Books Acquired Recently

Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

Duke University Press, purveyors of a plethora of significant queer texts, were having a summer sale, so I got this and Sedgwick’s book for fifty percent off. I’ve been thinking about buying Ahmed’s book on and off since it came out a few months ago, and the sale made it the right time to do so.

Eggers, Dave. The Circle. 2013. New York: Vintage Books, 2014.

I was given this book as a gift by a friend after we saw the film version together last week. I enjoyed the film, and also enjoyed the book (the film is generally a good adaptation, but with a very different ending), which I finished a few days ago. However, I think I would have liked the book less if I had read it first, and I’m not sure how to feel about that. Normally the book is always better than the movie, but in this case it might be the other way around. Also, the dystopia that Eggers tries to portray in the book sounds like paradise in comparison to the U.S.’s current political reality.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

Sedgwick is one of the most important figures in the development of both queer theory and affect theory. Touching Feeling keeps getting cited in my recent reading of queer theory as a part of my current writing project, so I thought I should go ahead and read it myself.

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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