Kim Fernandes Annotations

Habits, Neuroses, Talents (

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 2:28am

1. Do you have more trouble articulating your frame (social theoretical questions) or object?

I definitely struggle more with articulating my frame, and the theories it draws from/speaks to. I think some of this is rooted in the nowhere-ness that I feel with my interdisciplinary positioning.

2. Do you tend to project-hop or to stick to a project, and what explains this?

I project-hop, a lot. When describing my project(s), things can/do sound vaguely inter-related, I've been told, but I think of project-hopping as not really that because all my work coagulates into one larger set of questions (at least in my understanding). When I consciously project-hop, though, I do so because I enjoy moving between different kinds of work -- provided I plan far enough in advance for it -- and because the collaborations that emerge out of this movement allow me to learn ways of noticing + knowing that I would otherwise not have encountered.

3. Do you tend to be more interested in internal dynamics, or external determinations? In the terms laid out by Keller, do you tend to focus so intently on the object of your concern that context falls away (i.e. are you obsessive compulsive, rather than paranoid)? Is your desire to name, specify and control your object? Is your desire is for figure, its ground your annoyance? Or are you paranoid, context being your focus and obsession? All is signal. Only begrudgingly will you admit that something is noise, outside the scope of your project? Figure is hard to come by. Its ground has captured your attention.

100% the latter -- I live for the context, and that makes it really hard to cut away things that might not be relevant to (field)work right now, because I'm always anxious that I'm missing out on some important context (even though I don't wind up using the vast majority of the context in my writing).

4. What do you do with unusual or counter examples? Are you drawn to “the deviant,” or rather repulsed by it?

Love "the deviant," and am here for it both academically and personally (I think being disabled has allowed me a lot of mental room to embrace how deviation is conceptualized and what meanings it takes on). I appreciate unusual/counter-examples for the ways in which they remind me that (my) knowledge is always shifting, and that there is no singular, specific way horizon.

5. Do you tend to over-impose logics on the world, or to resist the construction of coherent narratives?

I try as hard as I can to find logics that fit what I see, theories that make sense of the moment. In doing that, I also have to push myself to remember that maybe I am constructing a narrative that is more coherent than probable/useful.

6. Do you tend to over-generalize, or to hold back from overarching argument?

I hold back from overarching arguments, because "the deviant" has often reminded me that it is not possible to say 'the' fully-encapsulating thing about anything.

7. Do you like to read interpretations different than your own, or do you tend to feel scooped or intimidated by them?

I love different interpretations! They have contributed very significantly to shaping my worldview and my (academic) life -- I started out as a statistician, and I know I have strayed very far because of all of the generous, thoughtful, unbelievably rich interpretations I've read that were so different than the things I knew.

8. Do you tend to change an argument as you flesh it out, or do you tend to make the argument work, no matter what?

I'm not wedded to the argument, and will certainly change it as I flesh it out. I have a nasty habit of discovering more interesting reading as I write, which has also made for situations where I almost never know what I am writing about until I have it fully written out.

9. Do you tend to think in terms of “this is kind of like” (metaphorically)? Do you hold to examples that “say it all,” leveraging metonymic thinking?

More the former than the latter, but it depends on the situation, mood, and so many other factors.

10. Do you like gaming understanding in this way? Does it frustrate you that your answers often don’t fit easily on either side of the binaries set up by the questions? (Jakobson suggests that over attachment to a simple binary scheme is a “continuity disorder.”)

Yes and no -- I have often found imposed binaries very difficult to make my intellectual peace with, but have also sometimes appreciated the naming of a binary so that I can think of where I fall with my own work/methods/processes in more concrete terms than let-things-happen-and-I'll-see-what-comes-of-it.

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