I want to publicly apologize to Chelsea Manning for misgendering her (using her pre-transition name) in my book BIOINSECURITIES on p135. I drafted the chapter before I knew of her gender transition and did not catch the error in edits. Thanks to Matthew Donovan for alerting me to this mistake. I am mailing a separate apology directly to Manning. My error is all the more severe since I criticized media outlets for failing to use feminine pronouns to refer to Manning in a 2013 blog post. My publisher has agreed to correct the mistake when the book is reprinted.
I’m excited to join the faculty in the interdisciplinary humanities programs at the University of California, Santa Cruz! I’ll be teaching half-time in Feminist Studies and half-time in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.
In response to a number of incorrect reports about my course on the Literature of 9/11 at UNC-Chapel Hill, I published an op-ed in the Raleigh News & Observer. Please also see the statement from the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC, the letter of support from concerned faculty, and the public email about my course from the UNC Provost. The UNC Faculty Council unanimously approved this resolution in defense of the course and of broader institutional protections for academic freedom in teaching. Finally, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentions the controversy in an article in Time magazine.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the building collapse at Rana Plaza, an apparel factory in greater Dhaka, Bangladesh where over 1100 workers were killed due to gross negligence on the part of the management, lax governmental oversight, and the failure of US and European clothing brands to enforce workplace protections. Thousands of survivors and their communities still live with the fallout, facing ongoing trauma and ailments as well as significant impediments to restoring income for disabled workers. Students at UNC are holding a memorial at noon in front of South Building to commemorate the victims and to call on UNC to join the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, an initiative that aims to prevent future disasters related to the international contracting of apparel production to Bangladesh.
Over the weekend we heard of the tragic death of Rosemary George, Professor of Literature at UCSD. Rosemary was an important South Asian feminist thinker and a mentor to many young scholars working in the areas of postcolonial cultural studies and gender and sexuality studies. In addition to her book The Politics of Home on domesticity in twentieth century postcolonial literatures, she convened an important transnational conversation on the history of same-sex love in South Asia, published pathbreaking writings on the social experience of race among South Asian Americans, and completed important recent work on gender in the literature of Indian partition, as well as a forthcoming book on Indian English. See more about her writings here. Rosemary was a passionate teacher with a warm personality, and her absence will be felt across continents.