What's this blog about?

As a result of a combination of factors, culminating in the shameful UCU boycott-in-waiting of Israel, I've grown alienated & silenced, working here in one of the UK's finest universities all the while feeling like a Boycotted British Academic, alone in facing some dilemmas of the moment. In this generally chilling environment, it's hard to speak out and be heard, and hear others...and I find myself writing this blog.

What's it about? At present, it seems to me like a rather tortured articulation of the state of being silenced & mute, beyond words; struggling for the right even to use them, for a voice which can still be heard. When it started, all those successive boycott motions ago, I'd hoped it would function as a blog forum of support & solidarity amongst academics similarly-situated to BBA, to help us break through the boycott movement's silencing strategies. That hope remains notwithstanding this silence... Perhaps it lives in trying to articulate beyond the filter of these coping mechanisms of old (denial, avoidance, withdrawal); by way of this labour of finding the words, this voice...
[A forum of sorts has also arisen in the blog's comments, in which others have adopted the BBA moniker in case of need (e.g.
and here exposing the racist hate speech which masquerades as UCU solidarity activism).]

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A Room of One's Own in Boycotting Britannia?

I will explain in Virginia Woolf's words, borrowed from her collection of essays whose title I have adopted for this post - her "enquiry into what state of mind is most propitious for creative work"- as she says, for this, one needs:

a room of one's own, a quiet room, a sound–proof room

Yet here on my campus, in the room in which I'm meant to write, silence constantly eludes, run over with sounds come from all the four corners:

Boycott! Protocols Lobby! Apartheid! Neo-colonialist! Neo-imperialist!

... incessantly prefaced by the word 'Jewish' - of course - whether the individual or the nation...

The noise never ceases; it streams out, screams out, from all directions. Always, its always LOUD. It's doggedly, destructively, distracting & debilitating in the way described by Woolf from whose narrative, however different her subject, I find myself drawing so many parallels as I read the text anew, from the perspective of the Boycotted British Academic in one room on one campus, trying & failing to write creatively...

Again, borrowing her words - how can I, when:

My mind is strained and my vitality lowered by the need of opposing this, of disproving that

No room of my own, not here at my university.

1 comment:

The Contentious Centrist said...

BBA: This is all noise. You can shut most of it it out and concentrate on your work. Maintaining Academic Excellence and integrity is the best revenge against these vile voices. Remember Nietzsche's words:

"A Jew, on the other hand, in keeping with the business circles and the past of his people, is least of all used to being believed. Consider Jewish scholars in this light: All of them have a high regard for logic, that is for compelling agreement by force of reason; they know, with that they are bound to win even where they encounter race and class prejudices and when one does not like to believe them. For nothing is more democratic than logic; it is no respecter of persons and makes no distinction between crooked and straight noses"

(Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 348)