a spectre is haunting western canada..

Okay, maybe just my Edmonton apartment. But still.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a place to put the ‘serious’ thoughts I have from time to time as I work my way through the academic machinery. And there’s nothing wrong with disciplining your writing habits a little bit.

So: why the title? As a rural Newfoundlander steeped in history and committed to egalitarian politics, William Coaker’s ghost has been on my mind since I first read about him in my studies at Memorial. Coaker is, I think, the most important figure in modern Newfoundland history (outside of Joey Smallwood, obviously.. who by his own admission owes a tremendous intellectual and political debt to Coaker) and definitely the most authentic voice for social emancipation the island ever saw. I’m partial to Ian Macdonald’s reading of him (1987) as a tragic hero, and it is still palpably heartbreaking to read about the FPU’s doomed project in the early 20th century. Insofar as his dream of an egalitarian, radically democratic society (before his disillusionment and fascist turn, of course) remains a repressed (but not defeated) force both in Newfoundland and the world at large, we are all haunted by Coaker’s Ghost.

This is a brief and opaque note, but hopefully it gives some impression of where this blog will likely be coming from. It won’t be as lightning-quick as a lot of more current-events oriented blogs, but will keep the pace with the slow grinding of my intellectual gears as I work through papers and other topics of interest. I’ve got a few major papers left on my plate this semester so expect some schizophrenic material, oscillating between “High Theory” (I’m pitching a paper this week on comparing John Rawls & Michel Foucault on the question of Reason, or something similarly masturbatory) and Newfoundland politics/history, and everything in between; I’m writing a short piece on Newfoundland nationalism qua ideology, so I hope you’re excited to hear all my boring thoughts on Confederation, Resettlement, and our neurotic obsession with Quebec. My thoughts are all over the place, so expect this space to reflect that.

So, there you go. I’m actually blogging. It’s a dark day for us all.

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