JoAnn Wypijewski

  • syllabi October 13, 2020

    Habits of Thought

    There is an admonition James Baldwin made somewhere that sticks with me. It moved me enough to make a note on a scrap of paper—too hastily to cite title, text, page number. “Baldwin does not say that systems of power are unimportant,” I scratched out. “He insists that liberation is also a mandate on individuality: how one separates oneself from the ‘habits of thought [that] reinforce and sustain the habits of power.’”

    It’s a good motto—to recognize and resist such habits of thought—when writing about sex, power, and media, as I have done quite a bit. It is a useful frame for any subject that