Social Worlds (New York State Fair 2017)


The New York State Fair is an index to some of the different social worlds I habituate during the course of the year, commuting back and forth between New York and Syracuse. Back again to the New York State Fair, where I spend countless hours. Not so many this year. Circumstances beyond control got me up late and I had to drive back to New York Sunday night. We’re back on Wednesday night. The back and forth of being there, being  here, going back has a whiplash effect. Got back late last night and checked the news about Houston and went to see what was happening on FB and Twitter. It’s a peculiar social mix and sense of physical presence and spatial awareness. There are the largely upstate and rural white working class crowds at the Fair, the strange student body at Syracuse, my quiet little office freshly repainted and reorganized at the university, my small corner in New York City, a rich diversity, on the edge of Harlem, more urban, more relaxed then the vibe this year at the State Fair. Attached to all that is my online academic, Jewish and Jewish Studies networks with are our own sense of anxious intimacies. Especially at the start of the school year, my social world is caught up in the transversal between upstate and the city. This year, it’s much less pleasant.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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