Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker: Why the Backlash?

I saw the ultimate chapter of the original Star Wars last night. Viscerally, it brought back the sights, sounds, smells, and topoi--sites for conversation and debate in "rhetoric speak"--of my preteen world. It was a world in which we kids would ride our bikes in the neighborhood, fending off swarms of gnats at dusk. My… Continue reading Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker: Why the Backlash?

The Notorious RBG and Social Responsibility

I was recently at a talk presented by Katie Gibson, an academic colleague based on her excellent book Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Legacy of Dissent: Feminist Rhetoric and the Law. In this work, Professor Gibson documents the evolution of the Justice's feminist consciousness and legal strategies. RBG's legal rhetoric has invoked many decades of feminist thought.… Continue reading The Notorious RBG and Social Responsibility


Giving Notice She asks, did you feel that, or was it Hugo under the bed? Hugo indeed had flattened himself against the floor under the bed, like he does in elevators. I said, I didn’t feel anything. Most significant tremblor in decades it turns out. Tonight there will be fireworks for atrocity children in cages… Continue reading Notice

Trans Migrant Murders and the Importance of Intersectionality

Transgender asylum seeker Johana Medina, a refugee from El Salvador, died in ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) custody on 1 June, the first day of Pride month. Medina is the 23rd transgender person to die in ICE custody. The horrific deaths of trans persons detained by Immigration and Customs and Enforcement are murders, and blame… Continue reading Trans Migrant Murders and the Importance of Intersectionality

Office Hours (for my students in feminist theory and rhetorical criticism)

Resistance to the regulation of women's bodies grows in the red chair. We prepare for world traveling where, like Maria Lugones said, we learn to love each other, to listen for the contexts of oppression, to avoid the arrogance of the therapist, to study the words --and other actions-- of women resisting the colonization of… Continue reading Office Hours (for my students in feminist theory and rhetorical criticism)

Happy Birthday, You’re Not a Person

Today is my birthday. North Carolina voters just decided I'm not fully human. Here is a response. Whereas miscegenation queered the rite's unstable battle, today another state banned endogamy, the joining of like to like, ironically as ever calling difference into being. Not so much for domestication but facing inhumanity ratified by popular declaim, I… Continue reading Happy Birthday, You’re Not a Person

Why Marry at all? A poem by Marge Piercy

Why marry at all? By Marge Piercy Why mar what has grown up between the cracks and flourished like a weed that discovers itself to bear rugged spikes of magenta blossoms in August, ironweed sturdy and bold, a perennial that endures winters to persist? Why register with the state? Why enlist in the legions of… Continue reading Why Marry at all? A poem by Marge Piercy

Speech by Silky Shoemaker to Queerbomb (alternative pride gathering) June 4

Loved this--political, funny, celebratory all at once. This night has been a long time coming. Im so glad we’re all here to celebrate our wild and beautiful queer identities. Tonight we proclaim who we are and what we love, without shame or apology or beer commercials. Pride is strength in what we love and it… Continue reading Speech by Silky Shoemaker to Queerbomb (alternative pride gathering) June 4

REMAINS TO BE SEEN: “Our Body” as ideology

Katie (who gets credit for this title), Samantha, and I got sucked into the "OUR BODY" exhibit at UT's Stark Center, which houses a "museum" dedicated to the instillation of norms of human "fitness." Named after fitness gurus Joe and Betty Weider, its galleries include a huge, rotating plaster cast of a statue of Hercules,… Continue reading REMAINS TO BE SEEN: “Our Body” as ideology

The quiet desperation of academic women

This study came as no surprise to me! It resonates with my experience as a faculty member; although none of my male colleagues, Chair, or Dean is intentionally sexist, there are broader institution and cultural patterns that make some barriers to women's accomplishments seem like common sense. The discussion of how women bear a disproportionate… Continue reading The quiet desperation of academic women