As individuals and as a field, we must interrogate our work to ensure that we are not ourselves complicit in the neoliberal practice of naming problems in order to evade their resolution (Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein)


Though there are occasional references to friendship in the philosophic tradition, friendship basically became a “marginal practice” in the sense of losing its philosophic centrality. Today, it is largely seen as therapeutic. Against that trend, I view philia as an ethical and epistemological practice (Paul Rabinow)


Hello, friends from the CHI fellowship program and beyond. I am Juan Carlos Rico Noguera, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology. I spent 27 years living in the Colombian Andes mountains and one residing in Monteria, a city neighboring the country’s Atlantic coast, before coming to East Lansing, Michigan. I have been jumping from one academic discipline to the other since I read Open the Social Sciences report, authored by some of the most amazing social scientists I have ever seen: Immanuel Wallerstein and Michel-Rolph Trouillot. Jumping around took me from political science to cultural studies, and from there to the field of socio-cultural anthropology. The problem with my jumping propensity is that sometimes people do not know what to do with me, or what to expect from me. The modern bureaucratic iron cage Weber used to criticize, but still so heavily enforced in contemporary academic practices, does not fit well with me. But I guess that’s the very same reason explaining why I ended up in the CHI fellowship initiative.

Digital Humanities, the collection where I would place CHI initiative, and it’s public and accessible scholarship are appealing for two reasons. First, it encourages collaborative projects demanding to jump around, experiment, and, as Dr. Ethan Watrall likes to say, fail productively. I believe there is something implicitly democratic on the qualities I just mentioned, and I already said how much I love to jump. Second, Digital Humanities gives back to the public, the very same collective making of academia something real and sustainable. Digital Humanities promise to bridge the ivory tower academia like to be with the people who provide it. Again, there is something profoundly democratic there.

As someone touched by some of the profound principles of cultural studies, my research interest resides in understanding the conditions of possibility to the symbolic universe human collectives inhabit. Understanding those conditions enables dialogue and understanding, which is the only technology humankind has found to overcome conflicts in a non-violent way, and the one I am interested in pursuing and improving. I am currently researching the collective memory’s dispute in Colombia regarding its fifty-year armed conflict. During my time in the fellowship, I would like to visualize the constitutive connections of the competing Colombian discourses about the past, identifying critical agents, and seeking to point at potential avenues for transformative dialogue. I don’t know how attainable my desire is, but this is my first step in a full year process.