About Me and My Blog


Cheryl Spinner is a third-year doctoral student in the department of English at Duke University. She received her Master’s in English in from Georgetown University (’10). Cheryl specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and Science and Technology Studies. Her research interests also include queer readings of Talmudic and Rabbinic law, in addition to the yiddish literatary movement.

About The Blog

I began the blog at Georgetown as part of an initiative in the English Department, spear-headed by the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship to help foster a sense of community amongst the graduate students in addition to serving as a helpful tool for research and cognitive mapping.

Because I began this blog at the very beginning of my Master’s (September 2008, to be exact),  it serves as an archive of my intellectual process througout that two year period. So in older posts you will find my ideas for my orals/thesis she completed at Georgetown, in addition to my general thoughts on the wonderful process that is the Ph.D. application process when I was applying to Ph.D. programs. I’ve continued using this blog so my most recent posts will be about my research journey at Duke.

My blog is an example of where the public and private intersect. On the one hand, my blog serves as my research hub, where I can gather random thoughts that would otherwise be scrawled on the edges of crumpled napkins and post-its. But it’s not just that. This blog is an attempt to change the way research has been conducted; it is an attempt to bring informal, embryonic research into a scholarly dialogue.

Like most academics, I have a love-hate relationship with the research process. While I love finding an obscure text and coming to grand conclusions, I recognize that the process to coming to such epiphanies can be isolating. This blog is part of an effort to make the research process more visible to both my colleagues and friends at  Georgetown and scholars at other universites.

Some Notes About My Blog’s Layout

  • You may notice lots of posts of really great critical authors and some important passages. They may be clunky and annoying to read, but I have been posting these as part of an effort to track important passages for those dreaded orals and thesis research.  I’ve found if I don’t document what I’ve been reading, I’m bound to forget it. Like, all of it.  You may find these notes useful. You may not. What’s also really neat about this is that most of these authors are the “big hitters” in the field, so now that I’ve outlined their important points, I’ll always have these outlines.
  • To the right of my blog, you’ll find my pages, categories, tagcloud, links, and numerous RSS feeds. Since this blog also functions as my research hub, some of these links may not be useful to you. But feel free to fiddle with them.

If you have any questions or comments I can be reached at cs525@georgetown.edu

If you would like to see other English grad students and their blog, please go to http://blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/MAENGL

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