Saturday, September 21, 2019

More on generations of black women students and artists

Earlier this week, I gave a presentation to one of my literature classes on generations and genres of black women poets--from Margaret Walker to Megan the Stallion. As it turned out, the theme of generations of black girls and women showed up at various points.

On Tuesday, my presentation was for a class of 35 first-year black women students. After classes, I had my weekly one-on-one with the president of the Black Student Union; I serve as the organization's advisor. Later, I began the first session of the semester for the DH club I coordinate. For the first time, the club has a majority of high school girls.

On Wednesday, I organized a meeting of grad school students. Consequently, they're all black women. This first session was the start of what I hope will be a series of presentations and discussions. There's a mix of ages among the grad students in this group--a few in their 20s and a few in their 40s.

I concluded on Friday, as usual, with my independent study session with one of my newest grad students. She's developing her ideas for a project on African women novelists.

A Notebook on Collegiate Students

Digital Humanities Club: Week 1

On Tuesday, September 17, we had our first session of the semester. We completed opening surveys, and we took a look at East St. Louis postcards from the Andrew J. Theising Collection. We were making selections from a vast body of materials so that we can begin working on mixed media projects. For now, we wanted to pinpoint several items to serve as our focal points.

The East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club Fall 2019

The East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club Fall 2019

This semester, we extend our East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club--an extracurricular program for high school students. The participants in the club will work on several mixed media projects this semester. We're working to build technological expertise while at the same time expanding our engagement with humanities projects.

[Related: The East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club]

Fall 2019, summaries of activities:
Week 1: September 17

This after-school DH club is an outgrowth of Digital East St. Louis (2016-2018), a collaborative project between SIUE's STEM Center and IRIS Center.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Haley Reading Group: “Pleistocene Park”

[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2018)]

Ross Andersen’s “Pleistocene Park” follows the scientist Nikita Zimov and his attempt to “solve the problem of climate change” by making the world green (2). Although most people see Nikita working to build and maintain a park, Nikita is using the park to hopefully address greenhouse gases and other serious climate issues.

Nikita states the goal of this park is to “spread across Artic Siberia and into North America, helping to slow the thawing of the Artic permafrost” (2). He’s hopeful that this park created in 1966 will deter the frozen underground layer from defrosting because it has the potential to release some of the deadliest “climate-change accelerants” into the atmosphere (2).

What did you find most useful about the article, and why?

Fall 2019--Haley Reading Groups

This semester, our Haley Reading Groups are covering The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018 edited by Sam Kean

Group 1 - Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018
• September 18 Ross Andersen’s “Pleistocene Park
• October 2 Sophie Brickman’s “The Squeeze: Silicon Valley Reinvents the Breast Pump”
• October 16 Susannah Felt’s “Astonish Me: Anticipating an Eclipse in the Age of Information”
• October 30 Caitlin Kuehn’s “Of Mothers and Monkeys”
• November 13 Ceridwen Dovey’s “Dr. Space Junk Unearths the Cultural Landscape of the Cosmos”
• November 4 reflections

Group 2 - Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018

Haley Reading Groups

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Black women's poetry: from Margaret Walker to Megan Thee Stallion

Although I'm covering poems and lyrics here and there throughout the semester, next week I'll begin a full unit on black women's poetry in one of my classes. We'll do a quick survey, noting a dozen or so various folks. One of the questions I'll pose is this: how did we get from the sound and delivery styles of Margaret Walker to Megan Thee Stallion?

Years ago when I began teaching, we moved in a more conventional chronological path. We began with poets like Walker and Gwendolyn Brooks up to Black Arts era folks like Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni and then by the end of the semester, we got to someone like a Lauryn Hill. I've worked, though, to bring generations of poets and performers into conversation with each other sooner in the semester. I've also done more with sound studies, moving beyond privileging printed texts in typical ways.

One of the problems or limits with a conventional chronological path is that it gives too much weight to generational differences while downplaying the importance of different creative domains. Difference across ages matter, but so do various domains and genres. 

So tracing the routes from Walker to Megan the Stallion can involve considering aspects of black women's print-based poetry and black women's raps. 

Black women, creativity, and styles of delivery

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A checklist of works by Bryan Hill

Here's a checklist of dates and first issues of comic books and trade paperbacks by the writer Bryan Hill.

April 15: Broken Trinity Aftermath #1 (with Ron Marz)

February 24: Broken Trinity: Pandoras Box #1
October 20: Pilot Season: 7 Days from Hell #1 (with Rob Levine)

May 11: Netherworld #1 (with Rob Levin)

February 4: Postal #1 (with Matt Hawkins)

August 31: Eden’s Fall #1
October 5: Romulus #1

March 1: Totally Awesome Hulk #1.MU (with Leah Williams)
October 11: Wild Storm: Michael Cray #1
December 27: Bonehead #1

March 14: Postal: Laura #1
March 28: Cyber Force #1 (with Matt Hawkins)

May 30: Black Lightning Hong Kong Phooey Special #1
June 27: Detective Comics #983
July 18: Aphrodite V #1
August 8: Spider-Man Annual
October 3: What If?: X-Men #1
October 10: Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1 (with various others)
October 24: KISS: Blood and Stardust #1
November 21 American Carnage #1
December 5: Killmonger #1