& even more scholarship

Unfortunately updates to this blog for the foreseeable future will (likely) be few and far between. But it’s for a good reason: work on my thesis has resumed!

It’s been slow going, and progress occurs more on some days than others, but I’ve been working hard to develop daily writing habits that finally seem to be paying off (key to this has been joining an online academic writing group, which I should write about here). And overall it has just felt great to note the expanding page count of an initial chapter draft. Also exciting is that a trip to do archival research is going to happen sometime next spring.

In the meantime, just wanted to note that I have posted another paper up on my academia.edu account. I’ve always been proud of this particular piece of scholarship, which was initially written for a seminar on American autobiographical writing, and then was slightly revised for submission to my graduate program’s annual peer-reviewed published journal.

The paper focuses on several texts by Samuel M. Steward (particularly the 1984 novel  Parisian Lives, the sociological study Understanding the Male Hustler, and the memoir Chapters from an Autobiography) and attempts to grapple with a number of thorny issues, including the nature of autobiography, what happens when autobiography is fictionalized, and the historical necessity for queer individuals to employ pseudonyms and falsify specific details regarding their identity even when dealing with life writing. And all of these issues become particularly fascinating within the context of Steward’s intentionally unorthodox oeuvre.

So if interested, here’s a direct link to The “Strange Mimesis” of Queer Autobiography: Subversive Pseudonyms in Samuel M. Steward’s Autobiographical Writing. (Yet another too-long title that now makes me cringe!)

upcoming academic conference presentation

pamla logoThought I would break this period of extended radio silence (*sigh*) to mention that I will be presenting some research from my thesis at this year’s annual PAMLA conference. It will be taking place in Portland, OR, from November 6-8, and I present on a panel during the first session on Saturday morning. If anybody reading this is also attending, please stop by and say hello!

Here’s the info and my presentation abstract. Additional information (including abstracts for the full panel), can be found here.

pamla header

Cruising at the Intersection: The Queer Collaborative Authorship of The Young and Evil
Jesse Ataide, San Francisco State University

“What kind of discoveries are made possible when two gay men confront each other?” Christopher Hennessy asks, “with the acknowledgment of a shared sexual desire lurking there?” This paper considers how queer content in Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler’s 1933 novel The Young and Evil reflect a strategy of “cooperative discourse” that compels a reconsideration now only of the concept of authorship, but also how friendship, intimacy, and creative cooperation can function between queer men.”

My paper on Samuel M. Steward’s detective fiction was very well received at PAMLA 2013, and so I’m very much looking forward to presenting again this year!

#jessewritesathesis

Things have remained quiet around these parts since I wrote this post at the beginning of the year (was it already six months ago?). Over the ensuing months I’ve focused instead on some other projects to help me not only get back into the mindset of writing regularly, but with the hope of rediscovering that writing is actually something I like to do. There are many pleasures the academic life affords, but in my experience it is difficult not to allow writing to become associated with insecurity, dread, panic over deadlines, etc.

In other words, I made the conscious decision to take some time off from thesis, and really from most of my “professional” interests in general. I’ve allowed myself the mental space to explore new topics, watch a whole lot of films, work on my beach body (haha), and nurture some new developments in my social life. I’ve also started dabbling in collage art, a medium I’ve long been fascinated by, and have found it tremendously rewarding to channel creative energy toward the analytic and non-linguistic for a change.

But it is time to return to both my thesis and the research interests that initially motivated me to start this blog in the first place. Last week I received a very kind email out of the blue regarding this blog and my research in general, and it gave me an additional jolt of motivation. The summer session at SFSU began yesterday, and it seemed like the perfect time for me to start work up again as well. And I have to say, it was rather nice to be back at it again.

thesis journal queer modernisms

Here’s a photo I took to commemorate the occasion. It was inspired by an account on Instagram that I like (@karahaupt), whose owner visually documented the agonies and ecstasies of her own thesis process. Though I’m not sure how it will exactly play out, I’ve been inspired to undertake a similar project. I’ll probably post some/all of the photos here as well, but if Instagram is a platform you like, feel free to follow along there as well. I’ll be posting all relevant things under the hashtag #jessewritesathesis, or just follow me at @j_ata if glimpses of the current drag scene in San Francisco, the secondhand books I find, images of Jane Russell and classic Hollywood divas, and miscellaneous displays of the faggotry of my friends and I are the type of things that strikes your fancy.

And, of course, I hope to do some writing and posting around these parts too, so stay tuned!