Aug 26, 2009

What I did in 2009 while on sabbatical

Spring 2009: As a Fulbright Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program fellow in India, I gave five presentations on my research on the raced and gendered dimensions of environmental conservation and economic development. The most significant were at: the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore; the Shri Sharada Ashram’s Education Program for Women, Ulundurpet, Tamil Nadu; the Fulbright Conference Kolkata, West Bengal, the Center for Studies in Science Policy, JNU, New Delhi; and the Institute for Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat.

June 11-14 2009. “The Trajectory of post-1990s Black Social Movements in Colombia.” Paper Presented at the XXVIII International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

August 4-6, 2009. “Ethnic and Racial Movements in Latin America.” Invited panelist at the International Conference Civil Society and Post-Colonialism: A debate about paradigms to understand Latin America. Minas Gerais Federal University, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Feb 13, 2009

A Preface to my Blog

A Preface to the Blog
I seldom read blogs and am extremely ambiguous about this one. I’m not sure what its aim is (a review and reflection of my “experiences” in India?). Who am I writing it for and why? I began writing for myself and in that sense it is extremely private. But I seem to recall reading somewhere that any writer, even someone writing in a journal, is always writing for an audience. Now to the extent that I share my “private” writing in a public space such as blog, I must think of the reader or an audience in mind. There cannot be a generic or universal audience toward whom a piece of writing can be directed. A general audience is often presumed to be a western one, one who might need “India” explained and represented. Or as my favorite postcolonial theorists would note this is the Eurocentrism that must be undone. Such “undoing” or “unlearning” is a task of the writer and the reader. Both have to work/read differently. This means then that my “private” writing is simultaneous public and informed by my presumed and audience. But my presumed audience is multiple in that this “blog” may be read by family, friends, and students (who include Indians, Americans – this time I can use this terms because it means folks from the USA but also Latin America!) but most likely not my colleagues (we don’t seem to read each other’s work unless we are required to. Perhaps because we are constantly busy with silly administrative or logistical tasks. OR because we are being “productive” with our own research and writing, (or worrying about not being “productive” enough in terms of getting grants publications which seems to be the only things that the University recognizes as “work” even as it keeps us spinning our wheels on other tasks. Perhaps the blog will be read by strangers and given that I cannot know who these strangers are, I must write for myself and most honestly and perhaps that may resonate with someone.