While I'll be writing about a pretty diverse set of things, in one way or another many of my posts will be in some degree of dialogue with some of my recent reading. So before I go any further with my previews of forthcoming blog posts, I thought I'd share a selection of what I've read over the past few weeks:
- A multipart reflection on the figure of the "public intellectual" and Disability Studies' seeming inability to produce public intellectuals or consistent public intellectual interventions. Within this multi-part reflection I will be engaging with Julie Avril Minich's recent article on Disability Studies as well as some canonical works on the "public intellectual" by Edward Said and Stuart Hall, some of the more recent discussions of the "public intellectual" including the recent PMLA forum on the "semi-public intellectual," and the compelling case I believe Alice Dreger presents in Galileo's Middle Finger for intellectual culture that can both challenge and support activism.
- A critical review of Matthew Desmond's much-praised recent tome Evicted focusing on the way in which disability seems to haunt the issues of eviction and housing, though he never directly engages with the issue of disability or the ways it might effect either his analysis of these issues or policy prescriptions.
- A contemplation of the music of The Replacements as a poignant soundtrack of male depression, incorporating discussion of Bob Mehr's excellent new biography of the band Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.
- A critical review of Anne-Marie Slaughter's Unfinished Business (and the excellent responses to it in this Short Takes feature in Signs) and the larger social issues of care that Slaughter is speaking about and which I spent this past semester teaching about.
- A meditation on the oft-overlooked humanity of professional athletes via a consideration of recent revelations of the humanity of my beloved New York Mets' in last season's incident with Wilmer Flores crying on the field and Erik Sherman's recent book Kings of Queens: Life Beyond Baseball With the '86 Mets.
- A review of Dan Barry's recent exposé The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland in light of Steven J. Taylor's reflections on the effectiveness of exposés in his excellent book Acts of Conscience: World War II, Mental Institutions, and Religious Objectors, which presents the history of those conscientious objectors during WWII who attempted to change the horrible and inhumane conditions they found in the mental institutions they were assigned to work.
- A very personal meditation on the gendering of chronic illness and pain, and particularly fibromyalgia, and my position as a man with a "woman's disease" via consideration of Amy Berkowitz's Tender Points and Kristin Barker The Fibromyalgia Story: Medical Authority And Women's Worlds Of Pain.
- Another quite personal discussion of the gendering of healthcare and its effects via a reflection on the unfounded assumptions about gender identity made in this blogpost: nursingclio.org/2016/05/03/womens-health-care-not-just-for-women-anymore/
- A critical review of Thomas Frank's incredibly timely Listen, Liberal: Or Whatever Happened to the Part of the People with particular attention to the stakes of his critique of the neoliberal transformation of the Democratic party for Americans with disabilities.
- A reflection on my own entry into Disability Studies that follows up on my recent contribution to the forthcoming anthology Barriers & Belonging: Autoethnographies of Disability but which looks specifically at my organization of a lecture by Tobin Siebers at Vassar College and the recent posthumous publication of the article that eventually came out of that lecture.
- A personal reflection on my "search for meaning" as a graduate student increasingly disenchanted with the academy inspired by Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning and Katie Rose Guest Pryal's great article "Leaving a Legacy Off the Tenure Track."
- A few reflections on my most recent pedagogical experiences teaching ENG 212: Fictions of Care, including at least one reflection on some of the specific texts I taught (such as Susan Nussbaum's excellent novel Good Kings, Bad Kings), as well as reflection on both the success and failure of the various pedagogical practices I implemented.
- An examination of recent autobiographical and phenomenological accounts of changing bodies, including Maggie Nelson's much lauded The Argonauts as well as Christine Crosby's A Body, Undone: Living on After Great Pain, Sarah Manguso's The Two Kinds of Decay, and Amia Bula's Young Sick and Invisible: A Skeptic's Journey with Chronic Illness.