fuckin whoops: 5 texts that are influencing my writing in 2018

I’m presenting these in no particular order, as it’s difficult for me to rationalize a hierarchical system to describe formativity.  This is by no means a complete list, and I provide by no means a complete explanation/summary for each text. The thing that started this entire post is that I really can’t include all of this information into a single media response (half of which I already turned into a Twessay omfg) for ANTH 497, and I needed to figure out a way to frame information in a way which would be useful for said project without going over the 1000-word limit. Thus as opposed to fully historicizing and explaining my thoughts and responses to these readings I’m instead wanting to provide a method of brevity for some of my papers (but the one in particular) coming up this semester.

Basically: I needed to figure out a way to cite myself.

Self portrait of the blogger.

Pic unrelated, mostly.

Note: I use the term “ugly feelings” more than once to describe my own negative affects upon experiencing texts. This is a term that I know is from one of these readings, but for the life of me I can’t recall which one. Whoops!

On to the listicle:

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 2006. Touching feeling: affect, pedagogy, performativity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

I first read Eve Kosofky Sedgwick’s Touching Feeling around this time last year, and found the experience to be especially formative not only with respect to the way/s in which I choose to approach research but also the way/s in which I am capable of said approach. In “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading, or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Essay is About You” Sedgwick delineates (or, rather, attempts to delineate–the distinction is less a binary opposition and more a wibbly wobbly readerly eagerly) between paranoid and reparative methods of reading. Where the paranoid is “anticipatory […] reflexive and mimetic […] a strong theory […] a theory of negative affects […]” and that which “places its faith in exposure” (130) the reparative is that which allows one “to use one’s own resources to assemble or ‘repair’ the murderous part-objects into something like a whole” (128). As a queer and as someone who often experiences difficult or ugly feelings about texts the concept of the reparative reading is especially poignant for me as it offers the opportunity to take those negative affects and turn them into something positive (or, at the very least, into something more whole than shame). This is especially important and poignant to me as not only a queer reader but also a person who tends to find enjoyment in the reading of negative affects.

Allan, Jonathan A. 2016. Reading from Behind A Cultural Analysis of the Anus. The Exquisite Corpse. Regina: University of Regina.

I’m still in the process of reading this one, but I think it’s definitely going to remain influential over time. I struggle with being willing or able to express my love and enjoyment of texts which contain materials other people may find offensive or distasteful (ex. body horror), and more relevantly I struggle to put into words why I find enjoyment in some texts that others are unable or unwilling to. Even in explaining things in this way, however, I feel that I have fallen into a paranoid trap: “[t]he very idea of the reparative reading renders critics paranoid, anxious, worried. We apologize for it before we have even begun to do it” (16). Building on Sedgwick’s reparative reading Reading From Behind has thus far been a mix of emotions, but overall skewing to comfort. There is a comfort in knowing that there is a method by which my ugly feelings may be transformed. In the chapter “Spanking Colonialism” Allan writes that “[c]lose reading is a kind of erotic engagement with literary and visual texts that enables us to move slowly through the density of words or images” (117), and while I’m speeding through this first read-through of Reading From Behind I’m looking forward to sitting on my future responses as long as possible.

Fischer, Hal. 2015. Gay Semiotics: a photographic study of visual coding among homosexual men. Los Angeles, California: Cherry and Martin.

Gay Semiotics has been a foundational reading for me with respect to understanding semiotic coding as it relates to prestige and safety. While visual information is not capital-L-Language it still provides so much contextual information which is/may be important to the understanding of a given text. As semiotics plays so well with understanding the ways in which visual information is expressedly intertextual and intermedial Gay Semiotics provides so much information on the understanding of archetypal images and the ways in which these images may be used to parse further information from a specific set of visual information which we may not elsewise have done. While I think that most texts on semiotics fulfill the use-need I’m describing here because so many of my ugly feelings come from a place of seeing queer images where others may not choosing an explicitly queer (or, in this case, gay) text is important to me.

Brice, Mattie. 2017. “Play and Be Real about It: What Games Could Learn from Kink.” Essay. In Queer Game Studies, edited by Bonnie Ruberg and Adrienne Shaw, 77–82. Minneapolis, Minesotta: University of Minesotta Press.

The idea that kink could be used as a theoretical framing device literally never occurred to me prior to reading this, despite the fact that it makes so much sense. Queer Game Studies was a huge part of my ANTH 498 final study, and I ended up spending a lot of time thinking about the ways in which my own theory/praxis are influenced by kink and BDSM (heads up: it’s a lot of ways). Brice explains it this way: “Kink isn’t just a topical analogy […] it’s a good framework for challenging these contextless play experiences by reimagining the positions of the designer, player, and play, and what those positions mean” (78). In considering this through a lens of that reparative reading I’m (obviously) such a fan of this has opened up the possibilities for dealing with ugly thoughts and ugly responses I have to texts–by coming to information reparatively and spatially I’m better able to negate the shame and humiliation that I often experience as a reader because I am the reader. It’s a small consideration, but all too important, that “WE ARE ALWAYS PLAYING. WE ARE ALWAYS IN CONTEXTS. CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING” (79). By considering our own positionality to a text we are better able to address our own values and ideologies as they influence our understanding/s.

Barthes, Roland. 1975. The Pleasure of the Text. Translated by Richard Miller. New York, New York: Hill and Wang.

While I tried to keep order out of this list as much as possible, it really is important to be ending with this quote: “No ‘thesis’ on the pleasure of the text is possible; barely an inspection (an introspection) that falls short” (34).

I hope this post ends up being useful to me moving forward, and I do recommend (perhaps obviously) that you check out each of these texts on your own time! Also it really isn’t lost on me that this list is incredibly white and incredibly male, so if you have any recommendations for texts you like that you think may help rectify that let me know!

Let me know your own reactions either here or on Twitter if you get a chance! I’m always curious about others’ perspectives!


10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Heads up!

Although my blog has thus far been a class-work receptacle I’d like to begin branching out more and more into lifestyle blogging. This absolutely doesn’t mean the essays will stop, but rather that I’d like to try out some other content as well! While I’ve queued up a number of “Get to Know the Blogger” lists like this one, I’m also planning on posting my bullet journal spreads and note-taking methods! Studying is always more fun with friends, and I’d like to emulate that here!

me as a meme

As for the reasoning behind this change: as I mentioned in my Surprise! Pearls post making money in university while disabled has been difficult. In the last couple of years I’ve struggled with financial set back after financial set back, and in order to be able to continue schooling I need to have a stable source of income. While I’m working to build a freelance editing portfolio I’ve decided to go back to my roots and hustle the heck out of my life. This semester I’m taking courses part-time, and will thus hopefully leave me the room I need to get this blog moved in the direction and with the reach I need to be successful at this whole writing gig.

If you have any comments or suggestions shoot me a comment or let me know in a Tweet! Now on to the fun stuff!

  1. My favourite food is applesauce! I love it because it works as a condiment, a side dish, or a snack! Truly an all-in-one, ultra-versatile deal. Unfortunately because of my absolutely terrible memory I never get to eat it because I don’t ever go down the snack aisle at the store! A tragedy if I ever heard one.
  2. I always feel like I’m about to be late for SOMETHING, but I never know what! It’s like having a built-in Rememberall at all times!
  3. My minor is in English literary studies, and I’m so so so thankful for my literary education! I feel like I talk about my anthropology education all the time, and never enough about my other interests!
  4. My favourite colour is purple! That said, I never seem to buy purple things. I’d love to rectify this, but there are so many other colours I love that I don’t want to ignore either!
  5. Despite all my dog-related Tweets my favourite animals are actually turtles! That is, if I even have a favourite animal (all animals are good in their own ways)!
  6. I used to wear lolita! I fell out of the lifestyle when I began living my life more authentically with respect to my gender identity because I couldn’t parse for myself that type of hyper-feminine presentation with my non-binary-ness. I’ve since discovered this is an absolutely bullshit reason to quit doing anything you love, and I’d love to get back into it when I finish up my degree!
  7. I drink iced coffee and frozen drinks year-round despite living through snow every year because I always run super warm! What would be a fever for most people is pretty much par-for-the-course for me, so I have to cool down somehow!
  8. I can’t sleep if I don’t have at least two (read: 2) comforters folded upon themselves on my feet at night. Yes, even in the Summer! I’ve looked into weighted blankets before, but I’ve thus far found the cost prohibitive. I’d like to take up sewing now that I have a Craftsy Unlimited account, though, so if I ever get around to borrowing my sisfriend’s sewing machine I’ll definitely be trying to DIY my way through!
  9. My glasses don’t actually do anything! I had a mass last year in my left eye that ended up changing my prescription literally overnight, and I just haven’t had the money to replace my lenses yet! I tried going without glasses for a couple of days when it first happened, but my anxiety got the better of me when people started asking where they went so back on my face they’ve gone!
  10. I’m honestly a mostly open book, so thinking up this list has been super dang hard! I’ve kept to myself for most of my life, and in the last couple of years I’ve been making a conscious effort to begin working to talk about myself and my interests more and more. While I live with anxiety every day, working through small things (like openness!) has been invaluable for me in working to live comfortably with myself.

What are some things people might be surprised to learn about you? Let me know! I look forward to reading your comments here and on Twitter!

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Investing in a #SelfcareSunday 

We are our own best investments. Time for some self care!

On Thursday I was a panelist speaking on Linguistic Violence at Macewan University, and it got me thinking about self care. Too often I don’t take care of myself. With the hustle and bustle of school, freelancing, and Just Being sometimes I need a reminder to slow down!

So with all that in mind I made a short list of things I do/can do to practice self care for myself:

  • talking about it
  • reconnecting with community 
  • reaching out to people
  • doodling
  • painting
  • doing readings on-time
  • taking meds on-time
  • petting Sushi 
  • journaling 
  • meditating 
  • putting on pants
  • playing a videogame
  • having a bath
  • getting out of bed
  • listening to music
  • playing with putty
  • listening to audiodrama 
  • looking at family pics
  • writing
  • hugs
  • doing my hair
  • high fives 
  • looking at pictures of cute animals
  • smiling 
  • brushing my teeth
  • doing my brows
  • reading about cool shit
  • listening to podcasts 

What are some strategies you have to practice self care?

Top 10 Posts – 2017

Since I don’t have any more blog posts planned between now and 2018 I figured it would be a good time to list up my top posts this year!

I can’t believe how much my blog has grown this year, and my blogging skills alongside! While 2017 was a bumpy road for me, I’m glad to see people have stayed interested in and interacting with my work on here.


This year I’ve tried to be open about my coursework online, and to be open about myself in my coursework, which has turned this blog from something to ~write on when I have the time~ into something that has become integral to my learning and expressions of learning. This is something I kind of (?) knew was happening, but seeing my top posts splayed out it’s all the more obvious. Seeing this kind of change over time I can’t wait to see where this blog goes from here!

But: onward to the list!

  1. An open letter to my family and friends

    I’m transgender, specifically non-binary.

    • 2017 marked my coming out as trans to my extended family and network of acquaintances, and honestly it went pretty dang painlessly all things considered. It took some of my family more time to respond than others, but overall the response has been very positive and I feel very supported!
  2. What is #endometriosis?

    On a scale from 0-10, how bad is the pain that extends from my ribs down to about mid-calf? Am able to walk? With or without my cane? Can I go down stairs? On my own? Should I use an elevator instead? If I go to class, will I be able to sit for the entire class time? The bumpy bus ride home?

    • March being endometriosis awareness month is always difficult for me for some reason, but this year I felt it was really important to write about my experiences with the disease as a trans person because too often trans healthcare is shrugged off as “not important” or “too difficult.” In writing this I hoped that more people would understand that trans people also experience historically gendered illness/es and our experiences should not be cast to the side. Based on the reach and response this post received I can only hope I was able to get that across!
  3. Grief is a House

    […] I can only hope you’d be proud of me for speaking up.

    • I miss Jess a whole lot.
  4. 0/6: falling short

    […] it affected me pretty fucking hardcore I’m ngl.

    • I planned and wrote this series of posts after reading Clinical Encounters in Sexuality for, like, 5-some hours or somesuch. Looking back I’m not sure I’d do it all over again, but it was fun and something I pretty desperately wanted to do at the time so I’m still happy with it! Moving forward I’d like to read more queer/psychoanalytic texts (but who knows when I’ll have time for that o h n o).
  5. #Archaeogaming101 @animethon

    A number of Gramma Shirley’s videos fulfill all the needs of field journaling, but especially her exploration videos. She’s an accomplished Skyrim ethnobotanist, finding and maintaining a record of a number of in-game flora. Also she’s really lovely ❤

    • I did a lot of presenting in 2017 compared to previous years. It was a lovely experience to work with a friend on this one, and really worked to highlight and showcase some of the problems/failings of academic outreach for me.
  6. The Longest “Aside” Ever: Showcasing Failure

    Most of the time passion projects aren’t academically (or economically) viable, but it’s still worthwhile to keep up with things that are “just” straight up enjoyable.

    • *incoherent screeching*
  7. #Archaeogaming101 #ANTH498 @EdmontonExpo


    • Taking what I’d learned from presenting at Animethon I tweaked my Edmonton Expo wording and structure a bit to mitigate some of the phrasing concerns that I found with the previous incarnation of this presentation. That said: it still didn’t go perfectly, and really influenced my research direction for the rest of the semester (and definitely beyond). It definitely solidified my resolve in the need for me to research more into the ~translation~ of academic-speak to non-academic-speak, and back again!
  8. #ANTH421 w/ @sarahshulist: Considering the situated production of identity construction in individual Albertan injured workers

    Overall there was a sense that there is something larger than themselves which is deciding the language they have access to (as in a structured structure–not necessarily a deity), and influencing their language choices.

    • Working with my dad on this was so difficult for me emotionally, but also so rewarding. I appreciate finally having had the opportunity in my undergrad to focus on his experiences and the experiences of those around him who (unfortunately) share a history as injured workers. In the future I’d like to expand on my interview with my dad and Ralph either through further interviewing or through further reflection on my own history as it exists within the context of being the child of an injured worker. If/when that happens it’ll be posted here, though, so keep your eyes open!
  9. “Colour Palettization as Archaeogaming Method” #PATC Companion Post

    *bibliography intensifies*

    • This project was one of the first times I’d undertaken the amount and breadth of research I did, and I’m still really proud of not only my original paper but this presentation as well. Although I didn’t participate very much in PATC2 I hope to again, because the format was absolutely perfect for someone like me (who, hilariously, is writing this post with a hot water bottle on their uterus… again).
  10. On being queer as fuck

    […] I’ve come to the decision that reading Billy Budd as ~A Queer Text~ is a lot easier and more entertaining/enjoyable than reading it as ~Melville~.

    • If I ever shut up about Billy Budd it’s probably because I’m dead.

Thanks for reading this far!

2017 is over!(!!)

Thank goodness!(!!!!)



The Longest “Aside” Ever: Showcasing Failure

[I didn’t realize how massive this would be until I started putting everything together. Sorry/Godspeed to you, lonely reader.]

Continue reading “The Longest “Aside” Ever: Showcasing Failure”