Feb 7, 2009, 2:01 AM
Post #114 of 128
Re: [Khalilah] Indiana Fiction
[In reply to]
First number is number of fall courses to be taught, second number is number of spring courses to be taught (by the TA).
Thanks for clarifying, and you raise another interesting point, though I don't know that anyone shies away from a multi-cultural environment in the MFA setting, largely because it's not literally possible to do this... i.e. you don't know who your cohort will be (or, to put a finer point on it, what your cohort will be writing about or what perspectives they will be writing through) when you agree to matriculate.
Perhaps Indiana, which has a publicly-stated multi-cultural focus, would be a sort of "test setting" for the idea that caucasians would/might shy away from such an academic framework?... though, on the other hand, Indiana is right now rated the 12th most popular MFA program in the United States (out of 200+ MA and MFA creative writing programs), so if caucasians are shying away they're doing a terrible job of it(!) :-)
In any case, I wonder if the confusion isn't partly the distinction between racial, ethnic, and religious categorizations? I'm Jewish myself, and those who don't know much about Judaism sometimes think of us/refer to us as a race or ethnicity and not (as is correct) as a religion. Likewise, if I understand how you're using "anglo" I think you're saying you mean "caucasian," which is a racial categorization obviously, whereas "anglo" as I understood it definitionally would be an ethnic classification (those with an English heritage), so most white Americans and white Europeans wouldn't fit that classification (and as the Wikipedia article noted--and I'd never thought of this!--Irish-Americans are probably most likely to be offended by being called, effectively, British).
Phew! All of which is neither here nor there I guess. I think the more important point is that (at least here in Iowa) use of the word "mainstream" is somewhat frowned upon and out-of-vogue, as it's not clear what that word even means anymore in terms of aesthetics. Speaking only from my experiences here, I can say that I don't think (if you mean "mainstream" from the standpoint of topicality, not aesthetics) many writers identify themselves (and I'm not saying you are) mainly on the basis of the topics they write about. Doing that tends to make workshopping impossible, which is sort of the point you were making I think. As a poet, I don't think in terms of topicality (I'm not that type of poet, so to speak), and my perspective is a mish-mash of aesthetics filtered through a humanist worldview. Hmm. A lot to think about!