Thursday, December 02, 2004

Fina'sahnge part 1

The seperations in our lives have to be re-thought.

I'm currently in a Ph.D. program, and nearly everyone in my group thinks and acts based on assumptions that our lives must be divided, most specifically whatever is learned in school or from books, must stay in that context and not seep into their "real" lives.

For me personally, I don't see how anyone can really believe this. The ways our lives are divided up aren't natural, but rather constructed based on specific histories and elevation of certain ideas about how humans are supposed to live. This division between our "work" and our "play" is one clear example, and although to most people it might seem like a very "real" division, in what ways are we limited if we subscribe to this idea?

First of all, it allows us to see how stuff created in universities, probably just stays there. This might be true in some ways, but it keeps us from seeing the powerful role universities and scholars play in shaping the world outside of the academy. Manifest Destiny was a clear example of how knowledge created in universities, can weave its way into the world outside and push racist agendas across borders and into different cultures. Scholars have incredible power over the "real" world, and to think that they are merely up there in their ivory towers, lets those who create racist, unsituated and uncritical knowledge off the hook, but also excuses those of us in positions to do something about it, from doing something about it!

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