Books Acquired Recently

Atwood, Margaret. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. 2011. New York: Anchor, 2012.

I ordered this book at Rocky Mountain MLA last month, and it arrived yesterday. I enjoy Atwood’s fiction and her germinal book on Canadian literature, Survival, and I have been reading more and more science fiction (the “SF” of the title, which is the accepted term in the field, never “scifi”), so I’ve been thinking about buying this book since it came out last year. I finally bought it at the conference because it was available at a sizeable discount.

Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 3rd ed. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009.

I just received a desk copy of this book from the publisher. I’ll be using it in my Literary Criticism and Research course next semester. I’m drawn to it as a teaching resource because it is recent, comprehensive, and reasonably priced (around $20.00 new) rather than being priced like a textbook. Kudos to Manchester University Press for taking the high road and caring about student budgets.

On another note, I haven’t written in nearly a week because I’ve been busy reading applications for a job opening in my department. This is the first time I’ve ever served on a search committee; it’s so fascinating! I am enjoying getting to learn about other people, reading their writing, and seeing how they approach the elusive, mysterious genres of the C.V. and the cover letter. I love encountering other’s ideas about what they think an academic should be.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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