Mags is done! All it took was a long ride on public transit. Now, time to foist its 143 glorious pages on everyone.
Hello dear friends!
I realize it’s been over a month since I last updated this blog. July simply flew by, and not a lot of reading got done the whole month long. Needless to say, no proposal was sent to the Institut de Genre, otherwise there would have been a giddy-to-the-point-of-intelligibility post about it. Surely. Gender Trouble and Le Roman de la Rose are progressing appropriately, to use the language of elementary school standardized tests. But, to be honest, the majority of last month was spent poring over Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts. What a book. What a masterwork. What a revelatory reading experience. And I’m not even done with the thing yet.
As a result, I won’t go into detail about my takeaways from the book, which I lovingly call “Mags” after the author, until I’m good and done with it. This may take a while yet. In the meantime, I will say that I recommend the book to anyone interested in gender theory, queerness, questions of motherhood, creatively-constructed prose, or possibly having your thoughts expressed more eloquently in someone else’s words than they ever could be in your own. Thanks to Mags, I feel like I can still count July as a productive reading mother, albeit in terms of quality rather than quantity.
For the fact that I haven’t managed to read even Mags’ 143 pages in an entire month, I blame the news.
Updates, updates, it’s time for updates!
Much has happened since I last posted. I finished my semester (hooray for being done with half of my undergrad career, small boo for having half left.) I completed the last steps to secure my participation in an abroad program this coming fall (details to follow.) And I assembled new sources for the beginnings of summer research!
Right now I’m knee-deep in Kate Bornstein’s Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. While the work is dated, the account is still honest and will be a useful companion to Gender Outlaws, a sequel of sorts that I have in the queue. This book makes for thought-provoking reading, and the style is more easily-comprehensible for me than some of the scholarship I’ll be reading. In other words, it’s nice to alternate this work with readings from Silence, a French medieval romance edited and translated by Sarah Roche-Mahdi. I’m attempting to use the English translation to help me understand the Old French, and it’s proving a worthy headache.
In the next few weeks, I hope to find more (modern) French-language scholarship as well as trans-focused research. I’m scouring libraries every chance I get, and hoping to purchase a library card for a local big-name university. Today, though, was a stop in a public library near where I’m staying. The one tangentially-related source I found, Michael Bronski’s A Queer History of the United States, mentioned transgender identity on around six pages of multiple hundreds. This paucity of trans-relevant information in a book published only six years ago could have disappointed me; instead it was a good wake-up call about the kind of search I will have to make for information pertaining to my thesis.