Once Upon a Time in the West: The “Why Grad School?” Question and I-80 (and I-70, and I-15, and US-2, and US-6, and US-191, and US-313)

I've been on the road for five weeks. I've seen sunsets in 360 degrees, Iowa so flat and its buildings so low that the sky feels bigger and more capacious than it is back home; I've seen Nebraska bursting with sunflowers and roads so empty you can lie down in the middle of them to … Continue reading Once Upon a Time in the West: The “Why Grad School?” Question and I-80 (and I-70, and I-15, and US-2, and US-6, and US-191, and US-313)

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Statement Urging JACL to Support #noDAPL and Native Sovereignty at the 2017 National Convention

I begin by acknowledging that we stand and proceed today on Piscataway land. On behalf of the Detroit Chapter, I affirm our support of Resolution 3. In Michigan, resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline has joined hands with resisting the precarious management of Line 5, a pipeline that transects the Mackinac Strait. Current management of Line … Continue reading Statement Urging JACL to Support #noDAPL and Native Sovereignty at the 2017 National Convention

Why I’m Attending the JACL National Convention in DC This Week

I joined the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in November 2014, after the police shooting of Aura Rosser in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her death sparked the Ann Arbor to Ferguson (AA2F) movement, joining hands with the fight for restorative justice in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the larger Black … Continue reading Why I’m Attending the JACL National Convention in DC This Week

Tokyo Drift: Motor City and Japanese American (In)visibility from WWII to Today

This past Saturday, I presented a paper at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Biennial Conference, held at Wayne State University in Detroit. I was part of a panel titled "Re-imagining Human Interactions With(in) Material Worlds," along with my fellow environmental humanities scholars Adam Syvertsen (Northwestern University), Gabby Benavente (University of … Continue reading Tokyo Drift: Motor City and Japanese American (In)visibility from WWII to Today

Keep the Lore Wild: Why I Love MONGRELS by Stephen Graham Jones (2016)

Books build worlds by making rules, but what turns me off so much fantasy/supernatural fiction is that even after eschewing "real life rules" for their own shiny new ones, these books seem to think that they're then obligated to follow those rules all the time, to the letter. No diverging, no slippage, no chaos. And that's the part that's just not realistic about fantasy, frankly. In what world are the rules infallible?

Your Story Is Not Their Story

There are always giants at the end of beanstalks. This was proven long before anyone knew of Jack, that poor and petulant farmer, and proven again long after. It's a tale told time and time again, always forgotten but sometimes deciphered from the trills of uncertain cicadas. (When cicadas tell each other bedtime stories, their … Continue reading Your Story Is Not Their Story

“BE LIKE WATER, MY FRIEND”: REFLECTIONS FROM THE 2016 ASLE GRADUATE SYMPOSIUM

After putting together the ASLE Graduate Student Symposium last October, ASLE asked us if we might reflect on the symposium, and our experience of getting it in the air. As are so many stories of the environment (and those who study it), this one is about tributaries, and the rivers they build. In 2015, my … Continue reading “BE LIKE WATER, MY FRIEND”: REFLECTIONS FROM THE 2016 ASLE GRADUATE SYMPOSIUM

What To Do When You Teach at 8:30AM (and Donald Trump just won the Presidency)

Privilege: Going to my classroom to teach today and knowing that my students would not greet me with glee, or celebration. Challenge: Going to my classroom to teach today and knowing that my students would not greet me with glee, or celebration. It felt like I was going to be the one to walk into … Continue reading What To Do When You Teach at 8:30AM (and Donald Trump just won the Presidency)

A bison friend I made at the Western Literature Association Annual Conference in Big Sky, Montana.

So… What’s an Academic Conference, Anyway?

If you've ever been an English major, you've probably had family members who haven't the slightest clue what that means. And if you're an English PhD student, this confusion increases exponentially. If you're an English PhD, you've also probably had complete strangers snidely remark about your being "one of those eternal students" who "doesn't go … Continue reading So… What’s an Academic Conference, Anyway?