Covid, Confinement, and Public Writing

A year has come and gone and, though I have paid for a renewal of my WordPress subscription, I have hardly written in this blog. I aim to fix that now and hope my resolve will hold steady. I free-write often on other platforms, and really don’t quite know what’s stopping me from doing so here about my research, which, even in the midst of a global pandemic, continues to consume so much of my head-space. Surely, I think to myself, the matter is one of discipline. I pencil some weekly blogging sessions into my calendar. 

But, truth be told, I suspect that something a bit more fundamental about my relationship to the digital world is at play. I am social-media averse. I gave up on Facebook after a year, and ignored other platforms altogether, even as they gained popularity and proved to be relatively important tools for things that are important to me, like political organizing. Sometimes I feared I lacked the wit to engage them with proper levity. Other times I felt shy, and unwilling to put myself on digital display. I did not know how to do so without some level of curation, which, to my mind, translated to artifice, something I rejected with every bone in my body.

I shunned the online for the past decade and now find myself giving in. Oh well. So things go.

In March of 2020, as the highly contagious Coronavirus leapt oceans and made its way across New York City, the northeast of the US went into lockdown. My level of social contact–much like that of most New Yorkers–has shrunk. My world is more confined than I ever remember it being, and I’ve had to admit to myself how important blogs have been to maintaining a connection to the lives and thoughts of others. I’ve indulged in blogs that read more like public diaries, as well as more serious, intellectual material. These public writings have helped keep me anchored, and I think it is time to move my free-writing about my academic work from the private confines of my Google Drive to this open sphere. Over the next weeks, I will be posting some of the work I have done throughout this lockdown, including virtual conference presentations, op-eds I have published, and some free-roaming thoughts about the current conjuncture and its impact on my research on austerity and privatization in Newark. I’m even looking forward to it. More soon!