Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) &
Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press
& Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA
Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Faculty/Core-Bios/Ruth-O-Brien)
my UN (gluing) The New York Times reference is already buried.
FYI if you email me on gmail or any edu account you can’t won’t hear from me. Like all wise people I pay for encryption and a VPN, though my university does not have this. We are the largest Public University in the U.S.A. with the least amount of private dollars . . . .
Unlike Cal (yep Berkeley) which has a terrible past in terms of helping foster fascism in the 1930s, no less, in California. Am writing this up now. Nothing revelatory here.
UCLA does not have this past. : ) Nor does Claremont Men’s College. Nor does Capitol Pages Alumni school (or at least not those who graduated haha) Who knows who went to CAL, most went to what I like to call HPY (the troika — Harvard, Princeton, and poor ole Yale — I mean no one ever wanted to live in New Haven with the Eatons there. Harvard too. Also Princeton….
I used to think it was California public universities – at least the Cal State’s if not the Cal’s and mini Cals but no longer.
Being tax exempt and calling themselves public when they’re over 85 percent being privately funded is more scandalous than HPY since at least we “know” they’re private or that’s what they call themselves. They’re just heavily, I mean heavily sponsored by the city, their states, their municipalities and most of all the federal government. The tip is in the percentage.
Ask say it ain’t so @JoeBiden (not Trump), hopefully Mamala (read Kamala Harris) would speak plainly about what’s so darn important about this percentage. She went to law school in CA. Or we could ask Anthony Grafton – he’s a straight shooter and a public intellectual, I’m told.
Here are some of my static links, I can’t do all author pages for every press with not enough admin. help Same goes for font since we now have A.I., no? https://ruthobrien.org/ a WORDPRESS site
Nothing better than that. Do I have to say Harris? We can certainly applaud Maya Rudolph, though.
FYI, Mama-ela or WOP (read Woman as President, okay, the O is off) but good enough for me and Fred, since we like our acronyms. (SLAMs, SCAMs, SLIMs – Fred coins them just as he coined PRISM when I taught it the second time around — it is Power, Resistance, Identities, and Social Movements, or my take on social movements in the United States and abroad.)
American social movements used to have an impact. Our social-movement leaders from the 18th and 19th and 20th and 21st centuries influence those in Europe and other continents as well.
Take a look at my favorite crossover — crossing the Atlantic backwards, in other words — and that is Gluing in Paris. Check it out. #BLM influenced them. I wrote about Bodies in Revolt a lot earlier in 2005 and never came up with a name as clever as Kamala asa Mammala — we can argue about the spelling. Certain people can complain about pronouncing WOP, though it is spelled WAP.
I am certainly teaching the American Presidency* from this perspective, not that I knew that Kamala would even become Mammala, let alone that WAP is pronounced WAP!!!!!!!!
Having waited 20 years and having been appointed EO three times, DEO two times, I never got picked to teach this. Of course I was required to teach it when in my tenure-track and tenured positions (I went straight from Ph.D. almost done to tenure-track positions.)
Oh yeah, and I wrote, what, 4 books that depend on the American presidency and involved me using documents from presidents (T. Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, not Eisenhower, but then JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and of course Obama). but I couldn’t convince the man who taught me about the American presidency to read my book on Obama (oh well) and abandon my original field of capitalism and political theory. He was a great inspiration, Sterling Professor at Yale University Stephen Skowronek, that is.
I’m now sufficiently presidential or senior to get this assignment. I’m thrilled. So, now I realize I gotta fill in and gain more presidents’ documents — so, having interviewed only Ronald Reagan, I am now looking at documents from George to William (that is, Washington to McKinley) in my 385-year history of heretical women who are my direct descendants. While only one of us got to vote (in New Jersey, where women could vote between 1792 and 1801) before suffrage, we found workarounds — means to participate in politics when men told us to shhhh or even shut the *&^%? up, like CMC’s club the GCO, led by faculty and students. I think all the faculty were men, but . . . . .
In fact, Telling Stories Out of Court was my second book about getting folks to face discrimination, or walk the walk through fiction and creative non-fiction yet I was unclear why Ohio State Law School and Phelan‘s narrative project as well as disability studies literature professors, namely Brenda Bruggeman and Stephen Kuusisto found this fledgling genre worthy of exploring more at a conference. Initially, I asked Stephen to write all the creative non-fiction I would set to law by writing essays that showed you had the law had unfolded as it was or was not executed and implemented. Stephen convinced me that asking WwD (read writers with disabilities) was a better idea since there were so many talented writers out there.
Then. in February 2006, two months before my partner of 23 years revealed he was “running off with his subject” (read Persia though this country is not on a contemporary map) as one of our trusted colleagues and friends who knew both of us explained. While I was consumed with the paperwork for interview and landing us two paper offers in the same city, since we had two young sons, 7 and 9, he had been having an affair for months, hired a lawyer, drafted the Property Settlement Agreement I would sign upon his request (after giving more money than was originally proposed). I interviewed and got the offer from University of Delaware on 2 hours of sleep.
After over 20 years of having our work spread out from University of Newark to New York City, I had offers from Delaware to University of Massachusetts, Amherst and back again at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York meant we had options. After negotiating for my first tenure track position at University of Denver, back then I had options for both of us as well. While writing my dissertation as we traveled for two years finding documents for his dissertation, I asked the American Studies crowd in the Netherlands what were my chances of getting employment. The man didn’t even laugh, he sat down and said this was 100% certainty never to happen. No American would be hired in American Studies when there were 5 great white men waiting in line for the 5 positions.
Back then, like now, I knew (but not really knew) the power of stories.
So abruptly in 2006, I had to drop everything and hustle to hide mine for fear of harming our two beloved sons. Today, I can see the violence I was about to experience for the next 14 years had a history, a precursor.
Scary stuff in the news, not only Trump’s call to arms against #BLM and others, like #portlandprotest and #portlandmoms, or NPR’s Morning Edition announcing different states thinking that folks will voluntarily surrender their firearms, but what is happening in the proxy war between the Turks and the Armenians, with the Russians negotiating.
States’ rights are getting more important in the election as borders are going back to policies similar to what the U.S. Constitution replaced (read the Articles of Confederation), and given how all elections stem from zero-sum all-state politics (think states and land and how many votes per state when you visualize conflicts, like the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area; also remember Pennsylvania and how the middle states were so divided — unlike New England or the former Confederate South, and remembering where Delaware was in this same confederacy).
It is no wonder I like living in my once-safe apartment on Roosevelt Island, where we are governed by three jurisdictions, including being completely accessible for folks like me and Steve Kuusisto.
As such an odd rock (read entity under what Frederic Schwarz used to call the 59th Street Bridge rather than the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge), we are part of Manhattan, but EMTs come from Queens, given that we are also New York State and New York City, and we have Cornell Tech, a very expansive private/public university that is part of Cornell University. We also have no police, only “Public Safety,” a branch that when we moved here saw its chief forced to exit in disgrace after harming many PwDs (there were posters all over so I looked it up).
Getting my M.A., D.Phil., and Ph.D. at UCLA back when they had an active program on the Middle East and Rudolph P. Matthee’s dissertation sponsor was not only @BethBaron’s supervisor but the greatly talented Professor *Nikki Keddie https://www.gc.cuny.edu/…/History/Faculty-Bios/Beth-Baron, I was there during the Salmon Rushdie fatwa, inflaming the existing conflict at UCLA between faculty supporting the Turks and the Armenians, respectively, which was scary in a different way.
Then, in 1993, my very dear, dear friend was killed in a fatwa (the last one, Gary Sick explained, happened in Italy and was in fact the last one on European soil). I was spared hearing it on the news when Distinguished Professor Barbara Pfetsch and Cory Lieb accepted being my sons’ “earth parents.” https://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/…/bpfetsch/index.html (This was how I cemented the boys’ fluency not only in university-level Dutch but in German as well, given the summer camps they attended with their earth cousin Jonas).
I just told Frederic O’Brien that having been with a former partner who understood the Far East and the Middle East, and then having traveled extensively on my own — including hitchhiking everywhere — in the former East gives one-off sensibilities when you end up coming back to the UCLA Center for Social Theory and Comparative History to be convinced to leave political theory for American Politics, first by @StephenSkowronek at Yale University (I didn’t know of Rogers Smith’s work).
I took pride back in the 1980s in traveling extensively on my own, not just in the former Yugoslavia but in all the other countries I could manage to get into.
Back then, one ride from Hamburg (when they still called it West Germany) got you to Berlin. I took my GRE’s in the former American embassy, not in Zagreb, where I was studying with Gajo Petrovic (the only existentialist who was sought by both the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Martin Heidegger Archiv, which he accepted) and then added another twist that Intellectual Publics might know about by hitchhiking down to Dubrovnik, Croatia, not only to hopefully meet @Habermas but also to bump into those I already knew about, including Andrew Arato (I discovered Joel Rogers as well).
Not wanting to be associated with the American graduate students, I hung out with the German graduate students, creating a bond with Uwe Toellner as well as one American professor, who wrote Alienation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Schacht I worked with this Dissent Magazine crowd — not New York but the ones who wrote Dissent in Serbo-Croatian and reprinted the likes of the International Herbert Marcuse Society — as well as channeling my book on Obama (Out of Many, One by Ruth O’Brien) through the likes of JohnDewey, Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium, @ReinholdNiebuhr, Saul Alinsky, and W.E.B. DuBois — American iterations of the very Dutch Baruch Spinoza Study Group (not the traditional version of him by my former colleague’s notion of Baruch Spinoza but rather more the rendition that Alan Ryan would have supported, and heck, even the great academic StanleyFish liked). https://academic.oup.com/…/article…/87/5/1435/127532… How come there is no emoji for ambivalent? At least there is an activity called “watching.”
*Unlike posts, this one is derived from FaceBook’s Stories or “What’s on Your Mind” space that is similar to tweeting so it is full of URLs and most names were tags of those people (so you can look them up for yourself:) and sometimes I use foreign language spellings like the Heidegger Archiv. It is part of my seminars’ blogs series.
Is RBG* glaring outside my window on former Mayor Bloomberg’s scroll doing anything — 731 Lexington Avenue? Will Trump’s nominee (will take me quite a while to name names here, especially since one ABC commentator went so far as to say nothing was her fault. She accepted the nomination, that is how it goes) recuse herself if it gets to the Supreme Court like Gore v. Bush (2000) (which is doubtful)?
Trump thinks she won’t. Had I been Trump’s Jared or Ivanka, I would advise him to hold up the Golden Ticket. Don’t make the Senate Republicans pay the price (or should they, they should read Atlantic Monthly‘s A. Applebaum).
The Supreme Court is SO heavily conservative that do they even need her? Well, I suppose yes they do, since with her nomination — the ol’ “foxes in chicken coop” approach — and Trump’s last card — we not only ensure women’s right to sovereignty over their own bodies is likely gone; universal health care, even if it varies a lot from state to state, is gone, and every conservative issue the conservatives in the Federalist Society has been preoccupied with since 2000 is gone.
Watch the New Jersey election. If cannabis becomes recreational under New Jersey state law, we’re back in it — the Articles of Confederation, which caused the first government in the United States to fall apart less than 20 years in. Governor Cuomo is not going to like all those New Yorkers taking PATH; think of all the state revenue he will have lost. The tri-state area will become a tri-state mess.
The 2000 election did count (unabashedly shameful self-interest that contradicted the conservatives going for Bush, though they had long, long professed states’ rights, since it suited them as being anti-New Deal til they flipped), combined with the Seattle uprising, all over a year before 9/11, not only are we in partisan politics, but it’s the two-against-one game, not the Unitary Executive Branch that counts. When the President and Congress work well together, bills become laws. When the President and the federal judiciary get together, it leads to many different kinds of political equations. No need to worry about Congress and the Supreme Court separating against the Presidency — 545 + 9 members means they never get along or move in a consistent direction.
The U.S. Constitution has created only one national office and that is the office of the President.
Separation of powers, federalism, states’ rights, different kinds of sovereignties are all variable and up for interpretation, depending upon the politician. The definition of a politician is that they serve one constituency and harm another. Is Trump doing anything different? No, of course not.
We’re in this jam, as what I used to teach as the “Theory of Rotting Republics.” Most ancient political thought would tell you — you’ve got 250 years — and then it rots, from within. I hate to say it but has American representational democracy been irradiated like fruit in the United States? Bite into an apple in July, it’s not crisp. Chances are the fruit experienced irradiation or is rotting from within, it’s only the skin that looks properly ripe.
* Written before we knew about Trump’s 750 dollar per year, at most, tax bill.