Research and Destroy ~ Whys and Wherefores

Why do I want to start a new blog?

I have, after all, a niche blog on YA and children’s literature, a website for my small press, and a CV site. Why do I need this? [Note: in December 2010, I merged the two blogs, so any post dated prior to this one is from the old kidlit blog.]

It’s never a function of need, really, is it? If we had to respond to the universe solely based on need, we’d not do/make/see very much.  Do I need cinnamon on my toast this morning? Do I need to go to that Xiu Xiu show tonight? Do I need to finish that PhD?

Things like curiosity and beauty are not need based. So need isn’t a criteria I worry too much about, honestly.

But in the interest of presenting a rationale (purely as a heuristic, mind you, not because I need one), I’m doing this because I come across a lot of interesting stuff in the course of my days, and I want a place to compile it all, pell mell, and let the metadata sort it out.

I’m rooted in the 17th and 19th centuries in my general research, but my interests are rather more promiscuous than that. Pop music, cinema, fine art (contemporary and not so), social networking, politics, fashion, etc. preoccupy and interest me and are all as intrinsic to the way I think and theorize as, say, the theory that inflects my scholarly work.

So this is an archive – a sort of combination of common-place book and cabinet of curiosities where I can pull everything together without fretting over principles of organization and selection. I want to deconstruct the way I approach traditional archives (public an personal) and allow categories and tags to shape the way things fall out, relate to one another, and create narratives and arguments.

So, this is an archive. Derived from other archives. Derived from research on: 19th c. children’s books, animals, cinema, pop music, and fine arts broadly defined. Derived from my environment, my past, my impulses, my influences.

This is an archive which invites theory. Theories of childhood, animals, queerness, cinema, self-fashioning, pop music, the archive.

Collaboration, comment, and argument are all invited. So let’s go.

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