This series explores the overlap of art and scholarship in my personal experience. In works that incorporate repurposed remaindered copies of my first monograph, Altered Habits: Reconsidering the Nun in Fiction (Florida UP 2002), Remainders foregrounds the contrast between the importance of the scholarly book in an academic’s life and the negligible status of the material copies once the book goes out of print. This devaluation is both recognized and negated by the destruction of the physical integrity of the copies in order to fashion them into art.
In addition, “Remainders” revisits and expands the book’s original thesis by juxtaposing the concepts of nun, scholar, and artist. In the process, it extends the metaphorical possibilities of each of these identities and highlights ways in which they may, in fact, overlap.
At a more general level, “Remainders” also enters into dialogue with the work of artists using the book as a material object divested of its traditional purpose as reading material, and invested instead with an aesthetic and conceptual role (a trend studied by scholars such as Garrett Stewart, for example).