November 1, 2007
George Lipsitz gave a media studies talk at Pitzer this week, "FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK:
Popular Music and the Fierce Urgency of Now." He started with some passionate but vague exhortations to get engaged and active now, followed by nearly an hour of music video clips. Nice music, but all we were led to see was a kind of watered-down Black Atlantic hybridity.
Later that evening, an excellent and funny talk by Walter Benn Michaels on his latest book, The Trouble with Diversity. Despite good publicity, Michaels was up against Bono speaking across campus, and the audience was small. He adapted his major claims about diversity and its distractiing effect from issues of real (i.e., class-based, for Michaels) inequality to Scripps, hosting the talk in its "Unequal We Stand" series. You lull yourselves into a liberal identity based on identity politics while really being a conservative or even reactionary force, he said. He proposed no more actual solutions than in the book, but in response to questions he argued that the best academics can do is to admit this and stimulate more public discussion of America's growing inequality.
Posted by johnn at November 1, 2007 7:28 PM
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