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Trigger warnings for college courses [Apr. 23rd, 2014|08:11 am]

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I have been reading some discussions lately about the idea of providing trigger warnings for material in a given college course, generally somewhere that the student would see said warnings before selecting the course. (Note: I am not linking to any stories because I really want to talk about the general idea, not the specific implementations.) Unlike the requirement that schools list textbooks next to courses in the schedule (which was allegedly about allowing them to shop around for best prices, but was really part of David Horowitz's campaign to make certain that students never be exposed to ideas they disagreed with), this movement seems to target the same sort of triggers that are discussed in relation to fanworks: sexual assault, traumatic events, racism, colonialism, etc.

I am having trouble organizing any thoughts on this. How to deal with controversial or potentially upsetting, to say nothing of triggering, material is something I have gone round and round on several times, and in fact have been remonstrated rather thoroughly by some colleagues over.

So, I thought I'd ask: what do people think of this idea, of a college or university providing trigger warnings in course descriptions? Yay? Nay? Put them in the syllabus but not the catalog? Other thoughts?

Please note: I...well, obviously, I do have a horse in this race, but I haven't named it yet, so I am not intending to argue one side or the other. If I ask you questions, I am not challenging; I am seeking clarity. Likewise, please be aware that this is an emotional topic, and try to be respectful, okay?

(Is it sad that now I'm kind of pondering making this a paper topic?)

This entry was originally posted at http://cereta.dreamwidth.org/1039577.html. If you can, please speak there. comment count unavailable have spoken there.

The Bard, The Professionals, The Gothic, Lovecraft, & Tori Amos [Apr. 23rd, 2014|08:38 am]

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[Current Music |"Exurgency," Zoe Keating]

Happy 450th birthday to the Bard himself, William Shakespeare!

William Shakespeare - Text Portrait

And in other news...

* Would you like to see Adagio Teas offer fandom tea blends for Bodie, Doyle, and Cowley of The Professionals? If so, please vote for The Professionals here.

* Do you want to see H.P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle adapted into a dark fantasy film? Check out this Indiegogo campaign (with three enticing teaser trailers) for The Dreamlands.

* This year, May 13 will be one of my favorite holidays: New Tori Amos Album Day! Very exciting.

* All 36 hours of interactive lecture from my Spring 2014 class for the Mythgard Institute, "The Gothic Tradition," are now available for download here as a "course pack."

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

- Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
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FIC: The Uncanny Valley (8/10) [Apr. 23rd, 2014|12:57 am]


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Saint-Petersburg (1) [Apr. 23rd, 2014|08:35 am]


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But I haven't had breakfast or a cup of coffee [Apr. 22nd, 2014|11:59 pm]

[Current Music |The Dead Milkmen, "Now I Wanna Hold Your Dog"]

Fifty years ago today, the 1964 World's Fair opened in Flushing Meadows. Both of my parents remember going, separately—my mother was eighteen, my father twelve. My grandmother had put aside half dollars until she had enough to pay the admission fees for her three children and give them each ten dollars to spend. My mother vividly remembers eating Belgian waffles for the first time. (My father had texted me with news of the anniversary earlier today: the waffle part, specifically.) In honor of the Brussels waffles of 1964, derspatchel and I tried to go out for Belgian waffles tonight, but all of the usual suspects—SoundBites, the Toast—were closed. We ended up at iYo, where Rob skilfully negotiated the DIY waffles (hey, with mention of the World's Fair) and I put a bunch of strawberries on green apple frozen yogurt (it worked for me). I am baffled by the apparent citywide assumption that no one wants waffles after nine at night. It's like bagels at four in the morning. Doesn't everybody?

Earlier in the day I was at Porter Square Books, where two very nice things occurred.

First, I discovered—and pounced upon, and purchased before it could vanish—the first anthology of modernist poetry I've seen whose biographical notes openly discuss H.D. as polyamorous and bisexual. Her relationship with Frances Gregg is given equal weight with her relationship with Ezra Pound: "another young poet . . . similarly intense and romantic." Mention is made of the brief period in 1910 when both women were involved with him. Bryher in 1918 is introduced as "a young novelist" rather than the more usual and dismissive "heiress"; her relationship with H.D. is unambiguously "lifelong." The table of contents is missing her own poetry, sadly, but it does include one of Gregg's poems to H.D.—I hadn't even known that existed. I wish the afterword had not persisted in referring to H.D. by her given last name rather than her chosen initials, but at least it doesn't make the same mistake with Bryher. There's more to be acknowledged and celebrated there, but it's a better start than Norman Holmes Pearson. And I am sure this is not the most intersectional collection of poems that could have been chosen out of the Modernist movement, but there are queer women in it, women of color, disabled women, women with differing degrees of education and profession, women who had children and didn't, women who died young and didn't, Jewish women, Dadaist women, women I'd never heard of; there are sixteen of them selected for this book and all of them wrote. I'm looking forward to spending more time with them.

Second, I picked up a copy of Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft's Monsters. I hadn't seen the table of contents before. (It's a very tempting one. I need a better book income.) It reprints a poem I published. That has never happened to me before and I am curiously cheerful about it.

I need to write a pastiche of Dorothy Parker. I want to conclude with the following true fact:

"And I just got spam from Romania."
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Comment Fic Archive Prompts- Various Fandoms and Original [Apr. 22nd, 2014|08:31 pm]

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Author: ciaranbochna
Characters: Loki, Odin, The Doctor, OC,
Fandom: Avengers, Doctor Who, some original
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world of Doctor Who or the Marvel universe

A/N: Done for various prompts as I burrowed through the comment_fic archive in a quest to maintain some semblance of sanity.

Through the woodsCollapse )

we needs it, precious! [Apr. 22nd, 2014|11:01 pm]

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[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]
[Current Music |telly]

Could someone rec any Aragorn/Legolas fics for me? I've rediscovered my love for the pairing over the past fortnight, and I think I may have read just about every complete fic on AO3 by now! (I am not kidding about that.)

Help a fangirl out, please? Preferably anything long, complete, no (or minimal) character bashing and of a certain quality (e.g. anything short of bad!fic. I'm desperate here). Hobbitlock would certainly be a bonus.

I'll just be huddling in the corner until then, muttering to myself, and rocking back and forth with my kindle. It is...precious to me.

Or just shut me before I make another lame LotR joke. Not only am I driving my sister mad with them, but myself as well. I've already been forbidden from mentioning Glorfindel's canonical awesomeness and Mary Sue the Elf in The Desolation of Smaug. ^^;

And now for something completely different [Apr. 22nd, 2014|07:37 pm]

[Current Mood |boredbored]

I've been sick the last few days, with a truly annoying cold that has occasionally left me too restless to read but too brainless to write or work. So I did a bit of messing about in Photoshop, like you do, just to keep from going nuts while trying to do the whole rest-and-recover thing (and to be honest, from the try-to-work-despite-being-sick thing, because I am dumb that way). And so:


I posted the image over on Tumblr, with the question "What do you think it eats?", in the hopes that someone else (or maybe many someone elses) would choose to play.

Unfortunately, what I got was crickets. No replies, responses, nothing. So I'm trying over here, and beneath the cut is what I came up with for an idea of what a hummingfish might eat. Read on if you like. And hopefully someone else will come up with their own idea of what hummingfish like to eat. :-)

My idea...Collapse )

C'mon, play! It's easy! And you'll be rescuing me from wretched congested boredom. Bonus!
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New Chapter: World-building for Watson of Saughton (11, complete) [Apr. 22nd, 2014|10:20 pm]


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(no subject) [Apr. 22nd, 2014|10:21 pm]

[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]
[Current Music |Kindle]

SPN season is winding down, but I'm not sure if we're making progress on the whole Sam and Dean are broken part. Though they do work well together, despite their "differences."

This episode's title is going to be a doozy to title my review with :P I have some upside and downside comments to this one.

UPSIDE: I really love Jody, I always love her, so getting to see her come back is fun. And the fact that she is still dealing with her grief over her family is sad, but a good reminder. We may often forget that behind this strong, capable woman is the mother who lost her son, the wife who lost her husband. She and Alex can bond over this, because they've both had to live through the grief of loss. I'm hoping the girl can get on with her life, with Jody's help.

DOWNSIDE: I feel like the boys were just phoning it in this go around. "There are vamps, we should kill them, look at how much fun Dean's having with killing vamps, Sam is concerned." It's like they were going through the motions without the emotions. We know the Mark of Cain is changing Dean, but maybe I was hoping for a bit more head-on confrontation of that, especially seeing how close to the end of the season we are. What came out of the awkward conversation between Sam and Dean at the end wasn't "Sam sees the power the mark has over his brother" but instead "Sam doesn't want Dean to enjoy his job AT ALL." It's not what he meant, but the delivery made it seem that way. Very odd.

So, with its upsides and downsides, we are marching closer to the end of the season. I hope everyone (most everyone?) makes it out of this alive and unbroken, though that's probably asking too much.

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