Thursday, March 17, 2011


Sorry for the short post, but not much has happened today, dissertation-wise. I tried to get some grading done; I had to choose between reading for the dissertation or catching up on grading. Even though it's Spring Break and I had planned to work on my dissertation, I also have a load of essays to grade. I want to to finish them before school is back in session. My deadline for the revised chapter is at the end of the month, so I went with grading. I'd rather be thinking about my dissertation than grading, seriously.

I managed to carve out some time to read one last chapter from Sidney Bremer's Urban Intersections. For the longest, my advisor has been asking me what key text I am responding to in my dissertation. For the longest, I had no clear answer. But now that I have read Bremer's PMLA essay titled "Home to Harlem" and parts of her book, I think I have found the author I'll be responding to. Her articulation of Harlem as a home is the basis for my articulation of urban space as a potential home, but I am complicating it too. (Or rather, I was trying to articulate what home meant in these texts, and Bremer took the words out of my mouth. Proper MLA citation, folks!) When you bring Puerto Rican migrants into the mix, it complicates some of the statements she's making about Harlem as a home for Harlem Renaissance writers. Of course, she is writing about authors from another time period; her focus is late nineteenth and early twentieth century. My authors span from early twentieth century to late twentieth century. So I'm trying to keep that in mind, that her arguments may or may not apply considering the context.

Regardless of the complications, it feels good to have a firm base to stand on. I feel like I can incorporate a discussion of Bremer's arguments into the chapter, bring in Hughes, then end the chapter talking about Harlem in Perdomo's work. Tomorrow I am taking Miss E over to the babysitter (bless that woman's heart, because she is a lifesaver for taking care of her on short notice!) and I plan on camping out at the local Panera by her house for a few hours. There will be writing going on tomorrow afternoon. I'm actually looking forward to it.


  1. Hurray for writing (as we have been discussing on Twitter).
    So in your work you are encouraged to respond to a particular author?

  2. Thanks, Anamaria! I'm trying to write a little everyday. So far it's been working. :)

    I would say we are encouraged to respond to authors in the dissertation (in literature at least). My advisor and mentor suggested that I find a major text to respond to because I was having trouble getting this chapter off the ground. It seems usually people's dissertations take off on their own, but sometimes they come out of conversations with a particular major text. Let's see how it goes from here once I'm working on the other chapters!