Update

Once again I want to thank all of the wonderful people who took the time to read my post about the Boy Scouts.  I have received a lot of great feedback and support, both online and in person.

For now, I have said what I needed to say about that particular issue, and I will leave it in the hands of people who are more directly involved in Scouting.  The tumblr page Eagle Scouts Returning Our Badges is still accumulating letters (up to 127 now). Scouts for Equality has a petition that you can sign in order to be counted among all the people in the BSA who oppose their anti-gay policy, as well as other ways to be involved.  I will keep an eye on the issue and lend my support in any way that I can.

For now, it is time to turn my attention back to my own academic work, which is long overdue. I’m planning to post more about academic fiction and higher education throughout the fall.

I wanted to start with something that I have been interested in posting for a while.  When I was preparing for my oral exams I found it helpful to see reading lists that others had compiled for similar fields.  I did three fields:  “Black Nationalist Thought in the U.S.”;  “Comedy, Humor and Satire in Black American Literature”; “Samuel R. Delany: Race, Sexuality and the Paraliterary.”  I’ll be posting each of these lists individually.

Reviewing the lists has been a good intellectual exercise for me.  My dissertation topic came out of reading these books. The main bit of advice to other grad students that I can think of after seeing these lists again:  They don’t have to be perfect.  The point was to set a date for the exam and follow through on the reading.  The lists aren’t exhaustive.  I can see plenty of gaps in the knowledge, plenty of the things that I left off, plenty of things I should have included.  But the only way to know that was to follow through on the process.  (I’m trying to reiterate to myself this same advice for dissertation writing.)

Finally I’ve been thinking a lot about digital literacy lately.  Recently, I came across Howard Rheingold whose work has been helpful for me as I’ve thought more about how to use digital resources in my academic work.  I’m reading his book Net Smart right now, and I’ve watched some of his lectures online.  His ideas about mindfulness, multitasking and filtering information have resonated with me and synced up with other ideas about digital writing that I have accumulated over the past few years.  I’m trying to put some of these ideas into practice on this blog and in other digital outlets.

So, I’ll be posting the orals lists next, and then hopefully some more on academic fiction later in the week.

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