An unusual vowel contrast

Geoff Lindsey writes:

I do think that the official IPA chart is crowded with symbols which exist not so much for good acoustic or linguistic reasons as to fill the slots implied by its tongue-space framework.

For instance, I’m not sure that languages ever contrast ɨ and ɯ; the unrounded close non-front vowel of languages like Turkish and Vietnamese is sometimes transcribed as ɯ and sometimes as ɨ.

A while ago, I downloaded PHOIBLE‘s database, since they don’t have a search function on the site. Searching the database for inventories from the same source that contain both ɨ and ɯ, I get:

  • Apatani (RA)
  • Bora (SAPHON)
  • Kenyang (PH)
  • Kilba (GM)
  • Kod̩agu (RA)
  • Matses (PH)
  • Matsés (SAPHON)
  • Miraña (SAPHON)
  • Mishmi (RA)
  • Nimboran (UPSID)
  • Sedik (PH)
  • Sema (RA)
  • Southern Ute (PH)
  • Tangkul Naga (RA)
  • Wayana (SAPHON)

This is of course inconclusive, since the databases PHOIBLE draws from are unreliable. The Apatani vowel inventory sourced from RA in PHOIBLE differs wildly from the more usual one given in this paper.

However, this paywalled study claims that Bora really does have this contrast. SIL’s grammar of Kenyang claims that the language contrasts all of /ɨ ɯ u/, which is an even stronger example than Nimboran, the standard example of a language with such a contrast. (Nimboran has a six-vowel system with no rounded vowels, as does Matses.)

The Dravidian-Australian connection?

The indigenous languages of Australia have striking similarities in their phoneme inventories. Most have no fricatives, and none, as far as I know, have sibilants. Australian languages tend to have retroflexes (one exception is Bandjalang, which has only 12 consonants), palatals, contrastive dentals and alveolars, and several laterals and rhotics. Gasser and Bowern (2013) provide a chart of a ‘Standard Average Australian’ phoneme inventory:

saa

Individual languages, of course, diverge from this pattern. Some have a voicing contrast in plosives, although this may really be a gemination contrast: Gasser and Bowern report that 59% of languages with a plosive voicing contrast collapse it initially. (Cf. the Proto-Basque fortis-lenis contrast: in plosives, this has become a voicing contrast, but fortis consonants could not appear word-initially and lenis consonants could not appear word-finally.) Over half have contrastive vowel length.

But there is much less difference across inventories in Australia than in most parts of the world. For example, Guugu Yimidhirr, the source of the English word ‘kangaroo’, differs only in having only one lateral (the apico-alveolar /l/) and a length contrast in its vowels. Dyirbal, the language whose noun class system inspired the title of George Lakoff’s Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, is somewhat more divergent: its only retroflex consonant is the flap /ɽ/, its only lateral is the apico-alveolar /l/, and its only laminal consonant series is palatal.

What happens if we compare Standard Average Australian to Tamil?

saa3

The vowel inventory of Tamil differs significantly from that of SAA—Tamil has the mid vowels /e o/, the diphthongs /ai au/, and a length contrast in monophthongs—but the underlying consonant inventory is almost identical. The only significant differences are in the liquids: the rhotics are both retroflex, and Tamil has fewer laterals than SAA.

Looking to modern languages to try to gain information on ancient patterns is of course untenable as serious methodology, but it’s at least suggestive. Here’s Proto-Dravidian.

protodravidian

The velar nasal, present in all Australian languages in Gasser and Bowern’s sample, may not have been phonemic in Proto-Dravidian, but the general similarity is clear. I know of no other non-Australian language family that so closely follows the typical Australian language pattern, so, although I have no suggestion as to the causal relation here, no hypothetical scenario of ancient contact between India and Australia that could have spread this pattern from one place to the other, I suspect that one exists.

Interestingly, a ban on word-initial retroflexes is common among Australian languages, and Proto-Dravidian (like some languages of Western Australia, although I don’t know when this restriction developed) banned all apicals from word-initial position.

National(ist) security

One of the primary goals of the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups is to drive a wedge between Sunni Muslims and the wider world, to fuel alienation as a recruiting tool.

(source)

There are a lot of people saying this, and none of them bother to back it up.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be. Radicalizing minorities is one of the most common ways of disrupting a foreign country. The US with the Catholics in Poland, the US with everyone in Yugoslavia, the US with Chechens in Russia, Russia with Abkhazians and Ossetes in Georgia, the US with Uyghurs and Tibetans in China, the US with gays in Russia and its allies, the British Empire and the US with Beng–um, Rohingya in Burma, lord only knows who’s backing all the other ethnic separatists in Burma and how did Casa Pound end up involved with the KNLA?, the USSR with the blacks, Jews, and Finns (yes, really) in the US, the US with the Hmong in Indochina (hence Hmong refugees), the Nazis with ethnic minorities in the USSR, Libya under Gaddafi tried with the Maori in New Zealand but it didn’t work, the US will try with the Koreans in Japan if it ever loses control but it won’t work, Russia with the ~Red Tribe~ in the US…

(as I’ve said before, I bet the reason there are so many Muslims in France is that someone somewhere went ‘gee, France has a pretty big sphere of influence and could conceivably become a significant power [i.e. threat]’ and installed a kill switch while they still could)

(which could explain both the migrant crisis as a whole and the US alliance with Saudi Arabia — Iran, unlike KSA, has a population that could easily reach first-world levels of prosperity, but most Muslims are Sunni and KSA’s entire shtick is using Sunni radicalism as a kill switch, so if you want to tile a country with kill switches…)

(…of course, USG thought it could work with both Khomeini and the Taliban, and look how they turned out)

(and notice that the US isn’t taking in many Muslim refugees, and the ones it does take are either backup politicians and their families [Fethullah Gülen, Ruslan Tsarni, Seddique Mateen] or US proxy forces [Somalis])

(…because mass immigration in the US isn’t about installing a kill switch. kill switches are contingency plans; they aren’t designed to be used immediately)

(…which is one of the reasons why certain elements within these European countries are willing to cooperate with the plans to install kill switches)

…and that’s why nationalism is not and will not within the foreseeable future be “outdated”. It’s not about ‘prejudice’; it’s about national security. If there were no Muslims in the West, the West wouldn’t have to worry about radicalized Muslims.

What would Benedict Anderson say?

First, there’s the European Court of Justice, the so-called Supreme Court of the EU. Of the 37 members listed on its site, six studied and/or taught in the United States. That’s 16%, including the president of the court. We count four Harvard degrees and a Harvard visiting scholar. Two Fulbright scholars. Several more studied at Cambridge or Oxford, and I would say nearly half studied outside of their country of origin. President of the Court Koen Lenaerts was a Fulbright scholar, and has an LLB from Harvard, as well as a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government – the gold standard signifier for a true-blue USG man. The ECJ was established in 1952.

Then there’s the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, established in 1951. Of the 16 members of this court, five studied and/or taught in the United States. That’s 31% of the country’s Supreme Court. Do we notice Harvard JFK fingerprints here? Of course! JFK, Harvard Law, Yale, University of Michigan – a number of the usual suspects are implicated.

The Constitutional Court of Austria, in contrast, does not have a single sitting friend or alumnae [sic] of Harvard or Yale. Not one out of 14 members. The president of this court studied in Graz and Salzburg, not even making it to Vienna, the old cosmopolitan imperial capital. We note three instances of foreign influence: New York University, the College d’Europe in Belgium, and the University of Limerick in Ireland. A grand total of 7% who studied or taught in the United States, less than half of the ECJ and less than a quarter of Germany’s supreme court. The one infringement is NYU, not JFK or Yale Law, which might make the one infringement a Trump-tier heresy.

(source)

(relevant)

Intervocalic fortition

…was mentioned in xkcd:

But this has actually happened.

Blust’s compilation of highly unusual sound changes includes intervocalic fortition of *v *j *g in Kiput:

 

kiput

Intervocalic devoicing of *g also occurred in Berawan, which also reflects *b as k.

A possible explanation of both of these processes is here: Berawan -b- > β > ɣ, -g- > ɣ, -ɣ- > x > k; Kiput j- > d (leaving *j to only appear intervocalically), -g- > ɣ, and unconditional devoicing of the voiced fricatives and affricate. This doesn’t explain the intervocalic fortition of *w *y, however; they remained approximants at least word-finally.

A dialect of American English influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch has devoicing of plosives not only in coda position, but also in onset position in word-internal unstressed syllables.

Starostin claims “occasional intervocalic devoicing” for Dongxiang and Bonan.

Are there any instances of intervocalic fortition that aren’t devoicing? Kiput glide frication is probably an example, and Berawan (again) has conditioned gemination of intervocalic plosives:

Long Terawan examples such as *batu > bittoh “stone”, *kutu > kuttoh “head louse”, *qatay > atay “liver”, *putiq > puté “white”, *laki > lakkéh “man, male”, *siku > sikkoh “elbow”, *likud > likon “back (anat.)”, *tukud > tukon “prop, support”, *bana > binneh “husband”, *tina > tinneh “mother”, or *tanaq > tana “earth” show an unusual condition for the genesis of geminate consonants: the onset of an open final syllable was geminated. Although the data are more abbreviated, an identical change appears to be reflected in all Berawan dialects. Note that neither the syllable type nor its position are sufficient in themselves to predict gemination, as the consonant onsets of open penultimate syllables, or of closed final syllables remain unaffected. In citation forms stress is generally final in all dialects of Berawan, but this is true whether the final syllable is open or closed. What linguistic factor, if any, might drive consonant onsets to geminate only if they initiate an open final syllable thus remains very puzzling.

Doesn’t Italian have sporadic intervocalic gemination?

 

In defense of all-male spaces

Originally posted as a comment here.

The progressive model of normie gender relations is incomplete. On the one hand, it’s true that, under normie gender relations, men lead and women follow; but on the other hand, it’s also true that men are supposed to, for example, open doors for women. Nobody believes that women can’t open doors; so why are men supposed to do it for them? You could say that it’s because of the patriarchy — men want women to be weak and dependent on men — but then you’re saying that 51% of the population have no agency, in order to bolster a theory that can explain these two things, but can’t explain, say, the Scott Aaronson affair.

Let’s make the bold and controversial assumption that women have agency — that is, that they can, to some extent, shape normie gender relations to fit their interests. What sorts of interests do normie women have? Do they want partnerships of equals with soft, prosocial men in touch with their emotions? Do they want that sort of metaphorical homosexuality? Lol, no. That ‘nice guys’ are clueless dorks with entitlement complexes doesn’t mean chicks don’t dig ‘bad boys’.

Here’s a model with more predictive power: normie gender relations consists of a tacit agreement, where men agree to perform attractiveness to the abstract concept of the normie woman (i.e. strength, stoicism, emotionlessness, measured applications of violent anger, etc. — if you prefer, ‘toxic masculinity’) and women agree to perform attractiveness to the abstract concept of the normie man (i.e. weakness and dependence), and each sex enforces, and women especially are encouraged to enforce, normie gender relations by responding to lack of attractiveness with, and genuinely feeling lack of attraction as, disgust. The woman performs being scared by a spider, and the man performs being tough and killing it. If the woman doesn’t perform being scared, the man performs being disgusted; if the man doesn’t perform being tough, the woman performs being disgusted.

If you’re thinking of this as lifestyle D/s performed by people not self-aware enough to realize that’s what they’re doing or what they want, you’re totally wrong: it’s not limited to relationships. It’s the default mode of relation between the sexes — it’s not really even about attractiveness, just about What Is Done. It’s just etiquette. The dynamic even shapes interactions within the family.

Another way to conceptualize it (a better way, if you’re planning a date) is as an exchange of experiences: men provide experiences for women, and get in return the experience, facilitated by the woman, of Being A Man.

This model explains why men are expected to lead, why women are expected to follow, why men are expected to open doors for women, why Scott Aaronson faced so much backlash (he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, because he performed unattractiveness and unmanliness, admitted to having once felt sad about the thing, etc., so he had to be punished for it, by the unconscious mechanism of women conflating lack of attraction with disgust), why men use disgust to pressure women into not shaving their armpits or whatever, why women respond to that pressure by making a point of performing disgustingness at them, and — why adding women to all-male groups completely changes the dynamic. The implicit threat isn’t an accusation of sexism, although that’s one idiom it can use — it’s that the men suddenly have to hold up the male end of the bargain, both in order to be attractive to the woman (because getting her interested in you confers status) and in order to not face the penalty for breaking it.

Acquiring an immunity to magic

In the area of man’s inner life the Lengua distinguish at least four foci: (1) the -valhoc (the hyphen before a Lengua noun indicates that such a stem can never stand without a possessor, generally a possessive pronominal prefix) is translated as the “innermost.” This innermost serves as the mainspring of behavior in a man’s life. (2) The -vanmongcama, which is most frequently translated “soul,” “dream,” or “shadow,” has very little to do with behavior; it is really the core of man’s life or existence. Should it be lost, stolen, or ill, a man will surely die. (3) The -nenyic, translated “chest,” can refer both to the chest anatomy and to its psychic functions. It carries with it the implications of deep involvement of the entire inner make-up of man. (4) The -jangauc, translated as “soul-of-the-dead,” is the disembodied inner existence that is “born” from man’s total inner being at the moment of his death. Most frequently it is treated as the dead person’s counterpart to a living human’s -vanmongcama, but in actual function it seems to include also the functions of the -valhoc and the -nenyic. …

From the linguistic idioms of the Lengua language we can conclude that the -valhoc is definitely the seat of the emotions. …

In some respects the -valhoc compares very favorably with the conscience of our Western inner life, for like the latter it can distinguish between good and evil; but it can also be basically good or evil in character. Thus conversion is very often spoken of as the exchanging of a bad -valhoc for a good one. The idiom occurs in a Lengua folktale about a very bad man, who, through the change of his innermost, became a very kind and good man.

But we must here immediately point out that the Lengua term “innermost” also carries a much more physiological connotation than the metaphorical usage of English “heart.” This contrast can be meaningfully demonstrated in connection with the Lengua expression “changing or exchanging one’s innermost” which, as indicated above, is used to translate the Christian concept of conversion.

Missionary D. Lepp, as a new missionary zealous to eradicate the evils of shamanism and magic, forbade all medicine men to practice their art at his mission station. As soon as he heard their chanting—day or night—he went and ordered them to desist or to vacate the premises. After about three months of consistent interference by the missionary all the chanting had apparently ceased. When shortly thereafter a number of women came to “exchange their innermosts,” he was delighted. His firmness was now paying dividends in conversions. When, however, more and more groups began coming to “change their innermosts,” he began to be suspicious.

“Why did they want to change their innermosts?”

“Because the missionary was telling them that God wanted them to do it.”

“But why do it now and so many together?”

After some hesitation someone finally volunteered: “You see, you told all the medicine men to stop singing—well, some of them are still singing softly. Since they do not seem to be afraid of you or of your God, we are beginning to fear that their medicine and magic may be stronger than we thought. We are becoming very much afraid of them. However, we want to remain your friends, so we have decided to ask you to give us Lenco (Mennonite) innermosts so that we could become immune to the medicine man’s magic.” This request reveals that the Lengua expected far more than only a “psychic” change of heart.

(source)

What does successful assimilation look like?

Irish immigrants to America are often held up as models of successful assimilation, so we can use their history to predict the consequences of mass immigration today.

Mass Irish Catholic immigration to America began around 1830. Almost immediately, Irish immigrants established or revitalized political machines like Tammany Hall and gave them the votes that they needed for dominance—and the ethnic gang alliances, which were needed for intimidating voters and stuffing ballot boxes. There were a lot of Irish gangs, but the most notorious was the Winter Hill Gang, which smuggled weapons to the IRA, infiltrated the FBI, and went to war with another Irish gang—in the 1960s and 1970s.

Irish-Americans were an important source of funding for the IRA, and several Irish congressmen, like Peter King, backed it—until at least the 1980s.

To make the calculations easier, let’s say mass Hispanic immigration to America and mass Muslim immigration to Western Europe began in 2000. Judging by the experience of the Irish, we should expect Hispanic and Muslim gang activity, mass support for corrupt political machines, and perhaps even funding of foreign terrorist groups (which, in the case of the Muslims, are much worse than the IRA) to continue until at least 2150. And this is an unrealistically optimistic estimate: the Irish were more culturally similar to the founding population of America than the Hispanics are, and vastly more so than the Muslims are to the native peoples of Western Europe.

2150. Is it worth it?

Garrison Keillor is not a philosophical genius

Garrison Keillor is some guy who’s mildly famous for an NPR radio show that I think I might have heard half an episode of when I was eight. From what little of it I recall, it was approximately the most Midwestern thing in the world: half of the jokes sounded like Mr. Rogers calmly explaining, to a live audience of kindergarteners, Jonathan Edwards’ theology as developed in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and the other half had something to do with polka.

Needless to say, Garrison Keillor does not like Donald Trump. The reason, presumably, is that Garrison Keillor—who, incidentally, I never would have pictured as looking like a mad scientist’s first attempt at merging Boris Johnson into Tricky Dick, but here we are—is from the Midwest, and Donald Trump is from Manhattan. These two cultures are as different as the Finns, who I’m reliably informed speak an average of three words, all of which are “perkele”, in their lives, and the culture of the fellow who came up to me while I was buying a donut one morning last week and excitedly explained for half an hour that I ought to grow dreadlocks.

After spending two whole paragraphs casting stones about Donald Trump’s hair from his glass house somewhere on the shore of one of those lakes, Boris Nixon—sorry, Garrison Keillor—cuts straight to the heart of his criticism of the East Coast—sorry, Republican—nominee: he had, apparently, the wrong response to the small incident in Orlando where some loser from Cousinfuckistan pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and went Adam Lanza Jihad on a gay club.

After the worst mass shooting in American history on Sunday, 50 persons dead in Orlando, the bodies still being carted from the building, the faces of horror-stricken cops and EMTs on TV, the gentleman issued a statement on Twitter thanking his followers for their congratulations, that the tragedy showed that he had been “right” in calling for America to get “tough.” …

His response to the Orlando tragedy is one more clue that this election is different from any other. If Mitt Romney or John McCain had been elected president, you might be disappointed but you wouldn’t fear for the fate of the Republic. This time, the Republican Party is nominating a man who resides in the dark depths. He is a thug and he doesn’t bother to hide it.

Maybe this obsession with appearance is attractive to whatever audience out there it is that’s kept a show about polka on NPR for thirty years, but I, born and raised where maintaining a good appearance begins and ends with trying not to sweat one’s clothes into a dripping formless heap immediately upon stepping outside into the malarial atmosphere of a land that God never intended for man to inhabit, can’t see the point. If we must have politicians, isn’t it better to have politicians who can solve problems (on the rare occasion that the problems are real and can be solved) than politicians who can act all sad about them for the cameras before going off and doing nothing? The president is the Big Celebrity of the West, the one person in the world who can get more airtime than Kim Kardashian; but the president is also the man responsible for appointing people to the parts of government that appoint people who actually do things, and therefore the man responsible (albeit at a distance) for determining whether it’s legal to, for example, have borders—and this seems more important (not that I or any of you have any way to possibly influence the outcome of any election ever) than the former role, especially since the government could just crown Kim Kardashian Queen of America, and then, so as not to violate the human rights of the American people, hand out free cyanide pills to anyone who would want one in such a scenario, i.e. 99% of the population.

But—he also says that Trump is unduly obsessed with appearance.

We had a dozen or so ducktails in my high school class and they were all about looks.

What gives? Is Donald Trump, a “ducktail” according to world-renowned hairstylist Brick Jixon—sorry, Garrison Keillor—all about looks, or is he not about looks enough?

One can only conclude that people who became mildly famous for running radio shows about polka are not guaranteed to be philosophical geniuses.

Oh well, at least he offended some Unitarians once.

 

The Ford Foundation New Voices Fellowship

The Ford Foundation was a deep state front in the ’50s and ’60s. What is it up to now? Well, it has something called the ‘New Voices Fellowship’. Here are a few Ford Foundation New Voices Fellows.

1. Christine Ahn (@christineahn), a pro-North Korea propagandist:

Ahn has long led a group called the “Korea Solidarity Committee,” or KSC, which describes itself as “a group of progressive Korean American activists, students and artists” in the San Francisco Bay Area, who were inspired by “a desire to debunk the racist portrayals of North Korea, and present a more critical perspective on the continuing North Korean nuclear crisis.” I don’t know if Ahn calls herself a Communist or not, but she is on sisterly terms with Judith LeBlanc, a former Vice-Chair of the Communist Party, USA, a legacy Stalinist rump faction led for years by Gus Hall. …

Ahn opposed human rights legislation for North Korea that funded broadcasting to North Korea, and that provided for aid and asylum for North Korean refugees, calling it an effort “by hawkish conservatives and Christian fundamentalists with the intention of bringing regime change in North Korea.” (As if that would be a bad thing.) …

On at least two separate occasions, Ahn has referred to North Korea’s “alleged” sinking of the ROKS Cheonan, an attack that killed 44 South Korean sailors, despite the findings of an international investigation team that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the ship. This was almost certainly a nod to a conspiracy industry that grew up in left-wing South Korean circles that were in denial after the attack. If Ahn has ever acknowledged North Korea’s responsibility for the attack, I can’t find where she ever has. (Update: In this tweet, Ahn expressed support for conspiracy theories denying North Korea’s responsibility for the attack.) …

Ahn decries “the assumption that the famine in North Korea was a result of Chief of State Kim Jong Il’s mismanagement of the country,” and assails “attributing the cause of North Korea’s famine to an ‘evil dictator.’” Ahn blames the famine on a combination of the collapse of the U.S.S.R., “droughts and floods that . . . destroyed much of the harvest,” and “economic sanctions led by the U.S. and its refusal to end the 50-year Korean War.” Ahn never acknowledges that throughout much of the famine, the U.S. was the largest donor to food aid programs in North Korea, or that North Korean authorities diverted much of the aid and manipulated aid workers into distributing it on the basis of political caste, rather than humanitarian need. As for the droughts and floods, those have struck North Korea for 25 consecutive years now, hardly ever crossing the DMZ and never causing a famine in South Korea. For some reason.

Whether there is still famine in North Korea on a smaller scale or not, many people there are still malnourished, and the World Food Program is still appealing for aid. In a 2010 op-ed, Ahn again blamed American sanctions, which at the time were narrowly targeted at North Korean entities linked to proliferation, for restricting Pyongyang’s “ability to purchase the materials it needs to meet the basic food, healthcare, sanitation and educational needs of its people.” Yet according to the economist Marcus Noland, North Korea’s food gap “could be closed for something on the order of $8 million to $19 million — less than two-tenths of one percent of national income or one percent of the military budget.”

Meanwhile, under Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s (known) annual spending on luxury goods has skyrocketed to over $600 million a year.

2. Purvi Shah (@leftinmiami)

Purvi Shah is the Bertha Justice Institute Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. As the Director of CCR’s new training institute, her work focuses on deepening the theory and practice of movement lawyering across the United States and the world. Through the Institute, Purvi supports lawyers at every stage in their careers – as students, emerging lawyers, and senior lawyers – to both develop a deeper understanding of the connections between law and social change and to gain the practical skills and expertise to be effective advocates. Purvi’s current projects include designing CCR’s internship and post-graduate fellowship programs, including the Ella Baker Program; publishing educational resources and training materials on the theory and practice of movement lawyering; designing and facilitating national and international conferences, trainings, and CLEs; and building national and international networks to increase collaboration, innovation, and strategic thinking within the progressive legal sector. Most recent, she co-founded the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee—a national network of lawyers working to support the Ferguson movement and the growing national #BlackLivesMatter movement. Prior to coming to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Purvi spent a decade working as a litigator, law professor, and community organizer. At the Community Justice Project at Florida Legal Services – a project she co-founded and started – she litigated on behalf of taxi drivers, tenants, public housing residents, and immigrants in a variety of class actions and affirmative damages litigation. She was an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where she co-founded the Community Lawyering Clinic. She graduated from Northwestern University and the Berkeley School of Law at the University of California. Her honors and awards include the Ford Foundation’s New Voices Fellowship, the ACLU of Florida Rodney Thaxton Award for Racial Justice, and the Miami Foundation’s 2009 Miami Fellowship. Her work has been featured on MSNBC and in The Nation.

In September 2015, Shah gave a talk at Harvard:

Come hear Purvi Shah, Director, Bertha Justice Institute, Center for Constitutional Rights, discuss movement lawyering, why lawyers matter and what students can do to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Co-sponsored with BLSA, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research and Advocacy, Systemic Justice Project, Criminal Justice Institute, Law and Social Change Program of Study, Students for Inclusion, and Lambda. Non-pizza lunch will be provided.

Purvi Shah is the Bertha Justice Institute Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. As the Director of CCR’s new training institute, her work focuses on deepening the theory and practice of movement lawyering across the United States and the world. Through the Institute, Purvi supports lawyers at every stage in their careers – as students, emerging lawyers, and senior lawyers – to both develop a deeper understanding of the connections between law and social change and to gain the practical skills and expertise to be effective advocates. Purvi’s current projects include designing CCR’s internship and post-graduate fellowship programs, including the Ella Baker Program; publishing educational resources and training materials on the theory and practice of movement lawyering; designing and facilitating national and international conferences, trainings, and CLEs; and building national and international networks to increase collaboration, innovation, and strategic thinking within the progressive legal sector. Most recent, she co-founded the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee—a national network of lawyers working to support the Ferguson movement and the growing national #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Prior to coming to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Purvi spent a decade working as a litigator, law professor, and community organizer. At the Community Justice Project at Florida Legal Services – a project she co-founded and started – she litigated on behalf of taxi drivers, tenants, public housing residents, and immigrants in a variety of class actions and affirmative damages litigation. She was an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where she co-founded the Community Lawyering Clinic. She graduated from Northwestern University and the Berkeley School of Law at the University of California. Her honors and awards include the Ford Foundation’s New Voices Fellowship, the ACLU of Florida Rodney Thaxton Award for Racial Justice, and the Miami Foundation’s 2009 Miami Fellowship. Her work has been featured on MSNBC and in The Nation.

3. Christopher Punongbayan, executive director of the San Francisco pressure group Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, former ‘advocacy director’ of Filipinos For Affirmative Action, and (apparently) certified yoga instructor

Instead of hoops and hurdles, what the 12 million undocumented people living in the United States need are fair reforms that recognize the positive contributions millions of immigrants — undocumented or otherwise — have on the United States.

Legalization must be offered equally to immigrants across the board. Employer sanctions, which make it illegal for undocumented immigrants to hold gainful employment, need to be eliminated. And criminalization of immigrants and heavy-handed enforcement measures must be rejected.

When Congress returns from recess, it must get back to work and resolve this debate by passing a legalization program that upholds the rights of all.

Christopher Punongbayan is advocacy director at Filipinos For Affirmative Action, and a current Ford Foundation New Voices Fellow. He can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org.

4. Sushma Sheth (@sushmachete)

Sushma Sheth MBA MPA is a manager with Accenture Strategy focused on organizational and talent challenges facing the private and social sectors. Her clients include pharmaceutical firms, consumer product companies, multilateral organizations, and government agencies across the Unites States, Europe, and Latin America. She recently co-authored the publication, “Are you the weakest link? Strengthening you talent supply chain”.

Outside management consulting, Sushma partners with social justice organizations addressing challenges of the evolving digital global economy.  She serves as Organizing Ventures Advisor to New Virginia Majority, representing small business owners, low-wage workers, and immigrant families in Northern Virginia. Sushma also serves as Advisor to Fair Care Labs, the innovation arm of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.  The lab recently launched the Good Work Code, eight values for good work in the online economy featured in Fast Company and CNN Money.

Sushma served on the teaching team for Exercising Leadership: The Politics of Change with Professor Ron Heifetz in 2011 as well as joined Kim Leary PhD MPA and Professor Heifetz for the White House Youth Leadership and Policy Hackathon in the summer of 2015.

Originally from Miami, Florida, Sushma is the first-born daughter of Indian immigrants and grocery store owners. Prior to graduate study, Sushma co-founded the Miami Workers Center and served as Director of Programs from 2001-2008. She was named Miami’s 25 Power Women in 2005, Ford Foundation New Voices Fellow in 2002, Miami Foundation Fellow in 2007, and recipient of Robert Thaxton ACLU Award for Racial Justice in 2008. Sushma holds a MBA from Kellogg School of Management and MPA from Harvard Kennedy School as a Paul and Daisy Soros New American Fellow and Harvard Center for Public Leadership Emerging Leader Dubin Fellow. She earned her BA in Community Development Studies from Brown University in 2001.

You’ve got to wonder about an MBA at Accenture Strategy who puts this much effort into posturing as a Maoist.

5. Debanuj DasGupta

Debanuj DasGupta is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the South Asia Studies Initiative at the Ohio State University. His research interests are broadly related to the intensification of neoliberalism and bio-politics in contemporary United States and India. Debanuj’s dissertation is titled “Racial Regulations and Queer Claims to Livable Lives.” His dissertation analyzes immigration regulation related to HIV/AIDS, transgender asylum, and the formation of racialized queer migrant subjectivity within the past two decades in the US. Debanuj maintains a strong secondary research interest in the relationships between Hindutva, neoliberalism, and sexuality politics in India. He currently holds a Graduate Administrative Associate position with the Morrill Scholars Program at the Office of Diversity Inclusion. In this capacity Debanuj is responsible for creating social-justice related academic enrichment programs for the largest diversity leadership program in the country. He is actively engaged in university governance and serves as the Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the Council of Graduate Students. Debanuj is the graduate student representative on the University Senate Diversity Committee.

He has worked for over 16 years across two continents in the “civil society sector.” In 1994 Debanuj founded the first HIV prevention program for men-who-have-sex-with-men in Kolkata, India. His work in the US has largely been within the environmental rights, sexual rights and immigrant rights movements. Debanuj has received numerous grants, awards and fellowships notably the Association of American Geographers T.J.Reynolds Award for Disability Studies (2013 & 2012), The Space, Sexualities, and Queer Research Group of the Royal Geographic Society-Institute of British Geographers Scholarship towards attending RGS-IBG ( 2012), Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Small Grant from the Ohio State University (2011), Ford Foundation / Academy for Educational Development funded New Voices Fellowship (2006), The British Department for International Development-West Bengal Sexual Health Project Multi-Year Award (1995-1998), Graduate Research Fellowships from the University of Akron (1996-1998), and The International AIDS Society Fellowships for Emerging Activists (1996). Debanuj holds a B.A. in Sociology (HONS) from Presidency College, Kolkata (now the Presidency Autonomous University), and an MA in Geography & Urban Planning from the University of Akron, OH. Debanuj’s work has been published in the Disability Studies Quarterly, Contemporary South Asia, the Scholar & Feminist Online, South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection (SAMAR), make/shift, and the WhiteCrane Journal.

Areas of Expertise:
* Global Philanthropy
* Transnational Feminist & Sexuality Studies
* Race & Queer theory
* Space and Subjectivity
* Women of Color Philosophers
* South Asian Languages and Literature
* Activism and the Academy

 

Here’s his academia.edu profile. His shtick is something about “queering immigration”.