Archive for April, 2008

April 5th 2008
A light divertissement

Posted under fluff

Indulge me in a little navel-gazing.  This is a trick that I’m totally ripping off from Bing McGhandi at Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes (once again–say it with me!–Best Blog Name Ever!), who occasionally posts the Google searches that lead people to his blog.  My family member David, the web guru who administers (among other fab websites), has installed software here so that I can keep track of my traffic, and see how people find their way to the virtual rustic North Woods lean-to that is  Here are some of the searches that people have run yesterday and today that led them to me–the parenthetical phrases are my interjections:pregnant-belly.jpg

  • historiann (maybe a typo?)
  • endless bullying
  • women faculty bullied academe
  • parents my kid has swears on my shirt (ummm…syntax?)
  • how to write biography + myself
  • good for absolutely nothing
  • he man club
  • liberal people waco
  • under dolls (Huh?  Do I even want to know?)
  • resigning from the tenure track
  • dean incompetence fear retribution (Sing it, sister!)
  • limerick about harriet tubman (Now that is some twisted, geeky pervert!)
  • bryn mawr luke wilson

So, it sounds like you readers have about the same levels of rage, despair, perversity, and can-do, “let’s put on a show!” optimism (liberal people waco?) that characterize everyone else on the non-peer reviewed internets.  And, there are way more of you than I thought there were (hi, Mom!)–almost 400 of you yesterday, so even if I’m whistling past the graveyard, I’ve got company!


April 4th 2008
A call to all Democrats: no circular firing squads, please!

Posted under American history & Gender & GLBTQ & women's history

Via Roxie’s World, check out this video for the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice”.  Please, Senator Clinton, dump Celine Dion, for the love of all that is good and right in the world!  Roxie also points to this interview Clinton did with the Philadelphia Gay News.  The article is called “Clinton talks, Obama balks,” and PGN explains:  “PGN invited both Clinton and Obama, as well as presumptive Republican candidate John McCain, to speak with us. Only Clinton granted an interview.”  Hmmm.  Well, maybe Senator Obama read Historiann’s pioneering exploration of the queer vote in 2008?

eustace-tillarybama.JPGI caucused for Hillary Clinton because I think she’s got the better policies, especially on reforming health care.  I don’t think she’s perfect, nor do I think she’s run a perfect campaign (lamentably).  If you’re looking for perfection, then go to a house of worship–politics ain’t your game.  (Like I said when I voted to re-elect Ted Kennedy in 1994:  I’m voting for Senator, not for Pope.)  As the campaign has gone on, I’ve become more and more impressed with Clinton’s grace under pressure, and her amazing ability to transcend the ugly attacks and character assassination that she endures now not just from right-wing Republicans and the press and broadcast media, but by people in her very own party who claim to be progressives.  (Oh well–women who step out of their place and into the public square have always been called “F**king Wh*r*es,” haven’t they?  Stay classy, Randi!)  And in spite of the fact that the media are cheering for her downfall, just about half of all Democrats still prefer her.  Gee, I wonder what “the math” would be if we had anything like a fair and self-reflective press and a Democratic party that didn’t try to eat its own?

I understand and respect that millions of Democrats prefer Senator Obama.  I’ve never tried to talk my friends and acquaintances out of supporting him, although many (not all) have tried to talk me out of supporting Clinton by telling me what a corrupt and unscrupulous monster she is.  (Well, maybe they’re right–just look at how her ambition has obviously made her a terrible mother.  Look at her wretched twin daughters, the entitled snots who brim with noblesse but can’t be bothered to muster an ounce of nobligeOh–wait.  Nevermind.)  What I find striking is that my conversations with Obama supporters (on-line, by phone, and in person) often devolve quickly into demands that I answer for this or that position of Clinton’s which they cannot abide, as though I’m supporting Charles Manson for president.  The thing they mention more often than any other is the illegal war in Iraq that she started single-handedly, and that she continues to prosecute to this day against all evidence that this makes the United States safer, and against the will of the American people.  (Oh–wait.  Nevermind.)

All kidding aside, we should remember who is really to blame for the past 7 years of disasterous foreign and domestic policy, and his name isn’t Hillary Clinton.   Also, for those of you who are hung up on the AUMF vote, please remember that Clinton cast the same yes vote that every man who ran for President from the Senate in 2004 and 2008 cast, with the exception of Bob Graham, and I don’t recall Democrats getting nearly this worked up about the boys’ votes either in the primary or in the general election.  29 Democrats voted yes, and 21 voted no, and by the way, big Obama supporters Tom Daschle and Chris Dodd voted yes, too.  Also, I don’t recall Bob Graham doing terribly well in the 2003-04 primary race.  How funny, then, that Democrats loyally rallied around John Kerry in 2004 without too much nose-holding.  I guess he had one advantage that Clinton doesn’t have, and that my friends, seems to make all the difference.


April 3rd 2008
Gay and Lesbian History Archive at the NYPL

Posted under American history & GLBTQ

The New York Times today featured a City Room blog post on the evolving gay and lesbian history collection at the New York Public Library.  Although they organized an exhibition in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the vast majority of their rich queer history sources weren’t catalogued.  Paul LeClerc, the President of the NYPL, said “I was aware that we were amassing one of the greatest collections ever,” however, “the problem with exploiting those collections was that they hadn’t been processed. They consisted of hundreds and hundreds of boxes of material.” 

Gertrude Stein, January 4, 1935.City Room reports that the archive, which features manuscripts and materials “across numerous disciplines and from several library divisions,” and includes “copies of One and The Ladder magazines from the 50s and 60s, the newspapers Gay and MOJA-Gay and Black, Walt Whitman’s hand-edited version of “Leaves of Grass,” a William Burroughs typescript, letters written by Virginia Woolf and Audre Lorde, posters, placards, and a 15th-century edition of an elegy by the Roman poet Tibullus.”  On the left is a photograph of Gertrude Stein by Carl Van Vechten, taken in New York on January 4, 1935, from one of their digital collections.

The NYPL has started a new donor committee called LGBT@NYPL, which apparently has already raised some serious coin–$1.5 million–to help in processing the collection.  They’ve got their own eponymous blog (natch!), edited by the Jason Baumann, staff manager of the LGBT committee and Special Assistant to the Director of the NYPL.  It looks like it will feature some quality gay history and interdisciplinary queer studies blogging–but more importantly, it looks like NYPL will be the place to be for LGBT history!  (Darn it all!  All of you queer studies people will have to sublet your homes in Champaign-Urbana, College Station, Midwestern Funky Town, and Cold CIty every summer to go do your research in New York.  Yes, that’s a real bummer.)


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April 2nd 2008
“I’ll just die if I don’t get this recipie!”

Posted under American history & Berkshire Conference & Bodily modification & childhood & Gender & unhappy endings & women's history

Simply perfect:  Via Suburban Guerilla, botox may migrate from your wrinkles into your brain.  But then, maybe that’s what cosmetic surgery advocates want–to turn all women into Stepford Wives!  (Kind of like that 1994 Breeder’s song “No Aloha,” with the line, “Motherhood means mental freeze.  Freezeheads.  No aloha!”) 

I always thought that it was simply perfect that Katherine Ross played the main character Joanna Eberhart in The Stepford Wives (the original and only decent 1975 version.  That’s her on the left in a still from the movie.)  Remember that she played Elaine Robinson in The Graduate (1967), and that movie ended with Ben and Elaine on the bus after she ran away from her wedding, both of them looking slightly confused and sad that after their grand gesture, they didn’t really know where they were going.  Well, I guess we found out:  next stop, Stepford!  I suppose that was unsurprising, since the 1960s were much more about “liberations” that preserved male sexual access to women and male dominance.  And, Ben was never really in love with Elaine–he was in love with the idea of being in love with her, and she was in love with the idea of royally pissing off her parents.

It’s interesting that in 1975, the male fantasy depicted in The Stepford Wives was one were the women were submissive and sexually available, and the movie’s position was explicitly feminist.  (When Joanna gets suspicious about what’s going on with the women of Stepford, she enlists a sympathetic friend to help her join a Consciousness Raising group!)  Children and their needs hardly factored into the movie.  But, then, that’s actually accurate to my memory of the 1970s.  Kids were left to raise each other in roving gangs of kickball or T-ball teams, or on bad weather days, we played Sonny & Cher or Donny & Marie in someone’s basement.  Unlike today’s cosseted, bike-helmeted, car-seated, minivan-chauffeured, parentally-monitored little darlings, kids in my generation were the original latchkey kids, even if our mothers weren’t in the paid workforce. 

If you’re interested in the 1970s, come to the Berkshire Conference, where we’ve got two sessions devoted to the 1970ssession 71, Queer Politics and American Identities in the 1970s and 1980s, and session 173, Towards a History of the 1970s in America:  A Roundtable on Gender and Popular Culture, in addition to at least nine other individual papers on other panels.  (Program details:  just click here!)


April 1st 2008
Anthea Butler on NPR’s Morning Edition

Posted under American history & Berkshire Conference

Professor Anthea Butler of the University of Rochester (photo right) was on NPR’s Morning Edition Monday speaking on the topic of “Prosperity Gospel churches,” which teach that true believers will grow rich if they only believe and send money to the church.  (Click here to hear her interview with Steve Innskeep.)  Prof. Butler points out that this is also known as the “People of Faith, or the Word of Faith movement.”  Some of these megachurch media stars like Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White are the so-called “Grassley Six” under investigation now by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) for what sounds like a faith-based pyramid scheme.

Prof. Butler an expert on African American religion, evangelicalism, and fundamentalism, and is one of the participants in the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women June 12-15 in Minneapolis.  She will appear on a roundtable called Religious History is American Women’s History.  (See the full program here–Prof. Butler’s roundtable is #21, on page 29).  Come on down and check it out in person–hers is not a face made for radio!

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April 1st 2008
Prof. Lolcat’s application for tenure

Posted under Uncategorized

I can has  tenure now?

Courtesy of all of the fine kittehs at


April 1st 2008
Mebbe dey shod brung Cheezburgers?

Posted under Uncategorized

With reference to the 2/3 of all women candidates denied tenure this year at Baylor University (see this post below for details):

Humorous Pictures

(From, the best timewasting website of 2008!)


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