Bodies and Minds

Oh gosh. Well, we basically think that the body’s knowledge is a super important and dramatically neglected component of intellectual work. So, we want to offer this space for two kinds of work. So write here to sort through, 1: things you are learning (through exercise or illness or abuse or neglect) about your body as a thinking, laboring entity; or 2: things that the physical reality of your body has taught you about your erstwhile-intellectual work, but you couldn’t explore elsewhere—for instance, how your relationship to poor Hester Prynne on the scaffold changed completely once you started nursing a baby yourself and thinking about Hester’s poor swollen breasts under their emblazoned “A.” (And what did the early puritan immigrants think about nursing? And would Hawthorne have known about engorged breasts? Etc.)

Lady Professor Conference Fashions

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12
March 11, 2014
Lady Professor Conference Fashions

The last question was the hardest: “But what should I wear?” I was on a professionalization panel for graduate students, brought in to discuss protocols and strategies for attending academic conferences.  “Well,” I answered.  “Deciding what to wear is really hard. ” Probably it shouldn’t be hard.  After all, if there’s any place when...
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The Sassiest Girl In America

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7
February 28, 2014
The Sassiest Girl In America

A few nights ago, I popped out of my gym to take a phone call, and I almost ran (bodily) into Andrea Linett, former fashion intern, then editor, for Sassy magazine; co-founder, with Kim France, of Lucky magazine; the woman behind the addictive blog I want to be her. Fashion-mag royalty, but not, like,...
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Toy Story 3 and the Problem with Stuff

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3
February 7, 2014
Toy Story 3 and the Problem with Stuff

One of the best sight gags in Toy Story comes when Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear are stranded at a “Dinoco” gas station, its brand logo a silhouette of a brontosaurus. With this play on Sunoco, Pixar reminds us of fossil fuels, our cars running off of dinosaur bones. In this scene, Woody fears...
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Where I’m Calling From: Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

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1
February 3, 2014
Where I’m Calling From: Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman was great on the telephone. If you start to think about it, it’s going to be hard to stop. He’s unbelievably, pitifully terrifying foisting phone sex on Jane Adams in Happiness; exploding with frustrated, syncopated rage at Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love; being coolly, almost elegantly threatening in Mission Impossible III;...
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Dispatch from Paternity Leave 3: Pressures

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1
December 5, 2013
Dispatch from Paternity Leave 3: Pressures

 Find the earlier installments in this series here and here. When I was in high school and college, I painted houses each summer: now there was a job where every day something got done.  The whole world knew it—or at least the whole neighborhood.  We could do a decent-size house in just a few...
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We Don’t Want to Build That

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25
November 26, 2013
We Don’t Want to Build That

GoldieBlox: you are a Serious Toy for Smart Girls. And yet in true Goldi-fashion, you’re not too serious, and not too smart. You want to “disrupt the pink aisle” of Girl Toys, but you are full of pastel plastic and Barbie-haired cartoons. You want to advance Girl Power in a still-sexist world, but you...
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Dispatches from Paternity Leave 2: Rhythms and Routines

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4
November 14, 2013
Dispatches from Paternity Leave 2: Rhythms and Routines

(You can read Dispatches 1 here.–Eds.) Kristin and I were both in graduate school when our son was born, and for his first year of life we split the day at noon.  In the midst of new parenting joys, I was frequently tired, tense, and angry.  I didn’t know quite how much I wanted...
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Dispatch from Paternity Leave: Outside Expectations

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6
November 5, 2013
Dispatch from Paternity Leave: Outside Expectations

Just before my current paternity leave began, I found the following line in the acknowledgements page of an academic book by a fellow male scholar: “I am grateful to X University for funding my parental leave that, in the midst of turbulent life changes, allowed me to complete the revisions to this book.”  It...
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Still Within The Sound of My Voice

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5
September 12, 2013
Still Within The Sound of My Voice

Sometime after 1989, I conspired to run away from home with Linda Ronstadt.  Though the singer herself was unaware of my plans, I drew inspiration from her single “Adios,” a valediction to a lover of her youth.  “We never really made it, baby / but we came pretty close,” she warbles in the song’s...
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The Naked Truth

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1
July 25, 2013
The Naked Truth

It was the first time I’d seen a penis in the wild. That is, the actual wild, under the cover of trees and birdsong instead of the messy dorm rooms with stereos where my previous encounters with the opposite sex had occurred. And this free-hanging penis, flaccid and swinging between two strong legs, had...
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