In an email, somebody brought up Ke$ha– who, it’s true, I haven’t been thinking about all that much– and if we have time on Friday (Thursday for those in HUM303) we should screen this video and discuss it.
It’s the best when the class talks. Groups are a way to get class discussion rolling in a low-pressure fashion. Still, it’s not for everyone. I’d greatly appreciate feedback on whether you find group work useful. As always, if you’re shy use a pseudonym.
Not overstate it, but I think it’s important, when appropriate, for us to disagree. Every opinion and interpretation is not equal. To suggest that they are is at its best a form of patronizing complacency– a way of avoiding difficult work and of patting others on the head– and at its worst a kind of nihilism. (Consider that if every opinion is valid then we are compelled to accord a “fair hearing” to white supremacists or misogynists or other deep thinkers.) Respectful dissensus brings rigor to the work we do and raises it to the level of scholarship.
The course information page has been updated, including a new pdf version of the syllabus.
If you’re interested in gathering some historical context for Allah is not Obliged you can consult the following links:
A post from analepsis containing pdf files taken from Country Watch.
Images of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was instrumental in the Sierra Leone civil war and is on trial for war crimes.
The RUF’s manifesto Footpaths to Democracy. This is the text cited by Hoffman.