Tag Archives: grad school


so no posts since December.

Bad blogger!

Bad blogger!

On the plus side the reason I’ve been so sporadic the past two years is finally done. As of this past Saturday I have officially completed grad school! I may now be addressed as Master Naamen or simply Master whichever you prefer. So this means I’ll have more time to blog and to read things that aren’t assigned by someone else. Woo!

Wanna Read Along?

So I am doing an independent study next semester called “Female Protagonists of Colors in Speculative Fiction” and have decided to do most of my reading over this break between semesters to lessen the load in the Spring. A few friends mentioned that they would like to read along with me during this time. So here is the book list:

Required Texts:
James Alan Gardener – Expendable
SM Stirling – Island in the Sea of Time
Octavia Butler – Wild Seed
Nalo Hopkinson – Midnight Robber
Hiromi Goto – The Kappa Child
Larissa Lai – Salt Fish Girl
Leslie Marmon Silko – Almanac of the Dead
Eva Swan – The Bone Whistle
Daina Chaviano – The Island of Eternal Love
Angelica Gorodischer – Kalpa Imperial
Samuel R. Delany – Neveryona
Lizzie Borden’s Born In Flames (film)
Miyazaki’s Nausicca of the Valley of the Winds (graphic novel)

Additional Texts:
David Heath Justice – Kynship
Frank Miller – Give Me Liberty (graphic novel)
Children of Men (film)
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu – The Shadow Speaker
F.M. Busby – Zelde M’tana

Some are hard to find, like Larissa Lai if you’re in the U.S. because it was Canadian only distribution so feel free to drop some from the list if you guys choose to read along. I’ll be posting about each books as I finish either way. BUT I forgot to post about this until I’d already started so I’ve already (re)read Midnight Robber and will be posting about it later this week.

Just started: Wild Seed

Next Book: Island in the Sea of Time

Probably won’t switch to Island until about January 1st because I’m in thesis crunch time and am trying to finish it before the end of this month by writing about 80 pages. We’ll see if it happens!

The 2nd Year Begins/Terminology “Confluences”

My second year of grad school has begun. I’m taking four classes this semester:

Contemporary Queer Writers of Color
Fiction Workshop
20th & 21st Century Poets of Color
Queer Poetics

So there’s a lot of reading, a lot of literature and a lot of theory. In addition two of my classes require me to blog once a week. So yes my dreams of blogging regularly again seem to be coming true just not the way I thought. All of this is in addition to being co-fiction editor of the literary journal 580 Split and running a school sponsored reading series.

In conclusion I may be insane, the good part is that a lot of my reading are awesome folks I would read anyway if not quite so quickly. I’m also reading a lot more stuff by Women, GLBTQ folks and People of Color – which was one of my goals for this semester.  So for my first week I read Langston Hughes, Barbara Smith & Gloria Anzaldua.

On top of this I’m researching various PhD programs in the Bay Area. So far the most promising ones seem to be Literature @ UC Santa Cruz, Modern Thought & Lit. @ Stanford and Rhetoric @ UC Berkeley.

*Terminology:  Confluences

Last week in my class I was introduced to the word confluences as opposed to intersections and I’m doing my best to replace the terms in my vocabulary. Not that intersectional is now “out” or anything like that it was just the more I thought about the reasoning the professor put forward, the more I agree with it. Intersectionality implies static connections, the the places and situations in which our identities meet and influence each other happens the same way every time in the same way at the same time. The truth of the matter is that our various identities shift and change depending on the situation.

The imagery I’ve been using to thing of confluences is wind currents. A separate current representing each identity, two or three or more may merge into bigger systems depending on the situation, or one current itself can interact on it’s own and even if some of your other identities do not feed directly into the confluence those other winds are still present shifting the focus and perceptions of the larger storm system co-existing.

Haven’t worked out the whole metaphor or interactions yet but overall really liking the terminology of confluences of identity as opposed to intersections of identity a whole lot right now.

2nd Submission for January

So I’ve gone ahead and submitted a second thing for the month of January, after all my resolution was only at least one publication a month not only one.  High on my first fiction publication promise I submitted my story “Ode to an Idea on a Winter’s Night, When the Sun is Low and the World is Fading” to Strange Horizons today. Keep your fingers crossed!

Also somehow I missed the fact that my second semester of grad school starts in less than a week. Somebody save me.


Okay I realize it’s been a while since I posted (and that I’ve said that an awful lot since grad school started) but I am now in finals week so there should be more frequent posting starting next week sometime. Stay tuned – same bat time, same bat channel (it had to be said and it’s possible I’m punchy from lack of sleep).

Academic Level Up!

So I had a presentation yesterday worth 30% of my grade in my Shakespeare class. I chose to do it on Rome as the female body and Tamora and Lavinia as separate but also almost identical representations of Rome within the play Titus Andronicus. I was nervous and nauseous all day but after my presentation my professor said I should think about submitting it to a conference.  Awesomesauce! So yes I finally feel like I’m getting in the swing of things in regards to grad school – hence the title of this post.

Hopefully that’ll mean some new posts. Part of the problem is I no longer have time to read blogs and so often I ping off what other people have written and go in a completely different direction and that’s how my blog posts come about. Or alternately I see some bullshit on the web and post about that.

*Sigh* Gonna make a quick skim through my saved drafts and see if there’s anything there for me to expand on for today or tomorrow.

Currently Reading: The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison & The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner

More Links and a little bit about Grad School


There are four links from Pandagon that have been sitting in my Bloglines.

The first is about a grassroots minister with Hip Hop Caucus and how security tackled him to the ground for trying to enter an open hearing. I didn’t watch the video, after seeing that UCLA student repeatedly tazered a few months ago I have no stomach for youtube police brutality.

The Personal is Political. This blog post addresses a subject I’ve brought up with a lot of my female friends. Name changing after marriage, the inherent chattel element of it, the ownership of it. You don’t even get to own your name, to take theirs is a sign of belonging but not in the good way.

The end game of control. The book “Why Do They Kill?” is discussed. An interesting study done that address men who kill their female S.O.’s. I would never be able to read it because sexualized violence is my primary trigger but the post kind of makes me want to try.

Finally, Pam Spaulding posts on the lack of blogging about the Jena 6 from the more prominent progressive bloggers. It’s interesting because most if not all of the famous progressive bloggers are white and Pam does address that. She got a lot of flack for it and I find that interesting, it’s another excuse. Now they can’t write about the Jena 6 because they’ve been called on it *eyebrow raise* un-huh.

And to tie in with the Jena 6 stuff read this post over at Feministing for what the marchers had to deal with. Any of y’all think race had nothing to do with the case then why is the Mayor buddy-buddy with the KKK. Think racism is over? Why did people drive trucks with nooses hanging from them around the marchers?

From the blog of Small Press Juno Books, I find the writers reactions hilarious in their idiocy. The editor’s reaction is exactly what I would expect. How not to act when you want to get published, lesson one.

Over at Making Light, how to write the Sci-Fi book that would win every award. Came out of a panel and really just hilarious. If any writes this book…there are no words.

Okay that’s all of the links I’m posting for now. Slowly whittling away at the pinned posts.

Now when I met with my teacher who agreed to write me a letter of recommendation I was only intending to apply at SFSU, SJSU and a few others. Now however I’m thinking of applying to Mills College, NYU & Iowa (home of the best writing program in the country). So I’ll be in debt until the day I die because of the massive loans or hopefully I’ll be able to get a large amount of financial aid. We’ll see I have to decide which schools and send that info over to my recommended professor before the end of the week.