Things Are Happening! (And so many books)

It’s been a busy, crazy week, but many good things have happened.

clarissa-explains-it-all-fashionIn the realm of popular culture, there’s going to be a Veronica Mars movie and a Clarissa Explains It All novel called Things I Can’t ExplainVeronica Mars is one of my favorite TV shows as an adult and Clarissa was one of my favorite shows as a girl (okay, I own the DVDs…shhh..), so on a personal level I am very excited. But I think this also is a great thing for entertainment for girls. I’m super excited that my brilliant friend Megan has agreed to co-author a chapter proposal (and hopefully we get to write the chapter!) about Veronica as a feminist icon, because she’s tough and smart, but so complicated and imperfect as a role model. I think that’s exactly what makes her a great characters. Jezebel’s 10 Things I Learned from Veronica Mars touches on the power of this character beautifully. I’ve also written about Veronica Mars, female detectives, and teen girl victims.  As for Clarissa? I think Clarissa Darling was one of the earliest depictions I saw of a smart, vocal, empowered girl on TV. And I wanted to dress just like her. And Blossom.

Books and Flowers

On the school and scholarship front, I am living this piece from BookRiot: When You Realize You Can’t Read All The Things. I literally have stacks of books climbing my apartment walls. I have 97 books checked out of the library. Plus, occasionally when I’m stressed, I have a glass of wine and buy a book on Amazon. (I desperately want to read Mad Girl’s Love Song because it sounds amazing. There’s also the beautiful connection to The Bell Jar, which is on my comps list…And I finally nabbed Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World from the library.) I have a stack for the paper on transnational adoption that I’m writing for my Asian American cultural critique seminar. A stack about human trafficking and another about redface and Native American women, both for my Feminism and Diaspora class. There’s the stack of books I want to read before the Latina Feminisms Roundtable in April, the books for my paper on Girl Up for the Gender Matters Conference in a couple weeks, the girlhood narratives from the Middle East for “personal” research. And I’m putting together my reading list for my comprehensive exams. I may be trying to do too much at once along with the coursework and teaching and did you just hear my head explode? In a way, though, this is why I find grad school as exhilarating as it is exhausting. Let’s face it, if I didn’t love reading and learning, even if in a slightly masochistic way, I wouldn’t be doing a PhD in literature.

When my dad wants to know all about my research and its implications in the field.

Finally, Monday Ph.D.s and Pigtails got quoted by The Huffington Post, Miss Representation, Oregon Live, my awesome colleague Nicolyn, and some other blogs.  It was very exciting. And then I couldn’t sleep. Julio may tell you that I got a little slaphappy and conceited that night, but really I was just like that .gif at right. And my hair looked that good. Also, thank you and welcome to all my new followers! What I found interesting about the whole thing was the different ways that my argument was used by other sources. My argument about the issue was really just that Bright Young Things represents the trend of sexualizing girls earlier and earlier and this is an issue parents, sisters, etc. need to talk with girls about as they develop their self-image and worth, because we can’t just shelter them from all the publicity, peer pressure, magazines, etc. In some places, I was lumped in with outraged parents, although I didn’t have my outrage cap on. Others, like Miss Representation, quoted my close reading which made me very happy. Perhaps I’m so keyed into this because I teach these very practices and it was fascinating to see the use of my work in different rhetorical strategies.

Amidst all this hubbub, I have a very stressed but very wonderful partner who celebrates with me, hears me out, and sent me my favorite flowers just because. Thank you, Julio! It is wonderful to feel so supported by someone outside my field who understands and values the work I do, even if it makes me a little zooey sometimes.

Not to be forgotten, it is Holy Week, so blessed Easter and Passover to those who celebrate them! חַג שָׂמֵחַ

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