The Body, Otherwise

On February 4, 2020, my breasts were surgically removed via bilateral mastectomy. This was my fourth surgery in three months following a diagnosis of cancer in my right breast in October 2019. I was 40 years old. Though I briefly considered breast reconstruction, I knew instinctively that I could not tolerate a reconstructed breast, not […]

Art, Porn, and the Post-Pandemic Museum

Pornhub’s new venture Classic Nudes challenges art’s hierarchies by focusing on and recreating its most erotic moments through pornography. “Porn may not be considered art,” the site asserts, “but some art can definitely be considered porn.” Images of artworks from six leading institutions are accompanied by witty and pun-filled text and audio commentary as well […]

The Consent of the Governed

Charlotte Temple should have known better. She should have listened to her teachers and her parents. She should not have run away with Lieutenant Montraville. She should neither have listened to nor believed his promises of marriage. She definitely should not have fucked him on the boat to America. And if she had done all […]

The Classroom as Monument

In the first weeks of a Fall 2019 class on U.S. Literature and the Law, my students and I paused while we were discussing Cheryl Harris’s landmark essay “Whiteness as Property” (1991) to look around us. We were unpacking what Harris meant by describing whiteness as the “conceptual nucleus” of American social life. The essay […]

Bedtime Stories

Your duvet, flung with stars, lies horizontal on the bed, the soft parts gathered in the bottom corner, like a hibernation. But when I pull on it, to flatten the curves you pull on a corner that is not a corner: ball yourself like twisted cellophane. I lift your book, fractured around eighty year old glue […]

The Loves of Heavy Metal: Baroness & Radical Feminist Botany

I’ve spent the last decade or so of my life writing a book about women and plants–specifically, eighteenth-century British women and their investment in botanical knowledge as a generative force for their own intellectual and emotional development. A few chapters of this book, Botanical Entanglements, think about the relationship between women and botanical representation in […]

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