I’m in the 7th week of my Winter Quarter at UChicago. My classes this Quarter are focused on 1) the Political Economy of Corruption 2) Human Rights, Law, and Torture and 3) the Political and Legal Theory of Punishment (esp. Prisons). As you can guess, the subject matter is heavy, and the class discussions are quite engaging.

I have officially begun my MA Thesis. No more drafting Thesis proposals. No more searching for a Thesis Adviser. I’m done with all of that. Now, I write. The funny thing about that is that I see everything with a particular lens now. Now I look at stories like this one, and see the US Department of State’s plan to build 2 more prisons in Haiti as a reflection of both sovereign power and biopolitics. By extending its jurisdiction beyond national borders, the US creates colonized spaces without law. In the same sense, it is an extension of biopolitics, which manages life and tempers the sovereign ‘right to kill.’ In a more materialistic sense, this is also a reflection of the reach of multinational corporations- particularly those in the prison industry. Why build more prisons in a nation where nearly 3 out of 4 prisoners are awaiting trial? Why not fortify the judicial structures? Delays in adjudication and subsequent detention are shown to have an inordinate level of stress on detainees. Research shows that suicide rates are higher among detainees awaiting trial than among those who have already been tried, convicted, and sentenced.

In other news, I have officially deleted my Twitter account. No looking back this time. Social media is a wonderful tool, but we cannot mistake engagement with other users on social media platforms for actually knowing them. This false familiarity lends itself to a very strong contempt, in my experience. And there’s something very seductive about having an audience that makes people forget that.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a quick update. I am still here.

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