The Paradox of “Dominant” Narratives

With the frequency in which people are now discussing ways to “diversify” – whether in terms of reading habits, writing, curriculum instruction, or public policy – I find a lot of reference to methodologies that are meant to center and empower voices that have historically been marginalized. While the times certainly call for increased awareness […]

A Tale of Two Psychologic Fictions

At the end of this harbinger year, I managed to tackle two personal projects. I chose two rhetorically and aesthetically compelling texts to read back-to-back: the first was Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar (1963) and the second Richard Wright’s Native Son (1940). Plath’s novel is a semi-autobiographical account of an early 20th-century, middle class woman’s […]

Meaning between spaces

The big city is a quite different space from the open suburbs. For those who have never had an intimate experience with the inner cityscape, a first-time trip there can be exciting and sometimes disorienting. The inverse is also true, as an urban dweller could just as easily find the profound silence and pace of […]

The End of a Year

The academy is a special type of place, and the circles within it are doubly more so. Perhaps even more noticeably in today’s society, the sense of “achievement” that the academy fosters in its scholars can at times feel distant from the reality of existence in a struggling, unequal world. There is sometimes comfort in […]

The pathos of pathology

There is a memory of a world that responded to your touch and that once talked back to you. You felt the consistency of its day-to-day that stretched across the inland and to the shores. You felt its conundrum in every lockstep motion of the city, every breath in the country, and the low hum […]

On symbolizing the individual

Lately I have had the chance to catch up with an old friend and have a somewhat philosophical exchange about how life resembles an embattled reflection of our innermost insecurities and ambitions. It goes without saying that the national climate has not only produced a consciousness of hypercriticality among those residing in the US, but […]

Thoughts on writing in a socially distanced world

The pandemic has ushered in an entirely new mentality on academic participation. While previous classroom operations were based in large part on oral communication and interpersonal cues through visible body language, the now-normalized virtual alternative to physical classroom instruction has prompted academics to explore a myriad of student engagement options for their courses. Among these […]

A special journey

It was a blistering hot summer day and the breeze was dry. Our SUV lumbered along the dirt road as the view outside my window displayed rows of cacti and bushes, gliding past in rapid succession as if riding a never-ending conveyer belt. The sun continued to beat down its oppressive rays, chewing through the […]