Blogging 101: Some Introductory Incoherent Mumbling

Fairytales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Neil Gaiman

I’m taking part this month in WordPress’ Blogging 101 to try to improve what occasionally feels like an esoteric and possibly quite formulaic vanity project and to engage with some of WordPress’ other users. Today’s assignment – the first – is “Introduce Yourself”; and since I never formally did that over here, well, here goes.

I moved my blog to WordPress about a month ago – the day after I finished my final university exams, in fact. The previous platform I was using was awful, actually, especially from a community perspective: it was almost impossible to comment, pretty much invisible to search engines, plagued by Russian spambots, and, to top it all, frequently down for days at a time. Compared to that, WordPress seems like blog heaven.

I’ve called myself “The English Student” for a couple of reasons. When I started the blog three years ago it was literally true, or about to be so: I studied English at university. I’ve finished that now, but the title still reflects the primary aim for this blog: thinking critically about popular culture, about the novels we read and the TV we watch and the films we consume. What kind of ideological biases do they show? What assumptions do they ask us to make? What cultural place are they coming from? I tend towards feminism, because, well, I’m a woman and misogyny annoys me.

Primarily, I do this because it gives me joy. I love the mental click that happens when, at last, everything falls into place; when I manage to fit a small and troubling detail into a larger interpretive scheme; when I realise that this is what that means and this is how it fits in with the wider themes of the work. But I also think it’s important to have these conversations about fiction publicly: to think a little more deeply about the narratives we’re consuming and about what that says about us culturally, not so that we can censor but so that we can say: “this is one way of thinking. There are others.”

This is my way of thinking. There are others.

But I hope this one brings you food for thought, at least.

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8 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Some Introductory Incoherent Mumbling

  1. “But I also think it’s important to have these conversations about fiction publicly: to think a little more deeply about the narratives we’re consuming and about what that says about us culturally, not so that we can censor but so that we can say: “this is one way of thinking. There are others.”

    LOVE this! 🙂 I did my Master’s in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, and one of the things my program taught me is to think critically not only about scholarship, but about the messages, some overt and some more subtle, that we get everyday from so many different places and what those messages teach us, how they shape our identities and the interactions we have with the world.

    Looking forward to reading more!

    Like

      1. I agree! I didn’t focus my research on that topic, but i could have had a field day with it. A friend of mine actually did an analysis of fashion blogs for her thesis. It was excellent!

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  2. I can’t agree with you about the thinking-about-fiction thing, having just finished a level 2 course in literature with the OU that nearly turned me into a revolutionary (academics would be the first against the wall. Thomas de Quincey second if he weren’t already dead.) But you’ve got me joining the debate, so well done.

    Like

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