Busy… Arts and Such

A lot of ground to cover this week…

So, last Friday, after dinner at Pizza Luce with faculty and friends from the Department of Writing Studies at UMD and from CSS, I went to the Minerva Party at the PRØVE Gallery. Ed Newman gave his account here.

It was complicated for me. As Ed reveals, not every woman involved with Minerva self-identifies as a feminist. This stings me; I work feminist theory (even soft feminist scholarship like Deborah Tannen) into every semester at UMD. Feminism is a lens that makes students aware not just of questions of equality, but also of power and privilege. To deny the term “feminist” feels like accepting the positive statements of equality without, I think, a critical connection to feminism’s power to see the structures of power in society.

It feels to me like an exhortation to health without an ability to diagnose what ails you. An exhortation to equality without a tie to the lenses that help us see patriarchy, privilege, and the systemic mechanisms by which power is enacted over others.

But what do I know? This is not the first time that a young person has insisted that I not call them a feminist. I need to check my own interests in defining others with my terms.

Other things worth talking about: The UMD performance of Quartet for the End of Time. Man, that piece has stretches where it is impossible to listen to. But there are stretches where it is absolutely sublime. I just wish the musicians looked like they were having fun.

Game nights continue apace. Our gaming friends who were engaged posted this story about their nerd engagement. There was a Nerd Nite recently, but I missed it. The Red Herring has ended Dr. Whosday, replacing it with a general SF night, which means my Tuesdays are free. While I love a lot of SF, most of it is dreck. It’s too loose a proposition to me. Any suggestions? Darrin Bergsven still plays on Wednesdays. Life is full, but it feels increasingly rhythmic.

I’m finding myself less and less drawn to contexts with alcohol. I mean, I still love the Zeitgeist, despite recent high turnover in staff. (The folks who knew what I liked to eat and what I liked to drink are gone, I don’t know why. I will train the newbies.) I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the night I drank more slowly than my compatriots and got caught in an argument (gha, given the first segment of this entry) about whether a term, historically misogynist, can lose that misogyny and simply become a neutral word. Was I less drunk than they were, and so arguing differently? I don’t know. I just remember thinking: I wonder how many of the alcohol fueled discussions of academic issues I engage in are as frustrating as this one, and the presence of alcohol blunts my awareness?

I just know I wish I knew more about coffee shops open until at least 10pm. Suggestions welcome. And I would kill for one open until Midnight.

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