Moving Forward

For the last week, I have been less than a page away from finishing a draft of the chapter on reading (see the overview for more on that), but found myself unable to press forward. The reasons are all too evident: it suddenly felt way too precious to be writing about the transformative potential of reading in helping build a more empathetic, engaged relationship between the academy and the public sphere in the face of what still feels to me like the most colossal breakdown in not just empathy but the most basic forms of mutual recognition and comprehension in my lifetime.

But this morning I forced myself through it. Those last two paragraphs will likely be subject to serious revision, of course, as will much of what precedes them, as I need to take a few giant steps back from the project as a whole and make sure that it’s working toward the right goals, for the right reasons. I am beginning that process by turning my attention to research toward the chapter on listening, in the hope that it might help me not only push this project forward but also start shaping for myself a way of being in the world that we seem to have made.

My intent is to share some of that research as I go, though I have a lot to process — we all have a lot to process — and doing so in public feels more than a little dangerous right now. But it’s important, and I’m not going to let myself back down from this. I hope that you’ll be willing to join me.

2 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. You have at least one Canadian reader patiently waiting for the products of the thinking and processing to be made public. I am wondering how much media literacy needs to be complemented by economic literacy so that discussions of substance emerge about the public good and individual well-being. Some of the best reporting that I have been reading in the last week is in the business pages of the newspaper (Globe & Mail). What struck me was one article about the need to understand that the conversation should not only be about jobs but also wages. Which way of looking at things is eminently in the domain of the humanities; it’s about values. Again gratitude to you for opening up a space.

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