Queer Theory Take 2

Discussions of sex, sexuality, and gender have always frustrated me because they are such meaningless, fluid concepts. When I try to define sexuality, I get frustrated because I think people, as animals, do not need or follow categories and definitions for sexuality. However, I feel that it’s important to note society’s need to define sexuality, as Moran reminds us that, “from the late nineteenth century onward, the homosexual became a named category or species, whereas previously same-sex love had just been an activity undertaken by a wide variety of people” (97).

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Something cool about plants in Alice Achitophel

About a moon ago, or maybe some time less than a month ago, Dr. McCoy discussed how Alice, emerging in her new, thin body is like meristem tissue. She could do whatever she wanted and no force would stop her, she was determined and confident. For those of you who don’t remember, meristem cells are basically like human stem cells, but in plants, and they last for the entire lifetime of the plant.

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Our Ownership of Space and Spaces

In Chapter 5 of Interdisciplinarity, Moran discusses how space is not a “neutral category but something that is culturally produced” (149).  Here, Moran seems to assert that space and spaces are not readily existing unless we make them exist through culture.  Given, what we know presently as countries are indeed the spaces in which certain, specific cultures function.  But if territories and spaces are divided due to cultural differences, then why keep these divisions at all if culture is ever-changing?  Permanence of a territory can never be promised.  This must be the reason that country borders are so plastic; they reflect the cultures held “within” them.  Additionally, what does space – or what other species understand as what us humans call space – mean to other species?  There is no telling whether culture defines their spaces, or if they define spaces at all.  Unfortunately, us humans have assumed ownership of our surroundings regardless of the viewpoints of other species. Continue reading “Our Ownership of Space and Spaces”


It was in class, while going back through the definition of the term “romanticism” in the Bedford, when I stumbled across the term that announced itself, in my mind, as the characterization of Zulus: primitivism. This doctrine illuminates itself in Everett’s piece as the reader realizes the doomed fate of humanity, which is a direct result of nuclear wars. These wars can only be had between advanced civilizations; between societies that have advanced knowledge and the power to execute that knowledge to the peak of its destructive force. Continue reading “Primitivism”

Identifying with Historicism

It was mentioned by Dr. Beth in class, weeks ago, that forms of literary analysis and criticism have flexibility; a person may be able to utilize many criticisms in her attempt to analyze and interpret a literary work. Some texts may be better interpreted through the lens of one critical perspective as opposed to another, and close-readers have the opportunity to pick and choose aspects of each form of criticism to suit their own perspectives. However, Dr. Beth also mentioned that there may be some perspectives in which a reader can find herself especially invested, of which she can, for the most part, identify with. Dr. Beth described this as a type of “Aha!” moment, when the critical thinker feels as if she can cry out, “Where have you been all my life?” The approach of historicism produced, for me, this moment. Continue reading “Identifying with Historicism”

Romanticism in Meridian

Romanticism, according to the Bedford, “a broad and general term (like classicism, with which it is often contrasted) referring to a set of beliefs, attitudes, and values associated with a shift in Western culture that was characterized by a reaction against Enlightenment rationalism and an emphasis on emotion, innovation, nature, the individual, and subjective experience…” Continue reading “Romanticism in Meridian”

Literary Merit: Zulus and the Handmaid’s Tale

All throughout high school, I used to wonder how a book was chosen as part of a curriculum. My high school stressed Shakespeare, which is why over the past four years I have read seven Shakespeare plays (and counting). How did my school come to emphasize Shakespeare while my friend’s high school, a specialized public school only half an hour away from mine, made their students read Romeo and Juliet exclusively? That is a question I have yet to answer. Some of the books I studied in a high school classroom setting, however, were chosen for obvious reasons. My high school assigned every freshman to read Safe at Second by Scott Johnson, solely because the author was an English teacher at the school. I’d be shocked to find another SUNY Geneseo student who has read Safe at Second outside of pleasure reading. For the most part, though, the books I studied matched up with other schools. This is why I questioned how these anomaly books were chosen. Even then I didn’t question why. Continue reading “Literary Merit: Zulus and the Handmaid’s Tale”


When reading Percival Everett’s Zulus, I couldn’t help but have my expectations shaped by other novels and ideas about dystopian environments that I have been exposed to. My perceptions of the rebels in the book, for instance, matched Alice Achitophel’s in that I assumed they were attempting to reform or simply destroy the government that runs the city Alice lives in. Continue reading “Misperceptions”