Unit 8 Assignment 1: Aimee Duran

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

!: The way that gender played in the scenes was not shocking to see. There was no space where it was accepted to have friends of the other gender without being suspicious. There were fake news created by the man that had been with her before and the media changed everything that he said.

?: Is Katharina hiding something and not telling the audience?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex

!:

Commentary 4 Senior Thesis: Aimee Duran

Senior Meghan Rankins, who is a part of the Kelly Honors Program in Historical Studies, presented her thesis-in-progress. Her presentation titled “Legislating Legitimacy: Interracial Inheritance in 19th-Century South Carolina” reminded me of the trip Humanities just took to Montgomery, Alabama. Meghan’s main focus for her thesis was the Rutledge v. Tunno (1904) case. Her key points that she mentioned were about having interracial marriages in the South. Those that were descendants of a white father and a colored mother had more privileges than those who were descendants of a black father and a white mother. Black men and white women were not accepted by the society. If a person had any percentage of being colored they would automatically be considered black and no privileges would be given to them. The amount of discrimination that existed still exists today, but in different forms. We all know that slavery occurred in the past and that has a huge impact on the society that we live in today. Although we can not go back in time to fix the mistakes and the violence that was suffered, we can fix our actions and the way they affect people of color today. Slavery exists today in a different form through issues like mass incarceration and police brutality. These issues should not only be spoken about, instead actions should be taken to fight against them in order to make a difference and not let history repeat itself.

Unit 4 Post 2: Aimee Duran

March Book 2, Page 170

On page 170, the authors of March 2 depict the march that they took to Washington DC. They chose to break down the speech into multiple speech bubbles to highlight the importance of every part that he mentioned in his speech. Thousands of people joined them that day to fight for segregation in the South. This image illustrates John Lewis delivering his speech and the thousands of people listening to every word that he says. There are both black people and white people attending the march. John Lewis is talking about how patient colored people have been in obtaining their rights and freedom. 

Ever since Africans were brought to the Americas, the struggle to be seen as human and treated human like white people has existed. John Lewis makes this emphasis when he puts in more emotion to the words such as “Freedom” and “Revolution.” People of color have been patient enough waiting for the day that they will truly acquire freedom. This panel stuck to me because although there is no division of where white people and colored people are allowed in, in today’s society, there are still racial issues that have maintained throughout history. Colored people have not acquired total freedom in a country that promises freedom to all. There are issues in our society that are continuous, such as police brutality and mass incarceration being some of the bigger issues. Despite the many protests and marches, there still exists the lack of equality among the nation and at times it seems impossible to reach equality for all. 

This book puts a huge emphasis on the patient that was given to the government to make changes and end segregation. The speeches that were made throughout the novel do not cover everything that they have faced, but they do show the progress that they made when they all came together.

Commentary 3 O.L.A.S: Aimee Duran

O.L.A.S, Organization for Latinx American Studies, hosted an event where Latinx students came up to deliver poems or present something that represented them. Some of the performances were personal to their experience or their family’s experience. The moment that stuck out to me was when one of the people that performed mentioned that every Latinx person was categorized as Mexican. Although I am Mexican myself, I would hate to be stereotyped under one ethnic group. It is not fair to say everyone that looks similar is from the same place. As worldwide citizens, we should have an open mind of where people are coming from because not all are coming from the same place. Another story that was expressed mentioned having a parent that was harsh on them. This is the reality of some children. Latinx families tend to expect a lot from their kids as they are growing up and that can cause most of the children to mature at an early age. Overall, this was an experience that I related to in personal levels and I would encourage all to attend events that teach us about different ethnicities.

Unit 4 Post 1: Aimee Duran

Although Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell discuss different types of violence, both are developing the idea that violence exists in a variety of ways. Wells’ violence is physical violence where colored people suffered lynchings and hangings due to false accusations that white women made against them. These were common throughout the South, but the North had lynchings as well, so the North was no better than the South. Terrell, on the other hand, talks about the social violence in Washington DC. The discrimination against colored people in the capital affects the way that colored people get to interact in a city that is trying to bring justice to all races. Both authors may be talking about different types of violence, yet both impact the community of colored people. They share backgrounds in that they are both colored women and they have a past filled with violence that their ancestors had to go through. Both are proposing their responses to what has happened in the nation and give context as to reasons why colored people went through such injustices.

Unit 3 Assignment 3: Aimee Duran

Both Gourevitch and Sontag express the way media is used during times of war. In Gourevitch’s reading he emphasizes the idea that those that do not personally go through the suffering of others will never understand what they are truly feeling. When he mentions, on page 152, the purpose of the museum that was created to honor people, it mentions that it is now a shrine that future victims may be honored in. The horrible events that occur in the world, such as this genocide, are not being taken seriously by those that have the opportunity to go and learn about it. Similarly, Sontag mentions how the photographs that are taken are looked at for a moment, but nothing is done about the event. They are looked at one minute, but the next they are forgotten about. There may be empathy, but it happens only in the moment that one is looking at such evidence of the genocide. The United States did not take action to protect those that faced the genocide, even after having a museum open for those that were involved in WWII. Those that “did” something for the people in Rwanda made space for those that were dead and highlighted what was going on by portraying the deceased rather than going to those that were still alive and helping them escape what they were facing. Both Gourevitch and Sontag noticed the injustices that were being committed with those that suffered in the genocide.

Unit 3 Assignment 2: Aimee Duran

Chapter 1

In chapter 1, Sontag emphasizes the notion of photography that occurs during times of war. They can be taken into various interpretations based on the person that is giving the story. Each side is going to have their own perspective, yet how do we know which version is the correct one? As humans we fail to hold reality in our minds. When we look at photographs, we tend to fail at demonstrating empathy towards the subject. (Sontag 8) Photography captures a single moment that the photographer wants to capture. Some images may be suspicious because they could be images that are set up by the photographer and have actors posing for the images. 

Chapter 1 highlights the importance that photography plays in the use of propaganda during times of war.

Chapter 6

In chapter 6, Sontag develops the idea that when looking at the images that have graphic scenes, the initial response is to look away from them because they showcase a lot. Yet, after becoming used to seeing such images of the pain of others, it is something that we desire to constantly look at. The pain of others goes back to being a root in the religious thinking of a person because they think that in pain there has to be a sacrifice and when there is a sacrifice there is exaltation. It is a chain in the religious world that has pain end by being something that people enjoy seeing. 

Chapter 6 talks about how the human mind likes to see images that depict the degradation, mutilation, and pain of others because they capture something that the mind is lured into looking at.

Chapter 8

In chapter 8, Sontag opens the chapter talking about how “No one after a certain age has the right to this kind of innocence.” (Sontag 114) The innocence talked about is the one of ignoring the reality of the world. Photographs that have graphic scenes can be skipped over to avoid looking at what is going on in the world, yet after reaching adulthood one has to be conscience of what is on the news even if that means looking at the graphic images and not skipping over them. Sontag also gives insight as to what the person that looks at the images is thinking about. Looking at the images we want to do something about the situation, yet if we did do something every time, there would be no approach to the situation that is being lived in other parts of the world.

Chapter 8 describes the fact that no one, after a certain age, has the right to ignore the issues that people throughout the world are facing today because they are affecting us in an indirect way.

Unit 3 Passport Assignment: Aimee Duran

Image of a Salvadorian Passport. It includes a portion of the map of Central America, focusing on El Salvador.
This image gives a brief description of the ban of abortion for women in El Salvador. This country has a high rate of gender-based violence.

The making of the passport was a very interesting activity. While creating my passport from El Salvador, I was able to hear about people that were declared as stateless. After listening to the stories, I come to understand that stateless people have gotten their right to citizenship taken away. Passports serve as proof of citizenship and identity. However there are passports that have more freedoms than others. For example, El Salvador has access to 120 countries, which means it is ranked 39th in having travel freedoms. There are passports that restrict its citizens from traveling to certain countries. I never thought that such thing existed, I always thought that as long as a person had a passport, they could travel anywhere that they wanted. This all goes back to having borders that surround a country. I personally believe that countries should not have borders and that anyone should have the freedom to travel to any place that they desire to go to. This activity struck interest in the systems that governments set up for their people.

Unit 3 Assignment 1: Aimee Duran

Research Hannah Arendt’s concept “Banality of Evil” and her book The Origins of Totalitarianism and facts about Adolf Eichmann (even in Wikipedia) as much as you can. List the facts you found in short bullet points. For each of your points include a citation or link to the source of facts.

https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil

  • There can be evil done without intending to do evil
  • Eichmann “acted without any motive other than to diligently advance his career in the Nazi bureaucracy”
  • Eichmann may lack the inherent human quality which is the capacity for thought

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Eichmann

  • Eichmann claimed to be doing the duties assigned to him and being obedient
  • He seemed proud of doing what he did despite him not meaning to do such things
  • “He repeatedly devised innovative solutions to overcome obstacles” 
  • Eichmann was “doing the right thing” by being obedient, yet he still committed such crimes and had no shame regarding his actions

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/17/how-hannah-arendts-classic-work/

  • The primary purpose of the book is to understand what totalitarianism is and it is defined through the imagery of the concentration camps that Arendt depicts in her book
  • We are living in dark times as well, maybe not as dark, but there is still something that negatively impacts our society today
  • Purpose is to identify the origins of totalitarianism, not the causes
  • Arendt emphasizes the point that “many “bads” long taken for granted can come together to generate a maelstrom of evil and horror foreseen by no one,” which can occur and not even the main people of the plot may expect what is coming

Unit 2 Post 3: Aimee Duran

Option 1: In my email about Tuesday’s reading (Appiah), I present a few “issues to think about”. Pick ONE of these and post about a paragraph in response. Suppose that after finishing the reading, a student says: “Any belief, however unlikely it may appear, can be saved from refutation if you’re willing to make enough secondary elaborations.” Is the student right? Defend your answer. (For the term “secondary elaborations”, see p. 346.)

The student could have been right if they were to be with the Azande, since they made secondary elaborations to all the failures that they went through. However, living in the era that we do today, we would find scientific explanations to prove a failure wrong. A belief that has nonscientific explanations could be saved depending on the view that the person that is arguing against it may have. Various oracles that the Azande had had failures that they did not see but would make up explanations to validate oracles. Although, “one perception of error in… a particular situation merely proves the correctness of another equally mystical notion” (pg. 346) This serves as an example as to why there is always an explanation to a failure, but that is not the case in a more advanced society that we live in today.

Option 3: In my lecture on Thursday, I’ll spend part of the time recapping Unit 2. In your post, ask a question about anypart of Unit 2. Time permitting, I’ll address some of these in lecture. Aim for about a paragraph: in addition to asking the question, explain why you’re asking it—that is, why did you find this puzzling? You might also speculate briefly on what the answer might be.

How do the intro to the unit, planetary observations, the scientific revolution, translations, bullshit, and Appiah all connect together and to unit 1? I see that there are different smaller topics within the units, but sometimes it is difficult to connect them all together. I did not see the connection between the planetary observations and the translations, but after taking a minute to analyze each topic, I came to the conclusion that as individuals we have our own interpretations of how the planets work around the earth and the sun. However there are concepts that are difficult to connect with one another.

Unit 2 Post 2: Aimee Duran

Option 1: In my email on Tuesday’s reading (Plato and Borges), I present a few “issues to think about”. Pick ONE of these and post about a paragraph in response. Would the scientists of the Scientific Revolution be more comfortable with Plato’s or Borges’ conceptual scheme? Explain.

Scientists would be more comfortable with Plato’s conceptual scheme because it emphasizes the notion of what society thinks. It highlights the importance that one must go out of the normal standards to reveal the truth. This can help lead others to reality as well. Plato’s conceptual scheme analyzes questions that may be asked when presenting the idea of taking steps at a time to reveal what is happening in the world and open the reader to the truths of reality. Going against what society expects of everyone can lead to negative consequences. However, if one stays to what society expects, there will never be discoveries made towards the revolution. 

Option 2: In a few sentences, comment on / raise a question about Thursday’s translation panel. This can be based on your !/? posts, or it can be something new. And it could be useful—though not required—to connect the translation panel to Plato or Borges (note for starters that both of these readings are translations).

As a native Spanish speaker, I have discovered that there are different translations of words within my own language. Every country, and even then, every region within the  regions of the countries have different ways of understanding a universal concept. If there are many ways to translate something, how do we know which translation is accurate to take into account?