Thursday, January 14, 2010

the age old English grad student question

What do I write my paper on? (Or, on what do I write my paper? depending on who you are talking with and how formal you feel like being.)

Seriously. This question single handedly re-opens the ulcers from the last semester that were just beginning to heal from the stresses that repeatedly recur over and over. About what should my paper be? Let's explore some options.

1. Gender. A lovely topic. In fact, so lovely that I write about this in some fashion basically every semester, for every class. I'm not a doctoral student who has been lurking on campus for upwards of 5 or 6 years yet, but still, after 8 classes (this semester being my 9th), I'm ready for a change of pace. Which, really, is saying something. This is my bread and butter topic, one that I always feel comfortable exploring and one that I know that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

2. Race. Really, I'm more over this topic than gender. I think that I was pretty much over this option before I started college. Undergrad even.

3. Patriarchy/patriarchal control. Cheater...this is a subtopic of gender.

4. Politics and economics. This one is a non-choice in my opinion. I cannot dig into capitalism and Marxism and totalitarianism with any feeling of security. In my younger and foolish(er) days, last semester that is, I thought "You know, I've been hanging around people who converse in this language (politics & economics) long enough. I should be able to use these terms as well." So I tried. And I failed. Nevermore (quote the Amy-raven).

And therein lies the list because really, everything else is just a sub-topic of #1, #2 or #4. And therein lies my problem. I only have option #1. What to do, what to do?

And just to make the honey pot of indecision a little stickier, this semester is focused heavily (heavily heavily) on poetry & Modernism, i.e. poetry in the Modern era. Oh snap...two of my least least least favorite genre/periods! Dare I say without a doubt my least favorite?

What to DO!?!


sarahesperanza said...

write on food (specifically chocolate) and it's influences and symbolism as pertaining to individuality and community within modernist lit.

The Erudite Lit-ite said...

oh. my.

sarahesperanza said...

oh, it would be perfect-
you got william carlos willaim's plums, Carl Sandburg's rootabaga, and T.S. Elliot eating peaches when he's old. Not only good messages of more fruits and vegetables in one's diet, but also speaking to the deep-seated desire for fresh yumminess that resides within us all. Have yet to find the references to roasted bananas or chocolate within modernist poetry, but I'm sure it's there: might have to look at a source other than wikipedia though (which I clearly do not do).

The Erudite Lit-ite said...

If those veggie references are accurate, then you definitely know your modernist poetry, and much more than I do. I think that you would thrive in this class. Do you want to be my ghostwriter?

Sarah said...

Not only are they right, it would be a vert politically appropo thing to write about with Michelle Obama pushing for more fruits and veggies. AND foodie/ literary crossover is very hip right now (think Julie and Julia). Oooo! You should do a paper on "poetry through cooking" where you document your cooking adventures as they apply modernist poetry (and then send methe goodies you make!)

I like this idea more and more...., ;)

Sarah said...

Think of it- a term paper complete with recipes.

Best. Paper. Ever.

The Erudite Lit-ite said...

brilliant! yet, sadly, not likely to happen.