Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baby Leasing

I stumbled across this doing research for something else. While I should not be writing blog posts but hauling ass on this last big paper due for this semester's coursework, I couldn't not share this. History is so far from boring that it makes my head want to explode:

The Letter. (Link to Source, Cornell University)

A 1929 letter, from the Superintendent of the Troy Orphan Asylum* (Troy, New York) to the Director of Cornell University (yep, that one) agreeing to lease infants to Cornell's home economics "practice houses." And asking please for 24 hours notice before Cornell comes to pick them up. Holy shit, people... when I was in school, it was dolls, or eggs, or, you know, seedlings. Real babies? Hard core. And very, very disturbing. There's something rotten at the core of domesticity...

* The masthead on the letter for the Troy Asylum reads both: "For children under sixteen years of age, except juvenile delinquents, truants, and mental defectives, as required by law" and "The race marches forward on the feet of little children." I'm not even going to touch these, except to copy them down.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

For Your Viewing Pleasure

I'm working, I swear. Besides, these are both relevant-ish to my research. Yep, that's the story.

1. Gaga's Bad Romance a la 1919/1920 and women's suffrage. Much fun, appropriately white. (Things I Learned This Year include the effects of Jim Crow, including on voting access for non-whites. As much as I celebrate the Nineteenth Amendment, I've had to adjust my thinking, a lot. This is important stuff; why is it not part of the dominant women's rights narrative? Not entirely a rhetorical question.)

2. Angela Davis addressing students at the University of Maryland. Why we need to stop thinking exceptionalism and start thinking systemic. She speaks largely about race, but her points are equally valid for domestic violence, gun violence, hate crimes. These are not random acts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End of Semester

I am officially out of Grading Jail for this semester (hallelujah). I may have some probation (straggling assignments), but my main sentence is over. It was a lab course; there was a shit-ton of grading.

The semester has a ways to go yet, but now it's Assignment Jail. For school: one presentation, one final exam, one short summary paper/bibliography, one substantial term paper, and a 5-day take-home preliminary exam. For not-school: one paper draft (overdue!) for pre-peer-review-review, one conference paper draft, some conference session wrangling. All with various due dates, from immediately to later, but all needs to be done by May 26.