With hundreds more on my shelf waiting to be read and hundreds already behind me, I find myself asking the above question more and more often. I feel like the trope of searching for identity, while really in all books, comes through almost every time I use my po-co theory lens and sit with a novel or short story from most places in the world (most recently Moshin Hamid’s short story “The Third Born” in the New Yorker). I feel like I am bestowing not a curse, maybe a burden or at least a responsibility on your shoulders as we delve deeper into our studies, that you may never be able to look at a text in the same way again. While that thrills me, I also know that there is something of an innocence lost, an inability to just read a book for the sake of reading it, which while it would be nice, also feels like a shirking of responsibility as a global citizen. Anyway, enough of my pining and navel gazing..
This week we continue working with Nervous Conditions. I think you are seeing why we are reading this novel along with our study of mimicry and now hybridity. The novel begs to be paired with these concepts, and I think makes these concepts clearer for you. I hope. We spend some more time with Walcott. I hope you enjoyed the poem from last week (I didn’t see much tangling with “A Latin Primer” in your posts last week, so if it shows up in this week’s writing, all the better). It gets better every time I read it.
In this week’s original blog post, just keep up the good work. You are responding well to the texts. I like to see those direct quotes and analysis. I am responding and running the class as I would in a traditional classroom. I find the less I say, the more you say. If you need/want more response, just let me know. I would also be happy to chat over Skype or in my office as I return to campus this week.
The image above is from “Homes Abroad,” a wonderful first person narrative about the work of identity.
You might want to start adding “tags” to your posts. I have no idea how the Interweb works, but I know tags help people find the good work you are doing. And I love seeing your posts start to look more like blogs. People will be very impressed with the work you are doing.
Also, I am noticing on the click counter that most of you are not taking advantage of the links I am adding. While this week’s link is really only a way to see what people are writing right now, the past few weeks’ links have been there to send you to critical information that I think would be helpful to a young poco scholar. So do your best to find some time to engage with the secondary material I am offering, things that I would probably show you during class if we were to meet in a classroom.
I leave you with this short discussion of hybridity in various academic fields. I am not sure why we need pictures of people running on a treadmill, but I think the conversation is interesting.