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What We're Reading: February 2020

What We're Reading
Scattered newspapers and magazines rest on a wood surface.

As members of an organization that believes in the power of conversation to promote systemic change, the team here at The Lark often circulates, among ourselves, anecdotes and emails about materials we've read lately that have moved us. In accordance with our commitment to the amplification of necessary voices that reflect the world we live in, this monthly post compiles some of the media we have been tuned in to, to share with our wider community. We know these are only a sampling of all the insightful work out there, so if we missed anything that had an impact on you this month, we encourage you to share in the comments section!

The 2020 Under the Radar Festival Professional Symposium

"I am constantly negotiating bodily presence... How to manage a fear, anger, rage based desire to fly the bodily coup, in a profession I've come to in order to fully occupy myself and remind others to do the same. How to be bravely and joyfully in this skin, in this field, in this country, at this time."

Skip to for 20:50 for Aleshea Harris's speech and 35:15 for Maria Manuela Goyanes's!

White Fever Dreams

by Roxane Gay

"In graduate school many years ago, we read a book in a pedagogy seminar about racial discrimination in higher education. One of my classmates said she took the book and its claims more seriously when she realized the author was white. I’ve never forgotten that. For a great many people, whiteness is synonymous with authority. Whiteness endows people with this presumed authority on any subject including the experiences of people of color."

Roxane Gay compares and critiques the current Broadway revival of West Side Story and the just-released New York Times bestseller American Dirt, both projects helmed by white people, about immigrants of color, that have been wildly, commercially, successful.

#DignidadLiteraria calls meeting with 'American Dirt' publisher 'a victory'

by Gwen Aviles

"#DignidadLiteraria has plans to hold town halls in 11 cities to discuss the state of the publishing industry as it pertains to Latino literature and is extending an invitation to others to hold events where they live."

NBC News covers another aspect of the American Dirt story, as a coalition pushes for greater diversity on staff at Macmillan publishing.

Does ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ at The 5th Ave transcend the original’s problematic elements?

by Seattle Times staff

"It’s uncomfortable to be in a room with 2,000 people laughing at things that perpetuate a stereotype that murders people in our community. To me, it says: 'We don’t care that you’re being laughed at, and furthermore, we don’t even care that you’re here. Because look at all this money we made.' "

A group of queer theatergoers give before and after takes on seeing the new musical.

#MeToo and the Method

by Holly L. Derr

"The aspects of the Method that rely on instinct and emotional truth fail to account for subconscious bias, meaning that a director or teacher who uses it could easily end up validating feminine (e.g. seductive) behavior from women and masculine (e.g. aggressive) behavior from men as “truthful,” even where other possibilities exist and even when they don’t consciously intend to do that."

A HowlRound essay on the ways common acting and directing practices can be rooted in toxic ideologies.

What “Latinx” Doesn’t Include

by Kurly Tlapoyawa

"The 'x' in Latinx is an attempt to un-gender the term Latino, yet it still pays deference to a Eurocentric ideology that actively denies the Indigenous and African heritage of the people it claims to represent."

A YES! Magazine article exploring the roots of the term "Latinx" and making a case for linguistic alternatives.