The Promise of the Imaginary

The beauty of my research project–of what will grow up big and strong one day to become my dissertation–is the rage that it forces me to convert into something productive.

Ok, “force” is too strong a word. I’ve designed the thing to put me in that position.

That is:

The locus of my research are contemporary evangelical rhetorics of female sexuality and desire. That’s a wank-tastic way of saying that I’m looking at how the evangelical church in the US talks to women about their sexuality and how women in the church talk amongst themselves about their own experiences with sex, gender roles, and desire.

Here’s the trick, though: as a casual glance at this blog (hell, at the previous freaking post!) might suggest, my notions of sexuality and desire don’t fall in neat alignment with those of the Christian church, despite (or perhaps because of?) 18 years in the Southern Baptist faith—an experience my brother neatly dissects here. So the easy move, from a personal and a scholarship perspective, is to spend 150 pages dismissing these rhetorics outright in favor of:

Chad Michael Murray cosplaying as Dean. Obviously.

Because, dude. Come on.

Take this example from a book called The Love Dare, featured in the recent Kirk Cameron direct-to-video flick, Fireproof: The MovieThe purpose of The Love Dare is to present couples with 40 “dares”–activities or conversation starters–to stage over 40 days as they seek a stronger connection. An entirely reasonable purpose (allusions to that pesky Ark aside).

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