Your listening for this post: When I read Dr. Clemens’ post about this week’s reading, I was worried that “the most depressing book they have read” consensus of Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero would unduly influence me. It prepared me, in some ways, to build up a wall against what I might find. Thankfully, Saadawi’s prose tore down any barriers I had to the story and in the end, no, I wasn’t depressed. Depression is a terribly selfish emotion, inward looking and isolated. I was in awe. I was ashamed. I was angry. In awe because of something we don’t spend as much time on in this class because of the flood of injustice presented in the texts. I was[…]

Another post, another disclaimer. I am an atheist and have been all my life. I come away from this week’s readings troubled with how I can explain my distrust of indoctrinating children into religion without being disrespectful of an adult’s choice in their personal faith. In many ways Gyasi’s “Inscape” spoke to me, trying to make sense of my own connection to the universe without the tether of faith. That faith and religion are two separate things is something we forget. I believe, if you’ll forgive me the use of that word, that when religion is done right it is a process of writing that “Future Testament,” the story of the role of god in your life. Too often that[…]

It may seem disingenuous, or at worst mocking, to say that I have to work at decolonizing my mind. As the beneficiary of generations of imperialism, I have to continually unravel my automated thoughts about other peoples and cultures to not only better understand them but to better understand myself. I believe that if you are not always deconstructing your beliefs, reevaluating them in the face of new information, you become stagnant and dull. It’s exhausting, but it’s important. When I first read Edward Said’s Orientalism last year, I came with the understanding that I was an enlightened thinker ready to absorb new wisdom. Yet what happened was a cold slap in the face. At the same time I was[…]