First, some fun.
A miniature record store for mice popped up in Sweden a few weeks ago. It was the work of Anonymouse, an arts collective known for mouse-themed pop-up art installations. You can see some images from it below, including the mouse-themes flips of many iconic record covers – like four rats instead of four Beatles crossing the famous Abbey Road. And don’t miss those three hungry mice on the cover of the Destiny’s Cheese debut album.
Philadelphia music writer John Morrison provides a useful trip through samplers and breaks in 90s UK jungle/drum & bass. It starts out like this:
The story of how jungle/drum and bass was born, cultivated, and evolved in the UK—and the racial and class dynamics behind the genre’s name—is impossibly rich and complex. Rather than a straight linear sequence of events, the genre’s evolution has played out as the result of an interconnected web of social forces and technical innovations that have propelled the music forward.
A notable paragraph from Alexis Okeowo’s summer article “How to Defund the Police”.
The heavily policed status of black people is older than the nation. Slave patrols in the South found and returned enslaved people who had escaped their masters, and beat and terrorized enslaved workers deemed to have violated plantation rules. After the Civil War, Black Codes controlled the movement and behavior of formerly enslaved people; next came segregation and the growth of prisons, which currently take in African-Americans at five times the rate of white people. The effect has been the surveillance and punishment of black Americans, reformers contend, for the comfort of their white neighbors, and of poor Americans for the security of wealthier ones.
Reading: I moved through Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver rather quickly as I chip away at this YA lit stack for the spring semester.
Writing: That other, overlooked genre of academic writing: the syllabus. I’m teaching a class this semester that – at least on the books – is called “Learning and Learners in Context.” It’s the first class aspiring teachers take once they are admitted into the College of Education. It’s where they get their “beginning repertoire” of teaching practices. The problem is that these beginning practices are usually taught from an apolitical or ideologically agnostic stance. So the challenge is to put some critical teeth on the class.
Listening: It’s been a long fall down the Griselda rabbit hole. I put off jumping into this world for a while, so I’m a bit late. But when I’m late, I always come in the front door. My scholar/DJ friend Todd Craig was right: “Yes, bodies will drop, weight will get moved, but the beats and rhymes will carry you through.”
Teaching: Returns next week.
Note: With the faster rhythm of the semester picking back up, this newsletter will go back to weekly editions next week. You can always feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom of this email if it no longer fits your needs. And if you do, I thank you for the time you spent reading.