When I went to the stickwork reception I expected to hear the artist and someone else introduce him. That was wrong. Not only did the artist and a Davidson sculpting professor speak, but also President Quillen and a student who had helped out with the creation of the work, spoke. Each perspective was different and brought a different element to the reception. President Quillen has created a campus that values artwork, and even the people who visit just for a day can see that. The art professors here on campus create and bridge the relationships between the artist and our school, allowing us to have the pieces that we do, here on campus. It was interesting to hear from the students perspective, as it is not everyday that an undergraduate gets the opportunity to work with a world renowned artist. The artist, Patrick Dougherty, was not what I expected. I expected to see a young 40-something year old man. I did not expect to find a man in his 70’s because from what I could see, creating the stickwork was tedious and strenuous. After listening to him speak however, I could understand why he still was creating these pieces. It is his passion. And on top of that he gets to experience many different cultures with many different people. He spoke for a short period of time, they all did, however after he spoke I saw that his perspective had been influenced by his experiences through creating his art.
At Susan Rice’s talk, I was surprised at just how open she was to discussing all aspects of her life (personal and career). She did not try to hide anything, nor did she want to. Every question posed to her she answered with poise. What stuck with me most was her familial relationships. Although her job forces her to be pretty open about her political beliefs, her son does not have the same opinions or beliefs as her. When I first heard this I thought, “there is no way they get along long enough to eat dinner on holidays, let alone to talk on a regular basis.” However she quickly explained that while it is not easy, they do have a pretty good relationship, one that does not discuss/include politics. She was candid when discussing that it is not always easy but it is accomplishable. It was interesting for me to hear about a family’s relationship with politics within their household. In our society there are a few things we are taught to never discuss at the dinner table, politics being one of them. Now this was never a rule in my household, and if it had been then most nights we would have broken it, but it was interesting to hear from someone that is so publicly democratic about their relationship with their very republican son. She reminded me that what matters most is not always our beliefs or opinions, sometimes those things can take a backseat when it involves our family.
Bryan Stevenson’s talk attracted a crowd that challenged those of the basketball games that happen in the same stadium. He reminded me and everyone else in the crowd, that if we want to make a difference in this world, we have to be willing to face the uphill battle. We have to be willing to steer into the uncomfortable if we want to change the troubled aspects of our world. It is how we handle these situations, that dictate the type of person that we are. Passion drives this country, but empathy is what connects us to one another. Although there is a connection between us, there is also a disconnect that blindsThis disconnect often overshadows the connection, but if we want to be able to understand one another we need to remember our connections. If we want to change the world we need to be willing to get closer to those who are struggling and we need to be willing to bridge the gap that divides us. At the end of the day we need each other if we want to change the world. One person can make a difference, but it is not up to one person. It is up to all of us to bridge the gap that divides us.
(!) As time goes on, STEM and humanities are becoming more and more separate, “split into two polar groups” (Snow 3). This distinction between the two groups is Snow’s main topic throughout his paper. He emphasizes this distinction by saying “the politeness has gone, and they just make faces” (Snow 17). He says this in reference to the groups over time, noting how they used to be able to make cold smiles, and now they cannot even do that.
(?) Snow talks about how once a cultural divide is distinguished, it is hard to ever go back. He notes that, “once anything like a cultural divide gets established, all the social forces operate ti make it not less rigid, but more so” (Snow 17). Can a cultural divide be diminished? Do both populations as a whole have to be willing to work (together?) for less of a divide?
Theories I knew/recognized: Oxygen theories of combustion (Antoine Lavoisier), Plate tectonic theory (Alfred Wegener), Special Relativity (Albert Einstein), General Relativity (Albert Einstein), Evolution by Natural Selection (Charles Darwin), Heliocentrism (Copernicus)
Experiments I knew/recognized: Genetic Inheritance (Gregor Mendel), Eye Optics (Isaac Newton), Radioactivity (Marie Curie)
Media used images of white virgin women being followed by white men in black face were used to incite violence. Both sides of this issue, women as objects and black men as predators, were used in media in hopes of firing black people up. The idea that black men preyed on young white women and that women needed to be protected by white men was a dangerous stereotype. The fact that the people that played the black men in media were really white men wearing black face was seen as insult that again the creators hoped would create violence, or at least disrupt black people enough to get a rise out of them.
Did black men willingly do black face? What was the incentive for them?
In the Schneider reading, on page 100, she quotes Jaques Le Goff when discussing the use of documents in history. They state, “history has been composed of documents because, ‘the document is what remains’(Le Goff)” (Schneider, page 100). I had never really thought about the fact that the artifacts that we use to recite history, were not necessarily hand-picked, rather they were all that remained as evidence. Schneider later talks about how part of a performance is the disappearance at the end, however, I am curious about the audience’s role. If the performance truly disappears once it is complete, wouldn’t that include its presence in the minds of the audience?
In the Birns reading, she discusses the work of Ralph Lemon. She mentioned, on page 20, that in one of his pieces, he portrayed what happened to Emmet Till. In one photograph there is nothing known about the woman that Till “gazed” at, however next to this photograph Lemon had an abstract drawing of a southern belle that may have looked something like the woman Till looked at. He also gave this woman a name. I found this portrayal of the event very interesting because it made the woman seem more human. By giving her a name and a face, people were able to imagine how the events may have occurred. This portrayal of the event also made me wonder why. Why is it that people need tangible information to more easily grasp, or imagine, a situation?
In the image above, the way it is formated allows for the severity of the event to be more clearly understood. It is hard to fathom a child beating a grown adult, and it is even harder to imagine a mother supporting a child beating anyone. If I had just read this scene with no images, I would be shocked that the mother supported the boy beating someone up, but the image allows for me to comprehend the severity of the situation. In one text box a hand is almost grabbing at the reader, it feels as though it is reach for someone. And the face of the boy that the hand belongs to is even more terrifying. Although the boys face is smiling, his eyes look pure evil. He has one eyebrow slightly arched, allowing for the eye below it to be shaded just slightly with a slight glimmer. The glimmer is what is most terrifying about this panel. Typically when people describe others with a glimer, it is in reference to hope or happiness. In this case it may still have to do with happiness, and that is disturbing that such a young boy has hope for an unjust thing.
The words are not crisp, they are kid of squiggly with a hint of hand-written. This casual font allows for these text bubbles to have a different tone than a lot of the other text in the novel. A lot of the text in the novel is bold and in all capital letters, allowing for the tone of these bubbles to be different than the squiggly hand-written bubbles. The tone that these bubbles read is more violent and urgent, with mal-intent as a goal. I found it interesting that the text in these bubbles were lower case. Typically, in my eyes, I see all caps as excited or angry or urgent, a message with a lot of emotions. All lower case letters convey a calmer tone, something that can still have emotion but is not so urgent.
Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell were both extremely influential as they advocated for equality as black women. Although they covered the same topics broadly, they chose to focus in on separate, more specific ones, not to say they did not dip their toe into other ponds as times. Wells’ focus was on racism in the deep South, specifically on the unjust lynchings that were too often overlooked by the law. Wells was faced with frequent threats and quite a lot of violence however she did not stop reporting. After reporting on a lynching that was brought on because a black mans business was competition of a white mans, Wells was forced to move to Chicago, for her own safety. This, however, did not stop her from reporting on the violence that surrounded the lynchings in the South.
Terrell focused on a similar topic of racial violence however on the basis of the notion of racial uplift, which is the belief that black people would help end racial discrimination. Her words, “Lifting as we climb” was the motto for the National Association of Colored Women, a group she helped found. The motto was in reference to creating equal opportunities for the race. By doing so, individuals would be able to succeed, and as they succeeded, the whole race would be lifted. Later she put more of her focus on the discrimination that specifically black women faced, after realizing that they (which included herself) had to overcome two of the hardest obstacles in the United States.
Prior to seeing Macbeth performed in Duke, I did not know much about it. I had never previously read it, or seen it performed elsewhere. When I first arrived I noticed the amount of students and professors sitting in the audience. I was impressed with how many came out to watch on a Sunday afternoon. I also noticed the lighting on the set, and how the stage extended into the first couple of rows of seating. Specifically with the stage, I wondered how it would work throughout the performance, if the actors would really be that close to the audience. Once the play began I was impressed with the actors use of space. Not only did they utilize the outstretching stage and the aisles in Duke, but the set had been made with a three or four trap doors, that allowed for actors to pop out at their given cues. I felt like this aspect of the set was especially thought through. Adding on to my impression of the set, I was surprised at first to see that the same was used for the entire play; however, the lighting allowed for each scene to feel unique and the fact that the same set was used actually added a constant to a sometimes difficult to understand scene. I also want to add that it was really impressive seeing fellow humesters performing in the show, it allowed for a sense of familiarity as well as reminded me that this was a campus event.
As I was reading through Gourevitch and Sontag I noticed they both addressed how people experienced mass genocide. Sontag noted that although people have access to images and footage of the tragedy, they did not live through it, and thus, it is not their story. They can relate to a certain extent because they saw the images on the news, however they were not personally there, they did not survive the genocide, and they most certainly did not die. She even states that those who lived through the mass genocide cannot relate to those who died, nobody can. Everyone’s experience was different and while these experiences could be similar, no ones was the same. Sure the people sitting safely across the ocean can say how horrible it was to see the photos of corpses, but they cannot relate to the loved ones of those corpses. They are feeling something different. Gourevitch addressed the same topic, however in his mind, it was “our story.” Everyone who experienced the genocide, however they may have lived through it, had witnessed it, whether that be through images or in person. After the genocide was over, people from all over were trying to help by sending supplies because they felt as though they had lived through the genocide as well, it was their story too, and it was just as much their mess to clean up. The authors differed on who had the right to feel connected to this event, however both agreed that everyone experienced it uniquely different depending on who and where they were.
The country I was randomly assigned to was Thailand. On the first page of my passport there was a little background about the unjust ways of the government. People (activists, journalists, politicians, etc) were arrested for peacefully protesting Thailand’s government and monarchy. The government took away many of their people’s basic human rights, such as: freedom of expression or peaceful assembly and association. By doing so, the government silenced the people, forcing them to live in fear, not advocating for what they were previously promised. Although my country’s government was a bit of a mess, the stories of the stateless people sitting next to me were much more difficult. Prior to this event, I did not have much knowledge of what a stateless person was. However, as I was sitting, coloring in my passport, with a very nice gold pen, people at my table were explaining the stateless story they were assigned. One stateless person at my table was born and raised in Kuwait territory but part of the Bedoon tribe. When Kuwait became a country, her family did not realize citizenship status was important until it became difficult to receive. She and her family had no rights in Kuwait and were stateless there. She described how humiliating and challenging it was to grow up stateless. On her travel documentation, under nationality, it read “non identified.” She used this documentation to travel to the USA to get a degree. After arriving, her visa expired in Kuwait and the government refused to renew it. She can no longer travel back to Kuwait and her family is undocumented, leaving them with no idea when they will see eachother again.
In Sontag’s first chapter, she discusses the repercussions of war in connection to Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas. Sontag first mentions the inequality between men and women that surrounds the idea of war: men often like war, while women typically don’t. When someone talks about war, people often use the term “we,” however, “we” could mean anyone, unless it is specified. Sontag then goes further with this idea of “we” and connects it to the pictures that are used as “shock-pictures” and who they are specifically aimed at. Pictures are used to bring attention to a matter that could otherwise be ignored by an unaffected population. However these same pictures that can do good, can also be used to manipulate people in situations. Sontag uses an example of showing propaganda to the Croats and the Serbs (the propaganda in this case is the same picture of dead children), in order to get a rise out of them. Sontag ends this chapter with noting that Ernst Friedrich discusses that while war can cause mass hysteria, sometimes it is the only option to get back to some normalcy (War Against War).
One-Sentence Description: Sontag uses authors who have previously written about war, to describe the repercussions it can have on a population.
In her sixth chapter, Sontag specifically talks about the media’s affect on the emotions of the people experiencing an event. For the most part, she talks about tragedy and suffering. For example, she talks about the fact that a car accident doesn’t typically cause all the back up on a highway, it is the people that cannot help themselves from looking at the accident that cause the traffic. In the case of the car accident people cannot look away, however, when it comes to mangled bodies and war, it is an instinct to look away or change the channel. Sontag mentions how media uses images and videos to grab the attention of the viewer, in hopes of forcing people that would be otherwise unaffected, to see the problems occurring elsewhere. She goes further with this point, noting that emotion plays an imperative role in what people choose to look at or not look at. When a person sees a mangled body, people become afraid. Emotion is “human,” fear is human just like sympathy is human. It is hard to see something that instills fear in oneself. It is easy to look away and pretend something is not really happening, that that mangled body is not real, because fear blocks it out.
One-Sentence Description: Sontag discusses the impact the media (pictures, newspapers, TV, etc.) can have on the emotions, specifically sympathy, of people that are and are not directly impacted by the matter.
In Sontag’s eighth chapter she notes that an image is a window into humanity. A picture is worth a thousand words, and what an individual is doing in a picture should be studied very closely because that image was chosen for a reason. Humans are capable of forgiveness, however, we are also capable of evil. Sontag states that peace can only be accomplished if all wrong doings, all evil acts performed in the past, are forgotten. She goes on further to say that doing terrible things is part of being human. People prefer to have a good feeling than a bad one, thus when it is an option, humans choose the good feeling. However at the same time, Sontag mentions that if we could do something about what an image portrays, the image might not have the same effect on the emotions of a person.While an image is not like seeing something in person, it is an opportunity to experience the world and attempt to sympathize with those directly affected.
One-Sentence Description: Images allow for doors to be open, permitting people to have a glimpse of a situation, and also close doors, by enabling people to look away.