Gum Dog/Vocab

Wonderfully/hilariously, I am now working on a new lifetime project that deals with the themes of the very first seminar I ever took in graduate school, lo these many years ago. The seminar was SO awesome, but I was so confused and terrified I didn’t get much out of it. It was like, I was just learning how to really read, and I had no idea what my field even was, and this seminar was a super deep inquiry into various ongoing conversations/crises within the field that I had no context for comprehending. I have long wished fervently that I had been able to take this class as a 3rd year, when I had at least some knowledge/idea of music and the world/self confidence, instead of as a brand-new 1st year when, honestly, the amount of stuff that I did not know anything about seems in retrospect almost impossibly vast, like not only does it seem incredible that I was admitted to grad school in the first place, I don’t even understand totally how I was able to graduate from college.

(You will recall that this seminar was the one in which I was abruptly asked to “begin our discussion” of Bourdieu’s field of cultural production and I said “yeah….uh…it’s like, who decides who goes on which list,” and the professor said, “…what page are you looking at?” and I said “I don’t know”)

So anyway, in writing this new paper I’m going through the readings and notes from that seminar. All that is really neither here nor there–I just wanted to share all the vocab words that are written throughout my notes. This is a thing I still do, where in the upper right-hand corner of my notebook I write words/concepts that come up in the reading or in class that I need to remember to look up later, because I don’t know them or understand them in context. So yeah, here are all the things I reminded myself to “learn about” in my very first scholarly notebook. This list cracks me up and is making me feel sort of affectionate for my old, lost self. Also I have yet to actually learn what a couple of these are. Also doesn’t this list make this seem like the weirdest class??? God, I wish I could take it again right now:

– mise en scĂ©ne
– naturalist revolution
– a posteriori
– a priori
– Kant (!!)
– Pentateuch
– pluralist
– reductive
– politity (this isn’t even a word)
– humanism
– atavistic
– discursive
– commensurate
– Baudrillard
– conflate
– renaissance perspective
– periodization
– nadir
– Benedict Anderson (no idea who this is)
– sonata form (!!!!!!)
– Kant’s definition of “concept”
– The Bourbons
– beau monde
– hegemony
– black monday
– nominalist

(I’ve also, inexplicably, written “Captain Monterey Jack” on the top of one page, which is a reference to a recurring character on the State)

Yesterday walking the snoopy back from the park, he was carrying his blue rubber ball in his mouth, as he enjoys doing for reasons known only to him. We passed a small girl walking with her dad, and when she saw the snoopy she gasped in amazement and said, “DADDY! That dog has GUM!”

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2 Responses to Gum Dog/Vocab

  1. e says:

    Benedict Anderson is awesome! I know because we have one of his books that my spouse was assigned back in the long-ago days of Not Getting a History PhD. It is probably, even, THE book to have: Imaged Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.

    I love how I’m all “this guy is awesome! We have his book!” because, although it is absolutely true that we have this book and have moved it through a bunch of apartments and it has survived plenty of brutal book Cullings, I have not actually read this book, and I have no plans to do so. I just assume that any history-related book that is still under our roof is axiomatically awesome.

    Also looking at your vocab list led me to the Wikipedia entry for the Raven paradox, which you should read.

  2. hh says:

    Re: Imagined Communities. This book sounds awesome, but I will pay you $10 if you can make it past the introduction. This is one of those books that has a great concept/idea, but is written so poorly that it is practically unreadable. My history professors loved to talk about Imagined Communities, but I’ll bet none of them actually read the motherfucker.

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