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So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

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[sticky post] March 1st, 2009 (05:34 pm)


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So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

Book #31

September 20th, 2018 (11:37 pm)

Janice Pariat's The Nine-Chambered Heart is the sort of book that has my students in raptures and has me going... uhhh, what am I missing? It was a quick read, which does say a lot about the author's ability to engage the reader, and I also loved the premise: we see the protagonist through the points of view of nine characters she's been in sexual/romantic relationships with. (It's a really good premise for a fanfic, am I right?) Predictably, the part I liked the most was the one with the female roommate, although, alas, it's pretty much the only 'relationship' in the novel that doesn't actually turn into a relationship.

Only a few more Fandom Studies classes to go before the semester ends next week. There's SO MUCH I wanted to introduce my students to, and not enough time. At least I've got most of them hooked on Doctor Who/Torchwood (although it was my duty to warn them that the latter comes with a huge 'be prepared to have your heart torn out and stomped on' warning). Here's a (fan-made) video I posted for the class today.

One of the students has just submitted a Sam-centric Stanford-era fanfic. BRB OFF TO READ.

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

Book #30

September 18th, 2018 (12:07 am)

I just finished rereading Jamyang Norbu's Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years, aka The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes. (I set myself a reading goal of 52 books this year, hence the title of this post; although, considering it's already September, I don't think I'm going to complete the challenge this year.) I read it twenty years ago when it was first published, and reread it now since one of my students is doing her dissertation on it. It's about Holmes's post-Reichenbach time in Tibet from when he's pretending to be dead in the gap between "The Final Problem" and "The Empty House".

Some of it didn't stand up well to a second read, but THE END, THE END! Pretty much every review I've read of Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire says that you ~must read it, if only for the very last page, and I have to say the same of Norbu's Holmes. If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, whether ACD or Granada or BBC or whichever version, read this book for the last few lines. (It's a bit like the very last scene of An Adventure in Space and Time for Doctor Who fans.)

Re fandom things, I'm pretty disappointed that neither of my recipients for the last two exchanges I participated in responded to their gifts. Oh, well. I did manage an spn_masquerade fill, and I enjoyed writing it, so that's something.

Also also, yuletide nominations are open!

Hope everyone is doing well. <3 LLAP!

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]


August 17th, 2018 (09:41 pm)

Sign-ups for femslashex are open. Alas, I completely missed nominations because the exchange only posts at DW now, and no one nominated any of my go-to fandoms. Got to love whoever nominated Bill Potts/Eowyn, though.

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

Poetry, poetry, everywhere

August 6th, 2018 (08:37 pm)

Last week was basically poetry week: we had the poet Gili Haimovich, from Israel, on campus. She did a few workshops with our students and gave them interviews, and everyone loved her. We also went to a poetry festival to listen to her, on a panel with Singapore-based poet Alvin Pang and Berlin-based poet Ulrike Almut Sandig. Alvin Pang stole everyone's hearts; we couldn't even buy copies of his books because they were all sold out, but he chatted with us after the panel and gave us the link to a website where we can order his books. Here he is reading 'Candles', a poem in 'Singlish' (Singapore English), a conversation between a man and his son who steals candles from a church so he can study.

We also had a three-day book exhibition on campus. Thanks to the funding for my research project, I could go wild buying books. I also ordered tonnes for our library, and one of the stalls was so thrilled with my orders that they gave me a free book. *hearteyes*

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

Fandom, etc

July 27th, 2018 (08:30 pm)

Today I visited another campus of the university for various things: primarily for the proposal presentation of my PhD student, which went very well. She's a joy to work with, and her area of research, food and gender, is pretty aligned to my own interests.

Another good thing that happened is that I met the director of the Centre for Research to ask permission to appoint a research assistant for my post-doctoral project. The girl who applied for the position is another delightful person, and I've known her as a student for three years; she recently graduated from our BA English Honours programme. We hit a snag along the way when a nasty colleague, who is unfortunately pretty high up on the academic food chain, told the student that she wouldn't be hired for my project because she doesn't have an MA. I was pretty pissed off (although I managed not to show it; I've learnt my lesson about being transparent about my thoughts), because... how dare you? How dare you crush a girl's hopes about doing research work, when you aren't even the one in charge of the project? I knew the Centre for Research is really happy with my work so far and was unlikely to deny my request, and yay, it came through. So much glee. It's childish, I know, but I can't wait to see the look on Nasty Colleague's face when I tell her I'm hiring the kid.

Thirdly, I had a very enjoyable meeting with a group of students from the other campus. They found out that I was offering Fandom Studies and wanted to meet me since they're doing a research project on K-pop. My fandom heart is still with LJ and you guys, but it's so gratifying to be able to share the fandom love with students and encourage them to work on stuff that they love.

Speaking of fandom things, I've got two lovely gift fics to rec. My Everywoman gift fic is a quietly lovely character study of Scully from Karen Kosseff's point of view, including awesome backstory for Karen. My spn_summergen gift fic is equally lovely, based on one of my favourite fic possibilities: Sam at the beginning of S8. Saving Him From Hell also does justice to Amelia, and I love that; I love seeing her and Sam drawn to each other because he's lost Dean and she's lost Don, and I don't need to tell you guys how much I love that parallel between them.

Re books: I recently finished Lauren Graham's Someday, Someday, Maybe, which was pretty nice, and have just started on Felicia Day's You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). It's awesome so far: I can absolutely relate to her anecdotes about growing up in an internet-less world (the horror).

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]


July 15th, 2018 (05:54 pm)

Drowning in work and personal stuff as usual. I managed to finish my Summergen and Everywoman fics, and I don't think they're terrible, so there's that.

I just finished grading the first round of student submissions for the semester. One of my students wrote a gorgeous paper on the Vicks ad in support of trans rights, and her writing moved me so much. This is why I teach. Video below.

P.S.: OH, and my Fandom Studies class is going so so well! <3

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

Because one does not simply abandon a book meme

June 25th, 2018 (11:01 pm)

As anticipated, my students arrived for the new semester and promptly ate my brain, leaving me with little to no mindspace for anything else. In addition to my usual duties, I'm now the head of the English Honours BA programme (not at all as good as it sounds) and in charge of not one but five student clubs (theatre, poetry, writing, research, and gender studies). Good times. No, really. Having so much to do means I have much less time to dwell on other things.

Anyway, so one of my writing club students gave me a book of Terribly Tiny Tales to read, so I decided to cheat on the book meme a bit and post about it for question #2 on the list, "best bargain", because hey, a book I paid no money for counts as a bargain, right? Right. I haven't finished it yet, but here's one of my favourites:

a terribly tiny taleCollapse )

Took me a moment to 'get' it, but when I did, I loved it.

Also, I'm offering an optional course in Fandom Studies this semester. More on that next time, I hope.


So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

A poem for Pride Month

June 4th, 2018 (03:45 pm)

This is from the poets.org poem-a-day mailing list, which includes previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets.

I Invite My Parents to a Dinner PartyCollapse )

So, pit stop at Mount Doom? [userpic]

That book meme

May 26th, 2018 (11:35 am)

I've been wanting to do this for a while. I may not be terribly regular about it since classes start next week, and once students arrive they find ways of monopolising all my time. I'm always excited about books, but I'm particularly excited at the moment because Amazon says my copy of Michael Ondaatje's Warlight will arrive by June 1st. (I'll probably find lots to say about Ondaatje in the course of the meme, so I won't go into specifics now.)

Nicked the meme from wendelah1; all questions under the cut. Book-lovers, please consider doing the meme. I'd love to see what everyone else likes to read.

Before I start, a prelude: one of the reasons I love Rory/Dean from Gilmore Girls so much is that Dean falls for Rory because she's so addicted to books.

Rory Dean books

Favourite book from childhoodCollapse )

Meme questionsCollapse )

P.S. Nominations for Everywoman are open. Go forth and nominate!

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