po-mo and all that

Sun, 9 Mar 1997 15:12:07 -0500 (EST)
A. Gunder Frank (agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca)

In re the po-mo "debate", an item that I had preferred to forget.
Incidental intelligence: I received several responsess from the cc's
All expressed sympathy with Tim and me, except one -
which sided with the students and said that what they said is all on the
up and up --
and THAt one came from my China historian son, Paulo! [if anyone wants and
if he permits and if i can still find it, I can forward his too!]
Alas, not even hara-kiri seems to offer a way out.
gunder frank
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 17:49:17 -0500 (EST)
From: "A. Gunder Frank" <agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca>
To: agf <agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca>
"R. Bin Wong" <bwong@benfranklin.hnet.uci.edu>,
Ken Pomeranz <kpomeran@benfranklin.hnet.uci.edu>,
"jack a. goldstone" <jagoldstone@ucdavis.edu>,
lynn nelson <lhnelson@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>,
Paulo Frank <pfrank@iprolink.ch>, J B Owens <OWENJACK@FS.isu.edu>,
Albert J Bergesen <albert@U.Arizona.EDU>,
Nancy Howell <howell@epas.utoronto.ca>

I have been sitting in on Tim Brook's "Theories of Wofld History" Seminar.

The topic today was BRAUDEL.
The only saving grace was that we never got to the CRITIQUE of Braudel
that i had written and that Tim had assigned. Thats because Tim and I
spent the two hours DEFENDING Braudel, despite the awful things he says
about China and his - to me? - Eurcopean world-economy.

The students lit into/dismissed/attacked/disdained/rejected and what not
Braudel because
he uses/ refers to:
numbers - no goodnick
population data - no point
material life - not interesting
commonalities - its differences that count
comparisons - he compares aplles & oranges and fails to also compare
elephants, stars, funny ideas, and a thousand other etcs.

He does NOT, what an unforgivable sin-
- agency
-the differences between humans and animals and rocks
-medieval history = Ideas in and about the same

Every "discussion" that Tim or indeed a student tries to
initiate/guide/anticipate/or anything ...
leads into a swamp on top of concrete, and disappears there into nothing.
Start again on the same or another topic, with the same result.

Besides Po-Mo reigns to the po-mo power.
Its sooooooo frustrating, that not even hara-kiri seesm to be able to
offer any out...

.... and Al Bergeson told me just never you=me mind that our contemporaries
and friends cant accept or even listen to "my version" of "history";
It's the "next" generation of graduaste studeents that will come around,
he says. Well....

I just saw the future - and it does NOT work!