For my dad

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The tribute I wrote to myfather – July 19, 1932 – February 16, 2020 My brilliant, dashing, loving father, Charles Chihara, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, passed away on Sunday February 16th, after a week in the hospital following a major stroke. He had suffered a previous stroke in 2015, but had recovered and been his joyful self with us, with some aphasia. For the last few years, including after he and my mom moved to Los Angeles to be near us, he got all his names mixed up but was still my dad – whose face lit up whenever he saw me and my two girls, Iris and Harper. Two weeks before this last stroke, he was still playing tennis. When he died, his wife of 55 years, my mom Carol, my family, and our extended family were all there. At 87 years old, […]

ASA Hawaii

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I saw a number of excellent panels in Hawaii, which made me feel re-energized to share what I’m learning in the field with my students, despite a somewhat grueling semester. Of particular note was a panel on risk, race and financial capitalism with Michael Dawson, Hannah Appel, Karen Ho, Emily Katzenstein and Meghan Wilson presenting. One of my students is working on feminist criticism and speculative fiction and has been reading and writing about Octavia Butler, so I was glad to make it, at ASA, to a presidential session centered on the work of activist the activist and writer adrienne maree brown and Octavia’s Brood — brown blogged about it here.   The panel made me think in new ways about the personal, the political, and prison abolition. I also ran into my friend Anne Cong-Huyen, a digital humanist at U Michigan, at a fascinating roundtable about “Data as Terror, Data […]

Trip to Univ. of Sydney

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This August, I traveled to Australia to participate in this workshop Generational and Temporal Imaginaries of the Asset Economy: A common protest heard from the asset poor is one of ‘no future’. Here, income contingency and asset-based growth (in particular house price inflation) are understood to have combined to produce a specific temporal universe in which a distinctive politics of the future has opened out. In this universe, the asset poor have few mechanisms available to them to build up assets which will enable them to secure viable futures. This applies especially to young adults who are not in receipt of intergenerational transfers of wealth and are seeing their chances of asset accumulation rapidly diminish. By contrast, the futures of the asset rich are guaranteed and underwritten by institutional mechanisms ensuring the growth of their assets (especially housing prices and superannuation). In the context of these bifurcated asset-based futures, this […]