Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

  How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? --A.Y. - John Green, Looking for Alaska (p. 158) What is the role of suffering in young adult literature? I've been obsessed with answering this question since one of my dissertation committee members asked me it a couple of weeks ago. My desire to answer this … Continue reading Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

Justin Torres’ “We the Animals”: A Fresh and Animalistic Twist to the Coming-of-Age Narrative

When constructing the list for my doctoral exams, I wanted to include novels that discussed issues of development, coming-of-age, and sexuality from multiple perspectives. Justin Torres’ We the Animals not only caught my attention because it was favorably reviewed by authors such as Michael Cunningham, but also because it contains Puerto Rican representations—and as some … Continue reading Justin Torres’ “We the Animals”: A Fresh and Animalistic Twist to the Coming-of-Age Narrative

Daniel Keyes’ [Flowers for Algernon] – On Disability, Animality, and Structure

I think I'll begin by stating that Flowers for Algernon is perhaps one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking books that I've read recently. In the narrative, Algernon is the name of a laboratory mouse who successfully underwent an operation to increase its intelligence. The main focus of the novel, however, is Charlie Gordon,  a man suffering … Continue reading Daniel Keyes’ [Flowers for Algernon] – On Disability, Animality, and Structure

My Ultimate Reading Challenge – The Reading List for My PhD Candidacy Examinations

Part of the requirements for the doctoral degree in English at the University of Notre Dame are written and oral exams (which I will take in March of 2014). The exams are a requirement that demonstrate that all doctoral students have in-depth knowledge of a major field, a secondary field, and a literary theory/methodology, in … Continue reading My Ultimate Reading Challenge – The Reading List for My PhD Candidacy Examinations

A Brilliantly Transgressive YA Novel: Kelley York’s “Hushed” (A Review)

Murder. Love. Torment. Loss. Redemption. What more can you ask for in a book? When first approaching Kelley York's Hushed, it would be easy to classify the novel as a young adult adaptation of Showtime's notorious show Dexter (a television program that one of my friends calls "every English major's favorite show"). And while the novel's main character has strong … Continue reading A Brilliantly Transgressive YA Novel: Kelley York’s “Hushed” (A Review)

Towards a Materialist Conception of Form

Traditionally, close reading is approached as the key to unlocking and understanding the nuances of history, meaning, and ideology in literary texts. Nevertheless, by conducting close readings of a select range of texts, one only engages with a minuscule and insignificant percentage of the literary corpus. Franco Moretti’s approach towards this issue in Graphs, Maps, … Continue reading Towards a Materialist Conception of Form

Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization

Alexander R. Galloway's Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization is by far one of the most exciting and challenging readings that I have encountered in a long time. In essence, it is a book on issues within the realm of computer science targeted towards individuals who have little or no experience within the field. By focusing his … Continue reading Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization