This blog (and website, since it has grown out of a need that necessitated a few additional pages) has been a long time in coming. In fact, while it had been kicked around before, it really came into imaginary being as I talked to one of my friends after I’d created a libguide based on the Master’s exam reading list in the UIUC Spanish Department for Colonial Spanish America, 1651-1810 (now I, dear reader, took that exam when it was pre-Colombian through 1810).
While the guide mostly followed the reading list, I couldn’t resist adding some of the information about That Which Came Before (it became “Before 1651”). Then, because I had been lucky enough to have amazing professors as an undergrad, I added historical context and some key concepts (“History and Context”), and, because I too have been a grad student, I added some information on how to survive one’s tenure as such. Basically, I stuffed All The Thing I Could Possibly Fit into that guide, and…still had so much to say. And so the idea of the blog was born, to house random Latin American history/literature tidbits, and odd pieces of Chicago history, and architecture, and scandal, scandal, scandal. Because isn’t that why one studies the arts in the first place? All that terrible, wonderful human drama?
I’ve training in art history and music and Latin American literatures and history (particularly Colonial) and literary theory and LIS. If there’s a trivia competition about affaires de coeur in arts history, I might even help you win. I love Chicago and old newspapers and hidden corners of history. I’m sure my parents appreciate my teenage loud opera phase much more, now that my brothers play metal.
And why on earth is this Essentially a Nerd? Because more than one of my friends has called me exactly that, and it’s stuck.