First and foremost, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for making this seminar what a seminar should be: challenging yet amicable. I don't really know where the time went, but I do know that in the short matter of weeks that we spent together I can no longer see binaries--its all friction! As the second half to the American Studies year long core-requirements, I found this course extremely helpful. I feel I found a niche within the madness we continue to call the academy. Despite the fact that the majority of our weekly meetings resulted in headaches, more questions, and at times a good old dosage of just plain anger, I still found myself excited to attend and participate in class discussions. So thank you all for all your verbal, pensive, or physical contributions to my scholarly development.
Throughout the course, I really enjoyed reading up on separate, yet inter-connected areas of research. I particularly enjoyed the intermingling going on between cultural studies and IP. Coombe, Boyle and to a lesser degree Coleman granted me the access needed in order to conceptualize what I hope becomes my larger research agenda. I really found their work to be of vital importance for any study of human behavior and social relations with institutions as it pertains to the ever-changing systematic construct of political economy. With that said, I also enjoyed how cultural studies and IP literature were balanced with well-researched ethnographic works such as Tsing and West. Having only taken 'Intro to Physical Anthropology' as an undergrad, it blew my mind the political solidarity that researchers can/and do have for marginalized communities. Their contributions in the mapping out of power relations in regards to capitalism, labor, and identity was both illuminating and of great aide. And although I didn't really fancy texts such as Castells, I still took something out of it. In all, I feel the literature read this semester have grounded and expanded my initial interests of social movements, neoliberalism, and public education.
Lastly, I really enjoyed how we as a class designed the flow of readings. I thought it really worked out well and we weren't completely left in the dark (well, maybe perhaps not counting Mirzoeff...) Like Lizeth, I greatly advise other seminar's to have students hypothesize, write, and discuss their research projects early in the semester--as the final product seems to be fuller, more engaged, and well better. The various ways we went about sharing our ideas was also very supportive for me, as it challenged me for the first time to not have words on a PPT! I also would like to thank everyone for their feedback throughout our presentations, as it immensely helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to say (particularly Jen and Somava for peer-reviewing my rough draft and Annita for sharing with me new angles and connecting threads).
All in all, this seminar blew my mind away--literally. A last word of acknowledgment to Dr. Christen for constantly pushing me to theorize just a little more. This class was truly a most difficult yet awesome experience.
Hope you all have a fun and productive summer break! And we'll be seeing each other before we can say: ethics of contingency! ;-)