Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ghosts, Monsters and the UCSD

Just wanted to let everyone know about a conference that our department is hosting next weekend, titled Crossing Borders 2007: Ghosts, Monsters and the Dead. The three of us will be presenting along with dozens of other graduate students. Although the three of us won't all be on the same panel, we'll be presenting the papers that we are working on for the big Indigenous Studies Conference later this year.



5th Annual Conference of Ethnic Studies in California co-sponsored by:
Department of Ethnic Studies and California Cultures in Comparative Perspective,
University of California, San Diego
Program in American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday March 2 – 4, 2007
University of California, San Diego

Do you have this frightening sensation that issues of race and ethnicity are being erased from public and academic discourse? This might explain why on college campuses around the country, Ethnic Studies scholars and students are often regarded as either monsters or boogeymen providing an unsettling presence. The discipline itself is often treated as a ghostly world, populated by howling specters that refuse to relinquish the sins of the past, and have therefore not been properly laid to rest. Given this declining significance of race both as an analytical tool and an object of public discussion, both the work Ethnic Studies scholars produce and the communities they are engaged with appear to be banished to an obscene world, beyond intellectual mapping or recognition, which enters into the political in an almost horrific fashion.

Within this obscene world we find three key figures, ghosts, the dead, and monsters, which are not simply anachronistic grotesque echoes of an abstract past, but rather crucial reflections of the present moment. There are the ghosts, which always embody a violence that the nation struggles to forget, and create a persistent anxiety in their resistance to their “necessary” exorcism. Then there are the walking dead, forms of bare life, which exist as objects producing sovereignty, and whose only recognition lies in the calculus of domestic tragedy or international genocide. Lastly, there are the monsters, “unnatural” existences which mark a lack of rationality, and therefore defy belief and justify violence.

The focus for the 2007 Crossing Borders Conference is to present papers that go beyond an engagement at the level of a formal absence, and instead engage at the level of this obscene world, by interrogating the horrifying themes of Ghosts, Monsters, and The Dead. This conference will feature the work of graduate students in Ethnic Studies and related disciplines which comprise critical inquires which either directly or indirectly relate to these domains of “terror,” and how they are deployed, produced, and contained in processes of racialization.

For updates, more information, and a list of presenters please head to the conference website:
Or email:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Onward Indigenous Soldier

Scary and cute!

Madel, Miget and I met at my apartment yesterday to record a podcast. We were inspired by my son Leroy's toys to play dress up, and then we were inspired to talk about religion. We are also excited about the upcoming Indigenous Studies meeting at the University of Oklahoma where we are presenting in May and I tried to get my Karaoke Revolution game up for a grand finale but it was not very grand. We leave you with the hope of better songs ahead and hey, February cannot last forever. I don't know about you, but I am done!

Ready for battle

Friday, February 02, 2007

Harry Potter and the Indigenous of Azkaban! Podcast #7 is here!

It's been too long! In this podcast we promise to never stop singing, Miget has some good news and we talk about setbacks, and overcoming them. Madel touches the heart and talks about home. It's popular culture, decolonization, sovereignty, the military and whatever else we can think of. It's good to be back, we'll be putting another one together next week! Just click the title or subscribe by clicking the chicklet in sidebar.