Twitter offers clever people countless opportunities to be clever. This makes the platform both brilliant and frustrating. It’s where the Chronicle of Higher Education tweets about how Twitter has ruined academia, but it’s also where you can get both teaching tips and detailed analysis of Game of Thrones, the Great British Bake Off, or the latest blockbuster movie from whatever critical perspective you like.
Reader, I too want to join this echelon of rarified delight and snark. I too want to help “ruin” academia or make Toast-style literature jokes. There’s just one problem…
I have to write a dissertation.
But if I had the time, I bet you’d be retweeting from at least one these clever accounts (in no particular order) in no time:
@AllMaleSyllabus: Inspired by the tumblr Congrats, You Have An All-Male Panel! (also known as a “manel”), I give you: Congrats, You Have An All-Male Syllabus! If it takes shame to make people decolonize their teaching, I’m here for it.
@askMCavendish: Margaret Cavendish as advice columnist. She covers everything from science to sexism to etiquette tips on out-of-body threesomes.
- Martin Heidegger: Mercury is always already in retrograde.
- Audre Lorde: Stop reading these horoscopes and go make some damn change.
- Jacques Derrida: That which poisons your relationships will also be its cure.
- Jeremy Bentham: Careful, you never know who is watching you right now.
- Hélène Cixous: To make real progress in your life, you must break up, destroy, foresee the unforeseeable, and project.
- Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: This is your month to finally speak, so seize the moment.
@ClarissaREALLYexplainsItALL: Tweeting out all of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa on the dates of the letters. My application for a DH grant to fund all the labor of cutting and pasting the novel into 280-character snippets has been held up, however, thanks to the “Digital Humanities Wars.”
@FoucaultBeautyExchange: Sephora meets the panopticon meets theorizations of K-beauty hype as power exchange. Can you imagine the YouTube tutorials?!?! Discipline and punish that skin, baby!
@ChronWithoutControversy: Inspired by the “____ days without an accident” signs found in industrial settings, this is an hourly update of how many hours have passed without an academic controversy stemming from The Chronicle. If days were used as the primary unit, doubtful we’d ever get to double digits.
Bethany Qualls is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include eighteenth-century British literature, gossip, print culture, and prostitute narratives. She’s a contributing writer for Broadview’s Jane Austen in Context and a general academic and textual editor for the Broadview Anthology of British Literature. You can find her on Twitter @Bethany_Qualls.