One of the things I appreciate about The New Inquiry is that it pays attention to gender issues without trumpeting itself as The Intellectual Site About Gender. (Not that I wouldn’t love to see that site, mind you.) Its writers and editors skillfully use gender to illustrate political and philosophical concepts, and to show how the two are inextricably linked. To write of precarious labor (a recurring topic at TNI) without considering gender, for example, is to write incompletely; the team there knows and intuits this, and it shows.
I’ve frequently argued on here that to not take beauty seriously is to not take women’s lives seriously. From the ground up, The New Inquiry understands that to not take women’s lives seriously is to not take the full spectrum of culture, intellectual life, labor, education, and public discourse seriously. Some wonderful examples of this include Malcolm Harris’s review of Sleeping Beauty, Elizabeth Greenwood’s examination of the wives of Woody Allen, and Sara Wookey’s account of bodily labor and Martina Abramovic. TNI also manages to not make “gender” code for “women”: Max Fox’s look at how Grindr reflects a shifting gay community, Elissa Lerner’s take on the “muscular Christianity” of Tim Tebow. And, of course, there’s plenty that isn’t specifically about gender at all. Look around. You’ll like what you see.
My fellow bloggers are also pretty fantastic. Two are new to me—political bloggers Evan Calder Williams and Aaron Bady—but I'm eager for that to change. Others I’ve been following for a while and may be of particular interest to readers of The Beheld. Christine Baumgarthuber of Austerity Kitchen writes on “plebian culinary practices, past and present, in their historical context.” (I suspect the fashion historians among you may find your interests dovetailing with hers.) Designer and creator Imp Kerr is the mind responsible for the series of fake American Apparel ads that slyly poked fun at the company’s ethos. Maryam Monalisa Gharavi examines concepts of the global and conceptual south in the aptly named south/south, including issues of visibility, which you know I just eat up. And faithful readers of my roundups will recognize Rob Horning of Marginal Utility, whose writings on the cultivation of the self have shaped much of my own thinking on the topic. (Truth be told, half of the books I draw on repeatedly here are plucked from his library, but shhhh. I’m hoping he won’t notice that his entire John Berger collection has vanished.)
As for how this will change The Beheld: It won’t. It’s a syndication, not a move, meaning that the-beheld.com will continue as usual, as will my already-existing syndication on Open Salon. The TNI blog will have some cool features that I don’t have here, including a nifty margins footnote tool that I’ll probably go way overboard with for a while, but the rest of the content will be the same. (Huge thanks to Imp Kerr for the awesome logo for The Beheld at TNI, which you can see at the top of the page. Now where was Mlle Kerr a year ago when I spent eight hours trying to attach a fake ponytail to my picture and then silhouette it at 60% shading?) It’ll also remain the same in topic, scope, and tone—though after seeing the ways my thinking and writing have shifted over the past 12 months just from exposing myself to more thinkers and writers in my general field, I’d be surprised if the syndication didn’t affect my thinking in some ways. And that’s a good thing.
So that’s that! I just wanted to let regular readers here know that there’s a mirror blog at TNI. I try to always respond to comments over here and plan on continuing to do so; it remains to be seen if there will be a different vibe in the comments over there, but if you’re craving more dialogue you may want to pop your head in over there to see if there’s a conversation happening that you’d like to join. But like I said, things around here are going to remain the same. The New Inquiry asked me to team up with them because they like what I do, after all, so changing what I do now would be beside the point.
And with that, onward!