Friday, May 11, 2012

summer reading

The last three years, I've had a great time reading and writing during the summer. I think I've learned a lot, and developed some intuitions into real insights. The way it has worked is that I gather a reading list during the academic year, of anything that comes up related to some glimmer of an idea I have. This year, it hasn't worked out so well, because it has been so exhausting and crappy. But I do have a couple things on the agenda.

Assuming a Body, by Gayle Solomon, a transsexual. The book is about her experiences as understood from the standpoint of philosophical thought about embodiment.

The Transgender Studies Reader.

Transgender Migrations, edited by a colleague on campus, Tristan Cotten, who is cool.

White Coat, Black Hat, a muck-raking book about the business of medicine, which will make me feel sick.

The Body, by Donn Welton. Last summer, I came to the conclusion that the word "the body" is already a fetish, and that even "embodiment" is troublesome. So I have an agenda about this one.

Wanna read some Gramsci, maybe some Fanon.

The last few summers my reading has had a very clear direction. Other than sex and gender, I don't seem to have a direction. And it's a little disturbing to me how little phenomenology is on the agenda.

Maybe that's good. I'm moving outside my intellectual comfort zone, and although that means I will likely have less chance of generating some kind of publishable or conferenceable paper, I could learn more as a result. As I wrote a while back, since I'm among the tenuous-track faculty, projects are less important than ways of life.

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