In the Classroom
Today was my first day in the classroom this quarter, and I thought it went very well. This is the largest class I've ever taught at the university, and the first specifically falling in the Topics in African American Literature category (my other literature classes have been Topics in Theory or Topics in Contemporary Literature, the latter with major elements of African-American and African Diasporic literature). This class is also the most racially, ethnically and gender diverse, and the students appeared to be engaging with the lecture. I was so excited, as I told C., that I woke up this morning before the alarm went off, and when I was done, I my shirt was soaked, as if I'd run several courses around campus. Now I just need to figure out how to use the "smart classroom" plugs so that I can stream music and images from my laptop to accompany the discussion...
Renegade Craft Fair
Sunday, my cousin Raquel and I headed over to Wicker Park to check out the Renegade Craft Fair. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the fair was superbly organized and range of items fell heavily into a few areas--handmade jewelry; handmade books and paper products; silk-screened clothing; handmade and painted clothing; semi-fine art, often using nontraditional materials; reconstituted and recycled products--with a strong anti-commercial and green emphasis, it was of consistently high quality and very affordable. In my ignorance (i.e., I skimmed the flyer), I'd assumed that most of the vendors would be from Chicagoland, but quite a few came from all over the country, as well as Canada, and by the time we left, I was wishing that the fair organizers had a permanent spot somewhere, a sort of mini-Merchandise Mart, nearby. One of the best aspects of the event was seeing poet, musician and artist Krista Franklin, who had a stall. Excerpts of her collaboration with cellist Alison Chesley are audible on Drunken Boat's issue number 8 online site. I didn't snap a photo of Raquel and Krista, because my camera, a gift from C years ago, has started to act up of late and wasn't being cooperative during the visit. I got one picture, but it's not really worth posting.
Deval Patrick Wins Massachusetts Democratic Primary
He was running behind early in the campaign, but 50-year-old former Clinton administration official and corporate lawyer Deval Patrick has won the Democratic primary, and is poised to become Massachusetts' first Black governor. From what I tell of the Boston Globe's report and returns, Patrick, an avowed social progressive candidate despite his business background, defeated the Democratic Party insider, Attorney General Tom Reilly, and third challenger, businessman Christopher Gabrieli, by a sizable margin, winning not only Boston's wealthy suburbs, but Cape Cod, western Massachusetts, as well as the city of Boston by more than 50%. He now faces Lieutenant Governor General Kerry Healey, who is planning to spend millions of her own dollars to retain the office for her party.
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Richeson
One of my young and dazzling colleagues, social psychologist Dr. Jennifer Richeson, has just learned that she's won a Charles D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the "Genius" award, for her innovative and groundbreaking research on the behavioral and cognitive consequences of prejudice and racial stereotyping. The foundation site has more information on her work and well-deserved award. Dr. Jennifer Richeson, congratulations!