A Small Remembrance

Over the weekend, I lost a friend to cancer. It was a rare, aggressive varietal, one that claimed her life all too soon. She was diagnosed in November last year, underwent surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy, but the onward march of the malignant tumors within her could not be halted, and so finally, this past Sunday,Continue reading “A Small Remembrance”

Of Broken Windows And Broken Spines

It was a dark and stormy night. But I was not swayed by the forces and the voices that commanded me to turn back from this lonely road I had set out on. For I was righteous, and I knew I was on the right path. Yea, for even though I was midway through life’sContinue reading “Of Broken Windows And Broken Spines”

Women In Philosophy And Reconceptualizing Philosophical Method

This past Monday, on 20th April, Christia Mercer, the Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, delivered the Philosophy Department’s annual Sprague and Taylor lecture at Brooklyn College. The title of her talk was ‘How Women Changed The Course of Philosophy’. Here is the abstract: The story we tell about the development ofContinue reading “Women In Philosophy And Reconceptualizing Philosophical Method”

On First And Second Languages V – Nabokov’s Lament

In his famous Afterword to Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov closed with: My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody’s concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammelled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses–the baffling mirror, the black velvetContinue reading “On First And Second Languages V – Nabokov’s Lament”

Of Cricket Fans And Memoirs

Last week, I sent in the draft manuscript for my next book–“a memoirish examination of the politics of cricket fandom”–to the editors at Temple University Press. The book, whose description, not title, I have indicated above, will now be reviewed, revised and then finally rolled off the presses as part of the series Sporting, editedContinue reading “Of Cricket Fans And Memoirs”

Writing And The Hundred Book Summer

Shortly after I have returned my student’s writing assignments to them, I start setting up appointments with those students who want to talk about their grades. In these consultations, as I go over the importance of returning to the reading assignments, preparing an early draft, meeting the writing tutor, revising often, having a friend readContinue reading “Writing And The Hundred Book Summer”

The Clock-Watcher’s Punch In The Gut

Last Monday, as I taught my graduate seminar on The Nature of Law, one of the students in attendance turned to look at the clock: we still had some forty-five minutes to go in a two-hour meeting. As I saw this, I experienced a familiar feeling, one that, as usual, temporarily, if not visibly, incapacitatedContinue reading “The Clock-Watcher’s Punch In The Gut”

Self-Promotion And Failures Of Generosity

Like most authors today, I am expected to hustle a great deal–to ‘market’ my books.  I am supposed to set out a shingle on social media–like a Facebook page, or a special Twitter account. I should post news of reviews, flattering things that people have said about my writing, and provide updates on podcasts, interviewsContinue reading “Self-Promotion And Failures Of Generosity”

The Cruelest Cut Of All: Punjabis Are Not White

In 1921, a certain John Mohammed Ali became a naturalized citizen of the US. In 1925, this grant of citizenship was contested (United States v. Ali 7 F.2d 728 (1925) by Martin J. Kilsdonk, a United States naturalization examiner. His affidavit: [A]lleges in substance that said defendant was born in Karpurthala, in the province of Punjab,Continue reading “The Cruelest Cut Of All: Punjabis Are Not White”

Lon Fuller On The Inability Of The Judiciary To Police The Police

In The Morality of Law: Revised Edition (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1969), Lon Fuller writes: In this country it is chiefly to the judiciary that is entrusted the task of preventing a discrepancy between the law as declared and as actually administered. This allocation of function has the advantage of placing the responsibility in practiced hands, subjectingContinue reading “Lon Fuller On The Inability Of The Judiciary To Police The Police”