So far this year, I've counted the following calls to wear [blank] for [blank]:
Red for Burma
Green to protest Islamofascism Awareness Weak
Black for the Jena 6
Red for World AIDS Day
Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
I've also encountered a spectrum of reactions to this new organizing/awareness-raising/protest technique, from derision to collaboration. As one of the dominant forms of protest and activism on Brown's campus, and increasingly in the United States as a whole, I feel it merits a critical investigation.
My paper will be organized roughly into three parts:
1. What is the connection/relation of the t-shirt wearer to their larger cause or movement? For this I will rely on Robbins' investigations of different cosmopolitanisms.
2. What is the dynamic between the t-shirt wearers, particularly when they gather together, but even when they are spread about campus? For this part I will use Rafael's discussion of crowds.
3. How does t-shirt wearing measure up in terms of humanitarian activism? In this section, I will use the Keenan readings.
My over-arching questions for this paper will be, what role does t-shirt wearing play in creating, imagining, representing, or even just expressing, the glocal? Is it an expression of global consciousness, glocal dynamism, or political apathy? As activism, is it mere laziness or an important step in fostering global/cosmopolitan awareness? What does its popularity reveal about Brown, about the current social moment, about our generation's politics?