Ending on a Lighter Note

I hope finals week is treating all of you well. That being said, it’s been a challenging year, and I know everyone is likely busy and/or exhausted, so I wanted to share something a little lighter before the semester is out.

This is a brief Stephen Colbert interview with Toni Morrison back from 2014, when he had his old show. For those not familiar with his shtick, his character is a far-right conservative that often brings arguments to their extremes–needless to say, he’s brutally sarcastic. This interview is short, but very entertaining, and, in typical fashion, Morrison manages to share some wisdom in the middle of it all. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


Abstract/Prospectus with a little writing

This project takes as its launching point several claims about power and contemporary subjectivity:  first, that the legitimization of authority and power now takes place through biopolitics, a form of power “in which the vital aspects of human life are intervened upon for the purpose of rationalizing regimes of authority over knowledge, the generation of truth discourses about life, and the modes through which individuals construct and interpellate subjectivities between a sense of self and the collective.”  Continue reading “Abstract/Prospectus with a little writing”

Biopolitics and Neoliberalism: Research Semester Bibliography

Here’s the bibliography for my research this semester; I read every text on this list, but not every text I read made it onto this list.  These are the sources that I think will either find their way into my essay next semester, or alternatively, influenced my thinking enough to include them, even if I don’t think they’ll make it into the essay (“The Subject of the Plague” is a good example of the latter).  And then there are some sources I probably forgot.  If I remember any, I’ll add them.  The only text on here I haven’t finished is Love by Toni Morrison—I’m putting it on hiatus for finals week but I’m going to finish it over winter break.  In addition to this bibliography, I’m hoping to post a prospectus or abstract illuminating how I see my final essay taking shape, as well as what I currently see as the first few pages of that essay. Continue reading “Biopolitics and Neoliberalism: Research Semester Bibliography”

Thoughts on the Final Meeting

In today’s final meeting, my group and I spoke about what we have taken away from this semester, and I thought I might share some of the ideas that I took away from the conversation. To begin, I shared some of my own thoughts about the final assignment. I am most interested in exploring Morrison’s storytelling and her “repetition with a difference,” as Linda Krumholz observes. When considering this technique, I am brought back to Saidiya Hartman’s “Venus in Two Acts,” in which Hartman both “mimes the violence of the archive and attempts to redress it by describing as fully as possible the conditions that determine the [historical racial and gender prejudice] and that dictate [the victim’s] silence.” Rehashing the oppression of the slave trade could be dangerous to the black community, but it also has the power to begin redressing the lasting prejudice faced by the black community throughout the last few centuries. Continue reading “Thoughts on the Final Meeting”

Morrison and the Bible

So I’ve been struggling trying to come up with what to write for a final post. I mentioned to a majority of you in class that I am interested in writing on Morrison’s discourse on religion. This made me decide to go on a hunt to see if I could find Bible references that correspond with Morrison’s works, as her works clearly focus on western religion. Continue reading “Morrison and the Bible”

Choice and the Number Eight

In A Mercy, Jacob Vaark wants to build his house on a hill. The dream of a house on a hill is similar to the dream of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and John Winthrop’s idea of a City Upon A Hill (1630). I bring this up to draw attention to the fact that this colony was made up of Puritans who had come to the New World to be a “model of Christian charity” for the eyes of the world. Continue reading “Choice and the Number Eight”

Toni Morrison’s relation to novels

I took one creative writing class last semester just because I figured I’d give it a try, so in no way am I an expert in creative writing. I just remember that I learned “Form is never more than an expression of content.” It made me think about how Toni Morrison uses the structure of the novel to write and how important that is for the messages she tries to get across. I think that novels give her enough space to create multiple characters, giving multiple perspectives which emphasize the necessity of varying interpretations, instead of relying on “the single story.” Continue reading “Toni Morrison’s relation to novels”

Hip Hop in the Classroom “Crossroads Collective”

Today one of the topics that was discussed in one of the groups I was in was the idea of bringing hip hop and rap into classrooms and relating it to literature, current events, etc. I previously attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and in my sociology class, we had a guest lecture by another QU professor who teaches a very similar class in his free time at a New Haven high school. Continue reading “Hip Hop in the Classroom “Crossroads Collective””

Morrison, Dante and Structure

Despite having the syllabus all semester and never hearing anything about it, I assumed for the majority of the course that there would be some kind of big analytical paper about Toni Morrison’s trilogy to do at the end. I had this imaginary assignment in the back of my head for months and I was certain that I would write this paper about Toni Morrison’s structure and organization, as it is what has stood out to me most in all of the novels we’ve covered.

I guess since I can’t have a whole paper, I’ll do some here. I think I’ve already made some posts about structure, but what can I say… I’m a fan of how Morrison uses it.

None of the books we read were perfectly linear; we’d get bits and pieces along the way and there never seemed to be a clear “present” time. We’ve talked during this semester about the unreliability of Morrison’s narrators. Though Morrison’s narrators seem Continue reading “Morrison, Dante and Structure”

Morrison’s Paradise: Online, and Beyond

One of the first things that struck me about Morrison’s Paradise when I first held it in my hands was the sticker on the front referencing Oprah’s book club. While we have had incredible discussions on Paradise this semester, it led me to wonder how the book was received by non-academic readers–people reading Morrison’s work for fun, outside of the classroom atmosphere we have grown used to.  Continue reading “Morrison’s Paradise: Online, and Beyond”