February Update 2018

A brief period of winter rain has passed, leaving a lovely warm late winter day that belies the dangers of another coming drought period. It should be raining more.

Among other developments in life, I’ve been reading some climate change-related Sci-Fi (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Green Earth), and it’s causing some odd feelings. When fiction predicts fact, and those facts are awfully “inconvenient”, actually frightening, it drives me more and more towards an uncertainty about what should be — what can be – done. Should I be spending my time reading fiction?

That said, what we might do is ‘keep on keeping on’. In my case, this means to keep organizing, keep gardening, keep researching, keep writing, and keep myself open to absorbing the joy and good nature of my son (hopefully other beings exude these qualities around me too, and I can notice that too!).

For now, as I embark upon the start of a PhD-getting process, I place here my recently finished conference paper, on “The agrarian origins of authoritarian rural populism in the United States: What can we learn from 20th century struggles in California and the Midwest?”. The paper is an initial exploration of the intended topic for my dissertation research. Feedback welcome!

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