Sunday, 22 July 2012

Reviewing writings from the Past

Prompted by a recent Twitter thread I have published an edited version of my MA thesis on this blog ( and also as a note on

I wrote the original thesis entitled : Multiple Gender Identities of the Isthmus Zapotec and the Transition of the Household into a Neoliberal Mexico back in 2006. As well as the submission for my MA in Social Anthropology is was also intended as the project for my first attempt at gaining a PhD (which turned into a major disaster but that's for another time and place!).

Photo from
Re-reading, editing and re-posting sections of this thesis has presented me with some opportunity for reflection. The original tweet thread from @icdad and @ThinkMexican reminded me of the months of thinking, reading and writing about the complexities of gender and sexuality constructions in Latin America I had done, that now seem a distant past. Just what happens to all that stuff we learn in our early academic and educational journey? Does it just get compartmentalised, archived in the memory banks until prompted by an external force to come to the fore again? 

Surely on many levels this previous knowledge hoard must inform my thinking and understanding of the world today? I just don't spend much time reflecting upon it.... I now realise that is a shame.

As well as a reminder of my first in depth anthropological thinking into gender and economy, reading this thesis has demonstrated en evolution in my writing. It's difficult to read academic work from the past, it makes me cringe - I admit to never revisiting my undergrad assignments - I don't think I have the stomach for it! Opinions and ideas without much substance is a polite way to describe my undergrad self... What I would probably now write on my own student's feedback as "This discussion has some potential, however..."

I think perhaps its a good idea to have a reunion with my past self every now again, catch up with how I arrived at my current state of being and maybe learn a few things about where I'm going! 

1 comment:

Peter Jones said...

Hi Jenna
Check out Hodges' model it may help your studies and reflection / integration of the same.

Good luck.

Peter @h2cm