Monthly Archives: February 2020

Books Acquired Recently

McPhee, John. Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. 2017. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.

I received a free copy of this book for filling out an online survey for the publisher. Hurray for free books!

Swarstad Johnson, Julie. Jumping the Pit. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2015.

I just recently read Swarstad Johnson’s full-length collection, Pennsylvania Furnace, and enjoyed it, so I decided to buy her first chapbook. She has another chapbook coming out later this year.

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Books Acquired Recently

Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006.

Anzaldúa, Gloria E. Light in the Dark/Luz En Lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality. Ed. AnaLouise Keating. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

One of the goals of my sabbatical is to continue to fill in the gaps in my queer reading. I bought Ahmed’s and Anzaldúa’s books to help me with this goal.

Bonilla, Yarimar, and Marisol LeBrón, eds. Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2019.

Another sabbatical goal is to read more about Latinx literature in general and within Puerto Rican studies specifically. This anthology along with González’s and Morales’s books are part of this reading.

Cheung, Theresa. The Dream Dictionary from A to Z: The Ultimate A-Z to Interpret the Secrets of Your Dreams. London: HarperCollins, 2019.

As I’ve been getting more into the tarot I’ve been thinking more about my dreams because some cards relate to them. I was not looking for a dream dictionary but the other day I walked into my local Barnes & Noble and this book was sitting in the entryway (which I normally never glance at when I walk into the store) and caught my eye, like it was calling me. I bought it immediately.

Chin-Tanner, Wendy. Anyone Will Tell You. Little Rock, AR: Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019.

Chin-Tanner gave a strong poetry reading at Utica College last week. I was happy to buy one of her books.

González, Christopher. Permissable Narratives: The Promise of Latino/a Literature. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2017.

Morales, Ed. Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico. New York: Bold Type Books, 2019.

Schaefer, Donovan O. Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

I am interested in affect theory and my work has been dialoguing with religious ideas more and more over the past year, so this book may be helpful for my thinking.

Swarstad Johnson, Julie. Pennsylvania Furnace. Greensboro, NC: Unicorn Press, 2019.

I met Swarstad Johnson this past weekend at the Cincinnati Mennonite Arts Festival, where she was one of the presenters. We had some good conversations and I enjoyed hearing her work. I was pleased to buy her book. It’s always exciting to discover new Mennonite writers!


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Sabbatical Productivity: January

I am on sabbatical this semester and have been keeping a list in my journal of the academic activities I engage in. This practice is partly for myself so that I make sure I am using the time productively and partly for my institution, which requires me to write a report about the sabbatical once it finishes. Here is a list of what I accomplished in January (along with the end of December after the Fall semester ended), generally in chronological order.

1. Wrote and submitted an invited abstract for a possible issue of Political Theology on Mennonite political theology.

2. Accepted an invitation to write an essay for a collection about new “Anabaptist Visions” and sent the editor a rough proposal for the essay’s topic.

3. Wrote and submitted an abstract for the 2020 Mennonite/s Writing conference.

4. Wrote a rough draft of a panel proposal (link here, and see number 14) for the 2021 MLA convention on Dungeons & Dragons.

5. Typed up the senryu I wrote between mid-October and the beginning of January.

6. Worked on revising my current book project (this continued throughout the month).

7. Asked two friends to read a draft of the book project and they both accepted.

8. Attended and presented at the 2020 MLA convention and got helpful feedback on my presentation.

9. Evaluated abstracts for the 2020 Mennonite/s Writing conference and worked with another member of the organizing committee on a draft conference program. Read a few late abstracts throughout the month.

10. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing in the U.S. Bibliography.

11. Compiled a list of authors who have published books with Pinchpenny Press (including myself!) who are currently involved in the Mennonite literary scene for the upcoming Pinchpenny anniversary celebration.

12. Emailed a fellow Mennonite literary critic working on a paper about David Bergen, who I have written about (see section 3).

13. Began prepping a new course for the Fall 2020 semester, Latinx Literature.

14. Talked with a colleague about co-facilitating the 2021 MLA convention panel on Dungeons & Dragons mentioned in number 4, agreed to do so, and submitted the Call for Papers.

15. Looked at other 2021 MLA CFPs and made notes on which panels I might want to submit abstracts to.


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