Food Sovereignty Lecture – Andrew Denny

This lecture took place in the Hurt Hub on Feb 3, 2020. This lecture contained a panel of three members of the Cherokee tribe and a lawyer and professor from the University of Arkansas affiliated with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. They spoke about how the Native American’s food sovereignty has been threatened by actions from the federal government. The three Cherokee woman remarked at how difficult it has become to harvest native foods such as ramps. They claimed that the federal government has enacted strict regulations on how and when they are able to grow and harvest these crops. These regulations have made it nearly impossible for the remaining Cherokee people to grow ramps, leading them to almost disappear from North Carolina. The lawyer explained that he along with the rest of the Food and Agriculture Initiative has worked with the Cherokee people in North Carolina and other tribes across the country to help them settle disputes with the government. The federal governments have placed laws that have also affected how different tribes have been able to harvest traditional food such as salmon, bison, and wild rice. He went on to demonstrate that in nearly 60% of counties Native People are the most food insecure.

The Cherokee woman went on to describe recipes from the restaurant they own down near Asheville, NC. The bean bread they described sounded especially good. However, they remarked on how these recipes are becoming increasingly rare because they aren’t being passed on down to future generations.

This panel taught me a lot about what food sovereignty is and how it is an important issue on tribal lands. I think in the age of supermarkets we take for granted how easy our access to food is. Many tribes across this country are suffocated by governmental policies that make it difficult to grow traditional foods they have been growing or hunting for centuries.

Unit 8 Post 2 – Andrew Denny

After watching Never Look Away and analyzing many of the paintings by Gerhard Richter, I believe the connection between reality and his paintings is that the paintings evoke the feeling and emotion of reality from the viewer. Two stills from the movie jumped out at me the most while watching the film, the scene when Kurt stands in front of the bus as they blare their horns and the scene when young Kurt puts his hand in front of his face as his Aunt Elisabeth is dragged away. In both of these scenes, “reality” seems to blur away, the sense of sight of what was happening in the moment disappeared. In both scenes, while his vision is blurred Kurt seems fully present in the emotion of the moment. In my interpretation, this is what his Aunt Elisabeth meant when she said “Never Look Away” ; allow yourself to be present in the moment and acknowledge the feelings that you experience. The effect of blur in Richter’s painting allows the viewer to explore their emotions within a fleeting moment of reality he creates. Richter’s painting have no intrinsic meaning or statement, so the viewer is allowed to use their feelings or life-experiences to interpret the blur in whatever way makes most sense to them.

Richter’s painting of Ulrike Meinhof’s dead body is not intended to depict the actual reality of her death. However, Richter’s painting of Meinhof allows the viewer to ignore the visual subject matter and replace the blur with their feelings about Meinhof and construct their own image within his painting. In the movie, Kurt is told to “Never Look Away” and with the blur in these paintings the audience isn’t forced to look away like they would if they were presented with an accurate image of Meinhof’s death. The blur creates an image that allows the viewer to be present in the moment contrasted from photography or realistic photos which leave no room for the opinions of the viewer.

Andrew Denny – Akhmatova and ! ?

Akhmatova – Our AT group discussed the two translations in terms of the translation panel earlier in the year. We noticed that Thomas’s translation appeared to be more brief and less wordy as apposed to Anderson’s translation. During the translation panel, we remembered that Prof. Denham pointed out two types of translation; a more word for word translation where accuracy in translation is prioritized and a more stylistic translation that adapts the words into the language it is being translated into to preserve the mood, rhythm, etc. We felt that the Thomas translation fell more into this stylistic translation due to the brevity and better flow when reading the poems. Anderson we felt was more word for word because the meaning was clearer however some lines were longer and clunkier. This can be see here:

Thomas: “The mountains bow before this anguish”

Anderson: ” A grief so great would lay a mountain low “

These quotes are both translating the same line of one of Akhmatova’s poems, however, you can see how their translation styles differ. Anderson’s is clunkier but the meaning is clear about the grief experienced. Thomas uses more of a personification of the grief to get his point across. To our AT group, we preferred Thomas’s more stylistic approach to translation because it was more enjoyable to read.

? – Why did Stalin decide that Mayakovsky was to be considered the most important poet of the Soviet Age, when Mayakovsky killed himself because of the constraints on freedom of the press imposed by the Soviet regime?

! – What I found to be most interesting from the lecture was Akhmatova and how she didn’t leave Russia even being a part of the previous bourgeois. I was really surprised by how outspoken she was towards those who did choose to flee Russia. Her poetry was rallying for the people of the Soviet Union especially women. The fact only her husband was arrested for fear of her becoming martyr was another fact that jumped out at me while I was re watching the lecture.

Unit 6 Post 2 – Snow – Andrew Denny

Scientific Theories Recognized:

  • General Relativity
  • Evolution by Natural Selection
  • Heliocentrism
  • Plate Tectonics

Scientific Experiments Recognized

  • Gregor Mendel Cultivates Genetics
  • Madame Curie’s Work Matters
  • Ian Pavlov Salivates at the Idea

Snow

!  – “On the other hand, the scientists believe that the literary intellectuals are totally lacking in foresight, peculiarly unconcerned with their brother men, in a deep sense anti-intellectual, anxious to restrict both art and thought to the existential moment.”

I found this interesting because it shows the skepticism between the fields at the time of writing. I don’t view the humanities and literature as something that “restrict[s] both art and thought.” In my opinion, the work of literary intellectuals explores differing perspectives of questions and experiences that all humans experience. To read this description of the field of humanities, it signaled that the fields were more separate than I expected.

? – “Describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare”

This quote jumped out at me because it encapsulated the point that Snow was trying to make throughout the essay. This quote boils down the disconnect between scientists and literary intellectuals into one sentence. Currently attending a liberal arts college, I found this to be very interesting point. Does the concept of liberal arts do an adequate job at addressing the American obsession with education specialization?

“Black Girl: Linguistic Play” ! and ? – Andrew Denny

What does the work do?

! – The aspect of the dance that jumped out the most was how connected I felt to the story and emotions the dancers were feeling/portraying. When entering the performance hall I thought I would be impressed by the talent of the dancers but wouldn’t be able to relate to the subject material given the title. I was very wrong, the dancers throughout all the scenes expressed real feelings between friends, parents, and siblings. These feelings transcend race, gender, and sexuality. This allowed for everyone in the performance hall to emotionally connect to the performance. By appealing to this shared memory of childhood the dancers were able to break free of preconceived societal stereotypes of African American childhood and culture.

? – I am wondering would some of the meaning of the dance be lost if the dance was titled something else? The current title as Brown said enables people to enter the performance hall with preconceived ideas about what they are going to see. With a more revealing title would the themes/ feelings portrayed in the dance lose some of its meaning?

Andrew Denny – Unit 5 Post ! and ?s

Birns

! – Lemon’s encounters with the historical sites shows his attempts, not to commemorate history, but rather to experience the sites as they would have been encountered in the context of the event or tragedy. This emphasis on ” historical experience” rather than memorialization. This takes me back to the memorials and museums we saw in Montgomery. It makes me wonder whether I gathered the full meaning of the locations. Did I as a viewer take enough responsibility in the moment based on Lemon’s observations.

“Ralph Lemon upends complacent assumptions that the past is a resource to be mined for determinate meaning. His work opens up a field of counter-memory in which what was supposed to be “historical experience” is in fact still taking place” Birns pg. 22

? – How would Lemon have interacted with the EJI Memorial we went to in Montgomery? This cite memorialized lynching deaths from across the country rather than one specific story or place, so would his response to the site have differed from ours?

“On November 26, 2001, the site may be an unremarkable spot under cloudy skies, buttracing the history of the place testifies to memories of a very different era.” Birns 20

Schneider

performance becomes itself through messy and eruptive reappearance, challenging, via the performative trace, any neat antinomy between appearance and disappearance, or presence and absence-the ritual repetitions that mark perform-ance as simultaneously indiscreet, non-original, relentlessly citational, and remaining.” Schneider pg. 103

!- “Messy Reappearances” of previous performances provide an opportunity to straddle the line between appearance and disappearance. These varying interpretations allow performance to remain, while they are often incomplete and varied, the archive itself is similar to this. I found this interesting because it helped me clarify Schneider’s main point of her essay. Additionally, it presented a largely different opinion of the finite quality of performance.

? – In the previous quote Schneider says, ” performance becomes it self through messy and eruptive reappearance”, Schneider pg. 103. How would Schneider classify performances that have been forgotten or performed only one time in history?

Andrew Denny – Campus Commentary

On October 23rd, I along with fellow humesters Alec, McNeil, and Thomas attended the Yong Soon Min Gallery talk at the Visual Arts Center. This talk was extremely beneficial since all 4 of had the Yong Soon Min prompt for essay 2. As I listened to Min talk a gained a greater sense of purpose and commitment about paper 2. Usually when one writes a paper is very easy to forget the person you are writing about is a human with a story to tell. Getting to Min’s story and description of her work in the flesh made the topic so real to me. Additionally, after Min finished her speech to the whole gallery, we were able to have a mini interview with her. This interviewed allowed me to ask some lingering questions I still had before I was to start writing my essay. It was also a very humbling experience to speak to an artist of that talent. She was very kind to talk to 4 random first years whom she had never met. What was striking was how profound her answers were while also remaining humble. I even was able to incorporate one of her answers into my essay.

Andrew Denny Campus Commentary – Kasich

On November 11th, I attended the talk John Kasich gave here on campus. This was an interesting event to attend given my overall uncertainty of what my political beliefs are. Growing up my parents had differing political views. This led them to tell me differing things about politics. I thought that attending a major talk from a significant political figure could be a chance to get outside of my comfort zone. While Kasich’s speech didn’t really center or discuss specific politics or policies, it was interesting nonetheless. His speech centered around the idea of conviction to a cause and standing up for injustices that you see in your everyday life. He provided specific examples of people of differing ages even little kids collecting money or contacting their representatives to create change. He stated that this is the most important action we could take within the realm of politics. What political party you identify should not be one’s focus. As someone who is very uncertain of what politic party I identify with, I resonated very strongly with his message. Just because I am unsure of where I stand, I can still have a profound impact on the politics of the country. This has led me to think of what causes at home or here at Davidson could I help fix or call attention to. In this way, while not help me figure out my political beliefs, Kasich’s speech had a much larger effect.

Andrew Denny Campus Commentary- Macbeth

              On November 2nd I went to Davidson’s portrayal of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. This was an interesting experience for me because in high school my class did a full unit on the differing portrayals of Macbeth. We watched different portrayals from the classic London Globe Theatre version to a version that set the Macbeth story in communist Russia with Macbeth as a communist leader. This has made me very aware of the differing ways the words in Macbeth can be interpreted. The Davidson Theatre incorporated some interesting aspects that I had never witnessed. The director portrayed the witches as dead humans who were revived by other witches with a ritual. The witches were also always present lurking in the background whereas other versions only feature the witches when they have lines. An additional wrinkle the Davidson Theatre incorporated was casting the same actor to play both a witch and a helper or servant to Macbeth. This incorporated a feeling that the witches were actively betraying/working against Macbeth. This leniency of interpretation shows similar ideals to the translation panel in an earlier plenary. The translation panel showed how there is a certain freedom when translating works into another language. Macbeth, similarly, shows how one literary work can have many differing versions and adaptions based off how the words are interpreted.

Andrew Denny- March 2 Analysis

132
134

I chose a selection of pages that discussed the March of the Birmingham youth. At the bottom of 132 you can see the panels zoom closer and closer to a particular youth in the crowd. In the first panel he is only depicted as part of the larger march. But the following panels, get closer to where we get a glimpse into his eyes and can see the individual beads of sweat roll down his face. In this moment you can feel the fear and hesitancy he must be feeling in the moment. This strongly resembles the Ghandi clip we watched in class; the camera man zoomed in to different members of the salt march so that viewer could feel the emotion of fear. In both representations of nonviolence protest, the viewer is forced to confront the individual sacrifice and conviction to the cause in the participant’s faces. The following page (134) zooms out and gives the reader a broader view of the conflict with depictions showing the march and the resulting arrests of young children. However, these panels zoom out and let the reader forget that these are children marching. This effect makes page 135 particularly shocking and motivating. Page 135 depicts a young girl requesting “F’eedom” from a burly cop as a line of children is being arrested. This image is jarring due to the juxtaposition between the young girl and the cop. The girl’s simple response of “F’eedom” hammers home the absurdity of the situation. The viewer when confronted by this panel is forced to ask themselves “is this real?”, “did this actually happen”. The absurdity of the young girl simply asking for freedom, one of the core principles the US was founded on as other eight-year-olds are arrested for peaceful protest is as shocking an image the illustrator could have drawn. This scene being the ultimate culmination of the close ups of the children shows that while the children are fearful of what will happen to them during the march, they are willing to participate in the name of freedom. This demonstrates the idea of “Dramatizing the Scene” that Professor Wills mentioned. The goal of nonviolent protest is to make the absurdity of Jim Crow or other issues so blatant the public can’t avoid it or play it off. The depiction of the little girl standing up to the law adds a layer of innocence and emotion that forces the general public to address what is going on. At least for me, these pages elicited emotions of embarrassment that this happened in our country and confusion. These panels confound to why cops and people of the time though it was justified to arrest these young children. To arrest young kids who are begging for the one thing that is guaranteed to every citizen in the country is an embarrassment to the ideals this country was founded on.  

Andrew Denny – Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell

Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells grew up as a free Black in the American South after the Emancipation Proclamation. She was baptized in a Methodist Episcopal Church. Wells focused on fighting the concept of lynching as punishment for blacks in the South after her friend and his two business associates were lynched. Wells worked to discredit the commonly held myth that lynching was an appropriate punishment for blacks who broke the law. Wells fervidly held that the root of violence and lynchings against blacks was social and economic suppression. She felt that this violence towards blacks was not a response to their criminal activity, rather it was utilized to get rid of prosperous blacks who were acquiring wealth and property. In this way, she attacked the very root of lynching and violence in the South. Lynching was a way to discourage and prevent the advancement of black society. Even activist, Frederick Douglas, thanked her for exposing this aspect of lynching. He, before the work of Wells, also believed that lynching was just in response to black criminal activity. Wells believed that the only solution to lynching was the end of the white’s belief in white supremacy over blacks. As long as white supremacy stood as a doctrine, whites would continue to use violence to hold blacks down.

Wells also worked to increase women’s suffrage and increase black women’s participation in politics. She attended the first National Women’s suffrage march along with 60 other black women. They were advised to walk in the back to not offend southern delegates. Wells’ response was, ” Either I go with you or not at all. I am not taking this stand because I personally wish for recognition. I am doing it for the future benefit of my whole race”. She worked to increase black women’s voice within the National Women’s Suffrage Movement. She, however, worked to get the right to vote for all women. Even helping to register women of all color and encourage them to become more involved in politics.

Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell grew up from a wealthy background. Her father was one of the first black millionaires which allowed her to attend Oberlin University. After moving with her husband to Washington D.C she turned her focus towards issues of racial and women’s inequality. She along with Frederick Douglas worked to fight violence and lynching of blacks in the south. She believed violence against blacks stemmed because whites in the south didn’t see blacks as people only uneducated heathens. In this way, lynching was considered an adequate punishment. Church Terrell worked within a movement she called “Racial Uplift”.  She defined this movement as the belief that blacks would help end racial discrimination by advancing themselves and other members of the race through education, work, and community activism. The main correlation between Terrell and Wells is their agreement of the power white women held over black males in the south. Their accusation essentially sentenced the accused black male to death. Terrell, as opposed to Wells, focused more on the systematic oppression of blacks. This process denied jobs and opportunities in society to people of color. Terrell believed that lynching could not be stopped until, “masses of ignorant white people are educated to a higher moral plane.”

              Terrell also dedicated a lot of her work to the advancement of women. She formed the NACW, National Association of Colored Women in 1896 and served as the president until 1901. She believed that the advancement of black women was crucial to the advancement of the whole race.

Sources

https://www.thoughtco.com/ida-b-wells-barnett-biography-3530698

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/mary-church-terrell

https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1ppnz5.8?Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=mary&searchText=church&searchText=terrell&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FsearchType%3DfacetSearch%26amp%3Bsd%3D%26amp%3Bed%3D%26amp%3Bdisc_religion-discipline_facet%3DcmVsaWdpb24tZGlzY2lwbGluZQ%253D%253D%26amp%3BQuery%3Dmary%2Bchurch%2Bterrell%2B&ab_segments=0%2Fbasic_SYC-4802%2Ftest2&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ida-B-Wells-Barnett

Andrew Denny – Connecting Gourevitch and Sontag

Our perspective determines our response.

The common theme that Gourevitch and Sontag both emphasize in their works is apathy. Why do humans emotionally respond to some images and not others. Why could one image or event emotionally stir up public response, while other we “flip the channel” or turn away from others? Both Gourevitch and Sontag provide insight into this phenomenon of human behavior. In “We Wish to Inform You…” Gourevitch discusses how the perspective or context one operates in determines how one responds to it. Gourevitch presents differing perspectives of the Rwandan Genocide to show how human response can vary. An example of this is how he emphasizes the categorization of what happened in Rwanda by different groups. For example, Dr. Nakti refused to label what happened as genocide. The UN failed to call label this conflict a genocide until December 11, 1946. Additionally, the US was the main nation advocating for removal of UN troops from Rwanda. How could these groups be so apathetic to the reports of what was going on in Rwanda? Gourevitch explains this by explaining that their perspective or conceptual scheme changes how one can emotionally reacts to the horrific reports. Dr. Nakti lived under the assumption/belief that his father was innocent so his perspective allowed him to neglect certain details that one without his conceptual scheme wouldn’t be able to pick up on. This can further be seen when the US decided to remove troops from Rwanda. They did this because from their perspective the situation in Rwanda was similar to the debacle in Somalia in 1992 (failed American military response to poor conditions in Somalia). This shows that apathy is created from perspective. Perspective allows one to detached or connect to an issue. When perspective allows one to detach, apathy takes hold.

Sontag strikes a similar vain about apathy in her discussion of public reaction to graphic images. Throughout the book Sontag discusses what “We” or They” mean when discussing images and events. The last two pages of the book, Sontag asserts that who is the “we” and the “they” determines one’s reaction to an image. If one is not able to relate to the subject of an image they are more likely to be apathetic. For example, in chapter 4 Sontag references a journalistic custom of portraying “colonized -human beings…. like zoo animals.” This custom is prevalent because humans are apathetic to the feelings and thoughts of those who they can cast of as not apart of their “we”. Sontag asserts that people are more apt to be sympathetic when they view the subject as other or apart of the “they”.

These texts are so similar because they both discuss why human’s are given the ability to be sympathetic but can so easily turn this ability off and on.

Andrew Denny – Sontag

Chapter 1 – In the first chapter, Sontag discusses the duality of opinions that images depicting war can elicit. Sontag dismisses the notion that all images of the consequences of war will bring about antiwar sentiments. She does this by first bringing up author, Virginia Woolf’s work Three Guineas. She claims that Woolf asserts although war is a male driven enterprise, images of the horror and destruction of war will bring about the same anti-war sentiment in all humans. Sontag agrees that these photos will bring about the same horrors and disgust in all humans, but disagrees on the type of conclusions people will form from them. Sontag asserts that photos of horrors will only help to reinforce the pre-held opinions that people already have. Images of destruction can bring about feelings of revenge, hatred, or peace. It depends on the context and the person that views the images. Finally, Sontag by discussing the work Krieg dem Kriege, shows how the meaning of images can be changed or enhanced based on the content of their caption, or an omission of one altogether.

One sentence meaning: In Chapter 1, Sontag asserts that human response to photos of atrocity/war depend on the context, and personal agenda/beliefs that the viewer holds to be important.

Chapter 6: In this chapter, Sontag discusses the dulling of public reception to images of mass violence and war. Sontag begins this chapter by emphasizing that it is human nature to want to look or investigate the suffering of others. Sontag similarly to Gourevitch mentions Socrates story of Leontius. A man who attempts to fight the urge to look upon the dead bodies but ultimately fails. This story along with the inclusion of the quotes such as, ” love of mischief, love of cruelty, is a as natural to human beings as is sympathy,” help Sontag show a lust for gore and morbid images is in human nature. However, Sontag asserts the modern overflow and prevalence of violence in society has dulled our natural reactions to violence. Violence’s prevalence means that images must be so overtly morbid or shocking to gain our attention. Sontag further explains our lessened sensitivity to violence by discussing the limits of human compassion. Humanity has a hard time relating to the scope of an issue if it is not happening to them in the moment. This dismissal is portrayed by Sontag’s inclusion of the woman who flips the channel after seeing images of violence. Additionally, Sontag asserts that human compassion if not acted upon dies. In this age of large governmental involvement, people are often less often to feel as if they can do anything to help or change anything so there reaction to images are dulled.

One Sentence: In this chapter, Sontag rationalizes modern society’s dulling response to images of mass violence attributing it to the increased abundance of these type of images in all aspects of society, and the limitations of human compassion when one is not faced or can have any effect on the tragedies or horrors taking place.

Chapter 8: In this chapter, Sontag asserts what role images play in society. She attempts to prove this by first discussing human’s propensity and attitudes towards remembrance and forgetting. Sontag states that human’s view of remembrance is as an ethical act. In fact, we do our best to remember because we know one day we will cease to exist as well. However, Sontag says that there is too much injustice and atrocities in this world to remember and hold grudges. To make peace is to forget and have a clean slate. In some ways, Sontag says that images have made this process more difficult. However, images according to Sontag are not intented to seal memories in our minds but are an invitation to rethink and learn from atrocities that have occurred. Additonally, Sontag dismisses the viewing of images as viewing others suffering from a distance. She does this by demonstrating the power of sight and by having the ability to view something multiple times; it forces one to think about what has occurred in the photo and why it has occurred. Or as she ends the chapter, “Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.”

One Sentence: Images of suffering are not a way to view suffering at a distance, it is a way to give those who are suffering an audience, and to give that audience the ability/ invitation to think, and investigate the content and message of the image.