Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Quarantine Classroom: A Poem for Plague and Pandemic


A poem for my students
inspired by the Summer 2020 syllabus:
Diversity in the Eras o
Medieval Plague and Modern Pandemic
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Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago?
Where has the semester gone?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu?
Where was the summer?

May you heed well the wisdom
How to survive a plague and act up
For all fruits who fall far from fathers
And sprout seeds of a different sort.

May our five or six feet apart
Not cut us off from our quests
Through the riddles and chaos
To find new meanings for intimacy.

Pardon our household dances and revels
Only keep us far from devilish parties
Death will not be stopped by walls or class
Although masks prove better than masques.

May quarantine unravel our pride,
Unveil and unteach our prejudice,
For the uprisings has begun
Among those left for dead.

But as we march, beware the crusades
Promising purity and monstrous cures
For the new men may look much like the old
Only devoid of creative diversity.

May our histories and dreams prepare us
For facing that hideous power
Which causes men to lose their heads
Guiding us in word, love, courage, patience, and glory.

Through flood and fire
May we hold on to hope
Even as the inferno rises
Let us hold up those lives called ‘lost.’

As plague and pandemic fall and spring again,
May these lessons and stories carry you
From season to season, age to age,
Looking back, remaining present, even as we move forward.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Trans Literature Review: Golden Boy

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Happy Non-Binary Day!

Check out the new Intersex Literature Review on the Trans Literature YouTube channel! This week, we are discussing "Golden Boy," the story of an intersex boy and his politician family after a sexual assault prompts a reexamination of the veil of secrecy they maintain around experiences of sex and gender.
Comment to offer suggestions for upcoming reviews!
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Monday, July 13, 2020

Trans Literature Review: Transcendent - The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction (2016)

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Looking for a trans-affirming alternative to Harry Potter? 

Check out the new New Trans Literature Review: "Transcendent: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction" (2016). This book collects a series of science-fiction, fantasy, and other imaginative stories with characters from across the trans spectrum!

Comment to offer suggestions for upcoming reviews!
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Trans Literature Review: The Testosterone Files

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Trans Literature Online reviews "Testosterone Files" by Max Wolf Valerio, a native American descended from the Blackfoot Confederacy, who shares his life as a transgender man after being a contributor to the foundational collection This Bridge Called My Back. In particular, the author shares the effects of testosterone on his body and the myriad changes in his life he underwent as part of his transition.

Comment to offer suggestions for upcoming reviews!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Trans Literature Review: The Last Time I Wore A Dress

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A new Trans Literature review of "The Last Time I Wore a Dress" is now online! Dylan Scholinski is a fantastic artist who shares the story of a time when his parents forced him into a mental institution that tried to "correct" the fact that he is transgender in a process called Conversion Therapy.

Comment to offer suggestions for upcoming reviews!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Trans Literature: Review of Redefining Realness

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The Trans Literature Youtube Channel continues!

Check out the review of "Redefining Realness" by Janet Mock! This is the first book in a series of memoirs about the journalist, director, and author as she grew up as a black trans woman on Hawaii and on the mainland. The book explores the inextricability of gender, race, and class as her experiences shape her professional and personal trajectory. Within the wider public and even within trans media, the stories of trans women of color are not given nearly the spotlight they deserve. This literature opens up conversations that are all the more pressing as black trans women are beaten, exploited, and murdered in record numbers. I cannot recommend this book enough, especially for teachers.


Comment to offer suggestions for upcoming reviews!
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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Trans Literature Book Reviews: the Prince and the Dressmaker

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The Trans Literature Youtube Channel is continuing! 

Check out the review of "the Prince and the Dressmaker" by Jen Wang about the double-life of a young person who yearns for a life of gorgeous dresses while carrying the responsibility to be a marriageable royal man. The book also features the aspirations and work of a dress-maker who stands by the Prince as their partnership evolves and deepens.

Comment to offer suggestions for upcoming reviews!
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