rax: (BwO deleuze guattari)
Here are some lists of readings from last semester sorted by interest, because people asked me which of my readings were interesting, and the answer is different for everybody, but I cannot write a different list for every individual who asked me. Hopefully this is helpful to some of you, and to the rest of you, um, here is a cut tag! <3

Lists of books and papers semi-sorted. )

If you can't tell, the big things that grabbed me are Karen Barad, Giorgio Agamben, and Deleuze and Guattari, with a side of Donna Haraway and Judy B.  In general this semester opened my head up, tossed some new things in, stirred it around a lot, and then closed it back up. I think differently about the world around me than I did six months ago. I am sure that my brain will continue to change, but I think that transsomatechnics will be one of the bigger changes while I am here. We will see! In the meantime uh hopefully this is useful or enjoyable for someone.
rax: (Horo whiskers)
This week's TST readings were all about the body politic and the way this idea (specifically, Hobbes's Leviathan) did or did not work out in practice, using examples like trans surgeries, self-demand impairment, blood banking, organ sales, mayhem law, and so on. It was pretty awesome, but because of being behind schedule, I didn't take detailed notes. Sorry. If you have interest in any of those topics, poke me and at some point I can suggest some readings for you. (Also, Foucault's lectures are downright readable!) These detailed notes are on the paper I'm presenting on in class, and are on a work by an author I realllllllly need to read more of. [0]

We have perversely worshipped science as a reified fetish in two complementary ways: )
  • This was probably my roughest week of school so far; I had a paper and two short assigments due, I had to grade student midterms and a quiz, and work was... well, vicious. I got through it all, and while this upcoming week will also be rough, I only have two short assignments, and the reading load is hard but I've already started. After this week I have maybe two things I need to hand in until my final papers, which is good, because...
  • I have always known, but in comparing to the people around me am now very certain, that while I am a fast reader, both fast at "read quickly to get a decent idea of what's going on" and "read seriously and take notes," I am a slow writer. The slowness of my writing cannot all be explained by needing to take time to formulate my thoughts; I'm also not great at getting focus, and should consider techniques to enhance that. When writing fiction I've done decently well with "write drafts while off the internet" but this doesn't work so great when all of my notes are on the Internet now. Hadn't considered that one... and honestly the Internet is not the worst distraction for me, but sometimes every little bit helps, you know? I don't think I'll have distraction problems with my transsomatechnics paper, though, because I am just so psyched.
  • I had an interview yesterday with the Informatics [0] graduate program director about joining their program as a minor. It went fantabulously. They're doing some really exciting stuff, and as he put it, "We're trying to make computers useful for people, which means we need to understand people." He suggested a couple of professors I should talk to in addition to the people I had already identified, one of whom writes on feminist HCI and the other of whom has a PhD in comparative literature. There's a sort of tech-interdisciplinary program in HCI (human-computer interaction), so what I need to figure out now is (a) do I want my minor in HCI or in straight-up Informatics, and (b) what courses do I want to be a part of that minor? Once I have a general plan of attack I can talk to those professors and try to get someone to be my minor advisor, which means they would likely serve on my dissertation committee unless we found that someone else was totally a better fit. There's also apparently a new PhD student really interested in gender and sexuality and informatics and maybe he'd be interested in minoring in gender studies? So maybe we're, like, going to get people from those departments talking to each other. We're going to have coffee at some point or something, I think. This is pretty amazing.
  • Rik is here and it is wonderful. I am still getting some work done. :) Also he is a great source of joy and comfort and stability and kitty treats. I will hopefully get to see him in December as well, although that's not guaranteed, and then clearly I'll have to fly out to Seattle in the spring sometime? I won't get to see Ruth until January, but on the plus side, I get to see Ruth in January! I... am going to earn lots of miles.
  • It is clear that I am excited about my final paper. It's also clear that I'm terrified about it, but until Wednesday, I didn't really understand why. Now I do: When I am writing an English paper, or even an English-inflected close reading kinda gender studies paper, there is only so badly I can do it. There's a formula for writing that kind of paper, I'm based on a bunch of texts, I'm largely providing the glue betweeen them and inserting a few of my own ideas, and even if my own ideas aren't great, I can do everything else well and not have completely screwed up. The paper I want to write... it's arguably philosophy or something in genre, and because there aren't a lot of models and I am really personally invested in the material I'm working on, the consequences and potential scope of fucking up are waaaaaaay larger. I think if I get it right, or close to right, I can use this paper (and to a lesser extent the other final paper I'm writing) to justify why my work is worth doing. If I don't... well, I'll have to try to justify it next semester, I guess. Mantra: I am not being punished for experimenting and must take advantage of that to experiment.
  • We cleaned the fridge! And the kitchen! There is a vegan safe space drawer in the fridge now. And a Meat Isolation Chamber. :) I think I need to get more jars for dry goods. I really like jars. Yesterday while we were cleaning the kitchen [1] we put some more things into jars and that's great but I either need more or to spend some more time consolidating. It's important to make room before I do a big TJ's run on Tuesday! ...oh man I am excited about frozen vegetables already.
  • And now I need to make a jello handover (it's a long story) and get back to work.

[0] Their opening statement: "The School of Informatics and Computing offers a new kind of computing education—one where students not only learn how technology works, but also what it can accomplish." This lines up perfectly with the "what can a body do?" question that we've been harping on all semester in transsomatechnics. There is totally room to bridge a gap here.

[1] Yes, my boyfriend visits me and we clean the kitchen together. If you think about us, this makes perfect sense. "I love you, let's organize things!" *swoon* I'M A LITTLE COMPULSIVE, OKAY.

October 2016

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