butler, parting ways: jewishness and the critique of zionism

This is another in a series of notes on things I read this summer. Toward the end of the summer I read Judith Butler‘s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (Columbia UP, 2012). Then, as I was preparing to write these thoughts about it, I ran across the Jerusalem Post’s attack on Butler’s receipt of the Adorno Prize and Butler’s response to that attack. So my post will start with my thoughts on the book, then circle around to discuss the controversy over the Prize.

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topical humor?

Sent to me by my old advisor, I got a kick out of this… Happy job market!

One day while walking downtown, a well-known sociologist was hit by a bus and was tragically killed.  Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter (a social construction) himself.

“Welcome to Heaven,” said St. Peter.  “Before you get settled in, though, it seems we have a problem.  You see, strangely enough, we’ve never once had a sociologist make it this far and we’re not really sure what to do with you.” Continue reading “topical humor?”

wedeen, peripheral visions

This summer I read Lisa Wedeen’s 2008 book, Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen (University of Chicago Press). I’d read her earlier book on Syria, Ambiguities of Domination, as well as her APSR article on adapting sociological approaches to culture to the study of political science. Both of these were worthwhile: the book, if nothing else, as a non-European case illustrating Vaclav Havel’s case about saturated symbols, the article as a consideration about how to apply culture to the study of politics. Peripheral Visions far exceeds these. It’s an extraordinary book in many ways, and its innovations far exceed the boundaries of its case.

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asa 2012 update

It’s Day 1 of ASA 2012, and you might be wondering where all the fun is to be had. Tonight is the bloggerly baseball game. If you don’t have a ticket, I think you can still buy one; we are in Section L301. On Saturday night, the blog party is going to be fabulous. It is at 8pm, at Harry’s Bar in the Magnolia Hotel: 818 17th Street, near Stout. The SocImages and SocSource folks have another party on Saturday afternoon 3-5pm at the Corner Office on 14th.

If you are on twitter but not following these accounts, you are missing out on something special: Continue reading “asa 2012 update”

a bit of self-promotion

I can’t help but be pleased to see the link to the McCarthy award lecture on Mobilizing Ideas titled “The Ethnic Dimensions in Social Movements”.  I only wish it already were a paper (as the synopsis implies) instead of just a big powerpoint, but the PR motivates me to try to get it written up. One incentive is that they promise you publication in Mobilization. I’m not even sure you have to go through peer review. Anyway, I do think the argument is important and I plan to get on the task of writing it up. Maybe in blog posts first?

Looking forward to seeing all of you in a few days in Denver. Do say hi if you see me.

ASA Calendar with locations!

I got this link from Eszter Hargittai via FB. Directions for how to download schedule information WITH LOCATIONS from the ASA my schedule link into Outlook. It turns out this also works for Google calendar. The steps for Google include saving the calendar file, deciding whether to create a separate ASA calendar (I made a separate one to be sure it was set to Mountain time to avoid time zone issues that are endemic to Google calendar) or just use your regular one, selecting “other calendar” and “import” and then making sure the calendar you imported to shows. It worked.  http://djjr-courses.wikidot.com/asa:calendar

Mayer Zald

I just got word via my Facebook feed that Mayer Zald passed away this morning. He was a prolific scholar best known among us social movement people for two foundational papers with John McCarthy on resource mobilization. His major academic focus was on the organizational dimensions of social movements. He was also a warm and engaged human being who mentored several generations of younger scholars with scholarly engagement with their ideas and useful advice about their work. He will be sorely missed. Our condolences to his family and to the many people who knew him as a friend.