Sunday, May 25, 2014

Anxiety Index: New Edition

Thanks to a colleague at the City University Of New York for letting me know about the  chemical plant fire in Marietta which she read about yesterday in The Guardian.

Yesterday's Atlanta Journal Constitution notes that this was not the first fire in this particular warehouse
According to the local police an EPA investigation found that the smoke from the fire was not toxic.....but there may be some concern about run-off from the water hosed all over the place while it burned for ten hours, as reported by WSB:
Water was pumped on the building for 18 hours, which could have environmental implications. Because of that, the EPA arrived on scene Saturday to investigate.
“There's been a substantial amount of runoff. All the chemicals have run off into sewer rivers and lakes monitoring that as we speak," Ingram said.

On that note, here's a link to Tom Lehrer singing for the anxiety index way back in the day.

Reading Challenged

It's summer, so why not start blogging again? Like most other academics, I've made a somewhat ambitious summer plan. I'm reading for my book-in-progress the cultural history of anti-fascism (on left and right). I'm also updating the syllabus for my fall class on American Studies theory which I'll be co-teaching with a newly minted English PhD, who's awesome and much hipper to current theory than I am. I'm doing an 8 minute talk on representations of prison in pop-culture, which will involve a lot of TV watching with a note-pad. For fun, I've decided to participate in this book challenge set up by blogger, Megan Troup.
  So here's the start of my summer reading list for research, teaching and play.

Book project related :
Ian Kershaw, Hitler: Hubris & Nemesis; Bob Altemeyer, Enemies of Freedom, Eric Fromm,Escape from FreedomDaniel Pick, Pursuit of the Nazi Mind,  Ron Hansen, Hitler's Niece, and other stuff too, including whatever's related to my drafted chapter on the New Left and 1970s-1990s anti-fascism, which brings us to things like Mark Rudd, Underground, stuff about Wilhelm Reich, and even punk rock; as well as some pieces about right-wing anti-fascism including perhaps by and about the dreaded Ayn Rand whose Social Darwinism, romantic ideology, and love for monumental architecture leads to some interesting parallels with you-know-who. But there's only so much one can read in one three month period.

Teaching related:  Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual; Anne Cvetkovich, An Archive of Feelings; Sharon Holland, The Erotic Life of Racism, Kelly Oliver, Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human; Jodi Byrd, The Transit of Empire; Sarah AhmedThe Promise of Happiness; Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics; Sender, The Makeover, HoSang et alRacial Formation in the 21st Century

and then there's list for the Semi-Charmed Kind of Life Summer Book Challenge (which is at least backdated to May 1, so I can count stuff I already read).  I am drawing from my existing work-related lists as much as possible while trying to include some fun reading in there.

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
Louise Penny, A Fatal Grace (Armand Gamache #2) (just finished)
10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born.
Fromm, Escape from Freedom
10 points: Finish reading a book you couldn't finish the first time around. (You must have at least 150 pages left in the book to use it for this category.)
Blush, American Hardcore (just finished)
 10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore.
Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy
15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times' Best Sellers List when you begin reading it.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
Susan Choi, American Woman
15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge. (Yes, you will have to wait until the first check-in to choose this book! So no one will be able to finish this challenge in only one month; sorry!)
20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title. No other words will count—including kids, offspring, etc.—so please don’t ask. :)
 I could read Becker's Hitler's Children which I will need to read eventually, but I don't know if this summer is the time for it.
20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014. (Here are 16 ideas to get you started, but I know there are plenty more options.) 
Ron Rash, Serena (for fun) or in keeping with last chapter of the book, Veronica Roth, Divergent
25 points: Read a book written by a blogger. (Submitted by Jessica of The Tangerine.)
  ????? (I"ve already read Corey Robin's excellent The Reactionary Mind)  perhaps Jeff Sharlet, The Family or Glenn Greenwald, No Place to Hide
25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir.
Kershaw, Hitler: Hubris
30 points: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles.
Goodlad et al, Mad Men, Mad World (finished paired with Erich Fromm, The Sane Society OR Dean Spade, Normal Life

My question to you, random people on the internet, is - do you know of a blogger who writes about fascism, animal studies or affect theory so I can double-dip? Like dude, when is this guy's book coming out?