I\’m Too Sexy for My Master\’s Thesis

zero, zip, zilch

Posted in history,progress by Rae on 5 January 2007

This is my official last post here at I’m Too Sexy. Last year I finished my M.A., started getting paid to do what I love, and moved to Estonia from the U.S.

2007 is a year of new beginnings for me, so it’s only appropriate that I’ve started two new blogs: illumineerima (a blog about Estonian culture and society) and the pesky ‘tarians (a culinary correspondence). fade theory will turn two later this year and continues to be my main blog with daily postings about all things book-related.

It’s been real!


the final countdown

Posted in history,jewish legion,thesis by Rae on 8 November 2006

Well, I electronically submitted my thesis last week. The deed is done, and I may not look at my thesis again for a few years. If past events are any indication (I’ve been married for over five years and still won’t watch my wedding video), it may be many years.


I didn’t make all of the changes I had hoped, thanks to an international move and a new job, but I was told it was good as it stood. So, that’s that. Now it’s just a matter of time until they send me my diploma and the thesis on CD.

long time no post

Posted in history,progress by Rae on 20 October 2006

So, yeah, I haven’t posted in a while. At least not here. Since I’m now done with my thesis (still need to send in the final pdf to my university) and am working more or less full-time in publishing, I just haven’t had much to contribute here at I’m Too Sexy. However, I do update my other blog (fadetheory.com) on an almost daily basis. It’s not about the Jewish Legion, but does have a lot to do with history: book and print history, publishing culture, reading theory, current lit and pub news, book art, textual design… basically anything to do with books and publishing goes there. Plus, you can find some miscellaneous entries about my life in Estonia. It’s a blog I’ve had for well over a year, so there’s lots in the archive, too.

Estonia’s new president

Posted in history by Rae on 25 September 2006

Have I mentioned that I live in Tallinn, Estonia now? I’ve been here for three weeks. And I seem to have arrived at a very good time in Estonia’s history.

Estonia’s presidential election took place this past Saturday. I watched it on tv, though it’s difficult to express the thrill of watching someone count paper ballots. But, considering I’m trying to learn Estonian numbers, it was time well spent.

The election takes place every 5 years. Since Estonia regained independence in 1991, there have been two presidents: Lennart Meri (who died this past March) and Arnold Rüütel. Rüütel, a “reformed Communist”, was running for re-election. His main challenger was Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Ilves was an interesting candidate. First, he was born to Estonian parents in Sweden. Second, he was raised in New Jersey and has degrees from Columbia and UPenn. Third, he gave up his US citizenship and moved to Estonia. Fourth, he wears a bow tie. He has lots of American mannerisms (he smiles, for example) and speaks English without an accent. From what I can tell, native Estonians have accepted him. And, of equal importance, the Estonian parliament has accepted him. He was elected as Estonia’s next president and will take office on October 9th.

Many Estonians have expressed discontent over the electoral system. The Estonian people vote the 101 members of Parliament into office, and then the Parliament is responsible for electing the President of Estonia. In the event that the vote does not result in a two-thirds majority for one candidate, then there are two more votes held (starting from scratch). If there is still no candidate with two-thirds of the votes, there is a later vote held by the electoral body (comprised of the 101 members of parliament and representatives of the local government councils), totalling 374 members. This electoral body vote is the one I watched.

As City Paper highlighted in this article on the election, Estonia sets an important, international example in the realms of “reform and modernization.” It seems that Ilves, a Social Democrat, will help continue that trend.

news roundup

Posted in history,scholarship by Rae on 22 September 2006

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is not an anti-Semite.


US widow deported over Nazi past:

Mrs Rinkel’s husband Fred was a German Jew who arrived in the US after escaping the Holocaust. He died in 2004, never learning of his wife’s secret.


New Year, New Dumpling:

But Jewish food has become so diverse, how about a taste of another kind of traditionfor Rosh Hashana on Friday night? A new dumpling for the holiday.

I am in a bit of a cooking conundrum this Rosh Hashana. First, my kitchen things have not yet arrived in Estonia. We have two pots here from Ikea (one big soup pot and a smaller sauce pan) and two wooden spoons and my knife set that I brought in my suitcase, but that’s it. Second, I no longer eat chicken or beef, which are common ingredients in Jewish cooking. There are lots of vegetarian recipes out there, but I haven’t figured all that out yet. Third, the ingredients commonly available in the US are not necessarily easy to find here. And since I can’t read Estonian (although I can identify the word for pork), Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, or Russian, my only hope is when labels have English or Spanish or Italian.

So, this Rosh Hashana will be very untraditional. We have a vegetarian borsht (from a jar; just add water). We have bread. I will probably make an egg-and-tuna salad. We have kidney beans, which I might add to that salad. And we have some cooked rice and pasta, but no sauces for them. Apples and honey for dessert.


Jewish Cooking Q&A with Joan Nathan.


Fresh Air recently had a few interviews discussing Christian Zionism: here, here, and here.

Jewish pirates

Posted in history by Rae on 21 September 2006

I may have missed Talk Like A pirate Day by a few days, but it’s never too late for an article on Jewish pirates. (via Patahistory)

Drew rethinks doctorates

Posted in history,scholarship by Rae on 21 September 2006

Drew Rethinks Doctorates:

Last week, Drew University informed faculty members and graduate students in English and the department of modern history and literature that it planned a review of the two departments’ Ph.D. programs. That announcement alone would not have been news: Such reviews are commonplace and, at a time of heightened scrutiny of doctoral education and the quality of higher education generally, would seem like sound policy.
But Drew’s approach raised eyebrows and, in some circles, hackles, for several reasons…

Read the full article for those reasons. They’ve suspended admissions for these programs and this news has me worried. I’ve been eying Drew’s book history program (part of the department of modern history and literature) with great interest for some time.

call for papers: Southern Jewish Historical Society

Posted in history,scholarship by Rae on 18 September 2006
The Southern Jewish Historical Society will hold its annual conference
co-sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington in
Washington, DC, November 2-4, 2007.  The title of the conference is
"Honoring the Past for the Sake of the Future." Proposals for sessions
or individual papers (1-1/2 page abstracts and short bios) on any aspect of
the southern Jewish experience are welcome.  Although January 5, 2007 is the
target deadline, sessions will be evaluated as they are received and 
individual proposals will be considered as they can be paired with other papers.
To submit proposals or if you are interested in serving as a panel chair or
commentator, please contact Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield (stevewhitfield@juno.com;
781-736-3035), and/or Dr. Mark K. Bauman (markkbauman@aol.com; 404-366-3306),
SJHS 2007 Program Co-Chairs.

call for papers: Open the Book, Open the Mind

Posted in history,scholarship by Rae on 15 September 2006

SHARP 2007 Conference: Open the Book, Open the Mind

The fifteenth annual conference of the Society for the History of 
Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) will be held in Minneapolis 
at the University of Minnesota on July 11-15, 2007. SHARP is the leading 
international association for historians of print culture, enlisting 
more than 1,200 scholars world-wide; its members study "the creation, 
dissemination, and reception of script and print, including newspapers, 
periodicals, and ephemera," as well as the history of books. The 
forthcoming conference is organized in cooperation with the College of 
Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota; University of Minnesota 
Libraries; Minneapolis Public Library; Minnesota Historical Society, and 
Minnesota Center for Book Arts -- a part of Open Book.

The conference theme, "Open the Book, Open the Mind," will highlight how 
books develop and extend minds and cultures, and also how they are 
opened to new media and new purposes. However, individual papers or 
sessions may address any aspect of book history and print or manuscript 

The conference organizers invite proposals for individual presentations, 
and also for complete panels of three presentations on a unifying topic. 
As is the SHARP custom, each session of 90 minutes will feature three 
papers of up to 20 minutes, providing time for substantive discussion 
with members of the audience. Proposals should be submitted via the 
online conference website by November 30, 2006: please go to 
http://purl.oclc.org/NET/SHARP2007proposals and follow the directions 
provided there.

Each individual proposal should contain a title, an abstract of no more 
than 300 words, and brief biographical information about the author or 
co-authors. Session proposals should explain the theme and goals, as 
well as include the three individual abstracts.

Each year SHARP provides funding support for a few partial travel grants 
for advanced graduate students and for independent scholars. If you 
would like to apply for such support please do so online, as you submit 
your proposal.

In keeping with the theme of the conference, a "pre-conference" of 
practical workshops and a plenary session devoted to book arts and 
artists' books will be held at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts at 
Open Book, near the University of Minnesota campus, on Tuesday, July 10, 
2007. Details about that pre-conference and about the main conference 
program, registration, and housing arrangements will be made available 
early in 2007 at the general conference web site, 
http://www.cce.umn.edu/conferences/sharp. Much information about SHARP 
2007 and its location, including hotel-reservation information, is 
already available there.

this is embarrassing…

Posted in history by Rae on 14 September 2006

I have a bunch of links to interesting articles waiting to be posted. The embarrassing thing is that I thought I had posted them a while back, so now they’re out-dated.

But, I’m going to post them anyway, just in case you missed any of it.


Iran Exhibits Anti-Jewish Art:

The title of the show is “Holocaust International Cartoon Contest,” or “Holocust,” as the show’s organizers spell the word in promotional material. But the content has little to do with the events of World War II and Nazi Germany.


Shawn Green: A Power Hitter. And a Source of Jewish Pride.


A Swastika, 60 Years Submerged, Still Inflames Debate:

“We do not object to the recovery effort itself,” said Ernesto Kreimerman, president of the Uruguayan Jewish Committee. “This vessel is an historical artifact that offers testimony to one of the darkest periods of modern times. But when it comes time to commercialize the insignia, we believe that it must go to a museum, not into private hands, and that photographs be controlled.”


Rob Reiner attacks Gibson’s films:

Hollywood director and actor Rob Reiner has called on The Passion of the Christ director Mel Gibson to acknowledge that “his work reflects anti-Semitism”.


Mason Sues Jews for Jesus Over Pamphlet. Click here to see the offending tract.


A Benefactor for Yiddish Theater Treasures.

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