Blogging to My PhD: The Agonistic Cycle of Belief and Doubt

I want to talk about how a quick little interactive puzzle from the New York Times...more

Piercing the Silence: Chemical Pregnancies, Miscarriage, and the 12-Week Wait

Last week I was pregnant. This week I am not.I had what is called a "chemical pregnancy," or a pregnancy that reads positive on a test, but fails to develop or fully implant. Apparently, this is extremely common and accounts for up to 75% of all miscarriages ....more

Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money": Violence, Feminism, and Fantasy

Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" video is causing quite a stir, and the response has swung from playfully positive (Rebecca Nicholson...more

Blogging to My PhD: Do I Need to "Get Real" About My Teaching Goals?

I've managed to fall down a research rabbit hole and have spent the past few days wading through a decades-old (or, depending on how you want to tilt your perspective, millennia-old) debate. This particular iteration of the debate took place when Min-Zhan Lu published a 1992 article titled "Conflict and Struggle: The Enemies or Preconditions of Basic Writing?" Ammunition in academic battles. In it, Lu makes an argument very similar to the one that I'm using at the core of my dissertation: students labeled "remedial" are particularly positioned at a place of conflict in the academy, and a pedagogy that accepts (and even seeks) that conflict will serve them better than one that attempts to ignore or mitigate it.In making that argument, Lu angered several of her contemporary colleagues in basic writing ....more

Guest Post: Je Suis Charlie Ou Non (A Reflection on Trigger Warnings)

In the five months since the shooting at Charlie Hebdo, popular opinion has swung back and forth in support of and against the ideas the satirical newspaper supported. For publishing a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammad, five people died and 11 were wounded.Now, there is an argument to be made that publishing images that rise to the level of blasphemy for Muslims is beyond the pale. Religion is one area that people more readily accept censorship regarding ....more

Philosophizing Lunch: How I Tricked Myself Into Better Eating Habits

I've written about the notion of a fragmentary or momentary self before, but those writings were very theoretical in their approach. Today, I want to talk about something very practical: how the idea of a fragmentary self has helped me trick myself into better eating habits. As of a few months ago, this is how a typical day went for me as far as eating goes ....more

Sacrifice and Protection: Is Pop Culture Warning Us?

Last night's Game of Thrones (which I will be spoiling) hit me hard on a visceral level. The scene in which Stannis has his daughter Shireen burned alive as she screams for either of her parents to save her from this cruel fate made me physically ill. In fact, the only other pop culture scene I can think that made me feel like that was the curb stomping scene from American History X.I had to step back and try to figure out why it impacted me so badly ....more

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links!)

Here's what I've been reading that's made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious). Feel free to add anything you've been reading/writing in the comments!The GoodThis. Watch it ....more

Education as Transformation: Of Maturation and Shapeshifting

What does it mean to be successful in education? I ask myself that a lot, and I ask it from many different perspectives.Most obviously, I ask it as an instructor. In fact, at the beginning of every semester I design a syllabus with that question literally in my mind ....more

I'm a Feminist, and I Still Watch Game of Thrones

By now, you've probably seen the flurry of posts complaining about last Sunday's Game of Thrones (which I will be writing about, in addition to previous episodes, so spoilers).In this episode, Sansa marries Ramsay, and their wedding night ends with a horrendous rape scene in which Theon, Sansa's lifelong friend and pseudo-brother, is forced to watch.I've got my own take on the show's portrayal of sexual violence against women, but I want to first take a look at some of the (smart, meaningful) things others are saying about this episode and the previous displays of rape and sexual assault. Elizabeth King at Bitch Magazine asks when a guilty pleasure becomes too guilty: It’s important to acknowledge that most of popular media is riddled with problems and deciding to just not watch a show is not always the best option. Events like this week’s episode of Game of Thrones force us to push this idea further and wonder whether or not making note of repeated, wildly uncomfortable scenes is enough to justify commitment to our favorite media ....more