Baila el guaguanco

Okay, I haven’t been posting at all because I’ve been super busy with school/music and really haven’t had anything to say that’s not directly applicable to those two things. But today I feel like communicating with my legion of virtually real readers, so here are two possibly interesting things I’ve done in the past week:

(1) Submitted two paper proposals for next year’s American Academy of Religion Annual Conference. I presented at the last one in Chicago, and really need to get in to this one, as it’s pretty much the main place I’ll be interviewing for jobs (if there are any jobs). I feel great about my paper proposals, though there’s never any guarantees.  I put in a paper on Bourdieu, Yoder and the possibility of nonviolence to the Religion and Social Sciences section. Here I look at how Yoder’s Politics of Jesus was written against traditional Weberian sociology of religion; but Bourdieu significantly updated/transformed that sociology, and I think grappling with Bourdieu’s critique of prophets as essentially violent is a good exercise for pacifists in learning to be symbolically nonviolent.

The other paper is for the Christianity and Academia Consultation and argues that within the symbolic and material economy of the university I attend, theology is essentially worthless, i.e., not worth people knowing about at all. This second paper may provide a foundation for the last chapter of my dissertation, and gives me the opportunity to do a little empirical research. But mainly I proposed it because I find it really fascinating that people I meet in bars and parties on a weekly basis have no idea what “Divinity” (as an academic discipline) or “theology” are. I understand that people might think it’s lame, but that they (“they” being mostly other university students) are totally ignorant about the subject is strange. So I’m looking around at the structure of the university in terms of funding, enrollment, etc. to show that there is really no advantage whatsoever for anyone to know about us…even if they like our library a lot!

(2) Just went down to London for a couple shows with Diva Abrasiva. The first one was at the legendary Cafe OTO and we were honored to hear a speech there by the even-more legendary Steve Beresford on accidents in electronic improvisation (in brief, he thinks they are good). Then BLISTRAP absolutely blew my head apart. Mick Beck is a god. Possibly the best thing I’ve seen since Humcrush a couple of years ago. The second show was at Pangea Project, which is a cool new venue/community space in Stoke-Newington. We had a tiny crowd there but still a fun show. Oh, and I seem incapable of playing anything other than guaguanco on the drums right now, hence the title of this post. Diva Abrasiva is still touring, so if you happen across this in the UK, click on the link and come out! I’m back in Scotland, but will rejoin the dudes in Dundee on Friday.

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