An open letter to Senator Lynn Beyak on her recent comments about the Indian residential school system

*Caveat: I speak from the perspective of an immigrant, citizen and settler ally to Indigenous peoples. If I have been out of line anywhere, please let me know* Dear Senator Beyak, My name is Aadita Chaudhury. I’m an immigrant who is a Canadian citizen, who like you, is a settler in the traditional territories of First Nations people, much of which is unlawfully occupied – this is a fact that cannot be denied. I live…

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Call for Papers – Open Panel: Television as a Contested Site of the Creation of Knowledge and Social Imaginaries

Organized for Annual 4S Meeting to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 30-September 2, 2017   Television has long been a site of impermanent knowledge production in societies all around the world. Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser linked the mass appeal of television to his notion of Ideological State Apparatuses, whereby ideological hegemony could be achieved and reinforced through its programming. Conversely, according to film theorist Andre Bazin, each shot in film was a revelation of…

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Trump, academia and its sexual politics

I find myself often thinking about the sexual politics of academia. This is not simply because of the barrage of sexual harassment cases to have appeared in the limelight in the last few years, but also because of the systemic aspects and contextual culture that make certain kinds of dynamics possible, and normalized to begin with. The traditional model asks for a male professor with a dedicated wife in tow, who never leaves his side…

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Cultivating networks of care and accountability in the academy

I just started my PhD (I believe it’s the third week now), and I am already able to see the differences in lifestyle, outlook and social norms that differentiate it from my Master’s experience. To be fair, I am in a different department (currently in Science and Technology Studies , but was previously in Faculty of Environmental Studies), my previous department had far more people (think 100+) and now I have 5 people in my cohort.…

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Completing a master’s thesis and its aftermath

Welp, despite many assertions to the contrary, I have been thus far entirely unable to keep up with any kind of non-academic writing since I started my thesis, with very limited exceptions. I think I’m about done apologizing to myself for this, because it is only now with the experience of being devoted to a singularly focused project for a long time that I see how it can potentially sap one’s creative energies if one…

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Masters nearly finished. What now?

So, my masters in environmental studies degree is nearly done. What does this mean for me? This is a question that has me simultaneously very excited, ambivalent, numb and generally horrified. Initially when I was finishing the thesis, I thought it was the stress of the thesis itself that felt like it was tearing me apart (yes, think of that scene from The Room), but I realized I was in fact responding to an earlier self-made…

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A brief primer on “feminist glaciology” and the climate and feminist culture wars

Last week, something truly bizarre happened. The internet had a meltdown over a paper on environmental humanities in a prestigious geography journal. It seemed that those skeptical (and some that are actually not at all skeptical) of climate change, and those who find feminist research methodologies largely a “waste of time” and just “PC bullshit” found something that brings them together. Indeed, for an academic paper, even more so in the area of human geography/posthumanist…

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I’m off to the UNEP!

I’m very happy to let you all know that I have secured an internship position with UNEP in their Sustainable Public Procurement Programme in Paris, France, which is due to start at the end of this month! This has been a dream come true, and after a few months of uncertainty as to whether this will be possible or not, I’m off to Paris on the 25th of this month. Now, dear readers, if you…

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Academia as storytelling: the intellectual process, narrative theory and #realacademicbios

Recently, I have not been writing or tweeting much original content. This is because I feel so focused on my thesis that I feel like most other kinds of expression are just going to take creative energy away from me. Of course, I have been proven wrong, time and time again, mostly because I failed to understand my own creative, and thereby, my intellectual process. Since about October 2015, I have written about 3 solid…

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Towards a natural history of infectious disease

For my thesis research, I came across a fascinating article by Australian physician, poet and medical historian on the subject of the study of infectious disease throughout time, but in particular the 20th century. While my area of research does not interest itself too specifically or in depth with medical history, Anderson’s approach to medical history is of import not only because he traces the development of ecological and environmental thought in cognate disciplines but…

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