Note: I wrote this “welcome” blog post to my TU Dortmund  students  for a course on Anarchism in America, March 2014. I think a lot about work. Thinking about work is an important part of my jobs, all of my jobs. Practitioners of “cultural studies” are self-reflexive about methods, disciplines, and canons; the best teachers interrogate lesson plans and classroom decisions to no end; and graduate students waver precariously between the roles of apprentice, colleague, and professional, with a variety of tasks — including research, writing, teaching, networking, professionalizing —  attending our every waking thought. I am grateful that today’s lesson returned me to Emma Goldman’s “Anarchism: What it really stands for,” an essay that already saved my life twice in graduate school.[…]

Note: I wrote this “welcome” blog post to my TU Dortmund  students  for a course on The New York Poets, March 2014. I admitted in our first meeting that this is a new kind of course for me. I have never taught a class committed entirely to poetry or to the twentieth-century. My other offering this term, a cultural history of anarchism in the United States, is much more typical (that is, if I’ve been around long enough to have a “type”). I entered a graduate program in literature with an uneven bundle of interests: Walt Whitman, Marx/Hegel, labor history, and not making a fool of myself. I’ve come to love poetry, but it was a long, stubborn struggle. Sure, I was “a Whitman guy,”[…]