Early in my academic career, I encountered Paula Gunn Allen. A woman of Laguna-Sioux and Lebanese American heritage, she is the first indigenous studies scholar I encountered. I read her essay “Kochinnenako in Academe: Three Approaches to Interpreting a Keres Indian Tale” in my undergraduate literary and critical theory course. I was a senior, in my…… Continue reading James Clifford and the Predicament of Culture
I just finished reading William Faulkner’s Light in August. It’s not his most narratively complex novel, and perhaps one of the more readily accessible. Still, Faulkner often causes impatience because he doesn’t see fit to leave anything out. Every thought, every psychological crevice of every character is thoroughly explored. And, he doesn’t stop there. Faulkner…… Continue reading Faulkner’s Ecology: Thoughts on Light in August
Chadwick Allen’s Blood Narrative presents an interesting problem for me. It’s an excellent book, performing a comparison and analysis of activism and literature of American Indians and Maoris in the early contemporary period. Allen examines many of the ways that Maoris and American Indians situations differed in terms of politics, demographic, and population. The main differences for Maoris…… Continue reading Brief thoughts on Chadwick Allen’s Blood Narrative
This first few months of this year feel more productive than my last two. This is a good thing, since my last two years weren’t extremely productive. This is also a good thing, because I’ve realized (remembered?) how much I can actually accomplish in a short period of time when I am working consistently and…… Continue reading Read, Write, Revise. Repeat.
One of these days, I’m going to write a literacy narrative. It’s the first assignment in the First-Year Writing program at my university. I like it a lot. I’ve written a couple, in the same style as my students, to provide a sample for them. So I’ve written these short literacy narratives–three or four pages…… Continue reading Writing, Vision, and Re(vision)
“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin has to be one of my favorite stories, and it paired perfectly today with my need to discuss racism with my students. There’s a line where the narrator says, “My trouble made his real.” And, later, Sonny says, “And I don’t know how I played, thinking about it now, but…… Continue reading Empathy, and recognizing humanity
I haven’t written much lately… seems to be something I struggle with. Sometimes, even figuring out a Tweet or a Facebook post seems to be too much trouble. I’ve been bothered lately by the habit of the academics and intellectuals I know, in person and through social media, to dig in without truly hearing the…… Continue reading heartless