Lights and Camera — Sunshine Laws and Shining Lights.
Few national political institutions open their doors to audio and camera and then shut them back down again, no matter how long our historic pandemic lasts.
Long before I knew that William Howard Taft designed the 1930 Supreme Court building and helped pass some of the most important reforms as the Chief Justice (his preferred position over the presidency), I got to wander the halls of the House of Representatives as a page in the late 1970s. I tried not to spend too much time underground (so I got stuck at the end of the day with errands as punishment, which was fine by me).
We went to school in the Cupola of the Library of Congress. I got to be the M.C. with the majority leader and future (now seen as corrupt) Speaker of the House, Jim Wright — who looked at me like I was “crazy” for suggesting that his tip to me would be to “imagine everyone in their underwear.”
Oh, and Jimmy Carter had already tipped my hat in the Rose Garden after I ratted out the corruption of the Capitol Page School. At the State of the Union address, my own congressman got drunk and called me “Ruthie” and we all lifted a bit of the new carpet for our scrapbooks, knowing that television was next.
I had to plead with my mother two years in a row, and Congressman William Ketchum finally gave us a couple of minutes and told her to let me apply. I’d never win the essay contest — he had no seniority, he had no standing — and this was the better way to shut me up.
I had the feeling that he felt sorry for my mom, though he was far from the first authority figure trying to shut me up — that distinction goes to the junior-high principal when I was 12, and before that to my mother’s siblings and her father. Plus I got to interview Ronald Reagan after he got denied the nomination in 1976 and the family thought that was a coup. I could only see how purple his hair really was.
And by the time I prepared to go to Claremont Men’s College — while our relatives established Brown University (in its pre–Rhode Island days) — Ketchum was dead (dropped dead on the tennis court). Then Congressman Chuck Grassley called my mom to say she should be proud of me.
We got briefed by the CIA, the FBI, and other types of security to watch out for cockroaches tossed down from the galley, and to look out for big and small packages that might carry explosives — we were, after all, overseen by the office of the Doorkeeper.
My mother’s bargain was that I agreed to be banned from going to any “corrupt” East Coast establishment, especially the Ivies. (Most of the 125 pages chose to go to “the city” or “the country,” which in California means Stanford or Cal, respectively; it had a different meaning on the East Coast.) The agreement was: no application to the dangerous-for-women Stanford, and why would you want to go to a college filled with engineers? No going to her alma mater, UC Berkeley; I could transfer there, but I decided going to England and Yugoslavia would be more fun than heading up to northern California.
My mom wanted me to go to Scripps (she regretted going to Cal and leaving Mills). It was only by the skin of my teeth on the campus interview that the Claremont-wide student tour guide said Claremont Men’s College was a better place for me, being interested in politics.
So that I don’t digress, let me leave it like a westerner. Once an institution gets a new carpet, they get new drapes, and the Supreme Court — thank goodness — is opening its doors to video. It’s catching up to the 1970s.
I, for one, will watch this even if I don’t watch the two hours of White House TV, DJT (reverse acronym, since I can’t punish my fingers to type the words).
PSC72009/Hist74900/WSC 81000-10 Spring 2020*Gender, Race, and American Political Development:American Dream or American Dread?
Tuesdays 11:45 AM-1:45 PM until March 10, then remote via Slack (see announcements)
David Waldstreicher 5411.09 Office Hour Tues 2:00-3:00 (remote and by appointment)
Ruth O’Brien 5200.01 Office Hour Tues. 2:00-3:00 (remote, and by appointment)
Course Overview: This course examines to what extent, in what ways, are exceptionalist understandings of U.S. political traditions a problem or a solution? Do accounts that stress race, or gender, or the confluence of the two, provide a necessary or sufficient theory or counter-narrative of political development? Do frameworks developed in European politics, in critical theory, in postcolonial thought, or in domestic vernaculars comprehend the roles of race and gender, or their relationship to each other, in the political past and political time now? What kinds of analytical scholarship and storytelling have been adequate to the task? Finally, given the recent resurgence of angry and martial rhetoric at the center of national politics, how might we understand the relationship between the revolutionary or Enlightenment dreams of justice, peace, freedom and progress, on the one hand, and the recurrent dread or nightmare of decline and oppression, as shaping facts of specifically political traditions?
•Weekly brief (1-2 pp.) reflections on the readings.
•A term paper of 12-15 pages, due May 8, that may take one of the following forms:
•A historiography or “literature review” that takes as its subject one of the week’s readings and incorporates the recommend readings and possibly others as well.
•A research paper according to the expectations of one’s discipline or the course one is registered for (political science, history, women’s studies etc.)
•A proposal for a more substantial research project. Consult with one of the instructors about expectations according to disciplinary specificities.
A 2-3 page PROPOSAL for term final paper is due on March 31.
Schedule and Readings
1 Jan. 28 Introduction: a discipline counts: histories (social, intellectual, political, economic, material, cultural); APD meets APT; theories of living and dead thinkers, significant social theory.
2 Feb. 4 Defining Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Concepts: Definition of APD methods (historical institutionalism, regimes, epistemic communities); APD meets APT; APT themes, including settler political theory, West/Imperialism, Migration/Immigration
Reading: Stephen Skowronek & Karen Orren, The Search for American Political Development (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004) chps. 1-2; Rogers M. Smith, “Ideas and the Spirals of Politics: The Place of American Political Thought in American Political Development,” American Political Thought 3 (Spring 2014), pp. 126-136; Jeffrey Checkel, Jeffrey Friedman, Matthias Matthijs, and Rogers Smith, “Roundtable on Ideational Turns in the Four Sub-Disciplines of Political Science,” Critical Review, Vol. 28, Issue 2, (2016), 171-202 [Read Rogers Smith only]; Brian J. Glenn, “Louis Hartz’s Liberal Tradition in America as Method.” Studies in American Political Development 19, no. 2 (2005): 234–39.
Recommended: Rogers M. Smith, “Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hartz: The Multiple Traditions in America,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 87, No. 3 (Sep., 1993): 549-566; Giacomo Gambino “‘Our End Was in Our Beginning’: Judith Shklar and the American Founding,” American Political Thought 8 (Mar 2019): 202-30; Ruth Abbey, “The Political Thought of America’s Founding Feminists, by Lisa Pace Vetter,” American Political Thought 7 (Sep 2018): 671-73; Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (New York: Nation Books, 2016): Chapters 1-4, pp. 1-57; Paul Pierson, “The Study of Policy Development,” Journal of Policy History 17 No. 1(2005): 34-51; Robert Lieberman, “Ideas, Institutions, and Political Order: Explaining Political Change,” American Political Science Review 96, No. 4 (2002): 697-712; Rogan Kersh, “Rethinking Periodization? APD and the Macro-History of the United States,” Polity 37: 4 (Oct. 2005), pp. 513-522; Aili Mari Tripp, “Historical Perspectives in Comparative Politics and Gender Studies.” Politics & Gender 3, no. 3 (2007): 397–408.
3. Feb. 11 Settler Political Thought: Land, Dispossession, Revolution, and Empire
Reading: Aziz Rana, “Introduction: Liberty and Empire in the American Experience” The Two Faces of American Freedom (Harvard UP, 2010), 1-19; Jack P. Greene, “The Symbiotic Relationship between Liberty and Inequality in the Cultural Construction of Colonial British America and the United States: An Overview,” American Political Thought 5 (Fall 2016), 549-66; Craig Yirush, “The Idea of Rights in the Imperial Crisis,” Social Philosophy & Policy 29 (Jul 2012): 82-103; Carole Shammas, “Anglo-American Household Government in Comparative Perspective,” William and Mary Quarterly 52 (Jan. 1995), 104-45.
Recommended: Aziz Rana, “Settler Revolt and the Foundations of American Freedom,” The Two Faces of American Freedom, ch. 1, pp. 20-98; Nancy Isenberg,” Taking Out the Trash: Waste People in the New World” and “John Locke’s Lubberland: The Settlements of Carolina and Georgia” ch. 1& 2 of White Trash: The Four-Hundred-Year History of Class in America (Viking, 2016), 18-63; David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (2004); Peter S. Onuf, “American Exceptionalism and National Identity,” American Political Thought 1:1 (Spring 2012), 77-99
4 Feb. 18 Constituting the Republic
Reading: David Waldstreicher, “The Mansfieldian Moment: Slavery, the Constitution, and American Political Traditions,” Rutgers Law Journal 43 (2013), 471-86; Jan Ellen Lewis, “What Happened to the Three Fifths Clause: The Relationship Between Women and Slaves in Constitutional Thought, 1787-1866,” Journal of the Early Republic 37 (Spring 2017), 1-46; Joshua Simon, “Alexander Hamilton in Hemispheric Perspective,” The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought (Cambridge UP, 2017), 48-88; Gregory Ablavsky, “The Savage Constitution,” Duke Law Journal 63 (June 2014), 999-1089
Recommended:Sanford V. Levinson, “On the Inevitability of ‘Constitutional Design,’” 48 Arizona State Law Journal 249 (2016); Elvin T. Lim, “Political Thought, Political Development, and America’s Two Foundings,” American Political Thought 3 (2014),146-56; David Waldstreicher, Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification (2009); Max Edling, “Peace Pact and Nation: An International Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States,” Past and Present 240 (Aug. 2018), 267-303; David Brian Robertson, The Original Compromise (Oxford U. Press, 2013).
5. Feb. 25 Settlers: Labor(ing)
Reading:Christopher Tomlins, “Law, Population, Labor” in Tomlins and Grossberg eds., The Cambridge History of Law in America (Cambridge UP, 2008), 211-52; David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (New York: Verso, 1991), chapters 3-4, pp. 43-92; Nancy Isenberg, “Pedigree and Poor White Trash: Bad Blood, Half-Breeds, and Clay-Eaters” and “Cowards, Poltroons, and Mudsills: Civil War as Class Warfare” chapters 6 and 7 of White Trash: The Four-Hundred-Year History of Class in America (Viking, 2016), pp. 135-73; Gunther Peck, “Labor Abolitionism and the Politics of White Victimhood: Rethinking the History of Working-Class Racism,” Journal of the Early Republic 39 (Spring 2019), 89-98; Gordon, Jane Anna, and Keisha Lindsay. “Black on Red: Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth-Century New World Black Interpretative Uses of Native American Political Experience.” The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 4, no. 2 (2019): 324–51.
Recommended: Barbara Fields, “Slavery, Race and Ideology in the United States” (1990/2011) in New Left Review (1990) or in Barbara Fields and Karen Fields, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life; David F. Ericson, “The United States Military, State Development, and Slavery in the Early Republic.” Studies in American Political Development 31, no. 1 (2017): 130–48; Dana Frank, “White Working-Class Women and the Race Question.” International Labor and Working-Class History 54 (1998): 80–102; Catherine Carstairs, “Defining Whiteness: Race, Class, and Gender Perspectives in North American History.” International Labor and Working-Class History 60 (2001): 203–6.
6. March 3 Democracy in Theory and Practice
Reading:Reeve Huston, “Rethinking the Origins of Partisan Democracy in the United States, 1795-1840” in Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith eds., Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War (2016), 46-71; Andrew W. Robertson, “Jeffersonian Parties, Politics and Participation: The Tortuous Trajectory of American Democracy” in Peart and Smith eds., Practicing Democracy, 99-122; Honor Sachs, Home Rule: Households, Manhood, and National Expansion on the Eighteenth-Century Kentucky Frontier (Yale UP, 2015), Introduction and ch. 5 (pp. 1-12, 120-43); Laura Edwards, “The Legal World of Elizabeth Bagby’s Commonplace Book: Federalism, Women, and Governance,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (Dec. 2019), 504-23; John L. Brooke, “Patriarchal Magistrates, Associated Improvers, and Monitoring Militias: Visions of Self-Government in the Early American Republic, 1760-1840” in Peter Thompson and Peter S. Onuf eds., State and Citizen: British America and the Early United States (UP of Virginia, 2013), 178-217
Recommended:David Waldstreicher, “The Nationalization and Racialization of American Politics: Before, Between, and Beneath Parties, 1790-1840” in Anthony J. Badger and Byron E. Shafer eds., Contesting Democracy: Structure and Substance in American Political History, 1775-2000 (University Press of Kansas, 2001), 37-63; Aziz Rana, “Citizens and Subjects in Postcolonial America,” The Two Faces of American Freedom, ch. 2, 99-175; Adam Dahl, Empire of the People: Settler Colonialism and the Foundations of Modern Democratic Thought (2017); Alvin B. Tillery, Jr., “Tocqueville as Critical Race Theorist: Whiteness as Property, Interest Convergence, and the Limits of Jacksonian Democracy” Political Research Quarterly 62, No. 4 (Dec., 2009); Rosemarie Zagarri, Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic (2009)
7. March 10 Settlers: Migrating and Warring
Reading:Jason M. Opal, “General Jackson’s Passports: Natural Rights and Sovereign Citizens in the Political Thought of Andrew Jackson, 1780s-1820s,” Studies in American Political Development 27 (2013): 69-85; Laurel Clark Shire, “Turning Sufferers into Settlers: Gender, Welfare, and National Expansion in Frontier Florida,” Journal of the Early Republic 33 (2013); Anna O. Law, “Lunatics, Idiots, Paupers, and Negro Seamen—Immigration Federalism and the Early American State.” Studies in American Political Development 28, no. 2 (2014): 107–28; Paul Frymer, “‘A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours’: Territorial Expansion, Land Policy, and U.S. State Formation,” Perspectives on Politics 12: 1 (March 2014), pp. 119-144
Recommended: Michael Paul Rogin, “Liberal Society and the Indian Question,” Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian (1975), 3-15; Nicole Eustace, 1812: War and the Passions of Patriotism (2011), especially ch. 1 and 5; Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton, The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000 (2010); Theda Skocpol, Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992).
———————- Remote Instruction begins via Slack
8. March 17 Racial Orders, Mobility, and (Second) Civil War/Revolution/Reconstruction
Reading:Van Gosse, “Racial Orders in the United States, 1790-1860,” Journal of the Early Republic, forthcoming Spring 2020; Gautham Rao, “The Federal Posse Comitatus Doctrine: Slavery, Compulsion, and Statecraft in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America,” Law and History Review 26 (Spring, 2008), pp. 1-56; Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War (2016), Introduction and ch. 2 “Becoming Mobile in an Age of Segregation,” pp. 1-9, 44-75; Amy Dru Stanley, “The Sovereign Market and Sex Difference: Human Rights in America” in Sven Beckert and Christine Desan, American Capitalism: New Histories (Columbia UP, 2018), 140-69.
Recommended: Gautham Rao, “The State the Slaveholders Made: Regulating Fugitive Slaves in the Early Republic” in T. Freyer and L. Campbell eds., Freedom’s Conditions in the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands in the Age of Emancipation (Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2011), 88-108; Kate Masur, “State Sovereignty and Migration Before Reconstruction,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (Dec. 2019); Nancy Isenberg, Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America (1998); Carole Shammas, “The Household’s Civil War in an Era of Domestic Bliss,” A History of Household Government in America (UP of Virginia, 2001), ch. 5, pp. 108-44;l Woody Holton, “Equality as Unintended Consequence: The Contracts Clause and the Married Women’s Property Acts,” Journal of Southern History (May 2015), pp.313-340; Laura Edwards, “Reconstruction and the History of Governance” in Gregory Downs and Kate Masur eds., The World the Civil War Made (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 22-45; Aziz Rana, “Freedom Struggles and the Limits of Constitutional Continuity” 71 Md. L. Rev. 1015 (2012); William A. Blair, “Vagabond Voters and Racial Suffrage in the Jacksonian Era,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (2019), 569-87.
9. March 24 Manifest Domesticity & Imperialism
Reading:Amy Kaplan, The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture (Harvard University Press, 2005), Intro and ch. 1; Desmond S. King, and Rogers M. Smith, “Racial Orders in American Political Development,” American Political Science Review 99, no. 1 (2005): 75–92; Carol Nackenoff, “The Private Roots of American Political Development: The Immigrants’ Protective League’s ‘Friendly and Sympathetic Touch,’ 1908–1924.” Studies in American Political Development 28, no. 2 (2014): 129–60; Eileen McDonagh, The Motherless State, Women’s Political Leadership and American Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Chp. 6; Mark W. Van Weinen, “W. E. B. Du Bois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and “A Suggestion on ‘The Negro Problem,’” American Literary Realism 48 No. 1 (2015): 25-39.
Recommended:Gretchen Ritter, “Gender and Politics over Time.” Politics & Gender 3, no. 3 (2007): 386–97; Amy Kaplan, “Manifest Domesticity,” American Literature 70, no. 3 (1998): 581-606; Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease Cultures of United States Imperialism (Duke University Press, 1993) excerpts
10. March 31 Regressive Progressives
Reading: Alexander Sanger “Eugenics, Race, and Margaret Sanger Revisited: Reproductive Freedom for All?,” Hypatia 22 (2007): 210-17; Priscilla Yamin, “The Search for Martial Order: Civic Membership and the Politics of Marriage in the Progressive Era,” Polity, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 2009), 86-112; Julie Novkov, “Bringing the States Back In: Understanding Legal Subordination and Identity through Political Development,” Polity, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Jan., 2008), pp. 24-48; Yvonne Pitts, “Disability, Scientific Authority, and Women’s Political Participation at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century United States,” Journal of Women’s History, 24 (2012): 37-61; Adolph Reed, “DuBois’s ‘Double Consciousness’: Race and Gender in Progressive Era American Thought.” Studies in American Political Development 6, no. 1 (1992): 93–139; 93–139.
Recommended: Dana Seitler, “Unnatural Selection: Mothers, Eugenic Feminism, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Regeneration Narratives,” American Quarterly 55 (2003): 61-88; Thomas C. Leonard, “More Merciful and Not Less Effective”: Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era,” History of Political Economy, 35 (2003): 687-712; Randall Hansen and Desmond S. King, “Eugenic Ideas, Political Interests, and Policy Variance: Immigration and Sterilization Policy in Britain and the U.S.” World Politics 53 (2001): 237-63; Bruce Baum, The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: A Political History of Racial Identity (New York University Press, 2006); Anna Stubblefield, Ethics Along the Color Line (Cornell University Press, 2005).
11. April 7 New Deal Emoting or New Deal Buy Body Building
Reading:Ira Katznelson, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (New York: Liveright, 2014),. Intro & ch 1; Ruth O’Brien, Workers’ Paradox: The Republican Origins of the New Deal, Ch 1; Lisa McGirr, The War on Alcohol, Prohibition and the Rise of the American State (Norton, 2016), excerpt; Theda Skocpol and Kenneth Finegold, “State Capacity and Economic Intervention in the Early New Deal,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 97, No. 2 (Summer, 1982), pp. 255-278; Jessica Wang, “Imagining the Administrative State: Legal Pragmatism, Securities Regulation, and New Deal Liberalism.” Journal of Policy History 17, no. 3 (2005): 257–93.
RecommendedCathy J. Cohen & David R Mayhew in “A Discussion of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time, By Ira Katznelson,” Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3 (2014): 708–13; Margaret Weir,“States, Race, and the Decline of New Deal Liberalism,” Studies in American Political Development 19, no. 2 (2005): 157–72.
12. April 21 Intertwining, embedding the CRA and the creation of the EEOCt
Readings: Ira Katznelson, “When Is Affirmative Action Fair? On Grievous Harms and Public Remedies,” Social Research, Vol. 73, No. 2, (Summer 2006), pp. 541-568; Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development 1960-1972 (Oxford University Press, 1990), Chp. 5 or pp. 125-152; Sarah Staszak, “Institutions, Rulemaking, and the Politics of Judicial Retrenchment,” Studies in American Political Development 24, no. 2 (2010): 168–89; David A. Hollinger, “The Disciplines and the Identity Debates, 1970-1995.” Daedalus 126, no. 1 (1997): 333-51; David A. Bateman, Ira Katznelson, and John Lapinski. “Southern Politics Revisited: On V. O. Key’s ‘South in the House,’” Studies in American Political Development 29, no. 2 (2015): 154–84.; Gloria Anzaldua, “This Bridge Called My Back” in This Bridge Called My Back: The Gloria Anzaldua Reader (Duke University Press, 2009), excerpt; Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Back Women, Rape and Resistance, a New History of the Civil Rights Movement From Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, prologue or pp. xv-xxii.
RecommendedIra Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co., 2005); S. Taylor, “The Body Is Not an Apology” (2013, March), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7lKPdh_y-8 ;
13. April 28 Righting the Right under the Civil Rights Many Movement
Reading:Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton University Press, revised ed. 2015), selections; Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (Simon & Schuster, 2016), Lewis Powell memorandum excerpt; Kundai Chirindo, “Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Approaches to the Obama Presidency,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 19 No. 3 (2016): 491-504; Jill Lepore, The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party and the Battle for American History (Princeton University Press, 2010), Prologue; Stephen M. Engel, “Developmental Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Politics: Fragmented Citizenship in a Fragmented State,” Perspectives on Politics 13, no. 2 (2015): 287–311.
RecommendedThomas B. Edsall, Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Ruth O’Brien, Out of Many, One: Obama and the Third Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), Chp. 3 and Epilogue; Andrew Marantz, Anti-Social, Online Extremists, Techno-Utopias and the Hijacking of the American Conversation (2019), (Identity Evropa) Chps. 12 and 27; Mark, Neven “Nixon Loyalists, Barry Goldwater, and Republican Support for President Nixon during Watergate.” Journal of Policy History 29, no. 3 (2017): 403–30.
14. May 5 Trump: A Departure?Reading: Students brainstorm readings
*Subject to Revision
IdeaImpact.org’s project “Spiritual Sisterhood across States”
welcomes you. Until I get conversant with Zoom and lick this COVID-19 fully, we hope to begin with 12ish participants to whom we have extended invitations. Our initial topic will be how we are all coping in light of this isolating, alienating pandemic. We could all benefit from 45 minutes of discussing and sharing once a week/month/whatever helps. Think book club, only this will be a virtual coping club.
While we are not all girls and women, we are all sisters in openness. Spiritual Sisterhood Across States is for all those who are authentic and honest, and seek to understand or are searching for the nexus of their own epistemology/ontology, or what Socrates called “Know Thy Self.” In common theoretical lingo — try situated-ness.
Spiritual Sisterhood Across States could well appeal to atheists, agnostics, or those who study or find fascinating all the different religious traditions over time (three dominant world religions, such as mainline and non-mainline Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and of course Zen, Atheism and Agnosticism). This spiritual sisterhood is inclusive of all peoples in all ethical, spiritual, and religious traditions across all continents.
We are excluding those who believe in harming any group or category of peoples, forms of life, fauna and flora.
We’ve sent out the first round of invitations to those we think might be interested initially. We hope to expand, though we must figure out logistics to do that.
And by all means, please do not think this is limited to girls or women or trans — it’s those who practice some form of the Society of Ethical Culture’s “Deeds before Creeds” ethics that are inclusive of all bodies (or peoples), no matter how many different intersecting, overlapping identities they embody or could embody.
To that end, a current picture, space, email and phone number will be required to guarantee that our space remains open and safe. There will be zero tolerance of people, ideas or thoughts who profess white supremacy, white nationalism, other nationalisms, misogyny, institutional sexism, sexism, racism, nativism, xenophobia, and anti-atheism as well as anti-agnosticism.
Good Deeds over Creeds is accepting of all peoples, all genders, all sexualities and non-sexualities, races, ethnicities — excluding white supremacists, supremacists, misogynists, sexists, racists, nativists, xenophobes, homophobes, abilists, and any other artificial human hierarchies or institutionalizations. (Note: auto-correct keeps changing “othering” to “mothering” haha). Also it is not limited to academics.
So if you’re interested in joining once we get Zoom up and working for break out groups, please identify your “hood,” culture, tradition, religion, set of ethics, or what you most call the intersection of your ontology/epistemology over time or from an experiential perspective. Drop me an email with the subject line “Spiritual Sisterhood Across States” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To throw myself out there first, here is a short selection of ideas and thoughts from people, in books and in institutions or programs that I have read, edited, written, or heard. They greatly influenced my own ontology/epistemology nexus, helping me better “know” myself.
Been quiet for quiet some time. Out of deference to the President? No. Out of respect to this nation, he, Trump, Trumped, No. Borised? Blond locks unite? No? White locks and blond locks unite?
More mundane than that. Getting lots of my own work done.
Sure, I’m editing books and we’ve got some FABULOUS ones coming down the pike. Indeed, I’m behind in presenting Max Tomba’s Insurgent Universality, which came out just this fall.
Sure, I’m getting my own book written — 385 years of heretical women — my direct descendants or relatives, starting with Penelope who is not only scalped, impaled, left for dead, rescued, all on Sandy Hook where my sons learned their colonial history 400 years later. Then, she is sold or traded back to the Dutch, and marries her second Englishman (her first was scalped beside her and had the audacity to die in Jersey), and the fun begins — she’s one of the original 400 New Yorkers, and she’s got quiet a presence and even gets sued — when few women (certainly not the English) had standing. Good for her. Then, after cultivating the most land in Gravesend with her “man”, bearing two digits worth of children, they decide to skedaddle back to Jersey, when the English invade (again) where again she seeks shelter with the matrilineal, matriarhical, all around good gal tribe that helped her, helps her and her brood and crew, where again as a fam. they cultivate the most land … (Key here is not that they “own” the most as property is theft, or that’s what Penelope’s sisters taught her. To be continued….
No. I’ve been busy practicing my performances — I like to call them 1bottom or 1 body commotions with consequence. A sit down strike against those who bar PwD passage, or access, or acccommodation. It’s so common it’s almost trite.