I’m headed to Atlanta tomorrow for the annual meeting of the AAR/SBL (#aarsbl15). I’ll be on three panels, so here’s a sneak peek of each my talks. I’m discussing the 1920s Klan, labor, and academic freedom, which is a lot of ground to cover in one weekend.
Please feel free to say “hello,” especially all of you religious studies tweeps. It is always nice to meet folks in real time.
A21-102 Birth of A Nation A Century Later (Saturday, 9:00-11:00 am)
From “Birth of the Klan’s Nation”: The cross burned on top of Stone Mountain marked the beginning of a new Klan fighting to save a white Protestant nation….The robes and the fiery cross, the most recognizable artifacts of the Klan, materialized the order’s commitment to Protestantism and 100% Americanism. The Klan’s material culture tells the story of both their popularity and decline 100 years later. Their shared vision of white Protestant nation defended by Knights in robes no longer appeals as it once did, but it lingers still.
A21-201 How the University Works: A Roundtable on Labor in Religious Studies (Saturday, 1:00-3:30 pm)
From “Academic Waste”: Yet, after I finished the first chapter of How the University Works, I realized how wrong, and arrogant, I was. What I accepted as facts about how higher ed functions prove to only be assumptions. Bousquet demonstrates that the job market is not actually a proper market but an illusion of one, which relies upon the casualization of labor for universities and colleges to run.
A22-105 Academic Freedom in Peril–And What to Do About It (Sunday, 9:00-11:30 am)
From “Silence and Speech”: As I considered my response to this panel on academic freedom at the AAR, those two sentences from Lorde repeated in my head. I worked on other papers. I meet my deadlines. I built Lego castles with my kids, but her words wouldn’t dissipate. They captured my attention in the quiet. Were her words revelation, warning, or a strange mishmash of both? That silence doesn’t afford us any protection became the necessary beginning for my remarks on academic freedom in an age of contingency and precarity. Silence and the freedom to speak. Speech and the attempts to curtail it.