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Men, Sex, and the Rhetoric of Need

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A man has needs. Ask yourself how many times you’ve heard the above statement, or some variation of it? If you’re like me, you’ve heard it so many times that you’ve internalized it, learned to accept it as fact. Now ask yourself how much bad behavior those four little words have excused? How many cheating partners, rapists, human traffickers, and pedophiles have deployed those very words to justify some unconscionable act? It’s time to remove […]

Diversity and the Institution: Questions of Being and Belonging as An International Student

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I had the privilege of hearing Sara Ahmed speak in person for the first time last Thursday. For me, her talk on the complaint as diversity work reinforced the necessity of thinking through the many ways in which the brick wall of the institution can simultaneously appear and disappear for different people depending on their subject positions in relation to the institution. My first encounter with Sara Ahmed’s work was in my Intro to Grad […]

Monday Meet and Greet: Ava Bertone

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Tell us about yourself! Hi! I’m Ava, and I’m in my first year of the MA program. I was born and raised in northern New Jersey. I’m an only child. I have what all of my former (and, possibly, current — hi, Reagan) housemates would call an unhealthy passion for Halloween décor. At home in New Jersey, I have a toy poodle named Lola and three cats: Muffin, Amen, and Binx (stories behind their names […]

What We Need to Hear

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I started practicing mindfulness and meditation exercises when I was 11 years old, though at the time I didn’t know that was what these activities were called. I was part of a group of kids in middle school that met with a counselor every few weeks to discuss our concerns about the school at large and occasionally, learn stress-reducing techniques like counting the breath and contracting/relaxing the muscles. People are impressed when I tell them […]

Monday Meet and Greet: Naashia Naufal

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Tell us about yourself! I’m interested in Southern Gothicism and the intersection of medicine and literature. I’m currently also working on a historical fiction novel; fingers crossed that it’ll be finished by next year! Why did you choose Lehigh? I chose Lehigh because it seemed to be a very interesting but almost secretive place – one of those hidden University gems your read about. Plus, there was just something about the social justice component of […]

Tackling T.I.N.A. and Creating a Successful Public-Facing Discussion Group

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Tackling T.I.N.A. has entered its second year and is going strong. The reading for the September meeting was an approximately 30 page selection from Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted, published in 2016, in which Desmond tracks the precarious lives of people in Milwaukee as they face eviction and homelessness while he explores the policies that cause these problems. Desmond also offers concrete solutions to begin fixing the problem of eviction, making an argument for increased housing […]

Monday Meet and Greet: Kelsey Stratman

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Tell us about yourself! I’m really thrilled to be here in this environment. These first few weeks have been a whirlwind but have also been exhilarating- how lucky am I to be here essentially getting paid to learn? Academically, I’m currently on a kick of saying that I want to study Appalachian literature, but my answer to that question tends to change every few months so we’ll see how it goes. Personally, I like cooking, […]