Author Archives: TAPPhD

About TAPPhD

Therí A. Pickens received her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature from Princeton University (P'05) and her PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA (2010). Her research focuses on Arab American and African American literatures and cultures, Disability Studies, philosophy, and literary theory. She recently published her first book, New Body Politics (Routledge, 2014), which investigates the role of the material body in constructing social and political critique. Her critical work has appeared in Disability Studies Quarterly, Al-Jadid, Journal of Canadian Literature, Al-Raida, and, the ground-breaking collection, Blackness and Disability: Critical Examinations and Cultural Interventions. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English at Bates College. She is also a creative writer. Her poetry has appeared in Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Save the Date, and Disability Studies Quarterly. Her drama has been performed at the NJ State Theater. She offers courses on Arab American and African American literature. In her introductory courses, she seeks to provide students with information and skills that will enable and empower them to critically and constructively engage difficult topics like race, sexuality, gender, disability, and class. In her upper division courses, she pushes students to synthesize their knowledge from other classes and expand their critical thinking repertoires.

Mine the Tension Series: Reading Lucille Clifton in a Time of Trouble

This week, I read it Lucille Clifton’s The Book of Light. Toward the end of the collection, Clifton has several poems that explore the nuance of a single voice across several pages. I confess that as a reader and writer … Continue reading

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Mine The Tension Series: Turning Back to Poetry

I remember when I first started writing poetry. I might have been eight or so and struggling with rhyme and the ins and outs of violets. I do recall thinking that poetry had to have capital letters down the left … Continue reading

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Reflections: The Property Brothers

I recently got hooked on watching HGTV’s The Property Brothers. The premise of the show is that two brothers (twins, Jonathan and Drew Scott) lead potential homeowners through the maze of searching for a home, and renovating it. The catch … Continue reading

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Response from MAAH

Hi everyone! Thanks for signal boosting this particular issue. I did get a response from Diana Parcon at the Museum of African American History. Our exchange is below. Access is for everyone! *** Dear Dr. Pickens, On behalf of the … Continue reading

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Open Letter to Museum of African American History (Boston) & National Parks Service

To Whom It May Concern: I write to inform you of an unfortunate series of incidents at the Museum of African American History and the African Meeting House in Boston, Massachusetts on September 16, 2017. My colleagues and I brought … Continue reading

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I Believe Dylann Roof When He Says He’s Not ‘Crazy’

As I listen to the coverage of Dylann Roof’s address to the court, I can’t help but return to a question that I often ask myself during research and my classes during particularly fraught conversations. What narratives do we simply … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Why go to the African Literature Association Conference

As I look forward to my next project, I am curious about the ways that it bears implications for fields I hadn’t carefully considered. For instance, literature written by Blacks in America has always had a specific national context, but … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Deciding what to do in Geneva

My trip is mostly business (3 academic conferences, you see) and there’s a bit of pleasure mixed in. Between Black Portraitures and the African Literature Association, I decided to see Geneva, Switzerland. I had a few days and so, why … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Access at Black Portraitures

Most conferences are not accessible for people with disabilities to present or attend. Access, for me, is about space for physically disabled people, mental space for folks who think differently, intellectual space to consider disability, and temporal space for folks … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Doing Dilettante as a Scholar

I must admit that every time I am around musicologists, I have to admit to myself that I don’t hear what they hear. I feel a little like I’m in a scene from White Men Can’t Jump, being chastised for … Continue reading

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