metablog


owdy to all those loyal enough to have me feeded. 😉 I’ve been gone for such a long time now, I’ll be surprised if anyone remembers I exist. This hiatus extended on into something more like a never-blog! I’m trying not to feel guilty for that.

So the lovely Nate prodded me a while back, wondering what post-PhD life was like. And this strange kind of limbo-land I’m in… well, for the moment, it’s pretty pleasant. Apart from the occasionally breath-taking bout of anxiety that strikes me whenever I think about the thesis, life is feeling pretty sunny. I have more time for my friends, more space for being someone other than a thesis-writer, which is kinda nice, and I’m convening a course I adore. And the students in said course seem brighter than your average bear, which makes for a nice change to the endless frustration of people last semester (Student: ‘But… well, I just think it’s wrong.’ Me: ‘What’s wrong?’ Student: ‘Homosexuality.’ Me: ‘[gape, thinking but we’re 6 weeks in, this is a queer theory course, we’ve talked all about this for weeks on end, and that’s all you got?] Ooookay, well, perhaps we might try thinking about why you think it’s wrong…’ [in head: again]). The other day, in a tutorial about donation of bodily tissues, I had the following (approximate) conversation take place:

Me: So what do you think of current ways of thinking about donation? Are they fair? Are they exploitative?

Student 1: Well, they’re pretty exploitative, a lot of them. And unfair.

Student 2: But that’s because of the commodification of bodily tissues.

Me: Okay, so are there alternatives you can imagine?

Student 3: Well, I can’t really see any, but commodification does seem to be the main problem. But it’s hard to imagine any other ways of doing things.

Student 2: That’s because of capitalism. Capitalism is the real problem.

Me: And my work here is done.

So yes, I am enjoying my students. It’s nice, first of all, to be doing both lectures and tutes, because it means that whatever it is that I teach them, that’s what they are meant to be learning. There’s less uncertainty for me, in that regard: it means that I’m not second-guessing my grasp of someone else’s explanations/theorisations/positions. But second, it’s really really fun to be running the course. I added in a week on the concept of ‘choice’: what counts as choice and what doesn’t, and how this works to naturalise particular kinds of interventions into the body, and raise others as political (or ethical, or social…) issues. It’s hard work, too. Even though the woman who is employing me gave me all of her lectures, this week (week 6) is the first week that I’ve really used them. I’m trying to take this opportunity to build up a bit of a backlog of lecture materials, slides and so on. So it’s all very useful, but hard work too.

I’m also having to think about The Future. Which I dislike and try to de-capitalise as much as possible. I need to publish, and am just heading into starting to feel guilt about that, so I think I should really just start writing. I have a few things arising from the thesis which need to be written shortly, and a few papers up-coming: a chapter for a book, a review essay on Judith Butler (has anyone else noticed the simply nutty number of books ‘on’ her that have just come out? Craziness!), and two planned articles for two special issues due early next year. I need to publish more than that, of course, but it’ll be good (hard) work to just do that, methinks. I’m helping to organise a conference, too… And somewhere in the midst of all of that, I want to apply for various fellowships at various places, and write a book proposal for the thesis (or, y’know, the book of the thesis… like the film of the book, y’know… ). In amongst all of that is the awareness that I desperately need to organise employment for over the summer. It’s easy to forget that it’s about four months potentially without money. I might wind up doing data entry, but I’m crossing fingers for something more exciting. Cross them with me?

In general, my currently post-grad friends, post-thesis life is much funner, at least for me. I keep trying to explain it to people, but most don’t get it: I felt like I was procrastinating all the time at the end of the PhD. Even when I was teaching. Even when I was doing other work. Hell, even when I was working on the thesis I was convinced there was something else more important, more signficant, more urgent about the thesis that I should be working on. This is a strange and stupid frame of mind, I am aware (and was aware at the time), but it is sincerely how I felt. Not feeling like my entire life is one big, lazy procrastination is extraordinarily liberating. Yes, I am much happier. It’s good! And as much as I panic about examiners’ reports, and the potential culture clash of American academics marking my work, and the potential GAPING HOLES in my argument… I am, for the most part, able to set it aside. We’ll see how I go when I get closer to when the reports come back, but yeah…

So yes, I am hoping to start blogging again. I am writing a fair bit at the moment, what with lectures and (ahem) fiction (shh, don’t tell anyone) and with the articles that I’m meant to be doing. But I’ve been hanging around posting long comments on various blogs (mostly grumping at anti-trans*, trans*phobic radfems) which is probably a good sign that I should be doing more writing back at home.

And yeah, I’ve totally missed you lot. 🙂

So I sit here in the postgrad room at uni (that’s right, no offices for us scum… and rarely working computers too… and then a fair whack of whingeing about how postgrads don’t use this space… [sigh]) waiting… in about 4.5 hours, I get to pick up my prettily soft-bound thesis, all four copies of it, and carry them with insufficient ceremony, doubtless (it’s rainy out, and muddy to boot, so I’ll be aiming mostly not to slip; this tends to make my steps ridiculously short) to the Dean’s office. The Dean is not in today, but I’m hoping his assistant, the lovely Ashley, will have prepared balloons and streamers to fall from the ceiling. Maybe that will be the moment the exhiliaration will kick in…

Yesterday, when I made the final change to my thesis (which, amusingly enough, was adding ‘Mysterious Skin’ to my bibliography… am totally proving my academic thoroughness there!), I sent a copy to my supervisor, with a message that ended ‘I feel very strange…!’ Yes, I could have read over it once more. Yes, this could have been a moment to say ‘but it’s still not done!’ and gone into re-read mode. But at some point all of those good and virtuous concerns, I think, would have simply supposed that the thesis could be done, could be complete, wrapped up, tied neatly with string and packed away in an archive box; that that perfecting, that closing up was possible, and even a good thing. (I’m hoping that my examiners agree with the balance I’ve made, then, between tying off and fraying ends).

Now I am not suggesting that there’s not a mound of relief flushing through me. There is. And when it’s all done and handed in, I’ll likely be ecstatic (and drunk). But it’s a strange space, this one, because it feels like a false end. In undergrad, I always paused before letting my essay drop into the collection box. I paused because it marked an end. A stepping away from a neatly curtailed bit of knowledge, one which I didn’t need to pursue. But this is different, because in the end, this is what I have chosen – without will, often – to do with me, and my future, at least for a while. And so this thesis is a mark, a cairn on the path, certainly, and yay! for that. But it doesn’t feel like an end, strictly… and that’s not only because, as my supervisor keeps telling me, I really need to get this stuff out there. It’s more that this is a venture forward, a career not in the sense of the careful teleology of a working life but rather in the wild and uncontrolled movement (downhill?). Whatever I do next – and yes, I have thoughts, scary and intimidating as they are to entertain – will inevitably be shoots grown from this wordy, inelegant, heavy-handed and densely theoretical patch of moss. And even this patch of moss will be worked over, and worked over (especially, as everyone keeps promising me, ‘for the book’ – such adorably naive faith!).

It’s also hard, I have to say, to compass that four years of work can come down to these 95,000 words, to this print-out, to this moment of photocopying, this handing over to the printery, this waiting. It makes everything feel weirdly laden, dense with a seriously hard four years of work. I find myself worrying about whether the double-siding worked perfectly on every page, in every print-out, about whether I’ve left someone off the acknowledgements, about the dire consequences of missing the typo ‘hiearchisation’. I suppose when there’s no major theoretical moves to make, stances to adopt, or practices to prise open, this is where you wind up. Stressy space.

But oh! An end to formulating sentences as I go to sleep! An end to worrying about how clear I am! An end to worrying that I’m being less than generous in my critique of Merleau-Ponty, or worse, in my adoption and adaptation of those scholars I admire, whose work I want to keep alive and moving and working with. An end to disliking my bluntness, to dreaming of when the points I was making were so clear and easy to me I could prettify them. I get to move into new ways of writing now. It’s kinda a relief.

And it’s a relief to be able to let myself do some other things. The idea of actually juggling my time between a range of things without feeling like every single one of them is procrastination… yay! Such relief! And I’m looking forward to being able to socialise properly again, to get drunk without guilt, to be properly present to these things, rather than having half a brain still turning over thesis thoughts. It’s a relief, my friends, to be back in the blogosphere, to feel able to venture into new thoughts, play at virtual promiscuity, and not feel like I’m risking investing time badly. Actual fun! 🙂

 

So I want you all to imagine that this blog is temporarily your favourite pub, and we’re all drinking together, talking shit and profundity all at once, griping and laughing. [raises glass of beer] And please remember to meet my eyes when we glass-clink. I’m not risking 7 years of bad sex… Cheers!

I go away for a few weeks, managing not even the lightest of light blogging as I had actually promised, and what happens? The rather lovely (yes, I’m easily persuaded by flattery, but that’s not all it is, I swear!) Joe Kugelmass listed me as up there with the intimidating likes of Now-Times and Perverse Egalitarianism as being amongst the best new blogs. Many congrats, hearty nods of agreement and suchlike to Mikhail, Paco, Lou, Shahar and Alexei; nice work, guys. This all weirds me out considerably—and not just because it kicks my stats into territory they’ve not known in a while—but because I definitely feel like a satellite to the main blogospherical carry-on (good carry-on, really! I loves you guys!). That’s not bad, mind you, it’s just… well. I am taken aback. “You love me, you really love me.” Heh. Always wondered if I’d have a chance to quote that line. But enough about me.

There were two conferences I was at down South (not that South, but Adelaide, South Australia) and they were almost polar opposites in my experience. The Cultural Studies Association of Australasia has never felt like the home I’ve assumed it ought to feel like; I always figured that since I come from one of the few cultural studies departments in Australia, it would be a good fit for me. Not so, as I’ve discovered year after year. It used to be that I was incredulous that the academics from my department tend to avoid it; now I think they’re very wise. I’ve presented theory at these conferences previously, and received stunned-mullet gazes in response. I’ve watched the presentation of work that seems less like work and more like straight-up description; x is like y theorising, if there’s any at all; people thrown by someone asking about the politics of the subculture they’re studing (!) and so on. This year was both better and worse. I weary of being told that science will save us all: I don’t doubt that it is, indeed, an incredible resource, and much of interest can be done with it; but calling it the new avant-garde forgets the massive machine of legitimacy it already functions within, and the thorough-going effects of injustice and essentialism it has and still tends to reproduce. I know that there is interesting stuff in science, and this is a very good thing, and can be an excellent part of good critique. But there’s also science—especially in its ‘practical’ form, medicine—which reproduces hierarchies, privilege, disadvantage. Donna Haraway was a scientist, for goodness’ sake; and she left to become a cultural critic because she could see how science concealed its own constructions and reconstructions of hegemony, and knew that the way to make science critical was to be critical of it. Do let’s try not to simply run wholehearted towards being swallowed by the science machine. I seem to recall Foucault telling Marxism off for wanting to become a science. I felt like we had gone back in time. Speaking of Marxism, apparently all you anti-capitalists out there need to get over it: the mining companies need you! need you! need you! Forget indigenous sovereignty, environmental degradation or whatever other foolish concerns you have… it’s the mining companies that need to be brought into the fold, being the backbone of the country as they are. [grizzles]

Now I’m sounding all anti-science-y: I’m not, truly. But the suggestion seemed to be that our critical impulses were getting in the way of engaging with the next big thing; and this is an old, tired refrain which is thoroughly depoliticising. Which, in fact, seems to be the drive of CSAA a lot of the time. There was some interesting stuff, I’ll own, and the occasional theoretically-engaged paper slipped in there. The opening keynote was given by Julian Agyeman, and was entitled ‘Toward ‘Just’ Sustainabilities’. This paper was pragmatic in orientation, but no less politically engaged for that: it functioned as a critique of the environmental sustainabilities movements which have so recently become mainstream concerns, arguing that often the focus on the environment means that there is little or no engagement with the results of environmental degradation for human communities. The argument was, effectively, that ‘the environment’ is often taken as being captured by a dreadfully old-fashioned conception of nature: wild, unblemished and separate from us. Instead, Julian (can I call you Julian? ;-)) argued that environment cannot be fully thought without some consideration of how we interact with it, and as such we don’t just need sustainability, we need just sustainability. Social justice doesn’t just go out the window because sustainability came in; indeed, when looking at the changes in the environment, it’s kinda important to mark that it’s regularly those who have suffered the most injustice who are going to suffer (again) the worst under environmental change/degradation. Climate change refugees were one example that kept coming up. I liked this paper; it also demonstrated to me that sophisticated engagement with politics is really what I miss at CSAA, not just theory…

I have to confess I played faster and looser with attendance this year than I have in previous years. The next plenary I attended was also great, but I had skipped quite a number (the days were incredibly full, and incredibly ‘all-stars’ focused: there were two keynotes every day, and the days went until 6.30 or 7 which is just too long for me. I need beer before that.) Steve Hemming and Daryle Rigney together gave a presentation called ‘Unsettling Sustainability: Ngarrindjeri political literacies, strategies of engagement and transformation.’ The Ngarrindjeri nation has country south of Adelaide, around the Murray ‘mouth’ and Lake Alexandrina (I can’t recall the Aboriginal words for these spots). This area is severely degraded: the mouth of the river is no longer open because of the lack of water flowing down the river (irrigation is the major culprit here). The two speakers sketched the variety of techniques that they have been developing for negotiating with and countering the obsessions of governmental policies in this area. It was fascinating stuff, involving both deeply local action and transnational allegiances.

I was quite taken with the panel ‘Message Me: Cultural Studies of Online Cultures and Communities’ where Jason Wilson, Melissa Gregg, Gerard Goggin and Jean Burgess each presented (fairly casually) and then were involved in conversation with each other and the audience. Mel Gregg demonstrated that the ‘innovative’ edges of online cultures doesn’t necessarily extend to its assumptions about gender, class and race. She was particularly interested in the temporalities the internet was engendering for the ways people live their lives, and the questions of how ethnography could work in this context. You can find more in this vein here. Jason Wilson discussed youdecide2007, which he was key in making happen, and the idea of citizen journalism. It was interesting, primarily because he demonstrated the way that assumptions about age (everyone’s a teenager on the internet) don’t actually play out a lot of the time. Jean Burgess took us to the web trend map, and discussed Youtube’s apparent inability to understand its own success (‘Come, Oprah, broadcast with us, lend us legitimacy!’). Gerard Goggin (I was wilting by this point, so if I’m absolutely off the mark, someone let me know, will ya?) suggested that online stuff still does need to be interrogated in terms of established concepts—cultures, bodies and power—even as we are aware that they pose a challenge to those theoretical structures. I wanted to hear a bit more about his work on disability, but that, my friends, is probably something *I* should run away and research. Later. Post-thesis. Sigh. An interesting panel, even if I felt a little like I’d been introduced to a range of stuff I’ll have to go off and read up on. Again. Later. 🙂 Afterwards I was thinking how hard it must be to present to an audience whose net literacy may be limited (and even if it’s not, there’s piles of stuff on the web map that I have never heard of… yes, I, participant in blogosphere!); that’s probably part of the cause of the introductory feel some of the papers had.

Cate Thill’s “Sustaining Indigenous Futures: Welfare Reform and Responsibility for the Other,” and Hannah Stark’s “‘But we always make love with worlds’: Deleuze (and Guattari) and love” gave me some of my theory fix. Cate discussed sustaining indigenous alterity, and the threat posed to it by protectionist, individualising legislation which puts in place the responsibility of welfare recipients (with, as she archly pointed out, absolutely no consideration of what characterises the ‘neglect’ of children that necessitates it being put in place, and its whiteness). Hannah’s paper bore with it the heady fervour that always attends Deleuze for me, but complete with girlish, rather than froggish, presentation, which gentled it a little. She argued that whilst desire has been the site taken up by theorists in the challenge to subjectivity by Deleuze, love may gesture towards a space in which guarantees and separates difference from difference, permitting the mutual expression of difference. Thus it may be considered to be an act of differentiation. I liked this paper… although I was a little thrown by Hannah’s apparent unwillingness to consider the critiques of becoming-woman in the context of love, not least because the labours of love (and thus a supposed love of labour) have, for a long time, fallen heavily on women.

Hamish Morgan gave a gorgeously evocative presentation, complete with an audio track that didn’t only give us only the interaction of the interview, but with the car, the ground, the openeing door, considering the event of community in the middle of Western Australia, threaded through with Nancy’s gently-worded theory. And Eva Lewkowicz and Georgina Isbister gave us analyses of the gender dynamics that inform two forms of pop culture: the Mexican telenovella, and the chick lit novel. Eva’s paper considered the configuration of femininity in and through the telenovella, demonstrating the strictures placed on it; this was given a creepy cast in the closing minutes with her reference to the extraordinary rates of murder of women in Mexico of late and questions of how viewers function as citizens. Georgina engaged critically with the postfeminist fairytale. I missed the horrors of Michelle Grobel’s “‘The Taming of the Screw’: Feminist research and practice and the interruption of postmodern theory to an exploratin of contemporary sex advice literature” which to all reports has decided that third wave feminism and queer theory is just far too detached from ordinary (read, straight, white) women’s sexuality and is thus to blame for women getting a rough deal sexually, and in sex education (understood, it seems, as those terrible sealed sections in women’s mags). I’m almost sorry I missed it, actually: a serious point of contention!

Elaine Kelly’s consideration of “Sovereignty and climate change: white discourses of environmental responsibility” offered a critical appropriation of Agamben’s homo sacer, theorised through the case study of the apparent irrelevance of indigenous rights and sovereignty to the opening of a mine in the Northern Territory (or was it Queensland?). Awesome theory bound to political, practical stuff. Breath of fresh air, really… Shannon Burns gave one of those enormously slippery, enormously evocative, heavily engaged literary papers which critiqued the tendency of sustainability talk (of all kinds, but particularly academic-self-protectionism) to occur through producing homogeneity: it is the perpetuation of what already exists that is of concern, rather than an openness towards otherness. This paper felt like an excellent critique of the whole conference (rather amusing, since Shannon was in hospital for most of it! Thanks for making it out to present, Shannon!) I was very sorry to have missed Charlotte Craw’s paper, “The Ecology of Emblem Eating: Environmentalism, Nationalism, and Kangaroo Consumption,” but she generously gave me a copy. Keep an eye out for her published papers, people: very nice work.

My own paper? It was deeply ordinary, but I think I’ve succeeded in presenting a paper almost entirely stripped of references to theory (though of course driven by it). Interestingly, I had the same dissatisfaction afterwards that I usually attribute to having presented a paper few people have understood, but I’ve proven to myself that I can do it, so I think I’ll just not apologise for being theoretical from hereon out. It considered transhumanism and bioconservatism, and basically argued that, whilst the problems of bioconservatism are reasonably obvious (essentialism etc), the apparent progressiveness of the transhumanist position conceals the inequities that inform this envisaging of the future. Perhaps I’ll put it up here sometime soon…

And the overall vibe? CSAA feels very…. careerist, to me. I can’t tell if this is partly because of the … well, deeply ordinary postgrad development day that happened the day before and involved numerous CSAA presenters. But there’s a sense of needing to present gloss and shine and professionalism, and very little consideration of the political or the ethical, whatever we might take those to mean. (Hello! The fact you’re even at this conference is an indicator of your privilege; please demonstrate some vague awareness of it!) It wearies me. The priority seems to be on impressing certain people, and that I don’t like. It did feel very much like the All Stars of CSAA were being given their chance to shine, glitter and generally display themselves as stars; in order to make room for the two keynotes per day and the ‘plenary panel’, there were only two 1.5 hour sessions per day for general presentations. That meant that there were eight parallel sessions at any one time: EIGHT! If you’re wondering why I saw so little, that’s why. I had to give up going to other potentially interesting papers numerous times. EIGHT parallel sessions! CSAA! Not exactly the way to make your non-keynotes feel like they’re making a valuable contribution to the cultural studies community; I mean, I knew half the eight or nine people who came and saw my paper. Add to this the general sense of people being concerned to meet the right people, to network, network, network, and it becomes something of an unfriendly setting. Fortunately, there were those around who were sufficiently critically engaged, amusing and friendly that I wasn’t entirely disheartened. Thanks to those people: you know who you are! I’m very very glad to have met you! And later… the wonder that was ACRAWSA this year, complete with details of my latest academic crush… 😉

* This is vaguely tongue-in-cheek. Vaguely. There were, in fact, zombies and vampires present. I wanted Dex to make an appearance, but twas not to be….

SO those of you who are regular visitors here have probably been a bit… well, I won’t fill in that blank for you. But it’s been a while since I’ve felt able to post something substantial, for a multitude of reasons, some of which, if you’re a regular, you know about. I have been hoping to get back into the swing of it really soon. But at the moment my life is about to hit chaos: marking, a paper to finish, another to write (well, another few, but one sooner than the others), an abstract for a book to write, a chapter to finish and an annual review (gulp!) to prepare for. Chaos, I tells ya! But given that the ‘I really ought to do a decent blog post sometime soon’ stress is one I have a bit more control over, I think I should set it aside for a little while. I do mean a little while. Hopefully less than two weeks. Cross your fingers and toes for me!

HMMM…

so it would seem that rather than ‘intermittent’ net access, I would have been better to say ‘nothing reliable enough to post.’ Apologies, people. But I’m back, back, back, with plans aplenty about what next to write about, and a post or two up my sleeve.

Adelaide is an odd place—or so it seems to me now. It didn’t really seem that way when I was a teenager, but then I guess you just get used to it. A school friend I caught up with suggested that the marriage+babies thing that a number of the old school crew seem to be up to is due to there being “not much else to do” in Adelaide. I like that explanation in some ways, but I’m not sure it’s making me any more keen to head to the reunion later this year. But more on that in a separate post—the class and race (and of course gender, though I’ll likely focus on that less) politics of private girls schools. Aren’t you just waiting with bated breath?

I did get a lot of reading done—well, some, anyhow. I’ll continue the Given Time reading I’ve been doing up here, but it’ll be interspersed with some other fun stuff. In amongst all the promised posts. Anyhoo. Hallooo. 🙂 It’s good to be back!

RECENTLY, WordPress.com retired its ‘feed stats’ page. They claimed it was terribly inaccurate anyway, but it’s sad loss to a new blog, I have to say. I didn’t think I’d be so drawn into the whole stats thing, given that my commitment to the blog was really not based on whether people read it or not, but strangely, watching the line go up and down is a little exciting (and thanks to my linkers for their generous sharing of blog traffic, which caused the ups!). And it became involving. When it dropped low, at least I could comfort myself that the feed stats balanced it out a little. So I’ve burned my feed (seriously, da ‘tubes are responsible for some bizarre new language uses) with feedburner. If you feel like letting your reading me be a tiny ego-stroke, use the RSS in the right-hand column. If you feel you don’t know me nearly well enough to do any stroking of anything, feel free to use the link in your browser bar (that remains the wordpress one.)

SLettrineO I’ve written what are probably the obligatory first few posts, and they’re sitting in draft format looking bald and unsubtle and somewhat unpostable. I mean, they probably are bald and unsubtle, but still! I keep looking at them and thinking “so which of you are my very first post on my brand new blog?” And each of them keep replying “I’m a bit too theoretical, aren’t I? And besides, I look a bit clunky all on my own!” and occassionally “You sound very sure about me… are you sure you’re that sure about me?” And it’s true, really. I can’t think any of the work I’m doing outside of the context of… well, the rest of the work I’m doing. Which is going to make finishing the thesis hell, I’m sure! But at the moment it feels a bit like if I talk about any one bit of what I’m working on, it just appears to be… well, isolated. Lacking nuance. Or something.

I was going to give a sketch of what my big, thesis-size project is, but I’m realising that the reason I want to do that is I want the work I’ve done to look balanced – not too much about Levinasian ethics, not too much about Foucauldian biopower, not too much about the kinds of suffering you find in amongst Western and often white privilege, not too much about the normalisation of bodies… not too theoretical, not too practical.

It’s an interesting little paradox. I start a blog so I can be, apparently, wildly parenthetical, writing about the bits and pieces that so often get left out around the edges, and then want to offer up everything I’ve ever thought out of a misplaced defensiveness. Yet the way that I think and write is totally about parentheses. So maybe a few thoughts about my blog name…

First the name comes from a tendency in my writing – I use emdashes, parentheses, commas, semicolons, even footnotes a lot. My sentences tend to be long – not Foucault long, thank god, but long enough. I never want to leave out the bits that aren’t quite key to the rest of my work, but seem important. Given the work I’m doing, that’s probably not entirely surprising: any good poststructuralist is looking for the apparently absent bits that hem in what is present. Oftentimes I think about the modern obsession with sameness, unity, completeness and so on as produced by a kind of carving away what seems not important; and yet of course I know that it’s exactly that ‘unimportant’ stuff that’s key. And so those parts of texts which are marginalised through footnoting or brackets – those are the parts where the argument really seems to happen, really seems to take hold.

Oddly, this makes me think of studying Husserl in undergrad. I hated him then (and I’m not really sure how I feel about him now) precisely because he wanted to bracket off the world. Maybe it’s the Nietzschean in me (I almost wrote Nietzsche, but having Nietzsche in me seems a bit obscene!) but I had issues with precisely that move. I found it hard to go along with anything Husserl tried to argue because over and over again, I just kept thinking “But no, wait, this is ridiculous. You can’t just pretend the world doesn’t exist, as if thought were all that truly existed! It’s just craziness! And bad, patriarchal, white, able-bodied Cartesian craziness.” I guess this is where it started. All too often the bits that were bracketed out were the realm of those othered, sent away so philosophy could be Philosophy, so theory could be Theory. Othered in very different ways, excluded and included in very different ways, but nonetheless…

Yet theses, argument, even language can only really operate through what it disavows. So I guess that this blog isn’t just for me to write bits and pieces from my thesis, or to write my crazy nerdy analyses of Joss Whedon’s amazing work that I can’t let myself procrastinate with while chapters await… I hope, anyway, that this blog will let me write the bits that don’t fit elsewhere, the bits that are permanently in brackets; but most of all, I hope that this blog will give me the chance to ponder and consider and mull over and most of all hear about the parentheses already in my work, the ones I can’t see because of the argument I’m making (arguments that are – cross fingers – at least a little bit significant; enough that they’re worth making).

Well… anyway, she says, speaking into the silence… that’s what I’d like…