If you’re reading this, congratulations; you’ve made it to reading week! Act fast and you can YOLO the heck out of this 5 day prison break. Move slow and you run the risk of actually reading. We’re hoping you’re on a beach, slope or cruise-deck somewhere, but if you couldn’t get out, have no fear; leave your worries here. It’s time to take up the mantle of the dorm room staycation. Hold the torch high and let the good times fly! You can get the ball rolling by participating in the following traditional Public Texts flavoured activity suggestions:
6 Degrees of Gutenberg
This game requires a computer, internet access, a course syllabus, and at least one person who is bored out of his/her mind. To play, simply select an author off of your reading list and visit his/her Wikipedia page. Then, using the hyperlinks, try to click your way to the Wikipedia entry for Johannes Gutenberg. You get six clicks before you lose. Don’t like the rules? Take it up with Kevin Bacon.
Punch Public/Counterpunch Public
Familiar with punch buggy? This one plays out much the same way and requires you, a friend, some shoulders, and a few fists. Don’t have a high IQ? Then this game’s for you! All you have to do is catch your opponent engaging in a public and punch them for points. If you’re reading this and I don’t know you, then give yourself a punch for me. For rules refer to Michael Warner.
Monopoly – the Bourdieu version
This one’s great to play with your non-Public Texts friends. Start the game in regular fashion and recklessly spend all your money. Then, just when your competitors think that you’re broke, inform them that you still have plenty of symbolic and cultural capital. No doubt, they’ll act outraged and cry foul play, but you know better – nothing’s fair in the field of cultural production!
Drinking with Foucault
This is really the only way to read Foucault and trust me, not much reading will get done. Open The History of Sexuality and any time Foucault mentions sex or sexuality, have a shot. My bet is you’re not getting past Part I. Don’t read and drive and please read responsibly.
Wedding Crashing with Raymond Williams
Show up to a random reception and make a beeline for the microphone. Raise a glass, stare into the couple’s eyes and toast: “everyone is crying, but it’s not because this is really beautiful. We’re all just experiencing structures of feeling!”
Spring Cleaning with Adorno and Horkheimer
The time is ripe to use these two theorists to pare down your book, movie, and music collections. Can’t decide if you should hold on to that Janet Evanovich novel? Just ask yourself: “what would Adorno and Horkheimer do?” Rent yourself a truck and get ready for a lot of free shelf space. It’s all going in the trash!
Bakhtin themed Charades
Get together with friends and take turns acting out different versions of the grotesque. If time permits, make masks and wear them. It’s the re-humanizing activity that the whole family can enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Get those bodily functions going!
Shopping with a Marxist Feel
Go to The Gap and upset the retail clerk by unfolding everything in the store. When he becomes impatient, angrily respond with: “I want to speak to your superstructure!”
Engage in Ars Erotica
The time for making new macaroni and cheese recipes has passed. Escape the house and get down to the business of sensual pleasure. Know no shame and become a master. In a week’s time, come back to the classroom no longer repressed, really refreshed, and ready to confess everything.
There you have it – nine great ways to spend your reading week. Trade Bourdieu’s habitus for nachos and hummus and let the party begin.
May your week be happy and bright,
And may all your reading lists be light.