Thank you so much to everyone who joined our February session! It was a special joy to have Jade E. Davis join us to talk about her forthcoming book, The Other Side of Empathy. I carry from that discussion the firm emphasis that it is ok just to care. And that, in fact, the rhetoric around empathy may lead us in the opposite direction.
These newsletters have been feeling quiet lately; lots has been going on, but not much has been finding its way to this particular space. I've been teaching a graduate class (Power, Precarity, and Care in the Digital Humanities); I've been co-leading a series for the Association for Computers and the Humanities, called Making DH Work for Us: Labor, Care, and Careers); I've been working on a handful of writing projects including my mushroom book (the current working title of which is Unexpected Flourishing: Academia, Mycology, and Growth from Decay—feedback most welcome). I've also been spending a great deal of time editing and reviewing for others. As new growth begins to emerge from the soil, it's also a season of review and revision, of reexamining what we've planted and doing what we can to help it thrive.
And, because caregiving and embodiment is part of what I'm trying to bring into this space, I'll also say we've been grappling with bouts of mild but irritating illness, competing schedules, and time out of school. For all those reasons, I'm going to cancel the March 8 session, where we were going to discuss Pollution is Colonialism by Max Liboiron. I hope you will read it anyway! It is giving me so much to think about surrounding the very real, material colonial practices involved not only in creating pollution, but also in trying to clean it up. As I've begun exploring environmental humanities scholarship more deeply, the imperative and impossibility of building and maintaining an ethical relationship with the land has grown ever stronger.