I used to be very annoyed when someone threw me into a group. It felt uncomfortable. Anti-freedom of speech. How dare they? Well, fumbling around the internet — attempting to be “social” once again — I thought APT + APD – AS = APP was a cryptic post. Instead it was a “group.”
Official iii –Idea Impact Institute– Logo
More significantly, I do like to be social or let’s say discourse(y), and I found that it is something to do while waiting for other things. To my delight, I see that some of you didn’t mind having fb’s AI machine tuck you into this group. So I’ll maintain it.
What this is is my vision/ideal/notion of what citizens of the United States as well as all those who believe in representational democracy, though we may disagree on the who/what/how of represent in representational.
As is the subfield within the field of American politics that I signed up for grew up and made itself inaccessible. WTF? I couldn’t believe it. I tried to explain my concerns to several people who mentored me, in and out of graduate school, but they didn’t get what I was saying. So it seemed easier just to take it to the streets :). Be social. Be happy. Be positive. The acronyms stand for American Political Thought and American Political Development (read non-linear time) without American Studies perspectives, which are too focused on one word so that they can make this interdisciplinary discipline reductionists. All of it equals APP or American Political Perspectives, since this is how I want to observe the world — through a prism, not a single perspective, let alone a rigid belief structure, not a left-right ideology but rather what I call in my latest manuscript “sliding supremacies.”
So, join me, don’t join me. This group is my way of observing our scary world. It’s my way of facilitating a conversation like my category of posts on ruthobrien.org. Whether it is in my book series for OUP or the book series that we ended but the backlist remains on my mind. Or the academic trade book series I am creating called: “Talking Heads: Neos & Isms.” Or, finally, iii — the IdeaImpact.org Institute. Eileen McDonagh must be credited with the founding (though she is not a founding member) — iii is a 501(c)(3). It is only now that I and the two other founding members are seeking tax-exempt status. We have discovered our intent as well as our XXX. I can only work on this during my two months of summer, given that CUNY’s Multiple Position Report restricts my activities — even uncompensated ones, like church, to 8 hours per week, including winter session.
iii Idea Impact Institute, established 2014 as a 501(c)(3)**
Established in 2014 by Ruth O’Brien, a political scientist in the American academy, and two members of the media (print bi-weekly political magazine & television), IdeaImpact.org is applying for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3). Its goal? Creating a non-partisan establishment called Idea Impact.org Institute (iii), which will grant three types of awards annually to reshape political science as a discipline in the American academy.
First, an award or awards* to senior scholars whose ideas about “women and” have impact — as a topic and as an exploration of why they receive less attention in the public square. Women and, which is to say the study of women who have at least one additional role or identity in the world of politics, broadly cast, are eligible. What is more, those who publish about “women and” need not need be in the discipline of political science, let alone in the academy.
As a topic, “women and” studies the synergy that intersectionality generates. It covers the set of subjects that combine gender with race, ethnicity, disability, elder age, et al. Instead of studying the small slice where two concentric circles intersect, this type of intersection is more akin to the flower of life. It combines, conjoins, compounds, and is therefore representative of most people. Put differently, the only group not studied in conjunction with women is white, presumably straight Protestant men in the United States between the ages of 18 and 39.
The United States embraces the notion of civil rights, not human rights, on all levels of governance. Some cities, such as New York, differ in that they embrace civil rights as human rights, as the nation-states in France, Germany, and the Netherlands do. All in all, 97 percent of the people in the United States are protected by civil-rights laws. Only 3 percent are not.The reason the 97 percent is neglected and the 3 percent is seen as outliers is essential in the founding of the American nation-state. Indeed, there are several television shows called the 3 percenters that reference this, albeit more indirectly.
Second, a professional-development award for editors and publishers who have the courage to share or explain the responsible use of their power as agenda setters. No crisis — political, economic, and/or social — leads to change unless someone with the power of editing and publishing makes it accessible to the public. And while the new media — social media — upended all this, it could well shed light on why political-science professors or scholars with graduate education in political science are rarely public intellectuals, or even talking heads on public broadcasting.
Third, an award to low-income youth ages 18 to 28 years old who reside in New York City or plan to move there and have an interest in observing, understanding and explaining why electoral politics on any level — local, municipal, state, nation-state, global or international — has lost credibility. Yet many youth remain passionate, hardworking, in what would be considered a calling, not thought a career. And a calling requires sacrifice. vocation/avocation. It is the difference between vocation and avocation.
#END OF MISSION STATEMENT Draft for tax-exempt status
Now, I’m not the only social media stumbler. That said, I very much believe in the lack of power we have or the misuse of politics and history — and only by creating a genuine discussion within the bounds of representational democracy can we maintain some type of democracy and be on the right side of history (a phrase I think my book on Obama stands up for his genuine use of it.)
I’m passionate about this, all the while, wanting to maintain my primary focus on my job as a professor working for a public and overwhelmingly publicly-funded university in a thriving city.***
*Asterisk 1 and **2
***Several points: I have been known to fumble during the height of our semesters given a multitude of factors. My book bodies in revolt describes my own physical disabilities that have been compounded as I age, and I am an admirer of Elaine Scary’s famous tract on pain, having experience a lot of it. Once I became a full professor this meant I began filling in the New York State Multiple Position Report, and this made me stumble all the more — not understanding the difference between what I could and could not do within the halls of the university that employs me. So, to do due diligence or to “double dutch it” I remain fully committed and concentrated on teaching and scholarly research throughout the academic year, and then use my summers for travel and research and advising or participating in summer conferences and convening meetings.