Love, Academic Writing
But Therapy for Writer’s Block

But Therapy for Writer’s Block

July 1, 2022

In this week’s episode of the Love, Academic Writing podcast, the Love Doctors, Allison and Lee, talk about this week’s writing but: BUT WRITER’S BLOCK!

Click here to get your buts therapized for free on the podcast! 

Lee takes you through their latest bout of so-called block (turns out, it was just a bunch of excuses!) and some strategies for getting unblocked:

1. not beating the shit out of yourself for not writing

2. celebrating the small wins, and

3. creating minimum baselines. So minimum you can't not meet them. 

Plz plz plz rate and review the show so that other writers can find it! The struggle is real.

Connect with Allison @postphdtheblog or at allisonharbin.com

Connect with Lee @rhetoriclee or leempierce.com

But Writer’s Block!

But Writer’s Block!

July 1, 2022

In the inaugural episode of the Love, Academic Writing podcast, the Love Doctors, Allison and Lee, talk about this week’s writing but: BUT WRITER’S BLOCK!

Click here to get your buts therapized for free on the podcast! 

Plz plz plz rate and review the show so that other writers can find it! The struggle is real.

“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” ~James Baldwin

Plz plz plz rate and review the show so that other writers can find it! The struggle is real.

Is writer’s block real? What exactly is the “block”? Did you put it there or did someone else? Is the block depression, in which case maybe you need a break. Or is it just that you aren’t sure of your argument, in which case you need to write. Are you in Jesus’s cave or Plato’s? If you asked Eve Sedgwick or Audre Lorde if they had writer’s block while they were dying of cancer they probably would have said, “I have writer’s block all the time, that’s the whole reason I write.”

When you’re thinking (or bitching to someone else), that you have writer’s block, think about what you actually mean: 

  • I don’t know what I’m trying to say
  • This essay is a mess
  • I’m never going to figure this out
  • Nobody cares about this
  • I don’t have enough theory. 

Connect with Allison @postphdtheblog or at allisonharbin.com

Connect with Lee @rhetoriclee or leempierce.com

Welcome to Love Academic Writing

Welcome to Love Academic Writing

June 1, 2022

Get ready for the Love Academic Writing (and hopefully other kinds of writing too) podcast! Hosted by Dr. Lee Pierce, assistant professor and rhetorical scholar, and Dr. Allison Harbin, academic-exile, freelance writer, blogger, and dev editor. Together, they are the Love Writing Doctors! (It’s funny because they ARE doctors). They are here to help you stop whining and start writing…through a LOT of bitching.

Click here to get your buts therapized for free on the podcast! 

Each episode tackles a different writing excuse. But I don’t have time. But all the emailz. But neoliberalism. Some of them are entitled bullshit. And some of them are for real, like, “but my depression” and “but black mold in my apartment.” We’ll cover them all…eventually

Plz plz plz rate and review the show so that other writers can find it! The struggle is real.

Whether you’re an academic exile freelancing Ph.D. or a tenure track faculty at a cutthroat R1, if you need to get more words on the page, this is the podcast for you. So hit subscribe and look for the first episodes coming your way in late summer 2022.

In the meantime, you can connect with us on social media. You can even sign up now to get your writing buts therapized for free. Therapy for yer butts. It’s all in the show notes. 

Connect with Allison @postphdtheblog or at allisonharbin.com

Connect with Lee @rhetoriclee or leempierce.com

Pre LAW: When Black Women Speak

Pre LAW: When Black Women Speak

June 21, 2021

Read the blog version: 

 

 

*Have thoughts? Hit me up on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com

Pre LAW: Jargon, Exemplars and Brene Brown

Pre LAW: Jargon, Exemplars and Brene Brown

May 27, 2021

Takeaways:

Jargon, sometimes called buzzwords, sometimes called slang, sometimes called bureaucratese, is basically non-standard language meant to bring into being non-standard thought. Jargon is inclusive and expands our collective understanding of the world when it is used carefully, defined, in tons of examples, and solves a problem by bringing a different awareness than other words in its orbit. However, jargon is exclusive and narrows our collective understanding of the world when it is used in piles and lists (a rhetorical device known as amplificatio or sometimes enumeratio), when jargon is defined by referring to other jargon when it is only supported by one or two perfect examples and doesn’t seem to solve a problem by bringing more awareness than other words in its orbit.

Exemplar is a word for the model of the model, the most perfect example, the “for instance” that makes the theory work perfectly. If you’re using exemplars to illustrate your jargon then you’re making that jargon inaccessible by not letting it come into contact with the real world, which is messy and complex. The name of Brown’s exemplar is Suzanne (you’re going to be hearing a lot about Suzanne today).

Piling up jargon is great for creating brand followers and cult-like acolytes and people who will buy everything that comes out of your mouth and whose lives are exactly like yours. It also sells a lot of certified leadership coaching problems because it puts strategies for improvement out of reach, behind a wall of concepts and terminology and jargon, and requires we pay someone else to walk us through our own minds and lives. (FYI one of the first sentences out of Brown’s mouth in this episode is about her thousands of certified “Dared to Lead” trainers)

Read the blog post:

Resources used in this episode:

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/jargon-exemplars-and-brene-brown/

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

*Follow the show  on Facebook and on Instagram @rhetoriclee 

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*Have thoughts? Hit me up on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com

Pre LAW: Language Lowdown: Defending ’I Feel Like’

Pre LAW: Language Lowdown: Defending ’I Feel Like’

May 14, 2021

This episode is a reading of a recent piece by Amanda Montell for Sunday Edit titled "Language Lowdown: Why Phrases Like "I Feel Like" and "If That Makes Sense" Aren't Actually Bad." Montell's piece discusses patriarchal language standards and the importance of critiquing our norms for "authoritative speech" and it features my two cents about language as something we want to use intentionally not necessarily "correctly" (because standards for correctness are caught up in all kinds of sexism, ableism, racism, colorism, classism, etc.)

Read the piece at https://edit.sundayriley.com/language-lowdown-why-phrases-like-i-feel-like-and-if-that-makes-sense-arent-actually-bad/

 

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

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*Have thoughts? Hit me up on social media or Gmail @rhetoriclee

Pre LAW: Free Speech Hate Speech Counter Speech

Pre LAW: Free Speech Hate Speech Counter Speech

April 20, 2021

The first crossover episode between May it Displease the Court, which looks at corruption in the courts from judges through dark money anti-democratic far-Right donors, and RhetoricLee Speaking, banishing banality one speech at a time. Your co-hosts, Mary and Lee, look at censorship, free speech vs. hate speech, and counter speech. Here are the highlights:

1) as much as we may want the law to recognize hate speech sometimes when truly vile opinions (in our opinions) are being circulated, the law does not recognize a hate speech exception to the first amendment that guarantees the right to free speech and 

2) if there were such an exception it would be used to suppress minoritized people and their fight for civil liberties more often than it would be to silence transphobic, racist, sexist, and other kinds of exclusionary speech.

We take you through a few cases that have been instrumental in establishing the “no hate speech” exception including Snyder v. Phelps SCOTUS 2011 (Westboro Baptist Church) and Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence 468 U. S. 288 

We also look at some personal examples. Mary discusses an experience at the Anne Frank House right after 9-11 and Lee discusses a current campus event where the free speech of a racist and transphobic student is being protected. They also discuss potential alternative terms to replace hate speech, including “racist erasure” and “transphobic erasure.”

Finally, Mary explains the issue of “school-sponsored speech,” in which first amendment rights come up against the purpose of educational institutions and the need for more counter-speech on the Left as the corrective for hateful-speech-that-isn’t-hate-speech by the anti-democratic far-Right funded by pro-corporate dark money donors.

Check out May it Displease the Court on Apple Podcasts, Podbean, and Spotify!

Resources

Read the blog version:

https://rhetoriclee.com/free-speech-hate-speech-counter-speech/

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

*Follow the show  on Facebook and on Instagram @rhetoriclee 

*Subscribe to the show on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, on Google Podcasts, on Stitcher, on Youtube, on Spotify, or via RSS

*Take 20 seconds to leave a short review and 5 star-rating (I’ll even take 4 stars, I’m not greedy). Reviews help future #rhetoricnerds find the show!

*Have thoughts? Hit me up on social media or Gmail @rhetoriclee

Pre LAW: Linguistic Reparations, Or Why I Don’t Say Ni**

Pre LAW: Linguistic Reparations, Or Why I Don’t Say Ni**

April 6, 2021

The problem with phrasing the rules or norms or whatever you want to call them around the word n-i** as a prohibition, as a thou shalt not, is that not only does it NOT address the more implicit racism of feeling entitled to say the word when there’s no one around “to be offended,” but it also begs the very people to transgress that you’re trying to get to stop transgressing because most people--especially people who fancy themselves edgy intellectuals or truth tellers or the last stalwarts of free speech against woke liberal scolds--when they hear a prohibition, their first instinct is to violate it.

Resources from this episode:

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/linguistic-reparations-or-why-i-dont-say-ni/

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

*Follow the show  on Facebook and on Instagram @rhetoriclee 

*Subscribe to the show on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, on Google Podcasts, on Stitcher, on Youtube, on Spotify, or via RSS

*Take 20 seconds to leave a short review and 5 star-rating (I’ll even take 4 stars, I’m not greedy). Reviews help future #rhetoricnerds find the show!

*Have thoughts? Hit me up on social media or Gmail @rhetoriclee

Pre LAW BONUS: Listen to Lee on the Unapologetically Unleashed Podcast

Pre LAW BONUS: Listen to Lee on the Unapologetically Unleashed Podcast

March 30, 2021

I chatted recently with Nadeje of the Unleashed Unapologetically podcast about thought work, rhetoric, tension, cliches, and internal debate. The episode is called "The Thoughts About the Thoughts." Click on the link below to listen.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Anchor

Listen on the Web

Pre LAW: The Whitewashing of Amanda Gorman

Pre LAW: The Whitewashing of Amanda Gorman

February 18, 2021

Black women remain subjects who must recite power to have any power even though the power of the reciter is never the power of the subject who originates the lines to be recited. 

Amidst the praise that critics have rightfully heaped upon “The Hill We Climb” since January 6, only a few critics, mostly Black women, have noticed how her language testifies to American slavery, 1619-present.

For example, Gorman’s opening lines contain several middle passage metaphors, including “the loss we carry,” “a sea we must wade,” and “the belly of the beast.” Middle passage metaphors keep alive in language the memory of the ships that slaughtered most of the stolen Africans they trafficked to America for centuries.

Critics have overlooked or misunderstood these lines because middle passage metaphors aren’t taught in “classic” education.

Gorman also writes: “we the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.”

“She imagined, she wrote, a country and a time,” summarizes a critic for The New York Times.

But Gorman isn’t imagining. Gorman is testifying to her reality in two registers. In one register, it is wonderful that a Black girl is reciting for the president. But in the second register, that girl cannot be president. In the first register, she stands next to the first Black woman Vice President in American history. But in the second register, that Black woman can only be Vice President.

One signal that Gorman is speaking in two registers is the missing verb between “we” and “the successors.” Grammatically, the passage should read, “we are the successors.” But it does not. Because the verb, the action, is missing. America is not acting on its promise of equality.

Another signal is the phrase “only to find,” which Gorman inserts between her dream of becoming president and her reality of only reciting for one. The phrase “only to,” as in, “I awoke, only to find,” expresses surprise and disappointment. Gorman is surprised and disappointed that the country that tells her she can be anything she wants to be is also the country that ensures she can only recite.

Recitation is simply to repeat out loud.

Gorman demonstrated in “The Hill We Climb” that she is uniquely skilled at using language that speaks to two audiences simultaneously: those who want to fight for true abolition and those who want to whitewash America’s ongoing enslavement of Black citizens.

It’s unfair that Black speakers have to accomplish this sophisticated code-switching to get a national audience. But it’s also a testament to the artful skill of Amanda Gorman.

Resources used in this episode:

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/the-whitewashing-of-amanda-gorman/

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