“New” writing!

Over on the “Domestic Issue” page of this blog, I’ve just posted PDFs of two things:

  1. Chapter Two of the book project, which is a comparison of the rhetoric of miscegenation in Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses and Jorge Amado’s Tent of Miracles, and which I consider the core of the book. (Indeed, much of it is little changed from its first appearance in my dissertation.) There I have a fuller discussion of the idea of heterotopias, and it also introduces my idea of Astonishment as a crucial moment in that rhetoric of miscegenation, as well as in New World writing more broadly.
  2. An “Appendix II.” It’s a development of some passing mention I make in Chapter Two to African-American physical and narrative spaces in Go Down, Moses–how, as Faulkner made editorial changes to pre-existing stories to turn them into that novel and also added the long fourth section of “The Bear,” all of these changes created those spaces. Yet Faulkner understands that just because he created space for those spaces, that doesn’t mean that he, as a white man, cannot fully inhabit them.

The “new” in this post’s title, by the way, is a bit of a joke. Chapter Two has some additional writing in it, but it’s otherwise in the form that it’s been now for a couple of years. It (finally!) feels finished, or very close to it. “Appendix II,” though, is something that first came into existence as a blog post here about a year and a half ago, but my beginning to read Christina Sharpe’s magnificent book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being led me back to that post and to develop some of its ideas a bit more. It still needs some additional material relating to Caroline Barr, the Faulkner family maid who died at age 100 in 1940 (the very year of Go Down, Moses‘ publication). But it, too, feels done in its essence.

Anyway. I hope that if you are so inclined you’ll have a look, and I hope you’ll feel inclined to leave comments and questions.

O Brave New Semester . . .

Johann Schoner Globe 1520

Johann Schöner, Globe, 1520.  At times, we all may feel that the semester will resemble this image: some parts known and familiar, some unknown, some speculative or just plain made up.  We should give ourselves permission to feel those things.  Via Cartographic Images.

To my students this fall:

Welcome to the new semester, to Butler Community College, and to college more generally.  Not that you are required to be reading these words (and before I forget, welcome to this blog, too), but the fact that you are bodes well for you.  It shows you to be curious and to be willing to go above and beyond what will be expected of you as students, both of which are attributes that will stand you in good stead in college . . . and beyond.

If you are entering freshmen, much of what you’ll be encountering this fall will be brand new to you.  You are probably excited and nervous, and perhaps even apprehensive about all of this newness.  You may also be thinking, “All this new-semester stuff is old hat to the guy who is writing these words.”  That’s not an unfair assumption on your part.  After all, this marks my 17th year at Butler, and at my prior university I taught for seven years before coming here.  So, I’ve been in this business for a while now.  But this year will be very different for me as well, though mostly in ways that will be invisible to you, and those differences are such that, in many ways, I will be feeling very much like you probably do about this semester.

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New summer, new start on a blog

It’s a long story, but I am compelled to rebuild the original Domestic Issue blog, and so I thought I might as well include pages with teaching stuff as well.  So, this is the new place, which will be under construction for a while.  I hope you’ll like it and leave comments and constructive criticism as you see fit.