Books Acquired Recently

Arthur, Anthony. The Tailor-King: The Rise and Fall of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster. New York: St. Martin’s, 1999.

Queer Mennonite literature has been the primary focus of my scholarship over the last year and a half. I keep discovering more and more of it, and as I do, I realize that it is a much larger, longer-tenured tradition than I first thought, as is the queer Mennonite tradition in general. As I have been thinking about the deep-rootedness of queerness in the Mennonite community, I’ve begun to wonder about the Münsterites, a group of radical Anabaptists that practiced polygamy and took over the city of Münster in Germany in 1534. Present-day Mennonites disown the Münsterites because of their sexual transgressions as well as their use of violence, and as a result of this bias I know very little about the group. I am interested in learning more about their sexual rebelliousness, so I bought this book, which is the standard popular account of the group’s brief history.

Lipsky, David. Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. New York: Broadway, 2010.

I am a huge fan of David Foster Wallace’s work, but I just recently found out that this book existed. I am very excited to read it, as it sounds like a Wallace-esque work (think “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”) about Wallace himself.

Scholder, Amy, Carla Harryman, and Avital Ronell, eds. Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker. London: Verso, 2006.

I’m only slightly less obsessed with Kathy Acker’s work than I am with Wallace’s, and I will be teaching Acker’s novel Blood and Guts in High School later on this semester, so I am in the process of reading criticism on Acker’s work. I acquired this book as a part of that endeavor.

All three books were purchased from independent sellers on amazon.com.

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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