Saturday, February 25, 2017

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming

I am quite sure that most of my regular readers (ie my parents) prefer my posts about life and work in Sulaimani to those linking to my work on the Soviet deportation of the Chechens and Ingush or the CIA's role in removing Nkrumah from power in Ghana. So I am returning to my posts on the mundane experience of my personal life. This week went well. I covered the Atlantic slave trade in Civ 102 and incorporated my personal visits to the slave castles of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana into my lectures. I try and do this as much as possible because I have found that it helps the students relate to the topic much more if they are able to link my first hand accounts with the text. It might be my best pedagogical trick.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fifty One Years Since the Overthrow of Nkrumah

On 24 February 1966 the Ghanaian army and police overthrew the Convention People's Party government of Kwame Nkrumah. This coup was one of a series of military seizures of power in Africa and other Non-Aligned states such as Indonesia in 1965 to take place in the 1960s. My book chapter, "Nkrumah, the Cold War, the 'Third World', and the US Role in the 24 February 1966 Coup" from Bea Lundt and Christoph Marx, eds., Kwame Nkrumah: A Controversial African Visionary (Stuttgart:  Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016) provides a summary based upon declassified US State Department and CIA documents. A draft manuscript of the chapter can be found at academia.edu here. Feel free to leave any comments about the chapter or the coup in general below this post.

73 Years Since the Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush

Yesterday was the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush from their Caucasian homeland to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I have put up a draft on academia.edu of an article I wrote for the Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics a couple years ago dealing with the subject. The title of the article is "Scourging the Caucasus: The Soviet Deportation of the Karachais, Chechens, Ingush, and Balkars in 1943-1944." The final version of the article appears in the Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics, vol. 3, no. 1, Spring 2015, pp. 51-72. A slightly different draft of the article by itself  without the surrounding articles can be found at the following  link. Feel free to leave any comments regarding the article here

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fire

Last night at a little before ten the electricity cut out. Then I heard a very loud knocking on my door. It turned out that a flat on the floor above me was on fire and I needed to evacuate the building. So I spent the better part of an hour in the cold rain with no coat until they cleared the lower floors and I could wait in the dean's living room. I am told the building caught on fire last year as well.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The week so far

Yesterday I taught four classes. Today I had no classes. Instead I had to go to the bank to take care of something. Getting there involved some traffic. But, getting from the bank to the university was like moving through molasses the traffic was so bad. I think the rain may have contributed to the traffic.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Weekend

Today I actually got a couple of concrete accomplishments done. I called my mother. I did laundry. Finally, I ventured out to Majidi Mall to purchase the local equivalent of Draino to fix a slow sink in the bathroom. Before purchasing the corrosive I had a burger and then a glass of tea. Of course it is impossible to avoid students if you don't leave the city. So sure enough one stopped me in front of the tea stand and asked me some questions. My answer to all of them was to read the syllabus. At home I carefully followed the instructions on the corrosive and successfully unclogged the sink without damaging anything.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Double Feature

Yesterday I took the 8:00 am bus to work. I then ate breakfast and taught two classes. For lunch I had rice and shish tavuk, Then I taught another two classes followed by a departmental meeting. I took a taxi back home stuffed with four of us from the department. Then I went over to B to B and had a Hot and Spicy Pizza, lemon and mint drink, and finally apple narghile while reading James Lee Burke's Light of the World.

This morning I had a video chat with my wife and daughter. Then I took a taxi to work. There was an 11:30 am faculty meeting being held by the new dean of faculty. After the meeting I had Greek mousakka for lunch and then retreated to my office to read 92 pages for tomorrow's classes. I took the 4:30 bus home and ended up going to City Centre to get Texas Chicken (Church's) for dinner.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Monday

I don't have any classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Today I took the noon bus into work, dropped off my coat in my office, and then ate lunch. Yes, lunch consisted of rice, chicken, cabbage, and soup again. The president didn't join me today, but he did say hello as I was finishing up eating. I then went back to my office and sent an email, read some for tomorrow's classes, and then took the 5:30 pm bus home.