Friday, August 26, 2005

Playing a Full Rack

Scrabble is a favorite game for me, and I feed the habit online at Quadplex during months of campus life at school in Indiana. In Scrabble-speak, "the game is on" for my new fall semester at Purdue, and the rack is looking good.

I'm traveling Kenneth Burke with one of the country's foremost Burkeians, Dr. David Blakesley. This introduction to Burke is a first for me, and it is already clear that Burke's thinking will open new connections in my study of electronic literature.

Alongside my reading of Burke, I'll be venturing into phenomenology - the history, development, and major figures in a movement that examines the "as it appears to be" of human experience. Dr. Daniel Smith, a leading Deleuzean scholar (and outstanding teacher) leads the way through a series of encounters focusing mainly on the work of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty - all new reads to me. It's going to be a great semester!

The rack is topped off with continuing studies under Dr. Arkady Plotnitsky. Trained both as physicist and literary scholar (19thC British Literature), Dr. Plotnitsky directs the Theory and Cultural Studies program at Purdue, instructing at the juncture of science, philosophy, and postmodernity. Additionally, Dr. Plotnitsky directs my committee for doctoral studies: my coursework with him has included study in the works of Nietsche, Kant, Hegel, Freud, Levinas, Deleuze, and Derrida - to name a only few. This semester, prompted by the recent death of his friend, Jacques Derrida, we return to further study of this 20thC philosopher and critic ... good times coming.

Add a GREAT group of young writers with whom I'll be working in freshman composition (ICaP) and a GREAT group of beginning teachers I'll have the pleasure of guiding through the student teaching process - the rack is full (!) and the days ahead promise amazing opportunity for becoming more and more a better me.

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1 comment:

Winston said...

Welcome back!

Wow! You really are playing with a loaded rack. Sounds like enough to keep you gainfully occupied for a while. At least you won't have time to waste in bars observing oddities of human behavior (My "Shake Your Sugar" post a couple of days ago).

The "phenomenology" gig should be interesting. I have read a couple of articles written in laymans' terms for folks like me who have no knowledge of the subject. Would like to read and learn more some day.