Cover image: quilt art by Karen Maple featuring solitary incarcerated figures behind bars
Posing in Prison: Family Photographs, Emotional Labor, and Carceral Intimacy
The photographs they send are studio portraits taken by incarcerated photographers whose job in prison is to take pictures. Allen poses in these photographs sometimes with props, always in uniform. The backdrops are designed and painted by incarcerated people. They break up the uniformity and repetition of the prison attire and staged poses. There are also photographs from our visits to see Allen. In most of these, he stands in the center and we huddle around, hugging him as tightly as we can.
mu-susanfriedman2.jpg
Spatialization: A Strategy for Reading Narrative
Friedman adapts Julia Kristeva's spatial tropes to suggest that we can read narrative by interpreting the text's horizontal and vertical narrative movements and intersections. 
The Tyranny of Stories
My livelihood depends on fiction. To this end I have published a book arguing for the importance of literature in life. I have posted personal blogs that combine internal reflection with cultural commentary. In short, I see the absolute importance of narrative in life and work. Yet, I also realize that stories can get in the way of understanding life.
Four Generators and the Power of Stories
I got a new lesson on the force of narrative during the blackout that affected much of the mid-west and east coast in early July. It was the third time our own neighborhood had experienced an extended power outage in four years. This time, however, the temperatures soared to the 100F mark for eight powerless days.
Gatz
If you're in New York and seeing You can't get there from here but you can get here from there, the show that Claire Bowen described in a recent post, you should also try to see another astonishing union of literary work and vivid display in the the seven hour production of Gatz at the Public Theater
In defense of the diachronic (but possibly not of narrativity)
This is a response to Joshua Landy’s post “What’s wrong with narrative?” I'm coming late to this discussion; more to the point, I'm an art historian, and not a scholar of literature, and therefore am familiar with a different range of critical writing than some of you. I'm also a Sinologist and not a scholar of Western culture.
Against Narratives III. Or a Certain Kind of Narrative
A recent talk by my colleague Joshua Landy on "Still Life in a Narrative Age: Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation," and the comments on my most recent blog "Against Narrative" made me cruelly aware of a divide between on the one hand the perception of what Josh and myself see as the creeping dominance of narrative models to think about life, but also, by extension, to experience it.
The Hermeneutics of Babies
Babies are usually the stuff of private life, clichés, and endearing memories that we check out as we set foot on campus grounds. Yet babies are the greatest--and arguably the cutest--hermeneutic subjects.