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The Melloniad 2021

The Mellon School! But how? No Farkas Hall,
no luxury dorms, in fact no space at all.
Performatizing in our virtual room,
our virtual field was brought to us by Zoom
as Noe sent us critically back to college
while Elizabeth hosted De/Colonial knowledge.
...

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The bodies of birds

I’m getting a sense of myself in a performative role as I move from the morning into the Mellon School. I have been searching around for copies of The Chester Cycle a group of medieval mysteries from the early part of the 14th century that is supposed to present an more streamlined approach to the program of Christian Salvation than my beloved York Cycle. As of yet, I am confounded by paywalls and unavailability. The thing itself seems buried under writings about the plays: objects I ignore on principle until I’ve spent time breathing the air of the Middle English for myself. I...

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Left on ‘read’

When I googled ‘reading attention span’, the internet reassured me that I must be seeking diagnosis for my own personal crisis—which surely must be a shortened attention span—but also that this crisis by no means singular. The top results were predictable but haunting: “How can I improve my attention span while reading?”, “Before the internet broke my attention span, I read books” and most menacingly, “short attention span: signs, causes and ways to pay”, which pathologized what I thought was a mere feature of late-stage capitalism: our bodies rewiring to gobble atomised instances of...

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Assessing the State of the Field: The Wonderful World of DH

The 2021 Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research is officially underway! I write this as we conclude the first of three weeks of enlightening and thought-provoking lectures, seminars, and workshops. During our welcome session, Martin Puchner offered the School’s participants and faculty an overview of this year’s theme: The State of the Field. A beautiful thing about the Mellon School is that we participants come from across myriad fields of study—theater history, dance studies, communication, and literary studies, just to name a few—and therefore bring these different...

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When Performance Fails

I should have written this in July, while we were still at the Mellon School but, because of a combination of dealing with a lingering summer cold and how overwhelmed I was feeling at the end of our two weeks, I did not.... Read more about When Performance Fails

I.D.

The door to this classroom is a border and all of us crossing it have the privilege to be in the room. There’s a great number of people who are not here with us because they are subject to travel bans, they have the wrong passport, they have no visa, they were denied visa, they were denied entry, they can’t afford to be here, they have no access to information, they have no access to libraries or even schools.... Read more about I.D.

“The Unbearable Lightness” of Discussing Migrations

(I am indebted to Milan Kundera for inspiring this title.)

When we discuss migrations, we are often more interested in telling our stories, making statements based on our lived experiences, and justifying our scholarship and creative works with our overwhelming personal memories. This subjective approach towards migrations may motivate us to engage with migrations in a deeper way.... Read more about “The Unbearable Lightness” of Discussing Migrations