New Year’s Resolutions

I am trying to resolve what would be a good new year’s resolution after this hellacious year for my profession.  I’m thinking: rise above and leave the crap behind, give it zero attention. When confronted with a threat to sue, laugh out loud — but push back loudly if need be — and then move on.

The trick is finding a balance between finding a way to lend no power to ignorance and mean-spiritdness and finding ways to overcome them.  This is tough. The more one tries to overcome them, the more power one gives them.  This has been my quandary this whole past year: ignore or fight back?

After a great year of the profession fighting back, I think the next tact is to ignore.  Give no energy to the places that suck our good work and put it where we do good work.

This might be the best resolution I could make. We all have good work to do.  So let’s do it.

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.

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