15th November 2018 by

Pressures and Discrimination: Reading Emilie Pine and Eula Biss (Wed 21 November 2018)

Book covers for Emilie Pine, Notes to Self & Eula Biss, Notes from No Man's Land
Book covers for Emilie Pine, Notes to Self (2018) & Eula Biss, Notes from No Man’s Land (2009)

On Wednesday 21 November, we will discuss essays from two texts that reflect on pressures and discrimination within and beyond academia: Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self (2018) and Eula Biss’s Notes from No Man’s Land (2009). These are personal essays that urge us to consider structural pressures and discrimination in academia, the demands on academics to continuously expand their output, and issues of race and gentrification. Many thanks to Liam Harrison for suggesting our reading for this week.

  • ‘This is not on the exam’, from Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self (2018)
  • ‘Is this Kansas’, from Eula Biss’s Notes from No Man’s Land (2009)

“When I examine my antipathy to emotion at work, I realise that I think feelings – having them, showing them, talking about them – are not just a sign of femininity, but a sign of weakness. I have internalised the idea that to be taken seriously as an intellectual, I have to deny all those feelings, all that femininity, all that weakness. I think this in spite of myself, and in spite of my feminism – and all the women on my reading lists, and all the women-forward events I organise, and all my research on women speaking out, and all my criticism of ‘manels’, and all the posters on my office door advertising marches for reproductive rights.” (Emilie Pine, Notes to Self, p.170)

Time & Place:
  • 14:00-15:30, Wed 21 Nov 2018
  • Shackleton Room (Arts 439)

About the Doctoral Seminar:

This is an informal weekly reading group run for postgraduates within the Department of English Literature. We select a short text to read in advance, often a work of theory, then meet to discuss it. The seminar provides an opportunity to consider aspects of the reading that were thought-provoking or challenging for you, think about how it relates to texts you may have studied or plan to read, and share aspects of your own research and academic practice. It’s also a chance to get together, try out ideas, and meet fellow postgraduate researchers. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits and you are very welcome!

If you would like to join us, please email Dorothy Butchard (d.butchard@bham.ac.uk).

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