SR Pod/Vod Series: Writer Devoney Looser

Devoney Looser

Today we’re proud to feature Devoney Looser as our third Authors Talk series contributor, sharing her thoughts on the “Top 10 Ways That Being A Writer Is Like Playing Roller Derby.”

Devoney is an English professor at Arizona State University and, as her author bio below reveals, an accomplished scholar. She’s also probably one of the first roller derby scholars, penning multiple articles on the sport’s potential to impact our culture. Given this, it’s not that surprising that Devoney should analyze the similarities between writing and roller derby in her vodcast. What is surprising is that she chooses to do this in full derby bout gear, casually reading her essay while rolling around her kitchen wearing pads and fishnet stockings. Perhaps it shouldn’t be. Among other things, Devoney’s vodcast is a fresh reminder of what it means to be a modern scholar.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.


More About the Author:

Devoney Looser is the author of two books, Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750–1850 (2008) and British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670–1820 (2000). She has published essays in Slate, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The London Magazine, and The Independent. Now at work on a study of Jane Austen’s afterlife, The Making of Jane Austen, for Johns Hopkins University Press, Looser has also played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen. She is is professor of English at Arizona State University and faculty adviser to ASU’s collegiate team, the Derby Devils.


About the Authors Talk series:

For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’re now establishing a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

Cass Murphy

7 thoughts on “SR Pod/Vod Series: Writer Devoney Looser

  • October 14, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I took a course with Professor Looser a year or two ago! I’m always happy to hear her thoughts on writing/literature, she’s so interesting and engaging.

  • October 14, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Professor Looser is one of my favorite professors. She always has interesting thoughts and insights to share. I definitely wish she could have talked more about her derby life in lecture, but at least I get to hear about it now!

    • October 19, 2015 at 12:21 am

      I finally had the time to sit down and watch the podcast after a busy week, and I was not at all disappointed. Professor Looser made some amazing comparisons between writing and Derby that were both accurate and comedic. From the discipline required to the stereotypical alcoholic tendencies, she manages to both make her point and keep her balance as her skates around her kitchen, a testament to her multitasking abilities to be sure! It takes a lot of gumption to be a writer, though many non-writers would likely say it takes very little. But, as Devoney so eloquently states, writers are “driven exhibitionists with a high tolerance for pain…”

  • October 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I’ve heard about this professor from my old creative writing teacher at ASU! This podcast sounds like it’ll be a fun one to listen to!

  • October 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Her podcast was surprisingly accurate! I would have never thought to compare roller derby to writing, but it works, and I think Looser proves that writing takes someone just as hardcore as roller derby does. Love it.

  • October 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I love listening to authors read their own work and talking about the writing process as it exists for them. It is one of the most enjoyable aspects of taking a writing class from an instructor who is also a writer, as I have experienced in all my college writing courses. I had the chance to take Women’s Literature from Devoney Looser and her husband. Her vodcast is amusing, enjoyable, and refreshing as writing is not often compared with sports. Every writer may have their own process, but we all share the similar struggles with the process. Devoney’s use of Roller Derby to explain the obstacles faced during the writing process reminds us that we do it for so much more than “winning,” though that is part of it.

  • October 19, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Writers, when asked to describe writing, have a tendency to gravitate to the most painful and/or reckless pursuits as modes of comparison. We’re a self-aware and self-deprecating bunch, and I, for one, never tire of hearing new ways of describing just what I’ve gotten myself into. They remind me that all the bumps and bruises along the way are worth it, just like roller derby.

Leave a Reply