Clay Spinuzzi has a blog

His blog mostly consists of book reviews--very nice! In an applied methods class I took, we had an "analysis of research study" assignment, in which we took a book-length study and analyzed the entire research design, including how well the choice of methods fit with the theoretical framework and research question, etc. One of the options was Spinuzzi's dissertation, which I chose. It's an excellent genre analysis and has been published by MIT Press.

Random Saturday Stuff

What a beautiful day: 64 degrees and thunderstormy. I say that knowing how much I sound like a member of the Addams family, but oh well; I do love this kind of weather. Last night I had a very weird dream. I attended a speech given by George W. Bush. His photographers had forgotten their cameras, so one of his aides asked if anyone in the audience had a camera. It just so happened that I had my big fabulous Canon A2E, so I went up to the front. They instructed me to sit in the front row, along with a bunch of soldiers in Army uniforms, and take pictures. I did, and then after the speech, Bush asked if there were any questions. I raised my hand and stammered something about women's rights, and Colin Powell said, "Why don't you tell us what you really think?" They then told me they liked my pictures so much that they wanted me to be Bush's official photographer, and were willing to pay me a lot of money. I thought to myself, can I really be the photographer for an administration that goes against everything I stand for? Would I still be able to blog about my political views? Then I woke up.

2 conferences this month...

...and already, anxiety dreams. In 8 days, I'll be going to Toronto for the AoIR conference, and then the following weekend, to Ohio for the Feminisms & Rhetorics conference. Last night, I had a dream about AoIR, only instead of being in Toronto, it was on the beach somewhere--perhaps a subconscious fast-forward to Computers & Writing in Hawai'i. I lay down in the wet sand very close to the water, mesmerized by the waves. There was a big, high swing set a few yards from the shore, and I swam out, got into a swing, and swung in tandem with the waves. Later I realized I had forgotten to bring my paper, but that didn't matter; I had missed my presentation because I had been out there for so long. Then I found out that the White Stripes were playing and, as I was trying to find the venue, I woke up.

Water is hardly ever present in my dreams. What could this mean?

Glenn Reynolds answers FAQJ

Sheesh, I can't believe I'm just now finding this interview of sorts. Glenn Reynolds answers frequently asked questions from journalists so that he can refer them to his FAQJ; how convenient! One very interesting question:

Will the blog bubble burst?

Sure. But it'll be like most Internet bubbles: the real bubble is in attention. Napster got a lot of attention a couple of years ago. That bubble has "burst," but there's actually more filetrading going on now than there was then. It's just not on the cover of newsmagazines. Similarly, someone will soon announce that blogs are "over," but weblogging will continue at a higher rate than it's going on now. It will just have become part of normal life. We don't hear much about the "electric light revolution" anymore, but that doesn't mean we've all returned to candles.

Intersectionality, and I *heart* Nomy Lamm

It's cool when the reading you're doing for two of your classes runs together, isn't it? It is for me. In my Gender, Rhetoric, and Literacy class, we're reading selections from the anthology Available Means, including Nomy Lamm's essay, "It's a Big Fat Revolution." It just so happens that what Lamm's saying fits very well with this week's problematic in my Women's Studies class: Theorizing the Multiplicitous Subject, or Intersectionality. Here's my response to the texts ("The Combahee River Collective Statement," "The Impossibility of Women's Studies" by Wendy Brown, "U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness" by Chela Sandoval, and "Notes from the (Non)Field: Teaching and Theorizing Women of Color" by Rachel Lee).

When I think about all the marks I have against me in this society, I am amazed that I haven't turned into some worthless lump of shit. Fatkikecripplecuntqueer. In a nutshell. But then I have to take into account the fact that I'm an articulate, white, middle class college kid, and that provides me with a hell of a lot of privilege and opportunity for dealing with my oppression that may not be available to other oppressed people. And since my personality/being isn't divided up into a privileged part and an oppressed part, I have to deal with the ways that these things interact, counterbalance and sometimes even overshadow each other. For example, I was born with one leg. I guess it's a big deal, but it's never worked into my body image in the same way that being fat has. And what does it mean to be a white woman as opposed to a woman of color? A middle-class fat girl as opposed to a poor fat girl? What does it mean to be fat, physically disabled and bisexual? (Or fat, disabled, and sexual at all?)

Nomy Lamm, “It's a Big Fat Revolution.”

Andrew Jackson had a "slobbering habit"

Elle always finds the neatest stuff online. I spent a quite unproductive morning the other day looking at the medical history of American presidents.

Weight Watchers Recipe Cards, 1974

Just look at it. I'd have lost weight too eating THAT stuff! Hahahahaha.

On an unrelated note, I just looked at the much-snickered-about Pixyland for the first time in a few years. Randy Constan seems like a very cool guy, actually. The world needs more people who put "Guitarist, Inventor, Engineer, Eternal Child" on their business cards and post pictures of themselves in pixie outfits online. It looks as though he'll be on VH-1 soon; too bad I no longer have cable.

On Theorizing Gender

The following is another one of my short "problematic" papers for my Women's Studies class. This time, the readings were "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis" by Joan Wallach Scott, "Gender as Seriality: Thinking about Women as a Social Collective" by Iris Marion Young, and "Interpreting Gender" by Linda Nicholson.

I came to this reading wondering naively why women's studies theorists perceived a need to generalize across cultures. Why not just study the particular, and borrow from the empricist's claim that “this sample is not meant to generalize to the population of women.” Young's definition of theory as “a kind of discourse that claims to be comprehensive, to give a systematic account and explanation of social relations as a whole,” however, helped me to understand the aims of feminist theory (p. 717). The problem rests on how to create a feminist politic(s) of difference, which the theoretical agreement on woman as a social category must precede (Nicholson). The problematic at issue here is how we are to, theoretically and politically, conduct analyses of women as a social collective, not just individuals, without falling into the traps of false essentialism and faulty generalization—making claims about “all women” that do not take into consideration specific cultures' gender constructions.

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