The Third Chair
by Tavia Nyong’o, New York University
This research blog is inspired by Bruno Latour’s Reassembling the Social, in which he recommends that researchers keep four simultaneous kinds of notebooks: a research log, a database, a notebook of free writing and thoughts, and a notebook of the after effects one’s research has on and in the world. That suggestion reminded me of a quote a friend once introduced to me from Walden, in which the writer recalling having three chairs, one for solitude, two for friendship, and three for society.
This blog is that third chair. As I post results from my project — which is to explore within popular music insights that queer theory to date has located primarily within literature — I hope to glean reaction and response from interested and committed readers.
I won’t be sharing my entire process. This isn’t quite full frontal research nudity. But I do want to experiment with modes of informal discussion and debate, and possibly open peer review in which fans, journalists, and musicians, as well other theorists and scholars, get to weigh in before, during and after the publication process.