Sex and Flesh

Since the spring my ideas for this chapter have solidified, and I am beginning to see what the argument may look like. In the past few days the fragments are coming together as a whole, to my surprise, as I’ve become increasingly desperate, beating my head against a wall to make two things talk to each other which don’t speak the same language – media archaeology and black feminist studies. In looking for some way to talk about race and technology from a material standpoint, I landed on the concept of the flesh, and have been struggling to theorize from black feminist notions of flesh (beginning with Spillers through Snorton and Musser) to get at this kind of radical potential contained within the flesh, which operates through opacity and surface. In my reading of Black Femininist thinking on the flesh, particularly Snorton, what I found was a capacious way of thinking about the intersection of two registers, of the material (flesh) and cultural/symbolic (race/gender), which I can apply back to my thinking about technology, and the intersecting registers of the digital and analog.

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Envisioning Chapter Three

These are some speculations for my third chapter, which I’m going to begin researching this spring. Whereas the first two chapters were about text analysis and text encoding, this chapter will be about media. I’m looking to explore how an attention to the material specificity of media enhances our reading of eletronic literary work, such as hypertext and interactive fiction.

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TEI and Queer Form

The work on chapter two has been taking longer than I thought- there were three weeks of heavy revision in October/November, where I made the following changes at the request of my peer reviewers. Then a round of copyediting, which is done, and the final round of proofreading, to be completed next week, after which the thing will finally go to press. The major revisions included:

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Drafting Chapter Two

The goal for the summer was to address the remaining small edits of the first chapter and to complete a readable draft of the second chapter by August 31. I managed to make that goal, though a few days late.

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Revisting Chapter One

After letting the draft sit for a while, slightly traumatized by the hectic process of wrapping it up over the winter, I was pleasantly surprised by my perspective on it now. The argument that I found discouragingly convoluted still reads as a bit messy but also intriguing, particularly in the way it interweaveas deformance and performativity.

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Closing Up Chapter One

Even though I still need to finalize the conclusion (and add a final example of text analysis), I’m deeming the first draft of my first chapter complete. It’s been nearly a year, and the thing has taken so many shapes, texts, interventions in the meantime. Although there’s still a little more work to do, fleshing out some text analysis with Python, the thing is being set aside. It doesn’t feel totally done – in fact I feel slightly guilty for setting it aside – but I know that any attempt to finalize it right now will just have to be revised once I progress through other chapters and my intervention develops.

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