Tavia Nyong’o’s not-so-queer Style

This new post by Tavia Nyong’o is hot off the blog presses and cross-posted on both Bully Bloggers and Hear is Queer (Nyong’o’s blog). Aside from being thematically related to my own blog, I find this post to be pretty stylistically useful. Don’t worry if you didn’t know what the 10th Annual EMP Pop Conference was; I didn’t either.

First, Nyong’o seems to have a spectacular grasp on the average blog reader’s attention span. His post is both discursive and very lengthy, but because of his willingness to break it down into smaller, manageable paragraphs, the entry doesn’t feel long and is never tedious to get through (as a solid block of text might be). Reading the post is further simplified by the way in which Nyong’o adds semi-clever bullet point section titles: “Queer as Format,” “After the Closet,” “It Gets Worse,” etc. These contribute to the overall readability of the post.

Also, in terms of language, Nyong’o has cultivated a simple-yet-intelligent writing style which I have been trying to discover in my own blog. Through both the research and the observations made, it becomes clear pretty quickly that the blogger has some experience in the field of media/performance studies and that his ideas have some intellectual weight; however, the reader never gets bogged down in his prose. The word “epistemology” never gets thrown around, and he manages to avoid bringing up Derrida. Who knew that was possible in an academic post?

The thing that I love most about this blog post (and makes it a particularly effective one, stylistically) is that, as you read it, you get the sense that you are watching Nyong’o think through the issues about which he writes. The way that the post is structured feels very organic. This is not to say that the post is formally structured, the way a paper might be (i.e. thesis-governed). Rather, it is easy to follow the threads of his discussion. It’s easy to see where the section “Queer as Format” leads into “After the Closet,” which then transitions into “Boys who Do Girls.” I can follow his thought-process and Nyong’o is transparent about the way in which he arrives at his conclusions. Watching other people think is neat.

One minor stylistic criticism: I do think he could use more links in an effort to make his topic even more accessible to those of us who didn’t know what this conference was.


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