Today we officially launch BABEL's most ambitious fundraising effort ever, even bigger than the Kickstarter that Nimrod ran to erect the original Tower of Babel: an insane attempt to raise ten thousand dollars. TEN. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. Who raises that kind of money for a nonhierarchical nomadic entity that wanders, provokes and catalyzes? It's not like we have a director of development. We run almost everything we do on volunteer effort. But we know what we do have: you. Your support. Your desire to develop more passionate and more compassionate intellectual and artistic community. We're certain we can do this together. We believe that through this project's success we will demonstrate that caring for those in precarious positions within, without and beside the academy is not a nice little afterthought but a central obligation.
The funds we raise will be spent ensuring that BABEL events are accessible to those who do not have much in the way of institutional support: adjuncts, graduate students, those who teach at institutions fond of declaring a state of emergency and suspending scholarship and development, artists, nomads, all the members of the precariat. We are raising funds for three intimately related purposes.
- $1,000 for the James Paxson Memorial Travel Grant, to be awarded for travel to the 2015 Kalamazoo Medieval Congress. Two grants of $500 each will be awarded to presenters who lack institutional support for travel.
- $1,000 for the Radical Conviviality Fund, the money used to ensure that all BABEL social gatherings are open to all regardless of financial means.
- Most importantly, $8,000 to aid precariat presenters to travel to BABEL Biennale at University of Toronto in October 2015. This fund will be used to cover travel and hotel for those who do not have the institutional support to cover their own travel.
Consider the tangible, immediate and material ways you can help graduate students, NTT faculty, artists and others who do not have access to adequate professional development resources -- as well as to conference enjoyment. Please contribute generously. We want as many people as possible to have access to BABEL.
AND: Members of the BABEL Steering Committee have donated prizes. Your life will change in their wake! If you contribute, you are eligible for things like: punctum books and records, poems made in your honor, a stack of cool books, a compilation of weird out of print texts, bestiary wear, parchment, a guest post on the Material Collective blog, hand knit mitts, BABEL swag (and yes, if you buy your own BABEL swag during the fundraising effort, the profit becomes a donation to BABEL Access 2015).
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