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: 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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Scholar Fierce: That Time When MLK Was on Vacation & Other Gasp-worthy Moments

I appreciate a failure to be respectable. Want to know why? Because. In a panel entitled “Activating Histories: Visualizing and Restaging the Archive,” I prepared to have a sobering experience about what it means to read an archive and what … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: What We Can Learn From Sub-Optimal Questions

We tell our students that there is no such thing as a stupid question. On the one hand, that’s true. For that context, there are truly few questions that shouldn’t be asked. In an environment where you’re trying to cultivate … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: You Will Not Out Do Black People, Florence/Firenze Edition

My main point in going to Florence was to attend the Black Portraitures conference, curated by colleagues at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. My excitement was two-fold. First, this had the serious, serious line-up of Black Studies scholars. In … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Food in Italy

I must say… I love food. I like eating it, talking about it, cooking it, learning about it. I was so excited to get to Italy because I thought pasta (eh, maybe), gelato (I tried it), but panna cotta. That … Continue reading

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Scholar Fierce: Boston Evening, Italian Nights

I tend to not have difficulty traveling alone. However, long flights are not for the faint of heart or the weary in body or spirit. I got to the Florence hotel safely and all – after meeting so many members … Continue reading

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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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