Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm coming out! (well, sort've...)

I don't want to mislead too many people by the title of this post--since I think the phrase "coming out" gives the general connotation of having someone announce their sexual orientation/declaration of a queer identity.

However, if we think of the phrase "coming out" as a way to make known a hidden or private identity, then I think this is apropos. Because I was actually, once-upon-a-time, very public about my identity on this blog and very public about my affiliations/geographic location.

But after a scare I had in July 2007 when writing a post on the Duke Lacrosse case, I went into hiding (ie: made the blog private--only people with an invitation had access) and edited previous posts to rid any geographic location or surname specificity associated with myself.

[Note: The above post is probably the most widely read post I've ever written and the one that garnered the most passionate reaction--and that STILL garners excitable and hostile comments from folks in the blogosphere. In fact, I'd be curious to see if after three years, anyone finds their way to this comment thread and sends me inappropriate comments blasting me. For all you trolls out there, read the comment guidelines on the sidebar--I'm NOT going to publish your comment telling me where to stick it--as the old schoolyard rhyme goes, "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you!" And if anyone is curious about the clusterfuck that made me go private was all about, check out this lengthy blog post, "Academic Privilege."]

Anyway, in different ways I've been "out" to quite a few people and in different forums. And so, I thought that it was time to come out on this blog...sort of. What I mean by this is that while I'm still going to adhere to the convention of referring myself only by my first name and to refer to Southern U. and Southern Man through these euphemisms, I'm not going to police myself so stringently in terms of specific geographic references or linking to things that will clearly give my full identity.

For example, I had the distinct honor and pleasure of having an essay I wrote, "Being Held Accountable: On the Necessity of Intersectionality" published in the Journal of Women's History (Winter 2010). Tenured Radical provides a link to the journal in this post and really, I'm quite proud of the piece, especially since I get to write about a fellow blogger (and friend!) Tami or What Tami Said.

[Aside: If you want access to the above journal, you pretty much have to have access to a university library in order to download it for free--although if you want to email me through my "View Complete Profile" link, then I'll be happy to send you a pdf copy]

I was also recently contacted by Leslie Bernstein Rojas, a reporter and editor/writer of the blog MULTI-AMERICAN: Immigration and cultural fusion in the new Southern California (it's affiliated with the local NPR station 89.3 KPCC) because she wanted to confirm that I was, indeed, the author of the post "We ARE a Mixed Race America" and because she wanted to quote from this post (which you can see here).

I definitely recommend checking out Leslie's blog--and Leslie was really lovely to talk to on the phone, once I got past my surprise that she was contacting me in my campus office about this blog--but of course I always knew it was very easy to figure out who I was through the magic of Google's mighty search engine. Which is the reason I've decided to link to these pieces that clearly show who I am. While I don't want anything I write in this blog to be affiliated with the university I currently teach at (hence why I'll continue to use the moniker "Southern U" and while I don't want to "out" people near and dear to me (like my partner, Southern Man), I have decided that I should be proud to be associated with this blog and should feel free to cross-post to other links and articles that will give away my "identity" so to speak.

So the last things I'll leave you with are plugs for the blogs of two colleague-friends. The first is a friend, "Ivy Dilettante" (not zher real name) who has an eponymous blog, The Ivy Dilettante, which is a very helpful blog about applying to ivy league schools from the perspective of someone who has both attended and currently teaches at an ivy league school. Please check it out--it's well written and definitely, for any parents who aspire to have their children attend an ivy league institution, it's a MUST READ.

Speaking of parents who want to get their kids into an ivy league school--the final word, I think, in the Amy Chua runaway train wreck, is this post by Timothy Yu, "Paper Tiger Mother: On Amy Chua." This is by far and away the BEST response to Amy Chua--and he HAS read the book. Way to go Tim!

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