcasting, and my engagement with psychoanalysis.
Contestatory Intellectual, Rebel, Teacher
- The idea of what it means to be an intellectual (i.e., a contestatory intellectual) in these times. This comes from reading Alice Jardine'sAt the Risk of Thinking: An Intellectual Biography of Julia Kristeva.
- This links to Camus's idea of being a rebel vs. a revolutionary, which has been something I think about on and off for years.
- It also informs how I think about teaching.
- I think teaching and learning are partners, and that the process they create together is messy. However, it seems like right now higher education (at least the parts of higher education I'm involved in) want to take the mess out. There is this strong injunction to make everything clean, clear, and measurable.
- I think that this is being driven by lots of things, but one of the main one seems to be the adoption of asynchronous online programs. These programs are largely about task completion aimed at having students prove mastery of knowledge and skills. There is no space for the kind of random learning that comes from the asides that happen in a seminar-style class.
The phases of analysis
- I keep reading things by J.A. Miller that have me thinking about the different phases of analysis. There have been lots of people focusing on the end of analysis as of late, but I think I'm more interested in the middle of analysis.
- I think the middle of analysis is about making things discussable. If this is not done, it is impossible to reach anything that could be considered an end of the analysis.
- I think the central question in the middle of analysis is how to create the connections for things to become discussable. This is not an easy question because everyone is different! What makes things discussable for one analysand might shut things down for another analysand.
- I want to do this, but it has been so difficult to work against the hustle that people (including myself) get sucked into. It is hard to give time/energy to creating and maintaining a community when you're busy doing 600 other things.