Reason and Emotion

When the BBC’s modern version of Sherlock aired in 2010, it appealed to my deep seated love of problem solving, mysteries and attention to detail. I had read The Hound of the Baskervilles and one or two of the short stories in the past, but decided to read the entire Sherlock canon, which is comprised of four novels and 56 short stories. Overall, they were a very enjoyable read. However, given that the stories were written between 1887 and 1921 it is not surprising that Sherlock holds some extremely sexist attitudes.   Read More

My Feminist Beginning: The Joseph Smith Seminar

It has always intrigued me to hear about people’s “realization moments”–for it seems that, often, women and men come to understand feminism in a sudden moment in time when it became clear, or a series of common events that string together to form the sentence, “Something is not right here.”

I have these moments, and I’ve often thought how interesting it was that my first self-identifiable “feminist realizations” floated around in one single summer, the summer I studied at the Joseph Smith Seminar. Read More

The Passions of Other Minds

We love the things we love for what they are. —Robert Frost, “Hyla Brook”

A couple of weeks ago I started a summer directed reading in the English Romantic poets with a somewhat shy but extraordinarily intelligent and kind professor. I’ve never done a directed reading by myself before–last semester plodding through Ovid in my slow and inexpert Latin I had a friend at my side to share translating, commentary, conversational duties–and being more than somewhat shy myself, I found our first meeting awkward. We both fumbled around trying to figure out how to talk about the Ancient Mariner and Tintern Abbey and the Lyrical Ballads. Partly because I came armed with a list of questions about the readings, our second meeting was smoother. At one point in our conversation, my professor started comparing Wordsworth and Blake, and I found myself suddenly bursting out with the question I always want to ask everyone, all the time: Why did you choose to study Blake? What is it about Blake that drew you on so irresistibly? Why do you love the things you love? Read More