Sunday, March 29, 2009

Catching Up

I was a bit delinquent in my posts this last week, so here's a brief update on what's been going on:

(1) The University of Memphis Tigers basketball team suffered a humiliating loss to the University of Missouri Tigers in the NCAA Tournament and were eliminated... making two years in a row that Memphians have had their hopes dashed. My analsis: we were totally outcoached. And we STILL can't make free throws. Argh...

(1a) BUT... the Villanova Wildcats are on a roll in the same tourney, after beating the Duke Blue Devils like a redheaded stepchild and then squeezing out a buzzer-beater win over Pitt, putting 'Nova in the Final Four. GO NOVA!

(2) I presented the results of the research grant I received last summer to the faculty of my college. My project was entitled "Terror, Torture and Democratic Autoimmunity." The presentation went well, though I realized several times what a completely different world we are in now than we were in when I was writing most of it. That's a good thing.

(3) Attended the Tri-State Philosophy Symposium at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas (and presented the same terror/torture paper). This was a gathering of the philosophy departments at liberal-arts colleges in the area. It was a really great experience, reminding me how nice conferences can be when they're small and allow for plenty of discussion. Looks like Rhodes will be hosting it next year, and I'm kind of excited about that.

(4) Had our annnual Spring majors/minor meeting in the Philosophy Department. The room was overflowing! No seats left! This is really great news, as the number of majors/minors one has is a very good indication of the health of the department. Our department is definitely on the rise!

(5) Finished reading Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Best book I've read in years. Absolutely brilliant.

(6) Following the example of AnPan, I started trying to track where I get most of my information on the internet. This is an interesting project. I recommend your checking out AnPan's post on the topic.

(7) Getting ready for the big Scholars in Critical Race Studies conference next weekend, "The Obama Phenomenon: Race and Political Discourse in the United States Today." (I've been affectionately referring to this conference as "ObamaRama.") When we started planning ObamaRama about a year ago, Obama was not even President yet, so this is very exciting. Also, the keynote address is being delivered by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, which pretty much assures that the conference will reach more people than just scholars. I will report back on that sometime next week.

So, lots of things going on in the River City. Good thing, too, since if there wasn't, I would probably be sunk into the great black darkness of Basketball Depression.

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