James Batcho, PhD



The Colin Kaepernick Blacklist: An American Story

August 5, 2017. CHIANG MAI. It's too bad the Colin Kaepernick story is only playing out in sports media, because to me it's a huge story about contemporary America that should be getting much more attention. His situation is Black Lives Matter colliding directly... [read more]

How to Read Deleuze

July 4, 2017. CHIANG MAI. In my last entry I wrote about my appreciation for the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. A few people asked me how to begin reading him and that spurred me to write up this entry. Keep in mind this is a personal account. One of the beaut...  [read more]

Deleuze, 12 Books Later

June 27, 2017. CHIANG MAI. I’ve just finished my twelfth book by Deleuze, thirteenth if you count one with Guattari, plus a couple of half-readings of other books and a smattering of essays. That just seems nuts to me, too much for one author maybe. I read enough... [read more]

Updates Update

June 24, 2017. CHIANG MAI. It’s a common entry for me at this point, after another six months of neglect, to apologize after failing to keep this Updates page… updated. The excuse is a legitimate one: EverWeb’s blog capabilities are nonexistent, and I simply do not... [read more]

Trump, Lippmann, Dewey and Our Misguided Faith in F-Words

December 12, 2016. CHIANG MAI. Three words that I find recycling in various repetitions: "fascism,” "facts" and "fake.” I'd like to take these words on one by one and suggest that in our attempts to do the right thing, be might be doing a lot of damage to...

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The Benevolent Violence of the New

November 17, 2016. CHIANG MAI. The thing that I fear is the repetition of sameness in thinking, an ongoing dialectic of conservatism and liberalism. If this election has taught us anything it’s that “thought,” in the sense of a zeitgeist of thinking, had become ossified...

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Three Difficult Thoughts on This Difficult Election

November 13, 2016. WALNUT CREEK. Count me in as still shocked. Several of my friends predicted a Trump victory but I did not. I thought we’d be here thinking in a different set of realities, about a different kind of fight and set of conversations that we’d need...

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A Disseratation is Not a Book

August 26, 2016. WALNUT CREEK. Much has changed over the past 10 months. In fact, those months constituted one of the most challenging periods of my life. But somewhere, within the imprecise duration of spring turning into summer, I found myself in a...

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Visualization: Blocking and Action

October 30, 2015. BEIJING. Here are a few photos from today's class exercise in blocking and character action. I ask the students to visualize the movements of their characters and to set up their blocking in the two- and three-dimensional area of the frame. Since...

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The Defense

July 14, 2015. MILAN. I've arrived at Malpensa Airport far too early for my flight to Athens. Time enough to do some writing... My defense has come and gone, another EGS experience is rendered to memory, and all is well. I begin this, then, with the event that... [read more]

Winding Down the Diss

May 9, 2015. BEIJING. The dissertation is nearly done and I am days from submission. I have to get back to work, so I’ll write more soon. But just for fun, below is the final paragraph of the document. Without reading what came before, much of the lexicon might... [read more]

Everything in Its Right Time

February 9, 2015. SAN FRANCISCO. I’m in the city for a week on a visa run. I just dropped off my application and have to wait four days to get my passport back. My regular hotel in North Beach gives nice discounts for a full week’s stay, so I’m taking...  

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Name Dropping

August 28, 2014. CHIANG MAI. Yesterday I completed my 100th reading for my dissertation since becoming ABD. (It also marks just over a year since I became ABD.) I can be meticulous about projects such as this, so when I finished classes last August I decided to... [read more]

Love, Absence, Presence

August 19, 2014. CHIANG MAI. The film Her by Spike Jonze plays with two intertwined journeys: Hers is from innocence to transcendence. His is from heartbreak to love to heartbreak to hope. Considered from a strictly narrative “hero’s journey” framework... [read more]


May 20, 2014. BERLIN. Almost a week into my arrival back in Germany, the jet lag has settled, much döner has been consumed, writings have been written, readings read, dissertation meetings arranged, and many good gatherings with friends have... well...  

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Zen and the Art of Motorbiking

December 29, 2013. KRABI. As we think, we are inexorably negotiating our own fragmented consciousness. We live always in two times—the pre-reflective now of experience, and the reflective then-that-is-recalled of possible understanding. Both are always with... [read more]

The Leaving

December 20, 2013. CHIANG MAI. I’ve given up trying to understand time. Not that I can understand it. But time was different this year. The year was all about the future at every now I had. What is the next trip? It’s coming “soon.” And then it came, that now, the... [read more]


October 13, 2013. LUANG PRABANG. "I arrive in a village for my holidays, happy to leave my work and my everyday surroundings. I settle in the village, and it becomes the centre of my life. The low level of the river, gathering in the maize crop or nutting are...  

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In a Silent Way

September 18, 2013. CHIANG MAI. Imagine if pain projected itself to the mind as sound. Only I can hear the dull ache of my kneecap. Or if pain resonated audibly outward from itself, from the source, a continuous grinding hum of my kneecap that everyone... [read more]

The Week Between

August 28, 2013. BUSAN. I have just returned from the European Graduate School to Busan—from one community to the other. In a few days I will leave Korea and move to Chiang Mai. I used to think of Korea as my bubble, a semipermeable one. It is my alternate... [read more]

Singapore: Making New Making Strange

June 21, 2013. BUSAN. I’m just now catching my breath after a quick trip to Singapore (plus a brief stay in Shanghai). No, I’m not referring to the quality of the air (more on this later). I was there to attend a conference for the journal Moving Worlds at Nanyang... [read more]

Leaving Korea

June 11, 2013. BUSAN. After six and a half years in Korea, I’m packing up and moving on. To put a long story into a single sentence: My department folded at Kyungsung and rather than shift into a new department I took it as an opportunity to go. Since I...     

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Sex and Philosophy

December 28, 2012. BUSAN. I’ve been meaning for a while to use this space to write some posts on readings that I’ve been doing for my graduate study. I don’t necessarily want to write “book reviews” but rather highlight some aspects of the material that strikes...

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영화판: The Korean Cinema

November 22, 2012. BUSAN. In earlier entries, I mentioned a film I worked on called Ari Ari the Korean Cinema. It screened at the Busan International Film Festival over a year ago. But then it went nowhere. Although distributers were interested, the film got...

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August 31, 2012. BUSAN. I’ve I recently returned from my first summer of classes at the European Graduate School for my PhD study. I had received a good amount of advance knowledge regarding the way things work there prior to my arrival. That, plus the fact...

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There are more archives. I will try to find the time to post them in the future.