I know that, in the past fortnight, a lot of people have read Clementine Ford’s article at dailylife.com.au about the cultural sanctions on women’s sexual and reproductive freedom. The commentary about that article, along with other discussions centring on recent, primarily American, attacks on women’s reproductive rights, is proof enough that this is an area that deserves further cultural examination—one that shouldn’t be hidden or silenced.
This article was significant to me not only for its position on feminism, but also because it came less than a week after I taught a class of 2nd-year creative writing students about patriarchy. I told the class what Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar meant by the Angel in the House and the monstrous feminine. I told them that Gilbert and Gubar were writing specifically about literary representations of women in the nineteenth century. I told them about the selflessness of the angel. I told them about the demonization of women’s sexual behaviour. I used examples from James Bond: Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye. I told them about Laura Mulvey and the theory of the male gaze and how the advent of moving pictures resulted in a certain kind of psychoanalytic approach to film theory to try to account for how exactly filmic images of women serve to objectify them sexually. Continue reading →
[this post was originally posted on my Tumblr, which is mostly reblogged memes, short lists of the minutiae of my life, and photos of myself with wine]
I’m so sceptical about all those ‘how to get through your PhD’ motivational inspirational blog posts and whatnot. Motivational texts often rely on metaphors to get their point across. Imagine your pain is a ball of fire, now imagine extinguishing it. Marriage is like a tightrope. When there was one set of footprints, that’s where He carried me. And so on.
In News from Thesis-Land, I’ve recently heard the following: writing a thesis is like giving birth, and your supervisor is like your spouse. Sometimes these two go in tandem, sometimes they occur separately. Either way, they frustrate me because they perpetuate what I see as deeply problematic thinking: that emotions have a place in your PhD candidature. Continue reading →
Yesterday (March 7th 2012) I attended a lunchtime seminar by Prof. Ian Buchanan, who numbers among the pre-eminent Deleuze and Guattari scholars currently writing and who works here at the University of Wollongong*. Prof. Buchanan was primarily focused on drawing the distinction between psychoanalysis and Deleuzo-Guattarian schizoanalysis, which in some ways is tangential to my own uses of rhizomatics, but also can be seen as the foundational move of rhizomatics, the point from which it begins its line of flight. Continue reading →
Washed up on the dresser
crater of a sea urchin’s shell
finger-long augers, sandblasted spires
and snail shells with ruffled inner edges.
Feels the rough ridge of a conch
whispering in a lover’s ear.
It’s said that a shell holds the sound of waves
throws back the echoes of blood.
What can’t be heard.
That paper-white shell in her hand
writing waves onto her palm.
Or: Having A Meeting On Short Notice In Which I Have To Work Out My Future
Today I met with one of the senior staff in my Faculty to discuss what I want to do next year after I submit my PhD thesis. I uttered phrases such as “I think I’m more on the academic track” and “I’d like the security of a full-time position”, and assessed my weaknesses and made considered statements about whether I want to stay in Wollongong or go somewhere else. In short, I was An Adult talking to A More Experienced Adult about what my future might look like. Continue reading →