It seems to me that this Foucauldian-confessional Arendtian-public blog post epistle of yours is another one of your attempts to hobble yourself together by harnessing the tripartite powers of presence that collide into each other in this most curious of literary experiments. And I am happy to indulge you this fancy.
Is the blog a confession, the public a parent, a priest, a pastor?
I am beginning to realize that, despite my short stint in Virginia Tech's STS PhD program, I have never been a graduate student and was never truly an STSer. What I mean to say is that my mode of intellectual engagement has hitherto been narrow, extractive, and stiff, qualities that run counter to my growing understanding of intellectualism as sheer receptivity. In what follows, I offer a rough sketch of two competing practices of reading—scopophilic reading on the one hand and aural reading, or "reading like a graduate student," on the other—through intellectual autobiography.
In this blog post, I am going to be reflecting on sociology as a potential migratory destination. For the sake of brevity and clarity, I am going to be side stepping the ongoing confessional fuck mess of intellectual autobiography (don't worry—that will probably be the juicy content of another post) and focusing my reflections around a 1991 article by sociologist Mayer Zald.
"Something felt off," I think to myself, glowering in disappointment at the unsatisfying yellow-on-yellow sex I just had. My sexual encounters with white men were much more pleasurable than this most recent motel romp. I tighten my grip on the steering wheel, tense with disappointment toward my disappointment. Having slept with a variety of white and mixed race men, my erotic experiences regress into a distinct bell curve of pleasure that peaks around my white bedfellows and tapers off the farther away from whiteness I go. How to begin untangling the social, psychical, and corporeal knots of my racial and sexual embodiment, especially when my yellow body rehearses the scripts of an internalized racial hierarchy of sexual pleasure that functions to reproduce white supremacy, that same white supremacy that has marked my body as such, that same body of mine that coughs libidinal shudders in the naked presence of a body like my own?
Why, you might ask, am I evoking Yang's unapologetically heteronormative and decidedly evangelical Christian graphic novel now as an agnostic, queer, Asian American intellectual? What do I hope to accomplish by engaging with ABC for a third time? While Yang's classic is by no means meant for a queer Asian American audience, it is still suffuse with disidentificatory possibilities for queer of color world-making projects. In this blog post, I engage in a queer reading of ABC in order to work through my own experiences of almost exclusive attraction to white men, critique the larger social phenomena of the "potato queen," and paint a portrait of possibilities for my liberation.
I'm not a UFO conspiracy theorist, but the windows of my room are fully covered in aluminum foil (shiny side facing out, of course). I covered up my windows because I started working at MarieBette, an award-winning gay-owned bakery in Charlottesville...
In a similar way that Berger has deeply influenced my reading of Freire, Freire has influenced my reading of Berger—so much so that, for the purposes of distinguishing myself from the Christian intelligentsia's badge-flashing Berger, I would say that I embrace a Freirean Berger. Whereas the actual Berger theorized around the question of what and how was religion in modern times, the Freirean Berger that I have come embrace offers a theoretical lens for analyzing the (un)doings of oppression in everyday life.
I wrote in my last post that I would sketch out how my own biography demonstrates the liberatory reality work of the Bergerian Freire I have come to embrace. However, as I have been drafting this next post, I came to the realization that it is too soon for me to relive the events of late … Continue reading My Conversion to Critical Pedagogy: Intermission
I wrote in the introductory post to this blog series that I would explain how Bergerian interpretive sociology set me up for radicalization a la Freire. The best way that I can live up to that promise is by introducing you to who I'm calling the Bergerian Freire.