This section of my online portfolio is dedicated to a sampling of the literary work that I created during my academic career. I have saved every essay that I wrote at DePaul, and I have displayed a few of my favorites here for your consideration. The essays currently featured were written during my junior and senior years, and they appear in the left tool bar in chronological order, with the newest pieces appearing closest to the top. As newer works, these pieces reflect the latest representations of my collegiate scholarship, but I do not see my academic work as a chance to profess fully-developed notions about the world and how people should or should not conceptualize its intricacies; rather, academic work provides me with an outlet to experient with theories, voices, and structures that I am 'trying on' in a similar way that one dresses for a specific occasion. These rhetorical experiments offer me the opportunity to gauge public reactions and navigate my ongoing struggle to understand my relationship to the changing narratives of local and world history, and the many other complex social environments that I find myself in.
As an artist in an academic environment, I struggle to find ways of expressing my creative voice within the confines of standard collegiate conventions. I believe that it is important for academic work--like creative work--to bridge the gap between personal and public experience. Harmonizing the subjective and the objective is almost like attempting to connect polarized magnets, and it requires writers to bring their intuition and rational to bear upon the greater tangled narratives of world history. I also believe that literary work should be original, individual, personally challenging, and a bit polemical for audiences. Not every reader should immediately resonate with a unique literary voice. Becoming acclimated to new perspectives requires a great deal of patience, openness, interest, and a wide range of personal experience.
I have endeavored to challenge the guidelines of my assignments and the often-insular rigidity of academic literary conventions. I have also endeavored to challenge the vocabularly of my readers and myself. I believe that good academic work stirs emotions and arouses a consciousness that was once sleeping, forcing us to confront ideas that we have previously taken for granted--both ideas themselves and how they manifest themselves in the shadowy corners of our subconscious. I believe that readers and writers should seek out work that challenges their beliefs rather than confirms them.
Thank you for taking an interest in my academic work, and I hope you enjoy reading it.