caitri: (Chris Vocabulary)
Viet Thanh Nguyen Reveals How Writers' Workshops Can Be Hostile


What Nguyen says about writing workshops I want to apply to printing and bookmaking workshops:


As an institution, the workshop reproduces its ideology, which pretends that “Show, don’t tell” is universal when it is, in fact, the expression of a particular population, the white majority, typically at least middle-class and often, but not exclusively, male. The identity behind the workshop’s origins is invisible. Like all privileges, this identity is unmarked until it is thrown into relief against that which is marked, visible and outspoken, which is to say me and others like me.

We, the barbarians at the gate, the descendants of Caliban, the ones who have no choice but to speak in the language we have — we come bearing the experiences and ideas the workshop suppresses. We come from the Communist countries America bombed during the Cold War, or where it sponsored counter-Communist efforts. We come from the lands America occupied, invaded or colonized. We come as refugees and immigrants, documented and undocumented. We come from the ghettos, barrios, reservations and borders of America where there are no workshops. We come from the bedrooms and the kitchens of the American home, where we were supposed to stay, and stay silent. We come speaking languages other than English. We come from the margins, where English is broken. We come with financial aid and loans and families that do not understand what “creative writing” is. We come from communities we do not wish to renounce in the name of our individualism. We come wanting to do more than just sell our stories to white audiences. And we come with the desire not just to show, but to tell.

But what is that art that is also political, historical, theoretical, ideological and philosophical? How is it to be taught? It must be taught not only as an isolated craft or a set of techniques. It must be taught in relation to, or within, courses on history, politics, theory and philosophy, as well as ethnic studies, gender studies, queer studies and cultural studies.
caitri: (Chris Vocabulary)
1) I've been rereading Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern books for comfort, and the last time I did that I was really frustrated with the unrelenting dubcon of the 1960s. Yes, I understand that sex scenes had to be done that way until, like, the 80s or whatever, but still. There's actually a couple of lines in "Dragonflight" where F'lar thinks with regret about Lessa being a virgin when their dragons mated and so what he had done wasn't much better than rape--which, yay, hero, glad you got that--but then this becomes a point of romantic obstruction. Also the whole thing with how the Blue and Green dragonriders "have to be" gay that's incredibly awkward subtext because of McCaffrey's incredibly problematic view of homosexuality.

2) I worked on and sent off edits for my fanfiction and book history essay that's coming out in September (!). The reviewer wanted me to remove the bit about fanzines-as-samizdats, which is simultaneously a common, unexamined, and problematic view, which is to say that people argue that fanzines aren't samizdats because they aren't political and there aren't ramifications about their publishing. Except this is contrary to a long-held view about maintaining fan anonymity even of historical work where people used their real names because they didn't ever think they would get "published" (even if a zine has 1000 copies) that 1) emphasizes that whole public/private divide in a gendered way, and 2) ignores anxiety about doxxing. So basically fandom isn't dangerous until it's dangerous.

I'm still mentally sorting that one out.

2a) All of the anxiety about fan anonymity, from print zines to kink memes.
caitri: (Mochi rockets)
I am very tired and should probably just go to bed and try again tomorrow, but that's what sane people do. So:

1) I've decided this will be The Year that I try to get into the Book and Paper Intensive, which is an epic eight-day book arts workshop where they do different classes every year. So for half of it you do a basic course in the morning and then another in the afternoon, and in the second half you do a hardcore all-day workshop. Everyone I know who has ever been has flailed and sung its praises. And they have a scholarship, and the scholarship application period is December 1-31, and they only sent out info about it yesterday.

So to apply I have to put together a portfolio of ten things to basically show-off my skill level and interests. And write a statement. So today I scanned a bunch of stuff and started to think, "Hey, this doesn't look bad. There's a nice variety of papers here, handmade and marbled. That one broadside that has a poem I wrote looks decent. Those two artist books, um, don't look awful. Etc. So I waffle. And then the statement. It only has to be 200 words, but still. "I want to learn to make more things. Also better. Better and prettier than I make things now. You show me how? Please?" Yeah, needs work.

2) Also working on a side research project with a friend of mine, and something I've been trying to figure out for ages is when the shift of meaning occurred with "fanfiction." Originally back in the 1930s-1950s, it just meant fiction written by fans, not derivative or transformative works, which came later. Well lo and behold the OED has an entry, and mentions the 1944 Fancyclopedia as documenting the first meaning, and Jacqueline Lichtenberg writing in the 1975 anthology Star Trek Lives! about the latter. Now I suspect this latter citation is because it appeared in a mass-market book, so obviously it was in usage before then, but when? And so there's a Fan History group on Facebook and I thought I'd be bright and pose it to them.

WELL. A bunch of cranky old dudes. "What are you talking about?" "Fanfiction has always just meant amateur writing." "Where are you getting this from?" ... Uh, the OED? Also, have you read anything in the mainstream media in the past fifteen years, or hell, the last three? JUST CURIOUS.

Anyway. That's been my day. Well, no, I got other things done, and other things need to get done but still. I'm tired. So. 
caitri: (Circus Performers)
Got chatting with a guy in the creative writing program who will be in the same writing class as I. Turns out he wants to write a novel about Injun Jo, a character from Twain's Tom Sawyer. The following commences:

ME: Do you know what fanfic is?
HE: Sure.
ME: Question for you: Would you or would you not say that this novel idea, as it were, of yours is fanfic?
HE: Uhhhh. No. It's a parallel novel. It's part of a literary tradition!
ME: And that's different....how?
HE: Uhhh. Because this is art? And fanfic is for entertainment?

Fascinating, Captain.
caitri: (Eomer)
Okay, my Star Trek slash piece is done. Now it's time for my next project: female characters in LOTR fandom. *G* I'm particularly interested in Arwen and Lothiriel since they are "offscreen" throughout most of the books and most of what we know about them comes from footnotes and the material in the Appendices, but you know I love me some Eowyn. So, can has recs? *puppy eyes*

Sidewaysedly and out of curiosity, does anyone know of any LOTR modern day AUs? I know of one (by scribe) but I'm wondering if there are any more out there?
caitri: (academia)
I'm working on my fic-history article and I'm looking for two things:

1) Reboot K/S recs, preferably that use pon farr as the way the boys get together,

and

2) I *think* I saw this as a startrek!secret, but it's basically a fan describing how for the longest time they thought pon farr was fanon, and the discovery that it is canon made them believe Trek is the best fandom ever.

Thoughts, gang?

(Btw if you do a Google image search for pon farr you get a couple Michael Fassbender-as-Magneto pics and this entertains me like you don't EVEN know.)

ETA: I FOUND IT!!!!!!!



It took like, what five hours? But I found it!!!!!

Geek Find

Apr. 26th, 2011 04:05 pm
caitri: (books)
Awesome interview with Joanna Russ over at the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, an open-access academic journal. She discusses slash writing in general (for those who don't know she wrote a well-known piece on K/S in her scholarly volume Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans & Perverts: Feminist Essays that was a rewrite of a fannish version in Nome #8). Good stuff!
caitri: (books)
The list of things I've sent to our ILL department in the last few days. For, um, research.


Tale of the five : the sword and the dragon /
Duane, Diane.

Studies on the History and Language of the Sarmatians
Harmatta

Armies and Politics in the Medieval West
Bachrach

Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies: The Draco Standard
Coulston

Training the Roman cavalry :
Hyland, Ann.

Studia Ethnographica Upsaliensa: Some Remarks on Riding Costume and Articles of Dress Among Iranian Peoples in Antiquity
Widengren

Encyclopaedia Iranica: Clothing vii: of the Iranian tribes in the Pontic Steppes and in the Caucasus
Yatsenko

Cafe Latte Rhapsody
Toko Kawai

Happy Cafe Volume 1
Kou Matsuzuki
caitri: (academia)
Skimming some stuff related to writing my paper for PCA. Came across the following from a 1992 essay by Constance Penley, discussing TOS slash:

I already knew then... that this was an almost all-female fandom, and had also been able to get an idea of the extent of the production and the number of fans involved: there are probably not more than 500 active, core fans, although they publish a tremendous amount, which is disseminated beyond the core group through mail order and convention sales of th zines...

Compare this figure with something like, say [livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones which publicly has over a thousand members, of which (according to the published mod polls) some hundred or so actively participate.

Just think that's interesting, is all.
caitri: (Default)
... Well for one thing, it involves a heckuva lot more slash.

Read more... )
caitri: (Guthwine 3 - world ahead)
Shit weather today led to half an hour spent in the basement at work as a tornado came very close to campus. The emergency warnings led to some people saying, "Do we really need to go to the basement?" Um, the public areas have very large windows because this building was constructed before AC and so there is a LOT OF GLASS THAT CAN SPAGHETTIIZE YOU. YES WE'RE GOING TO THE FUCKING BASEMENT.

(Oh yeah, that's why I work in public services. Why do you ask?)

After that the day got better, although one of my students couldn't "find" her reading for class today--even though it's online, the url is in the syllabus, we showed where the link to it is on the class website last week.... I don't know. Kids. Oy.

Spent some time looking for Lord of the Rings fanzines and ILLing some stuff. I have a vague idea for a paper about Constructing Lothiriel since anyone who has to write her is basically creating an OFC and this fascinates me.

Anyhow, got the Heinlein bio and looking forward to that. Also finished Mockingjay which I'll review at length more later--I'm still chewing it over and now am toying with the idea of a Reboot/Hunger Games AU. IDEK.
caitri: (Default)
Spent about half the day at BU checking out Marion Zimmer Bradley's papers. I got through about six boxes of seventy-some. Anyhow, one of those boxes happened to hold her diary from 1955-1957. Because I am a total dork, once I realized once it was I about started to cry from awe and general shmoopiness. The only reason I didn't was cos I knew the manuscripts curator would KILL me if teardrops got on the mss. (I RESPECT that in a curator.) So, yeah, wow. It gave me a tingley feeling inside. Also, she wrote in green ink, which I do too! (Shmoopiness, I tell ya.)

Anyhow, Scott and I went to dinner at Toro which was a fucking spectacular tapas restaurant. I seriously can't remember a meal I enjoyed so much. Particular delights: foie gras with pear and bacon chutney (first time with foie gras; verdict = I get the fuss now, num), crispy pork belly with escargots, liberty apples, pumppkin and maple crumble (escargots? well I can't quite say what they were like, except sort of salty and sort of tangy). Scott had baby octopus with potatoes which he declared to be the best octopus he'd ever had in his life. Oh and I got a mandarin orange soda which was nummy too.

So tomorrow for ALA proper. Will go in to register, go to some meetings, then I gotta go to a dinner tomorrow night with Important People from Other Places and act like I know what the fuck I'm doing. This will be interesting. More later!
caitri: (Default)
All the King's Men. Wow. This may be my new canon.
caitri: (Default)
So I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for a paper proposal for next year's Slayage conference. Some thoughts:

1) Pimp, Killer, Moral Compass: The Case of Boyd Langdon

2) Echo and Narcissus: Permutations of Identity in Dollhouse

3) The People Warehouse: Dollhouse and Human Trafficking

4) Chairs, Pax, and Powers That Be: Issues of Control in the 'Verses of Whedon

5) Shoulder to the Wheel: Chaos, Terror, and Free Will in Dollhouse

6) The Human Computer: Constructing People in Dollhouse and Caprica

Fuck it, maybe I should just write a monograph.
caitri: (Default)
A Beautifully Illogical Mind: Star Trek does Good Will Hunting.

Kissing the Dead: K/S, Spock Prime remembers Kirk Prime as he kisses NuKirk.

'Cause We Really Don't Have Anyone Else: Spock observes Kirk/McCoy.

Tiberius: About Kirk's Grandpa Tiberius.

Under Orders: Pike discovers that Kirk was at Tarsus IV.

Like the Stars, Like Your Destiny: Spock/Uhura. Nyota contemplates AUs.

Four Ways Jim Kirk and Leonard McCoy Never Meet, and the One Way They Do: Kirk/Bones.

Haunting: Amanda Grayson and George Kirk look after their respective sons on the Enterprise.
caitri: (Default)
For future reference (research) even:

Even in the Future, This is Hicktown: James T. Kirk Day in Riverside, Iowa.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Spock Prime's adventures in the rebootverse.

When Dads Come Home: K/B, Joanna and her friends think Bones & Kirk are boyfriends.

Singing of Myself: Post Narada debriefing.

In the Bedroom, After the War: K/B, Bones' wife dies while he's at the Academy.
caitri: (Default)
So downloaded a huge new patch for WoW. I'm so prepped for Wrath of the Lich King, and only four bubbles left to go before I hit 70.

Cos, y'know, I have priorities.

Scott's gotten addicted to Warhammer. It's fun but I think WoW is prettier and just more fun. It may take longer and Warhammer may be more fun to RP in (not sure, we're not on an RP server in WoW anyhow), but it's so much easier on my eyes.

~

In other news, work is keeping me seriously busy these days. I come home every day all zonked out, and feel guilty I can't catch up on my writing (I've been working on a single article for weeks now) but I'm just so damn braindead. I know we're making good progress on major things, but still. Oh, and I have to work on impact proposals soon. Argh.

~

Read a very good book recently. It's called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and it's an epistolary novel about England, WW2, the Guernsey Occupation, books, and the things that help people survive when times are hard.

You know, like now...

~

Btw, I think I totally want to have Obama's babies after last night. I can't remember the last time I heard an honest-to-gods guy be pro-choice and clearly fucking sincere.

~

So that's how things are right now. I'm going to take a day off next week. I'm intending to get some research done when I do, but still. Knock on wood.

Very Brief

Aug. 29th, 2008 04:55 pm
caitri: (Default)
The home internet has been exceedingly flaky this week so I'm checking in from work. The Buffy class went well and I'm quite hopeful for the semester.

Am currently reading Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction 1926-1965 which is an excellent history, easy to read, but with irritating citations. I keep coming across things I want to read and then have to play citation detective--a problem in the SFS field is that there have been lots of journals that come and go but use the same name!! There were like five Science Fiction Reviews over a thirty year period in two countries, and if it is cited, I have to play in multiple catalogs to figure out exactly which one I want!! Sigh.

Research.

Which reminds me, I officially joined the Science Fiction Research Association this week. Whee!

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