air time

Safe in Taipei, and not even jetlagged. Drag a lot of nice green tea on JAL, took a bunch of assorted pharmaceuticals– Cold FX, homeopathics for jet lag, lots of vitimin C, some decongestant to ease head pressure during landing and take-off. I’m a human laboratory.

Much fun flying with Roy and Rita (who took great care of me.) Trying to sort out content for the colloquium we’ll have as part of my residency at SFU next fall. Thinking of calling it something like: “The Time of the Political: Histories, Futures, Presents.” Rita had an interesting book of discussion among Butler, Laclau and Zizek at her apartment in Vancouver, which I browsed while she graded. An interesting question, from Butler (I think): If revolution in the 50s meant agreement among individuals on politics and the point of collective action, what about the present? How do questions of contingency and difference affect the way progressives think and act as groups? ie. If my experience and your experience are pointedly not the same….

Discussion on the airplane: Rita thinks one of the crappy things about the Canadian nation state is that it draws its model of history only from European settlement. What if we were to redeploy other knowledges more attached to the land, as a way of taking care of the environment, and sustaining it. My critique– isn’t that just an idealistic return to the garden? We agreed– wouldn’t it be interesting to have a think tank that considers how to re-engage non-Western models of engagement with the land in a way that is future-oriented, that doesn’t necessarily cling to the past purely for the sake of tradition, or even purely for the sake of rectifying trauma? What would that look like?

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