Sami Schalk Profile picture
Sarcastic fat Black disabled femme (She/her). Research on #race, #disability & #gender. Author of #BodymindsReimagined. Rep’ed by @CCMNTSpeakers.
Tinu Profile picture The Lady Red- the night is dark and full of terror Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
17 Sep
Oh did you want a long early morning rant #thread? Yes? No? Too late, here it is. Let’s talk about how the insistence on returning to college football not only a reflection of racism & capitalism, but also the deep failures of patriarchal culture. Ready? Let’s go.
Ok so yesterday I talked a bit about racism & capitalism in the organized sport industry particularly football. Here’s that thread. Note: I’m sure there are scholars who have written about this, this is just my Black feminist quick take.
So football relies heavily on the athletic performance of Black men for the entertainment & profit of predominantly white men. In the NFL when players protest, they’re told to shut up & play or that they make enough money so they shouldn’t care (racist capitalist perspective).
Read 27 tweets
16 Sep
We can’t hold fucking classes but somehow we’re going to have FOOTBALL next month?! Really?! Sports are that important to your budget? Your “culture”? Who is organizing protests & strikes for these college students who aren’t even paid for this?! WTF?…
Also, can we talk about how the NFL, NBA, NCAA (& related universities) make mass profit off the athletic performances of predominantly people of color for the entertainment of predominantly white people now?
Here’s the thing. I don’t care how safe they make it. This is about what our culture values & how we use resources. In order to bring back college football DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC they are going to use thousands of daily rapid tests for every single person on the field.
Read 7 tweets
31 May
#Thread: If you live in downtown Madison or other places with states of emergency, you should have a go bag in case fires or other unrest temporarily displace you for hours or even a full day or two. Your go bag should have:
-ID & copies (laminated if you can) of important documents (passport, social security, birth certificate, insurance)
-Extra house keys
-Medications you need plus extra OTC painkillers
-Phone cords (& battery/power bank if you have one)
-Non-perishable snacks
-Toy/book if you have kids
-Diapers, baby food/forumla & bottle if you have babies
-Tampon/pads if you menstruate
-List of important phone numbers (emergency contacts, doctor, etc) & addresses in case your phone is lost or damaged
-Extra face masks
Read 8 tweets
25 Apr
#thread on ableist language: I’ve seen a lot of Madison folks using ableist language to talk about the #pandemic protesters & I want to talk briefly about why this language is harmful on multiple levels to disabled ppl & to the cause of collective liberation. CW: ableist language
The most common thing I see is folks referring to protesters as crazy, insane, mental, nutjobs, etc. This language suggests all the protesters (yesterday 1.5k in Madison) have psychiatric disabilities & often imply that as a result they’re dangerous or not worth taking seriously.
This discursive approach is ableist bc it suggests that people with psych disabilities are inherently dangerous, dismissible, disposable, etc. It adds to the oppression of folks with psych disabilities, relies on this oppression to be effective.
Read 11 tweets
14 Apr
#Thread: Hi. I know it’s a weird time but I wanted to share some good news I got over a week ago when I was grieving & not in a place to let it sink in. I recently found out I was awarded the Provost’s Early Career Award from @UWMadison. Here’s what that means & why it’s cool.
So first, this is a nomination-based internal award. I didn’t have to apply. I didn’t even know my chair had nominated me. I just got an email telling me I won. I’ve never received a monetary award like this where I didn’t have to do anything. It’s a baffling honor.
I legit had to call my partner & be like “What is happening? Is this real?” because the award is for $50k in unrestricted research funds good for 3 years. That means I can use it for any research expense for any project I want to do. And as a humanities person, that’s a lot of $!
Read 7 tweets
2 Apr
Hi friends. I’m sharing a difficult #thread that begins in the next tweet. Please be thoughtful about whether you’re in a place to read it. I know many of us are overwhelmed right now. Content warning: death, death preparations, mourning/grief, illness
My grandpa died yesterday suddenly. His death was not COVID related, but the pandemic is obviously still shaping what is & is not possible for grieving & mourning right now. My family in KY hoping for a burial Saturday with only my grandma & her children. We’ll see.
I obviously can’t attend both because of the number limit on gatherings & because doing so would require plane travel or a 9 hour drive. While I am not super close to my extended family, not being able to go home to comfort & support my mom is really hurting my heart. 💔
Read 17 tweets
1 Apr
Some people really get off on starting fights on social media about literally anything. When those folks are progressives & radicals, it often involves shaming people. I’m just not interested in a movement based on shame & shade. Especially not right now. 🙁
One of the reasons #PleasureActivism appeals to me is the idea that we need to make our movements irresistible, make liberation the most pleasurable experience possible. That doesn’t mean we don’t call each other in, we don’t grow, but we do it from a place of love, not shaming.
People are more likely to change their behaviors long-term when they internalize the value of those behaviors not because they are afraid that others are watching/policing/judging. We are all so tender right now, let’s try to lash out less & be compassionate more.
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb
I lost some followers over the weekend. I guess people don’t like me tweeting about sex? Here’s the thing: I’m a whole ass person. I’m a writer, professor, activist AND a polyamorous Black queer woman who has sex. Recently, pretty great sex. These are just facts.
For me, being open about my pleasures (sex, twerking, fashion, etc.) alongside my politics & writing is essential to my ability to survive academia & a racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic world that wants to deny me full personhood, complex humanity.
So yea, sometimes I’m gonna tweet about pretty ladies or getting dicked down. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: People out here thinking I’m not a scholar & a thot are hugely mistaken. Unfollow if that’s not for you. I don’t need to appeal everyone. #pleasureactivism
Read 5 tweets
10 Feb
Just had a really nice cathartic convo w/ someone from my past. It healed a little part of my teenage wounds. I started this journey to deal with my early life trauma last year & it continues to be hard, but wow, I feel like I am breaking open & transforming in the process.
I had so much trauma & insecurity that I don’t even remember large chunks of my childhood & HS years. I realize that even the memories I do have are from this wounded perspective. I felt so scared & unsafe so often that now I don’t know when that was & was not warranted.
So if anyone knew me in HS before I was 21 and wants to privately tell me about what they saw in me, let me know. I hated myself so much & assumes everyone around me hated me too. Sigh. I am so glad to be an adult now, with a therapist.
Read 5 tweets
10 Feb
#Thread I didn’t get to send before we took off. So two men were next to each other on the plane, one a man of color & one white. According to the person next time, before I got on the two men were arguing about where the boundary is between them for the row.
Then the white guy stomped on the man of color’s foot. MOC was pissed & like “WTH.” As I arrived the the flight attendant came over & white guy whines like a kid: “Well HE keeps putting HIS foot all the way over HERE and *I* just put my foot down where it’s SUPPOSED to go”
Flight attendant is like, “Do I need to call someone to come intervene here?” MOC is like “nah, we’re good. I’m fine” & white guy is like “Yes, I think you should”. Of course I know where this shit is going. This man of color is going to be kicked off this plane, maybe hurt. Nah.
Read 6 tweets
10 Feb
I’m getting my haircut with my favorite hairstylist while I’m back in Indiana later this week. I currently have a big medium length frohawk with the sides short. Debating between cutting the back and trimming the top or just straight up cutting off all my hair.
I like cutting my hair when I’ve experienced big changes. It’s a change I can control. I haven’t had short short hair in 3 years, but I’m swimming a lot lately & shorter hair would make that easier.
Hair has so much cultural weight as a Black woman & a femme. The first time I shaved my head was after being dumped & it was really cathartic. It was my way of trying to stop please men with my appearance & see what else is possible. I think I’m ready for that energy again.
Read 4 tweets
9 Feb
Real question: Am I a magical witch? #thread:

Today I had a really lovely last day in Cali. I felt full of gratitude and joy about my life. As I packed, I thought about all the people who love and support me so much. I checked my flight time and saw my layover was through ATL.
I thought back fondly to when I had a long layover in ATL & one of my best friends met me at the airport for high quality polyam queer lady chat. I thought “Man, I wish I could see her this time. I would love a hug from Britney right now. Maybe I’ll get stuck there.”
Guess who’s flight to Atlanta got diverted to Chattanooga Tennessee because of unexpected sudden weather in Atlanta & who is now going to get stuck in Atlanta overnight? I’LL GIVE YOU ONE GUESS!!!!

Did I make this happen with my magic witch brain?!?
Read 4 tweets
5 Feb
For folks who don’t know, academic gigs are hard to get. I finished my PhD first & left for NY. When I got my WI job, my partner got a temporary gig in TX. For years we’ve made conference dates & semester break visits work.
For us to both have permanent gigs in the same place & know that neither of us has to go on the job market or move maybe ever again is just mind-blowing. It gives us some stability & predictability that we have literally never known.
Sometimes we message like “OMG we can get snowed in together” or “Soon we can go on planes together instead of in order to see each other!” or “In a few months we won’t have to do XYZ long distance relationship thing.”
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
I haven’t talked about this here yet but my long time long distance partner got a job at UW Madison in my dept & is moving here this summer. It’s truly the academic relationship jackpot. Neither of us thought we would ever get to live in the same place, let alone work together.
So with that context, today I went to go look at apartments for my partner. They set up appointments & went to FaceTimed them in to view. At the 2nd place the woman living there opened the door & the following scene occurred before I even got inside.
Woman: Are you a professor at UW?
Me: Yes
Woman: Did you twerk with @lizzo?
Me: Yes
Woman: OMG I knew I recognized you!
Me: Yup. So...can I see the place?

lol #twerkwithlizzo lives on
Read 4 tweets
3 Feb
Um, should I be offended that the theme of UW’s #BlackHistoryMonth2020 is Afrofuturism: B(l)ack to the Future & literally no one asked me to participate in any of the month-long series of events on a topic I literally wrote a book on?
I think it’s mostly student organized. I truly am not taking it personally. I mean, I’m on leave & traveling a bunch this month anyway. But I saw the announcement & was like...
People told me they saw the theme and assumed I was involved. Nope. Not at all. Literally found out about the theme three days into Black History Month. 🤷🏾‍♀️
Read 4 tweets
1 Feb
#BHMReadingChallenge! There are 4 weeks of #BHM2020, so I want to issue a challenge. I want Black folks to recommend 4 Black-authored books in 4 genres they think non-Black folks should read. Then I want non-Black folks to post the books they read this month. Got it?
Potential genres for #BHMReadingChallenge: fiction, creative non-fiction, academic non-fiction, poetry, memoir/autobiography, YA, children’s, graphic novel...
Here are mine:
-Pleasure Activism by @adriennemaree (essays & interviews)
-Homie by @Danez_Smif (poetry)
-Medical Apartheid by @haw95 (academic)
-Kindred by @OctaviaEButler (fiction, but also there’s a graphic novel adaptation by @DamianD2Duffy & @JIJennings)
Read 4 tweets
31 Jan
#Thread So, I got on a fucking roll with writing today during my work date & I wrote 3,492 words. I finished the large body section & fleshed out the outline for the next one. It felt amazing. But in my writing high I didn’t take enough standing & stretching breaks! 😩
So I just got home from post-work date dinner & my body is wrecked. My lower back is flared up & my neck hurts. I for sure overdid it. Tonight I’m going to heavily medicate, but I have a feeling that tomorrow might have to be a read in bed day.
Honestly, I feel so good when I write right now. It really is an adrenaline rush, but I know that pacing myself is the way to sustainably finish this book while taking care of my bodymind. Just because I *can* work fast doesn’t mean I should.
Read 6 tweets
30 Jan
Woke up so ready to get back to writing! I’m definitively finishing this sub-section today, but I would be thrilled to make major progress into the next sub-section too. Knowing how long this main body section (with 3 sub-sections) will be helps figure out the shape of the rest.
Current shape of the chapter is a beefy intro, a big body section with 3 sub-sections & then either a smaller section then a conclusion, or I move the ideas for that smaller section into the book conclusion & go straight into the chapter conclusion when I finish this section.
A lot of folks who have read my first book, #BodymindsReimagined, have commented on how clearly organized/presented the writing & argument is in it. That’s meaningful to me bc I spend A LOT of time working on chapter structure. The order & style of presenting an argument matters!
Read 10 tweets
22 Jan
Hi folks. So I finished reading my interviews & now I need to go through & organize things thematically, pull quotes & begin to develop my argument. The best way for me to do this is to really immerse myself in the material in a focused way. So here’s the plan:
I’ve cleared my schedule for Thursday & Friday so I can devote both days fully to figuring out this last body chapter of the book. I’m taking myself on an at-home #writingretreat & aim to stay off social media for 48 hrs to keep my mind on this work & this work alone.
I’ll be back in action here in the Twitterverse, Instaland & beyond on Saturday when I get to represent @OurLivesMadison at the @OvertureCenter’s #Frostiball here in Madison. It’s a big fancy ball & I have a fancy dress & I can’t wait! It’s the perfect way to reward myself too.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jan
I finished all my work goals today & set up a work date for tomorrow & scheduled mentoring calls & a call with my editor. It’s time to make this book a reality!
Realistically, I think I can finish the manuscript by June. Then it will go out to readers & I’ll get feedback by October. Then I’ll have to revise again & submit again. Best case scenario, we’re looking at a late 2021/early 2022 publication.
I feel good about a 2022 publication bc I really want to do another book tour, but I desperately need to slow down my travel for a bit. I love sharing my work, but between work travel & long distance relationships, sometimes I feel like I barely live in Madison!
Read 4 tweets
20 Jan
Ok friends here we go. Back at work on the book today. #WorkGoals
-Read 2 interview transcripts & take notes
-Add archive citations to EndNote
-Write for 1 hr

Trying to keep it pretty simple as I move back into this work.
I just want to thank the many folks who talked about experiences of being emotionally blocked from doing the work you want to do. I think I figured out what had been blocking me & am writing my way through it.
I keep coming back to this protest chant by Mary Hooks “The mandate for Black people in this time is to avenge the suffering of our ancestors, earn the respect of future generations & to be willing to be transformed by the work” I had to let myself by transformed by the work.
Read 4 tweets