Beloved Community

Beloved Community

by Rebecca Lipperini

Transcript of the first University Senate Address by Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and a personal email.

Methods: I used Snapchat to digitally cut and paste together parts of the address into a collage.

Inspiration: The very same morning I found out every single one of the Part-Time Lecturers (called PTLs) in the Rutgers Writing Program was let go for the spring, the new President of Rutgers published his University Senate Address. I became obsessed with it, reading the transcript over and over again, and eventually cutting and pasting together this collage. In the address, he was silent on the firing of Writing Program PTLs, but he announced, among other things, the creation of two new senior administrative positions, and the securing of a $15 million grant. The juxtaposition of the so-called "beloved community" of Rutgers (his words) with the same-day firing of its most vulnerable and lowest paid workers during a pandemic enraged me, and in a fury, I made this collage. I digitally cut and pasted language from the President's address along with the email where I found out the PTLs had been fired. By making the collage on one canvas, I wanted to bring together what the President of Rutgers had ignored in his address. As I was creating it, I was struck with how collage is in some ways a method of close reading, one that looks for repetition, juxtapositions, denotation, connotation, and incongruities.


Featured in our February 2021 issue, "Obsession"