I haven’t posted anything on the blog in awhile because I’m in the middle of a number of non-music projects. One of these is a talk I’ll be giving at Queens College, which anyone is welcome to attend:


Pursuing Quality of Life:
Happiness, Creativity and Place in These (Still) Neoliberal Times

a lecture at Queens College
Powdermaker Hall 351

Leonard Nevarez
Vassar College

This talk examines contemporary shifts in the discourse and pursuits of ‘quality of life’ (the idea) in three emblematic sites.  Scientific and self-help conceptualizations of ‘happiness’ highlight the compulsory individualization of welfare in an Anglo-American liberal welfare regime.  Expert discourses advocating work as the ‘muse’ of creativity enshrine a market orientation that obscures the collective organization and negotiation of work’s quality.  Residential migrations to places celebrated for their ‘high quality of life’ engender a rootless perspective, adopted by the mobile and rooted alike, toward community and other bases of social commitment.  In these ways, the idea of quality of life has come to convey an ahistorical, individualized market framework for pursuing well-being that sustains a culture of neoliberalism, undiminished by recent failures of neoliberal economic policy.

Powdermaker Hall, Queens College

Powdermaker Hall, Queens College