ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (dressing my best)
Day Two: Mannishly

Jacket: Vintage, from my father-in-law
Sweater: Banana Republic, hand-me-down
Jeans: GAP, hand-me-down
Invisible Tank-Top: Banana Republic Outlet
Shoes: I actually wore my sneakers out of the house; these I just threw on to run in the back yard.

There is a picture of me somewhere in existence, though I don't now have a copy. It was taken my senior year in college. I'm walking down the aisle of a ballroom set up for the closing ceremonies of a Model UN competition. I had just won a best delegate award for my committee (a reenactment of the 1947 partition plan drawing committee in Palestine, if I remember right), and the team's photographer was taking pictures of everyone as they walked back from getting their awards. (We had a pretty high win-rate--and were undefeated that year.) I'm wearing grey dress slacks, a blue oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and my blue-and-purple silk tie. My hair is pulled back, and I'm flashing devil horns at the camera with the hand not holding my cheap wooden gavel.

In my head, that is what I look like when I am awesome.

thoughts on gender performance and daily drag )

This is, in fact, the hammer

My arms: These Are, In Fact, The Hammer )
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (dressing my best)
This week, I'm participating in Dress Your Best week, a week of fashion blogging to celebrate your best features, rather than camoflage your worst. It's about celebrating your body and your sense of style; that's something I can get behind.

Although, like many people, I have insecurities and anxieties about my body, for this week I'm going to be positive, even aggressively so. I'd appreciate it if my readers would act in kind; body-snarking will not be well-tolerated.

On to the first set of outfits:

mom jeans #1

Outfit one:

Blue notch-collared t-shirt: hand-me-down
Grey Cable-Knit Cardigan: GAP Outlet
Belt: Macy's
Jeans: hand-me-down
Pink leather flip-flops: vintage, from my mother-in-law

(On Mr. X: onesie, Target; pants, GAP Kids)

mom jeans #2

Outfit two:

Lilac ribbed long-sleeved shirt: hand-me-down
Corduroy Blazer: vintage, from my father-in-law
Jeans: hand-me-down
Belt: Ann Taylor (Outlet?)
Scarf: vintage, from my mother-in-law
Shoes (not pictured): Vegan Saucony Jazz in Black/Oatmeal (I love these shoes, but sadly, they wear out very easily--they've had a tear in the toe since about three months into owning them. Sadface.)

(On Mr. X: sweatshirt, Hanna Anderssen; pants, GAP Kids; sneakers, Merrill)

This is me in my mom jeans.

The concept of mom jeans, the patriarchy, and the political use of problematic symbols )

Actual notes on the outfit, including minimal-effort principles for looking less like a schlub while wearing one's mom jeans )
ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
I'd like to thank the folks who've thrown some paid time and points my way! I'm very much looking forward to being able to play around with DW's shiny advanced features. Plus, OMG infinity icons.

I am thinking about participating in Dress Your Best Week, which is a fashion-blogging thing where bloggers highlight their best body parts, in an attempt to move away from fashion as being about "hiding problem areas." I think this is a really great, body-positive, feminist thing to do, and I'm up for doing it if any of my regular readers would be interested in seeing some outfits I put together.  Some things about me that may influence whether you are interested in seeing how I dress:
  • I'm not terribly fashion-forward.  In fact, I'm fairly fashion-backward, plus committed to a Quaker aesthetic of simplicity, though not in a dogmatic way.
  • Most days I don't actually put together orchestrated outfits--but luckily, next week I'll be on a road trip and having to interact with people, so I'll be giving a smidge more thought than usual.  Otherwise, you'd mostly just be seeing gardening-and-playing-with-baby clothes.
  • I'm on the heavy side (which is an issue I'd want to devote some processing to).
  • My major struggles when assembling outfits are a) the juncture between my soft-butch aesthetic and my hourglass figure and b) my tendency towards performative drag in my clothing choices.

Poll #3038 Would you be interested?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9

Would you be interested in fashion posts from me next week?

View Answers

7 (87.5%)

1 (12.5%)

Are there any particular things that would interest you for me to post about w/r/t fashion and things?

View Answers

Dressing for the classroom
4 (50.0%)

Dressing for fieldwork in communities outside your own
6 (75.0%)

Parenthood and clothing choices (i.e., "In Defense of Mom Jeans")
4 (50.0%)

Performing gender (from a non-trans person's perspective)
6 (75.0%)

Questions of size
4 (50.0%)

Something else I'll mention in comments
0 (0.0%)

Are there fashion blogs/feminist blogs/whatever on the subject of anything related to what I've mentioned you'd recommend to me in advance of my posting on the subject?

View Answers

Yes, and I will post in comments
1 (25.0%)

Yes, and I will message you
0 (0.0%)

I think you're perfectly capable of doing enough research on your own, and don't you have grading to do?
3 (75.0%)

ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (3w4d)
As a teacher, I'm always struggling to figure out good assignments that will cause my students to think, engage with the material, explore their own interests, and, hopefully, present me with papers that won't bore me out of my goddamned skull while I'm reading them. (In case you didn't know, most professors consider grading the single most awful thing we do for our paychecks. I don't know, I think scanning articles for uploading is worse; occasionally papers are interesting.)

This semester, I gave my students an annotated bibliography assignment. Twice during the semester, they have to find 10 sources having to do with Middle Eastern diasporic communities, write a properly-formatted bibliographic entry for them, and then a short paragraph about how the material relates to class. A source could be anything--an event, a blog post, a YouTube video, a book.

I got a huge number of interesting sources from the students in their first round of assignments. From my perspective, this assignment worked--the students learned (mostly) how to use Chicago style to cite sources (a big problem in my previous classes), they read and watched other interesting things about Middle Eastern diasporas, and now I have a bunch of cool recommendations to read for later. I'll have to ask the students if they liked it, but this one might be a keeper for future classes.

(Incidentally, my attempt to do response papers was a total failure, as most of the class simply hasn't turned them in. Folks who are/were in American universities and colleges as undergrads: are several short response papers (2-3 pages) a part of your experience of humanities and social science classes? What types? I'm mystified by the fact that my students don't seem to understand that they have to do them.)

Here are some of the highlights from the assignment. From my students' computers to yours!

graphic novels, interviews, and YouTube videos )
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
This morning, I got a call from my mother, which is not so unusual. But what was unusual was that she wanted my help for one of her students (she works for a student support program at a community college). Her student was taking Arabic, and had to ask someone a list of questions. Could I do the interview?

I managed it, though my spoken Arabic is beyond rusty. (My favorite moment was her surprise that mish aindi siyara, I don't have a car. Askunu fi nuyurk, I said, nobody's got cars.). But it reminded me of how important Arabic language education is, and how many people want to learn Arabic, especially these days. (Sometimes, when I'm feeling tetchy, I like to point out that I started taking Arabic in September 2000. Suck on that, posers.)

If you're among them, that's great! I think everyone should learn Arabic, despite my tetchyness above. I would generally recommend you take a structured course to learn it well, whether at a university or community center or mosque. Arabic is a difficult language, with a lot of sounds not present in English (and one or two missing from most European languages). It's also got a writing system that'll be new to most non-Muslim learners, and the root system is complicated. AND AWESOME. Have I mentioned Arabic is the most awesome language ever? Because it totally is.

But, if you don't have access to a class, you can teach yourself some Arabic. Even if all you pick up are greetings and a notion of how it sounds, it's an awesome language to know.

Here are some resources I've used to improve my Arabic and keep in shape. (All of these are targeted to native speakers of English; I don't know about resources for native speakers of other languages, sadly.)

podcasts, Orientalist grammars, and other excitement )

ETA: I totally forgot about BBC Arabic's streaming audio option. Ooh, and they've added TV since I was a regular user! The internet is so shiny.
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
I originally started this blog on LiveJournal, because I'm a long-time user; I used it, first, as a way to be publicly accountable for to-do lists in the early days of my dissertation, and had my friends there as a cheering section. When I decided to start writing public entries about Arab-American politics, I used the same username, but a change in my fieldwork structure and schedule threw me off my posting game, and I took a long hiatus.

When I came back, I had started seeing more and more of the problems with the way LiveJournal treated its userbase; in particular, I was frustrated that there would be advertising on my blog, which I didn't put there and didn't have the right to vet. I thought about buying an account, but, well, my family's finances are tight, and there are tons of free blogging platforms out there; might as well decamp for elsewhere.

I knew about DreamWidth because I'm a part of online media fandom, and I witnessed lots of folks I know starting to use DW instead of/in addition to LiveJournal. I really appreciated the values of the organization and the work they were doing to defend free speech and be open and aboveboard with members, and their commitment that the site would always be advertising-free.

In the end, it was easy: I used an invite code I'd gotten back during Open Beta for validating my OpenID, and used it to bring [personal profile] ajnabieh over here. I continued crossposting to LiveJournal, for any of my friends who were still over there. But, realistically, they're not reading. And so, as of today, [livejournal.com profile] ajnabieh is closing for business, and [personal profile] ajnabieh is going to be my primary blog.

During Three Weeks for Dreamwidth, I'm going to try to post more often than usual, perhaps even every day, if the end of the semester doesn't exhaust me too much. I have a few ideas for posts, but I'd love to hear requests from the audience. Do you have questions about Middle Eastern or Arab-American politics that you'd like to see answered? Do you want me to rant about political theory, the politics of the academy, my vague acafannish leanings, or some other obscure topic? In the spirit of that meme going around, what do you want me to write? No promises, but I'm definitely up for a challenge.

And to round this up, two map-things, seen at [personal profile] viklikesfic.

visited 10 states (4.44%)
Create your own visited map of The World

This one looks pretty bad, at least in part because the two Middle Eastern countries I've been to (Israel and Palestine) are teeny-tiny. Also, this makes my passport itchy.

visited 25 states (50%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

This includes places I have had airplane transfers, or driven through and stopped to see something, but not that I've gone through on a train; that would add in the Carolinas.


ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
Ajnabieh - The Foreigner

March 2016

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