Some Blood-Soaked Point: A Review of ‘Tarantino and Theology’

When dealing with a creator as distinctive in style, content, attitude, and execution as Quentin Tarantino, the reactions to both the man and his works (to say nothing of their implications) is usually much like Tarantino’s approach itself: loud, colorful, passionate, divisive, and maybe just a little bit out of left field, for better, and also sometimes for worse. Be it one of these things, all of these things, some of these things, or none of them, Tarantino and Theology brings to the table an anthology of essays leading us up through Tarantino’s second-most-recent feature-length release—Django Unchained—and released in advance of his first-most-recent film, The Hateful Eight.

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At large, the collection boasts a vast breadth of focus and style: perhaps in itself reminiscent of the iconic Kill Bill: Vol. 1 scene with the Crazy 88s—a veritable fountain of unending lifeblood spouting from a singular source only to soak from various angles, leaving singular splatter-patterns that still share the same crimson hue (or, in the case of the scene’s monochrome: deeply saturated grey).

 

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SGSAH Blogger-In-Residence: The Doctoral Experience—Networking

In currently serving as the Blogger-In-Residence for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, I’ve had the unique opportunity to weight-in and reflect upon various aspects of the doctoral experience. Via weekly posts, here are my varied insights into this process known as Earning the PhD.

 

For some people, it’s the greatest thing ever. For others, it’s tantamount to a curse word.

Networking.

Credit: Paramount/Dreamworks' "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (Source: http://honorsprogram.gwublogs.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/10/networking-meme.jpeg)

Whether someone reminds you to “be sure to network!” at your next conference, asks if you have business cards ready to hand out to “broaden your network”, or maybe there’s an event in your diary reminding you of a “Networking Opportunity” that exists for the sole purpose of networking: you’ve more likely than not been inundated with the push to make strategic academic and career connections in and around your field of study.

The main issue addressed here regarding this necessary (but not always pleasant) phenomenon is how to find your comfort zone in getting the job done. Because yes, you probably do need to do it, not just for its ends in meeting the “right people” to make the next steps in your research career, but also for the skills that networking does offer you on a broader scale. So, when the concept is often referenced rather monolithically, how do you go about tackling this networking project?

Credit: The History Channel's Ancient Aliens (Source:https://memegenerator.net/instance/45063163)

 

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SGSAH Blogger-In-Residence: The Doctoral Experience—How To Say ‘No’; Or: Discerning in the Face of ‘Too Much’ Opportunity

In currently serving as the Blogger-In-Residence for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, I’ve had the unique opportunity to weight-in and reflect upon various aspects of the doctoral experience. Via weekly posts, here are my varied insights into this process known as Earning the PhD.

 

Full disclosure: this is an area of the doctoral process—nay, perhaps the life process—that I am still working on. However, that does place me in a particularly sympathetic mindset regarding the struggle of juggling far more things than is advisable for a human being to juggle (and, as a result, learning deliberately how to set some things down before they fall and break and spill all over the place).

Credit: Marvel Studios' The Avengers/Avengers Assemble (Source: http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/5-11-2015/8k7dOr.gif)

This juggling process, of course, is also known as, being a doctoral researcher. It’s an unavoidable condition of our work.

Fact is, though: we spend a great deal of our time fretting about a hypothetical lack of opportunities that may or may not come our way, or worrying over pending applications for funding or training or travel or research—and all of this, at least partially, is rooted in an anxiety over the idea of what we won’t have.

In reality, however, we often (possibly more so than not) find ourselves facing just the opposite problem: a veritable glut of opportunities. This conference (whether you’re presenting or otherwise), that training module, some panel you might serve on, or internship you might elect to take, or a travel bursary you might make use of for research or language that might then involve a direct-flight-connection to another event, resulting in your flat in Scotland sitting empty for months at a time and then—

You see what I mean?

Regardless of whether this is a portrait of your life stroke-for-stroke, or an exaggeration of what is still a conflict of interests (in a very literal sense) in your daily life, such a state of affairs is often characterised as the “best” problem to have. Yet it is still a problem that needs solving: in the face of many excellent, how do you know which to take and which to pass up? How do you say ‘no’ when everything sounds like a great idea in one respect or another?

Again: I’m still working through this one myself, but I can offer some pointers based on the insights I’ve come to across my own grappling with this particular issue.

 

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SGSAH Blogger-In-Residence: The Doctoral Experience—Transferrable Skills

In currently serving as the Blogger-In-Residence for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, I’ve had the unique opportunity to weight-in and reflect upon various aspects of the doctoral experience. Via weekly posts, here are my varied insights into this process known as Earning the PhD.

It’s something of a buzzword; the new “synergy”: Transferrable Skills. We’re meant to identify them, and cultivate them, and position them just so on a CV or present them definitively in an interview—but what are they, really? What does the term mean, what does it entail and encompass: what are these ever-so-valuable Transferrable Skills, save for just one more thing we’re meant to accumulate before earning our qualifications and moving on to the job market, on top of so many other things?

Credit: Marvel's The Avengers/Avengers Assemble (Source: https://em.wattpad.com/e13949de9c906452b68803f620fd509acca9e2f6/687474703a2f2f69313036382e70686f746f6275636b65742e636f6d2f616c62756d732f753435392f456d79617765736f6d6570616e74732f69726f6e2d6d616e5f35676966706167657370656564636574443878644a48312d355f7a707362353661343231362e676966?s=fit&h=360&w=360&q=80)

The answer is that transferable skills can be found just about anywhere, if you keep a wary eye for them, and they don’t really require more effort, most of the time; just a new perspective. With that small shift at the core, we can break down the bulk of Transferrable Skills into quick and easy steps that will help you maximise every skill-driven experience you undertake as a doctoral researcher (including, perhaps, a few you didn’t even expect would qualify!) in order to showcase the many areas of both study and practice, within and beyond your specific field, in which you shine.

(Credit: Xena: Warrior Princess; Source: https-//38.media.tumblr.com/23ef8a0620c2890727c066a5d7e5061e/tumblr_inline_nc5mvicypg1rcmaq0)

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SGSAH Blogger-In-Residence: The Doctoral Experience—Imposter Syndrome

In currently serving as the Blogger-In-Residence for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, I’ve had the unique opportunity to weight-in and reflect upon various aspects of the doctoral experience. Via weekly posts, here are my varied insights into this process known as Earning the PhD.

It’s likely you’ve heard about it—in passing, in a lecture, in a TED Talk. It’s even more likely that you’ve experienced it, whether or not you knew what to call it: that nagging feeling that you’re not really equipped to be where you are, doing what you’re doing; that you haven’t quite earned it like other people, that you’ve likely just waltzed your way in unnoticed, allowed to skirt the edges by chance and luck without begin caught out as the fraud that you really are. Maybe you were assigned a book for class and only skimmed it, where your course mates have the margins marked with notes, and you take this as tangible proof of your status as less than deserving of your place. Perhaps you’re offered an opportunity to speak at a conference with tenured professors and experienced professionals whilst you’re simply a doctoral researcher, and you’re absolutely convinced that they must have made some egregious error in the selection and acceptance process, or perhaps you’re just the token doctoral researcher to secretly criticize, only there to make the real researchers look good. Or, maybe the name of a particular scholar gets tossed about in a lecture, someone everyone seems to know and you’ve never heard of, and you’re reduced to the shameful search on the library catalogue for titles like Guide for the Perplexed, proving yet again that you’re just not up to snuff, that you’re masquerading as a real scholar, that someone along the line was just horribly mistaken at precisely the wrong moment, and in reality, you’re not able to hack it.

US Vice President Joseph Biden (Source: 24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbrauuIMFs1rno750o1_500)

This desperately unpleasant spiral of questioning and self-doubt is most frequently referred to as Imposter Syndrome. The good news is: it’s not a disorder in the sense that something wrong, or even that it’s all that uncommon—quite the contrary in fact, it is seen in countless high-achieving individuals across numerous cultures, both male and female, throughout the age and career spectrum.

The not-so-good news is: because it’s not a disorder? There’s no tried-and-true treatment. You can’t take a tablet and go about your day, confident that your pesky Imposter Syndrome will be taken care of in the meantime. So, in lieu of a quick fix, here are a few things to keep in mind in trying to manage the relatively repulsive phenomenon known as Imposter Syndrome, and in so managing, hopefully doing your best to come to terms with the lies it tries very hard to make you believe.

HBO's Game of Thrones (Source: giphy.com/gifs/game-of-thrones-got-impostor-syndrome-xTiTnFYfWaCICGDvsk)

 

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