And this time, she wasn't a bald woman with a little forelock, running by as fast as she could. In fact, she was male, with hair, and not really running by, or even knocking, since my office door was open. In this case, opportunity came in the mien of the departmental chair.
"Bardiac," he asked, leaning against the jamb, "have you ever thought about teaching a special interdisciplinary class?"
I perked; he smiled. Why, yes, I had, but I hadn't thought of writing my own class rubric and getting it all approved and all, and I hadn't really thought so much about the other rubrics, or, to be honest, even looked at them carefully. He offered to send me copies of the rubrics, and then came back to my office as I pulled them up from the email. (There's something a little weird in life when someone comes to read their email to me, you know?)
I read them through, and pondered and mulled. This interdisciplinary thing is more easily said than done, I'm afraid. There's a rubric for an electronic texts course. Now that sounds interesting. I mean, I write a blog and all. And I know from Lanham and such. Old stuff now, though. I kept going. There's a rubric for a course on the body. I like bodies as well as the next person, I suppose. The chair enthuses, and points out that the class hasn't been taught in AGES, since the person who taught it before is long long gone. (Evidently this is something I should have thought of: no stepping on the toes of someone who might have designed this rubric back in the day, or who might want to teach it again someday.)
Evidently the powers that be with regard to these interdisciplinary classes need a couple more offerings. I jotted down some possible texts, because it's all about the texts, right?
The difficulty is that I can come up with a bazillion lit/theory type texts, and now I have to think about that interdisciplinary thing some more.
So far, from the lit world, I'm thinking: Titus, because, really, who doesn't love that play? Or maybe The Rape of Lucrece!!! Frankenstein paired with Patchwork Girl. Elaine Scarry's Body in Pain. Laquer's Making Sex. Butler. Haraway's "Cyborg Manifesto." Maybe some Bakhtin on the classical and grotesque bodies.
I know I can't do everything, of course, and I have the summer to help prep. Wasn't there a Didion book on imagery and Cancer? (I'll have to look.) Is it Meredith Small who's written a book on the anthropology of sex? What about an anthropology of menstruation, which would go well with Bakhtin, anyways, and Titus. Isn't there a great article on the imagery of reproductive biology writing I vaguely remember?
I'm thinking about Bynum and bringing in art and images. Maybe Butler's He, She, It? Mieke Bal's paper on Genesis?
Then, of course, I got thinking about Stiff by Mary Roach, which would be a great book for a class on the body.
Now I'm looking for a sense of an organizational mode, maybe something on legal theories of the body or embodiment? Maybe something scientific, either anthro or evolutionary or??
So, folks, Opportunity has now taken a seat in front of you and would GREATLY appreciate some brainstorming and ideas for both texts and perhaps images or other stuff. She's sitting here, staring at me while I should be working on other stuff.
PS. Yes, I know, this is the very same Bardiac who whined not so long ago about a colleague wanting to teach a big famous text in my field even though she's never actually read said text. Cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, you name it, I'm an embodiment.