|Here's where I'm posting my written work. I just got my MA in
Literature from the University of Idaho -- a student no more. Actually, I'm just taking a
little break before I dive back into my studies. I'll be teaching Composition at UI for
the next year. So far it's great. Still, during my time in school I wrote several essays
that I like. I started posting them to this page awhile ago, and they've been fairly
popular. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find them entertaining or helpful or both.
Lists Game Reviews
Update: Super short fiction by Shawn is now
available at www.the-phone-book.com. Look in
the archives for Issue 1.0. The Phone Book has been very successful, and I just worked on
another project they are sponsoring, The Huddersfield Tales, which you can interact with
through The Speakers' Corner.
Check out Autoerotica, a comic my
friend, Mike Peutz, drew from a sudden fiction I wrote.
The list of stories here has shrunk. I have taken off the working
versions of stories that were posted here. There are still a few left on the site, listed
below, and if you are curious to read my fiction, please feel free to email.
Told from multiple points of view, "Mutt" is all about communication,
faith, habit, and traumatic injuries to the groin.
Sometimes all we need is a little kindness, a little direction, and a little
friendly persuasion. In "Tenderness" we see that connections happen in the most
Cisneros and Alexie:
Different Fights, Same Moon (an analytical fiction)
This is not really a story, and not really an essay. It's hard to figure out
where to put it, so here it is, right in the middle. Sandra Cisneros and Sherman Alexie
are two of my favorite writers. You should think so, too.
AKA "Shawn's college papers." Here are some of the papers I wrote that I'm
especially proud of. The latet round includes essays I wrote for a postcolonialism
course, a southern writers course, and a Japanese history course. These papers have been
used as sources in other students' papers, as material to enhance classroom discussions,
and for personal enjoyment. I'm very proud that my essays have appealed to so many folks,
and I hope they maintain their appeal. Please enjoy these, and feel free to use them for
any kind of academic or educational purposes. I always appreciate an email, but rarely want more than that.
New! Coping Through History:
Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic, History, and Reconciliation
Horwitz's book is an incredible journey through the south, and this essay is (hopefully)
an incredible journey through the book.
New! Hikikomori: Homicidal
Teens of Japan
Since the summer of 2000, Japan has seen an alarming trend develop. Young men,
teenagers, are going on killing sprees, as destructive and horrifying as the American
school shootings of the past couple years.
New! Ranald MacDonald: Not
Your Average Gaijin
MacDonald was the son of a Scottish trader and a Chinook Indian princess. He was
also the first American teacher of English in Japan, at a time when gaijin were put to
One of Yukio Mishima's Modern Noh Plays
This short essay gives a summary and some light analysis of Dojoji, a
bizarre, but incredibly moving and gripping, short play by Mishima.
New! Yukio Mishima's Spring
Snow: A Novel of Conflicted Japan
This essay traces the historical content of Spring Snow and analyzes how
the novel reflects changing social norms and attitudes in Meiji-era Japan.
the Stage: M. Butterfly and A Tempest as Examples of Postcolonial Drama
These are two moving and intriguing plays. In this essay I talk up the postcolonial
connections in these plays.
"Answer to Davenant's Preface to Gondibert"
In his essay, Hobbes takes a stab at poetic theory. While usually sticking to the
realm of philosophy, his thoughts on poetry aren't so bad. This is really just a summary
of Hobbes' essay, along with some thought to contextualize and analyze, but it could be
very useful for somebody just approaching the material for the first time.
New! Michel Foucault: Truth
One of the best things about Foucault is how tough he makes me feel. I don't know
why. This essay, like the Hobbes essay above, is a summary and some light analysis and
contextualization for Foucault's essay.
The Silenced Majority:
Colonization of the Mind and the Flesh Eating Zombie
The Night of the Living Dead Trilogy considered in light of Postcolonial
theory and late Capitalist criticism. Marx & Foucault & Bob, oh my!
His Weak, His Dumb, His Fat,
His Lazy: An Introduction to George Saunders
If you ever feel like you're in a George Saunders story just give me a hollar. If
you don't know who George Saunders is, check this piece out. It's a basic overview and a
few stabs at some literary connections. Most importantly, it's all about one of the
funniest and most talented authors out there today.
Swamp Waters of Your Affection: "The Contest" by Grace Paley
Oh, to be an old Jewish lady! Grace Paley makes it seem ideal. Here, I do a
little critical reading of her very excellent short story.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: So
it goes. (also available on The
A biography and critical survey of Vonnegut's work, this paper has been pretty popular on
the web since The Vonnegut Web picked it up. It's also really big with the high school
and Coleridge: Emotion, Imagination and Complexity
One of those boring Brit Lit essays, this one discusses, well, Wordsworth and Coleridge,
and their views on Emotion and Imagination. And the whole thing is really complex, I
guarantee. It's not that I like this paper a whole lot, but I got an A on it from a
notoriously difficult Brit Lit traditionalist, so I'm proud of that.
Sick: Tennyson, Browning, Arnold and Carlyle
A survey of what to do about the condition of 19th Century England. I know, real
pertinent. This was for the same Brit Lit course as the paper above, and is here for
pretty much the same reason.
Barbara Kruger: Signs of
Kruger is a phenomenal artist, and someday everybody will know that. If you
already know that, or if you don't, check out this essay, where I do a basic postmodern
reading of her work.
Interpretation Brings Us
Together: Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony and the Hermeneutic Circle
Silko is a genius, Ceremony is a phenomenal book, and I liked it a lot.
Apparently a lot of you do, too, which is good. Do you feel closer? In this essay I bring
together the worlds of German philosophy and Native American literary art. Phew, that made
Their Eyes Were Watching God:
Evidence of a Postmodern Tendancy
It's tenuative, but nonetheless, I like Zora Neale Hurston so much that I just
have to keep her around. This is a fairly early essay, and illustrates nicely just how
inclusive postmodernism can be. Unfortunately, I'm not sure many folks would agree with me
about this book in particular. Still, it's an amazing novel and this is a somewhat
interesting critical look at it.
Burial in the Anglo-Saxon World
So, thinking about getting back to your roots and doing the whole Anglo-Saxon afterdeath
thing? I can sympathize. It's hard to find out about this stuff, so I surveyed what's out
there and came up with this essay detailing how death and burial were regarded and dealt
with in the Anglo-Saxon world.
Illusions in Much Ado About Nothing
This is just a quick little essay about Shakespeare's classic comedy. It
discusses the different acts the two sets of lovers perform for the rest of the characters
and makes some good points about that.
I collect a lot of links, as I'm sure many of you do. However, I don't really
like links pages on my personal site. I'll gladly add links to sites I think people need
to check out, especially sites that I'm involved with or that I know the creator(s), but
I'm not much of one for a link exchange beyond the Wdog.com
crew. Still, I know the web is a great tool, and I do research on the web often. I also
often write up lists of good sites for classmates, students and instructors. So I've
decided to put those up here.
Links to Sites About and
This is a pretty large list with some great resources. I have to note that this
is a list compiled from my work and the work of Sarah Wichlacz,
whose new site kicks ass.
Postcolonialism on the Web
These are links to various postcolonialism websites. There's a lot out there, and
the field of postcolonialism is so varied and inclusive that this list covers a lot of
territory. It will at least get you started.
I am now co-owner and Editor for GamesFirst!, one
of the web's top independant video game review sites. I write different pieces each week,
including articles, editorials and interviews, but I'm not going to index that stuff here.
Updating GF! every day is enough for me. So go check out GamesFirst!, and if you only want to read my stuff,
do a search for Shawn Rider in the search engine.