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.

Scholar Fierce: Excess about Access

So, I have to be honest that part of my hesitation before any travel is access for disability. I get a little peeved about access not only because very few spaces are accessible, but also because people term something accessible … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Thinking About Europe

When I was younger, I heard about this mysterious thing called “backpacking through Europe.” It sounded so fascinating, seeing all sorts of interesting things, traipsing all around, eating yummy food. I gave up on part of that dream once I … Continue reading

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A Word on Disability and #BlackLivesMatter

I wish to comment briefly on the rhetorical movement that seems to be gaining momentum in the wake of the BK shooter’s wounding of Shaneka Nicole Thompson and killing of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Specifically, there has been … Continue reading

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Digging in the Crates: Day 5 in the Octavia Butler Archives at The Huntington

Today was, unfortunately, my last day in the archive. For now. To make matters less difficult, I scheduled myself to look at half a box. That way I knew I could get through it all. I also decided to craft … Continue reading

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Digging in the Crates: Day 4 in the Octavia Butler Archives at The Huntington

Today felt like a Monday: all sluggish and slow. My body wasn’t doing as I wanted, but that’s not new to me. The archive still beckoned. As I rode to The Huntington, I was immersed in Tavia Nyong’o’s The Amalgamation … Continue reading

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Digging in the Crates: Day 3 in the Octavia Butler Archives at The Huntington

I went in today feeling fierce. I was not quite beat to capacity but I was beat the house down. (If you have no idea what I just said, google “beat,” “beat to capacity,” and “the house down.”) Anyhow, I … Continue reading

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Digging in the Crates: Day 2 in the Octavia Butler Archives at The Huntington

I went into the library today with more wonder, less apprehension, more excitement than yesterday. I was more sure-wheeled or, for you ambulatory people, more “sure-footed.” I cordially chatted with the people who were in the locker area and waved … Continue reading

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Digging in the Crates: Day 1 in the Octavia Butler Archives at The Huntington

I have done archival research before: I amassed my own archive of Magic Johnson ephemera, and I looked at the collection of ephemera and correspondence at the Arab American National Museum. Neither experience prepared me for the Octavia Butler archive. … Continue reading

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Sabbatical Notes: Figuring Out ‘Taking [My] Time’

When I was just finishing as a grad student, I had a conversation with a trusted colleague & friend. He had a note for me. Specifically, he thought that I was moving too fast. (I had finished the dissertation in … Continue reading

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Reflections on Cognitive Impairment, Marriage, & Children

A friend asked a question on FB about whether cognitively impaired people should be allowed to marry and have children. I wanted to answer this question privately for a wide variety of reasons. My response is long and certainly mitigated … Continue reading

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