Complit Collage is a brand-new initiative taken by the LSU Program in Comparative Literature. It comprises of a series of Podcasts, where the contents are entirely scripted, edited and researched by the graduate students of the program and can be accessed by the public free of all costs.
The topics addressed in these audio series are wide ranging — including but not limited to art, music, culture, politics and of course literature!
We would encourage all students who are a part of the program to send in topics and suggestions for future podcasts.
Anybody who wants to participate in Complit Collage may contact Anwita Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
All about Mardi Gras
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Anwita: This podcast is entirely dedicated to carnivals around the world, especially Mardi Gras which is celebrated in a colossal manner here in Louisiana, and at present I'm with Dr Carolyn Ware, associate professor of English and folklore at Louisiana State University, who has published a considerable amount of work on the Folk Life and culture of Louisiana. Welcome to our podcast Dr. Ware, this is a great honor for us to have you here with us today enlightening us on the much-loved carnival in Louisiana, Mardi Gras. So, to begin with, could you please tell us why people celebrate Mardi Gras at all?
Dr. Ware: Mardi Gras is one of what folklore is called calendar customs and these are traditions that are associated with a particular time of year and often it's when the seasons are changing so Mardi Gras comes along as winter at least in in Europe is ending and spring we're starting to believe that spring is going to happen again. So it happens partly because of changing seasons but it also is related maybe more importantly to the Catholic calendar. And so, it is Mardi Gras that falls just before the beginning of Lent. When you give up all the fun things that you give up for Lent.
Dr. Ware: So you restrict what you're eating and all those kinds of stuff.
Dr. Ware: So Mardi Gras is really pretty much a last hurrah where you eat enormously and you play and you act out in ways that you wouldn't every day and then you're ready to go ahead and be good for Lent.
Anwita: Right! I was also wondering why Mardi Gras is so important here in Louisiana of all the states.
Dr. Ware: I think that goes back to its French Louisiana and Spanish as well heritage and especially its Catholic heritage because people of Protestants don't necessarily have this same attitude towards Lent that the best way to prepare for Lent is by acting up right before hand and getting it all out of you're out of your system. So I think it it's partly because French Louisiana did have an emphasis on it plus French Louisiana had….French had a history of Mardi Gras celebrations in their homeland. And so, they probably brought that idea or those ideas of celebrating Mardi Gras over here although some of the ways that we celebrate it now are different from what they would have done then.
Dr. Ware: But I think it really is because of that French Catholic heritage that we have.
Anwita: All right. So one of the things that we can clearly associate with Mardi Gras is the king cake. So could you please tell us a little about the significance of king cake and also the baby in the cake? And right now it's more a globalising impact that the king….may be I don't know…that the king cake is available throughout the year. Was it always like that or is it just are very new theory?
Dr. Ware: I think that probably not all that long ago, King Cake was only available or people only made it and eat it during the lead up to Mardi Gras and then Mardi Gras day. And it also had French roots. And so, there is a French version of king cake which is lot flakier than what we eat. And in the old days often it would not be a little plastic baby in there but it would be some kind of ceramic charm or a bean. And the tradition is that if you get that bean or now today the baby then you're responsible for buying the next the next king cake.
Dr. Ware: And so I don't think it was as universally known and used as widely until recent years where now you can go to the bakery.
Dr. Ware: You don't have to. You don't have to make a king cake. You can go to the bakery and people in workplaces have a tradition of you know bread bringing in the king cake during Carnival season and all those kinds of things. So I think it is interesting to look at the globalization thing where it all King Cakes pretty much look the same now where most do and you have that premade little baby and all those kinds of things. But I think the way that it works the way that it functions is still pretty much the way it used to because it's basically a statement of community that you know people are coming together to have a good time and then the next person takes their turn to provide the king cake and all those kinds of stuff.
Anwita: So the last question for you! I think you're going to really going to like this..could you tell us a little about the masks that we find in Mardi Gras because we know that you already have co-authored a book on Cajun Mardi Gras masks....
Dr. Ware: I really like masks. I don't know if that says something about me but I like masks and I find them really interesting.
Dr. Ware: So in Mardi Gras the mask is I think at least on one level a way of disguising yourself because certainly in Cajun country which is very different from the New Orleans Mardi Gras but in New Orleans too if you're going to act in kind of rowdy ways on Mardi Gras as we often do then you don't want to be seen as yourself.
Dr. Ware: So you disguise yourself you turn yourself into another person or animal or thing or whatever and that gives you license to act in very different ways and of course a mask is one of the easiest ways to hide or you are you hide your face which is how people identify you and what's especially fun and this is true of a lot of Cajun Mardi Gras masks is if it's a wire screen mask that you can partly see through.
It's especially frustrating for other people because they can see a little glimpse of your face but not the whole thing and they they're trying to identify you and they can't. And that becomes part of the game. So I think that masks are to not only to hide your identity. Probably more importantly as in Halloween it's to give you a new identity that you act out that day. So if you're a young woman who puts on an old man's mask then you have that character that you can become or a monster’s mask and you can act out that throughout the day and become that that person that is not you or that animal or whatever.
Dr. Ware: So they give you a little bit more license because theoretically people don't know who you are and that way you can act up in ways that you wouldn't necessarily want to be responsible for. Of course most of it is playful and often people do take out off their masks so that it's not always that you don't know who they are.
Dr. Ware: But it's really eerie if you've ever come in contact with somebody who wears a mask and you know it's somebody you know but you don't know who it is and they're kind of “You know me!”
Dr. Ware: It's very eerie and it becomes it is game of yeah. So I think it's all part of the Mardi Gras being different than the rest of the year.
Dr. Ware: This is one day when we can mask and act in crazy ways and maybe eat too much before Lent and all those kinds of things. And so the mask really gives us a way of creating a new temporary identity for ourselves.
Anwita: Excellent. So that was Dr. Ware enlightening us about the history and the culture pertaining to Mardi Gras.
Anwita: And now to my listeners I would say if you are like me new to the entire culture of carnivals please be a part of this unique celebration whenever you can. If you are in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, superb! if you cannot make it for Mardi Gras, I guess it's fine because you can always visit the Mardi Gras Museum Of costumes and culture. This museum is founded by Carl Mack and most of the exhibits are from his personal collection.
Anwita: It has various kinds of costumes from Carnival ball royalty, Cajun Mardi Gras, gay Carnival krewes and a lot more.
Anwita: An interesting feature of this museum is that the visitors may dress themselves in Mardi Gras costumes from their collection and even take photos in the costume closet. But while New Orleans may seem to be the center of all the Mardi Gras celebrations and exquisite parades, we must not forget that Mardi Gras is celebrated in other states of the United States such as Texas and other parts of the world such as Spain Brazil and Mexico.
Anwita: In that light. My next interviewee is Eduardo from Mexico. He is a PhD student of linguistics at the University of Alabama who will tell us how Mardi Gras is celebrated in Mexico.
Anwita: So over to Eduardo.
Eduardo: Okay..So Mardi Gras! In Mexico we don’t have Mardi Gras but we have carnival and it happens exactly the same time as Mardi Gras.
Eduardo: I believe it's like 40 days prior to Easter or yeah …. 40 days prior to Easter.
Eduardo: And it's a celebration that came from Spain whatever … “The Conquest of Mexico”.
Eduardo: And that celebration is actually older than that.
Eduardo: And according to historians Carnival was like “the festival of flesh”.
Eduardo: Some people see it that way. And some other people see it like well since I'm gonna be fasting for 40 days then I want to do…you know I want to have fun. I want to eat. I want to do everything that I'm not going to be allowed to do. So I might do it now and then for 40 days I'll fast and all that.
Eduardo: So it has to do with lent you know like Catholics don't eat meat every Friday or something like that.
Eduardo: So it has to do with that.
Eduardo: Now Carnival in Mexico is celebrated mainly on the coastal areas especially Veracruz which is on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Eduardo: And the other one is on Mazatlan on the Pacific Ocean.
Eduardo: So these two areas in Mexico are highly influenced by Africans.
Eduardo: But mainly it goes on in Veracruz and because Veracruz is heavily populated by African people or people of African descent. And so, the tradition is that on a Tuesday which we call it…What is it called? Oh my gosh I forgot.
Eduardo: Yeah. So it's the death or the killing of bad humor we call it. So it starts at a Tuesday.
Eduardo: And for two weeks is what we have carnivals and parties and parades and festivities going on throughout the entire city and port of Veracruz. So yeah.
Eduardo: And then nowadays people will be like…the mayor of the city invites celebrities like actors singers or whoever is in fashion.
Eduardo: And it's really fun.
Eduardo: In my hometown we don't have a carnival, but I experienced carnival when I was in college because I went to college in Veracruz and my experience was very….it’s something very unique.
Eduardo: It’s for families as well.
Eduardo: So you see a lot of families and people going out with her family and all that stuff. So it was very enriching. It helped me understand more about South Mexican culture and especially the music and the food that we listen to it has to do a lot with it has to do a lot with African influence.
Eduardo: Now “La Rosca de Reyes” or in English people call it “epiphany”. It's celebrated on the 6th of January and I don't know this story really well about that but it's people say that it's because the three kings went to visit Jesus Christ whenever he was born.
Eduardo: I mean on Christmas on December 25th. So the legend says that thirteen days after he was born three magic Kings arrived and brought him gifts.
Eduardo: So now that every January 6 in Mexico people will go out in the streets and they give out gifts
Eduardo: Or they go to orphanage..
Eduardo: And they bring food and they bring gifts to those kids.
Eduardo: And then so the “Rosca”-- it's pretty much a king cake is the same as something that we have here in Louisiana. And it always has a little kid inside.
Eduardo: So whatever you're cut into Rosca…your slice and the real stuff and you get one slice and if you have a kid or like a toy in this slice that means that you are going to bring tamales for February or the second another festivity going on.
Eduardo: So yeah it's just you know another excuse to get together with family I guess and have a dinner and have a good time and then yeah we would do that Rosca.
Eduardo: But it's mainly that it's because in the Catholic tradition is that three kings went to visit Jesus Christ whenever he was born and they brought him gifts.
Eduardo: So people nowadays in Mexico bring gifts to kids especially low income kids. I mean kids that live in low income households and stuff. So yeah that's that's pretty much what it is.
Anwita: Thank you Eduardo. That was amazing. Now what about the ones to whom Mardi Gras is a fairly new experience? we have with us Monojit, from India who is a PhD student of chemistry at Louisiana State University. Let's see how he celebrated Mardi Gras last year.
Monojit: So I came last year and I went to ICC in the Mardi Gras festival because I was a part of ICC and there was one event and I saw like the Mardi Gras is kind of carnival of Brazil, consisting of road show and people come in different colors, different costume, and different kind of cars and they also throw a lot of chains. And I was having cakes basically king cake and I found that there was some baby dolls inside the cake and I heard stories that it’s a part of the Mardi festival.
Anwita: So that was about carnivals especially Mardi Gras. Some interesting things that I have found out which also gives us an idea of how huge and important these carnivals are in people's lives. In New Orleans. there are bakeries which are entirely dedicated to the production of king cakes all around the year and during Mardi Gras of course they are the busiest. You can also find costume designers who only work on Mardi Gras costumes and some of their creations are even worth 2000 to 3000 dollars. Wow! That sort of brings us to the end of this podcast.
Anwita: But before I bid goodbye, I want to let you know that the pictures that I have used for the cover are from Dr. Ware’s collection and she was really kind to allow me to take those photographs.
Anwita: Mardi Gras 2020!! It will take place on 25th February. And it's a Tuesday. So, if you happen to be in the United States do not miss it, as aptly said by Mark Twain “I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans”.
Introduction to Comparative Woman
Right before the launching of Comparative Woman, the journal of Comparative Literature, Nano and Anwita engages in an informal conversation with Liz, the present editor-in-chief of the journal, to ask her about the first issue and the intended readers for the journal.
Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud:
Transcript of Podcast 1:
[00:00:07] Hello everyone. Welcome to Complit Collage. [00:00:10][2.9]
Anwita: [00:00:11] I'm Anwita, with my co presenter Nano
Nano: And we are PhD students in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. Today we will like to begin by introducing you to the first issue of our departmental journal-Comparative Woman. [00:00:29][18.6]
Anwita: [00:00:30] This podcast is very special not only because it is the first episode of our podcast, but also because we interviewed Liz in her office—a week before the first issue of Comparative Woman was released. Liz is the editor in chief of Comparative Woman. So, here’s presenting to you the full interview with Liz. Hope you really enjoy it! [00:00:55][24.5]
Anwita: Hi Liz!
Anwita: [00:00:58] I would like everybody to know that Liz is also a PhD student like us and she has worked very hard to finally bring out this journal. [00:01:06][8.1] Or, I think it is still in the process of being published?
Anwita: And now we are going to talk to Liz about her ideas, challenges and her journey through conceiving the idea of publishing the Journal to eventually giving shape to it. [00:01:24][17.1]
[00:01:24] Liz welcome to our podcast. And congratulations for your journal.
Liz: Thank you. I'm so honored to be here. [00:01:32][7.2]
Anwita:[00:01:33] The honor is ours.
Nano: Okay…hello. Let us know how you decided to name this journal as you name it. [00:01:45][12.4]
Liz: [00:01:46] I…I wish I had a deep back story about how how in my childhood this title had meaning and this is used in here but it is not. [00:01:55][9.2]
[00:01:57] I wanted to create a journal that really talked about topics I felt like weren’t getting this space to be talked about. [00:02:07][10.0]
[00:02:08] I know with us being in comparative literature we tend to want to venture out of the traditional Eurocentric—mainly American and English literature which is so when you look at the Western canon it's so male dominated, so white male dominated and I wanted to have a space where we start talking more in depth about literature and all other types of art created by so many other brilliant people who just aren't really getting that recognition, be it, People of color or LGBTQ people or women, in the States but also across the world. In calling it Comparative Woman I was thinking a lot about bridging the gap between Comparative Literature and bringing in Women and Gender Studies and I feel like maybe Comparative Woman in a way is a bit of a misnomer because it's not just about women. [00:03:19][28.8]
Anwita: [00:03:19] Yeah.
Liz: It’s so much…
Anwita: It shouldn’t be misleading…
Liz: It's misleading in a way. Because it's it's definitely not just about women it's about more than just women
Anwita: It’s gender as a whole…
Liz: It's gender as well. But we're sticking with the title. Yeah it's open to not just women and especially not just cis women not just cis gendered women. It's open to all these wide range of topics in its essence comparative literature is about bringing in all these other things comparing contrasting having this wide ranged view and not just sticking to like oh I'm going to be stuck in this one language in this one viewpoint and this one disciplinary discipline. [00:04:14][46.2] And so that's really what it's supposed to embody in itself. [00:04:20][3.3]
[00:04:21] The main goal and mission of this journal is to bring together art and academia and put artists and academics in conversation with each other and bridge that gap between them because I feel like there is a gap which really shouldn't exist because there are so many artists who are academic and there's so many academics who also create art. I myself am a poet and a musician and so why should you have to choose. I'm getting a master's in English I'm getting a PhD in Comparative literature but does that mean I can't create art anymore. No. There are so many artists who are in academia and there are so many people who may not be in the traditional academic sphere who are having these very…..I don't even want to just say deep but these very insightful conversations about art and literature who have this different view who have similar views to some people who are working in academia and I think both groups which often very much so overlap have very interesting things to say and I want this to be a community where we are talking about these types of art, these creative forms that are created by a wide range of people not just you know no offense to Shakespeare but not just Shakespeare
Liz: I love Shakespeare but all these these other authors these other writers these other creatives these artists musicians out there and there's so much value in hearing from that and learning from that and just breaking that traditional idea of what it means to be an academic or what it means to be an artist and what it means to even have those conversations in the first place.
And I think having it be specifically a digital journal that is free for everyone to access you don't have to be an LSU student to access it or to even participate in it and to expand it out to social media. So, we have our Instagram which is at Comparative Woman and our Facebook which is at Comparative Woman LSU, for everyone to kind of get on and put these insightful thoughts in. I know from the experience, being in a Comparative Literature class. And there are so many people who are of different ages, different backgrounds, from different countries, who have degrees in different things and it's so valuable because all these different perspectives are coming in and we're talking about you know all this differently…..I mean it must have been when we had our biography of Latin America. It was literature which was taught by history professor which gave a whole new insight to even talking about literature and how you view literature and how you view history and where history even comes from. But a lot of people who were in the course weren't history students who weren't into literature and people who weren't very familiar with Latin American literature.
Anwita: Like myself…
Liz: Yes I mean coming from India, like that and hearing what you had to say and how you were processing it in the way you were comparing things, that is so rich and fulfilling and I want to take that out of just our small classroom and introduce that to so many people who have other things to say and I think it's so valuable and that's that's the beauty of social media communities which is what I want to have that component of it, but to just kind of bridge all these gaps and have these conversations expand outside of the classroom because people regardless of your education, regardless of where you're from, you have so many valuable interesting things to say and I just want to foster that not just for the LSU community or the Baton Rouge and Louisiana community but also inviting other people as well. [00:08:25][126.2]
Anwita: [00:08:27] Wow. So it really means that you are trying to go against the grain with your focus on gender from all spheres and different kinds of people, with pouring their experiences and not just limiting it to the academia. [00:08:41][14.1]
Anwita: [00:08:42] OK. So let me tell you Liz is just not the Editor-in-chief of Comparative WOman but also hosting two events which are going to be on February 8 and it is a part of Comparative Woman. So liz, can you tell us a little more about these events?
Liz: [00:09:04] OK. So, the first one is on February 8th. It's Friday. So Friday February 8th from 6:00p.m. to 9p.m. in the Women's Center on campus at LSU. It's right by the LSU bookstore and it is an open mike slash open gallery showcase. So pretty much like a traditional open mic you would have people come in at the door and they sign up for whatever time slot to perform for about seven minutes. So it's open to poets, musicians. We have someone who intends to come and do comedy like a standup like seven minutes stand up…and so just like a traditional open mike in that sense. But there's also another component which is the open gallery/open showcase so visual artists can come in setup there art and kind of have this pop up gallery. That idea came from the fact that we feature both literature and poetry and comparative women but we also feature art as well. And I think there's so many people especially in our community who may be academics who do painting or who are artists and want to participate in these conversations and who don't necessarily get the opportunities or spaces to really show or display or talk about their work and I wanted to create a space not only for networking but for conversation. For critique. For creative communities to kind of come together and talk about art and experience each other’s network and learn from each other and also give exposure to these different…how am I gonna say this…give exposure to people who are doing different things are doing interesting things that may not necessarily have the opportunity or the space to go out and do something in the more traditional sphere. I guess is how I wanted to put it.
Nano: I have a little question. Where did this idea come from?
Liz: I am someone who really..I can't just go to class and go home. I have to have something to do. And I was looking for something to do. This came out of me to keep myself sane. In undergrad I was very very active. I worked three or four on campus jobs I was involved in like three or four on campus organizations at the same time…..
Anwita: Wow. That’s a lot.
Liz: Some of them like I was in charge of or had a Vice President position or so I've always been like I need to be active. I think if anything it stresses me out more than nothing to do. Not that this isn't stressful but this is like a good stress. It is like a productive stress but I just kind of wanted something to do and I have a personal belief that when you join a university when you start in a university and even more so your program is not just about what that university can provide to you but what value you can give to the university. Not that I want to be like you know so incredibly capitalist like..what value like what is the cost!!! But I think it's important to give back to where you are attending. Like what are you doing for the people in your program? what are you doing for yourself in that program? What are you adding or contributing to the conversation..
Anwita: Because it is the students who enrich the program ultimately
Liz: They do and Professors are so crucial. we have so many amazing professors in Comparative Literature. They're so amazing and so enriching. But, I was just talking to some people earlier you know a class..even just a class..the professors are one part of the class but the students also really make the class. That shows where the conversation is going to go what are we going to talk.
Anwita: especially in Grad classes where the students lead the conversation. [00:13:27][2.4]
Liz: [00:13:28] Yeah and it shows like that really brings out where we're going to go.
Anwita: I know you already talked a lot about what kind of entries you are expecting, and what kind of entries we can expect to see in your first issue but still offer us and our listeners a sneak peek at the kind of articles that are going to feature in the first issue. [00:13:54][12.5]
[00:13:56] Yes. So. one of the issues…..yeah, I am kind of trying to like think since there's so many. So, I'm trying to make sure I get titles and names right.
Anwita: But you can just talk about what kind of……. [00:14:07][11.1]
[00:14:08] Yeah I know. Yes. So, one of the articles that really interests me was by Dr. Katherine Quinn, and there’s one about like meditator. Like how the art of drama. And how that is a meditative practices. This issue is on spirituality. So that's why we were like interpreters. Well everyone interpreted because we want those wide perspectives of what spirituality is to others. And then that conversation. And so this was a very interesting article about how this was a healing and meditative practice and she's someone who is an educator in nursing as well as a bunch of other a bunch of other disciplines and so that was really enriching to have that. We have a lot of poetry. Poetry really is like a stand up thing for this issue. Poetry is really going you know like it's really like we have more poems than anything right now for this issue. And we allow people to submit multiple injuries. So, we have some people who have published two or three poems and other people just have one short poem. There are a lot of different people like different forms of the poems, like Taylor Scott who was a student here. She did a kind of found poem. So, Found poem is when you take different lines from different pieces and you create a poem. So, I think that's a very amazing exercise in comparative literature within itself to take you know these lines from differing pieces and see how you put them together and it makes its own thing. And I'm like that is beautifully represent right. Well what we do in comparative literature and that one is called “Dark Energy” and that's going to be the next issue. We have a lot of people who were referencing authors and thinkers, so we have one poet who's talking about Jose Marti and that is a very descriptive and detailed poem. And people are making these very great arguments about how they view spirituality or the afterlife or how they view themselves their relationships not only with God but like what what is God. You know some people are talking in a traditional Abrahamic sense and other people are like ‘No, I am doing it in the other way’. One of the other authors who published a poem…she actually just finished her degree her graduate degree in Library Information Studies. And so she published a poem and she was talking about like how I see the face of God in this and this and that and then I was a very interesting poem and then you have other people talking about their relationship with past family members and how they cope with that. We have a lot of different perspectives on spirituality and some people may find things controversial some people may go “I read that and I feel this exact same thing”. And I think well both are very valuable. It is very valuable to have something where people are addressing these in different ways and different perspectives and we have people who are coming from the academia and we have people who are coming from different disciplines and we also have people who are just in the community who also submit and I also have some of my own work..
Anwita: Yeah… I was just going to ask you about that.
Liz: So with my work I actually submitted two in two different categories so the first is my poetry which I publish under my stage name Lizzie Nova. I'm talking deeply about my ancestral connection, like spirituality being experienced with those who you may not have met in your blood line they feel their presence and they impact you in your life. The people in your family who are no longer here but how somehow are ever present. And my second entry which is actually an interview with my mother which is rooted in what my thesis topic is going to be in: dream interpretation in afro diasporic communities..mainly Louisiana. I'm still still working on the title there. But my mother is a dream interpreter and I interviewed her on what is dream interpretation, and what it is like and her ability to talk to the dead through the dreams or the dreams being a representative of message and symbolism through your higher self and that's something that's always been a part of my upbringing. It was also the thing that really got me interested in literature because interpreting dreams is not very different from interpreting a text and pointing out the symbolism and what that means and that's how doing that in when I was younger and trying to figure out those messages or see the symbolism and what that means that really helped me throughout my career and got me to the doctorate level doing literature. And so that's something I carry with me that I use in my everyday life just in a slightly different way. And so, I have an interview about that with my mommy and I was so excited about that. [00:20:00][6.0]
Anwita: [00:20:00] We are too!
Nano: I have more! let's see what’ behind the scenes…behind the scenes of the journal. I know that it took quite a bit of time but tell us about the challenge that you faced. Do you think that there was a time when thought about giving up. [00:20:25][8.3]
Liz: [00:20:29] I don't want to say there was ever a point where I was like I'm going to give up because it’s just not me which can be a vice sometimes. But, from the beginning this had an amazing support. This had amazing support from from Dr. Otero. she's very excited and everyone talked about this with who she talked to which is always great to have that type of departmental support where it's not just me and like “yeah yeah whatever that sounds great” but like also being excited and and caring about it and promoting it to other people and it's just been such an amazing process because of her.
Anwita: Right. Liz, I know you talked a lot about who are going to be our target writers, readers and who are going to be the contributors……but this is going to be the last question. So could you sort of summarize in short that who are going to be your target readers, as in Who were those target readers in your mind when you first had this idea. [00:21:32][16.1]
Liz: [00:21:33] Everyone.
Anwita: That’s a good answer and I like it. [00:21:39][5.8]
Liz: [00:21:39] I think ideally that's what most people want when they start anything. Everyone…you know….everyone should be reading this all the time.
Liz: No I think I wanted to start this for the people who were really feeling I guess frustrated in those moments where you pick up a journal and your like “Oh my goodness this is the fiftieth time I've seen the same exact article by just replace the name it's the same thing”. You know you. You're looking for something, “like oh I want to read more about literature from this place” and it's like you're not seeing that, you're not seeing these translations, you're not seeing people working with that in your language. And there are people around the world and even in the states who do incredible things, who are doing very groundbreaking amazing things. And there are people who have ideas who haven't had the chance yet or the platform yet to use them. And I really wanted to give a space even if it's a tiny space. Just give a space to people who wanted to talk about gender studies especially since we're having these conversations about what is gender what is sexuality and where are we getting these concepts from. [00:23:10][23.6]
[00:23:11] What do we do. How do we view gender and sexuality and what are the multiple ways to do it and what are people talking about in multiple areas in multiple languages in multiple forms about that. How are people expressing that, how people are comparing and contrasting it. Just giving a space to something that, ‘Yes it exists’. I'm never going to say that. But putting….trying to find the best word..like putting even if it's just a little drop in the ocean of like an area to have these conversations about things they don't feel like are getting talked about or perspectives they don't feel have either been valued in the academia or now or just in general at all. And I am someone I did my minor in social media in my undergrads and I'm very interested in these groups and how they form and what social media does to community. [00:24:21][9.5]
Liz: [00:24:22] You know I think my Facebook obsession has contributed a lot to it. Like people who are having these conversations and discussions whether or not they're academics and these people are having this conversation. These conversations are impacting a lot of things all over the world in many different ways and people are expressing themselves in different ways and in different mediums about it. [00:24:45][23.0]
Anwita: [00:24:45]:Right. What is mainstream and what is not.
Liz: You know, and I wanted to do something that gave us a place to express especially when it's self-expression has felt so dangerous especially over these past couple of years where diversity and differences felt very dangerous to have or bear consequences in these past couple of years and this is a way to create a safe space for that I want to contribute to that conversation which I think is ultimately what we're all doing whether we're artists or academics we're trying to contribute something in some form to a larger conversation. And I think that's really what it is all. [00:25:23][37.5]
[00:25:24] Hi again we're back to our studio after interviewing Liz and of course after going through comparative woman. I'm so excited to share all the beautiful entries in the journal. But I'd rather not spoil all the fun for you. We really hope that you liked our interview and would definitely be motivated to take a look at Comparative Woman. You can access it free of cost at digitalcommons.lsu.edu/comparativewoman. [00:25:52][27.4]
Nano: [00:25:53] OK, Anwita. this is the end of the first podcast and I am super excited to do the next one. What do you think we should talk about? [00:26:01][7.8]
[00:26:01] Mardi Gras is around the corner! Why not have something on Mardi Gras? [00:26:05][3.2]
[00:26:05] Yes, Anwita. Why not? We are in Louisiana after all. Why don't we tell everyone about these interesting Carnival--Mardi Gras that we have here? [00:26:13][8.1]
[00:26:14] That's great. Let's find out more about Mardi Gras after we walk out of our studio today. And to our listeners thank you for listening to us. See you all on the next podcast. Bye. [00:26:14][0.0]