I really thought it was interesting how during the Q and A after the dance the answer to the questions often had to do with self-interpretation and reflection. I believe that it speaks to how dance can only fulfill the purpose of telling a story or a different perspective when it is allowed to be taken in and interpreted differently amongst people.
I wonder what different perspectives would come out of the reproduction of the performance by individuals who watched the original performance?
!: Pg. 106 – “We are also and simultaneously encouraged to articulate the ways in which performance . . . begins again and again.” This quote sheds light on how performance is to be both interpreted and experienced, like how our last reading mentioned in regards to history. The notion of performance and the repetition of it creating witnesses that are all different speaks to a different diverse type of history that is overlooked.
I also found the quote about how “the dead just sit up after a while, walk-off, reparticipate in the action” (pg.103) to be a really interesting way of getting at how history repeats itself. Furthermore, after class on Thursday, I believe it’s not just that history repeats itself but that experience reoccurs in various forms.
?: Several times Schneider refers to the archivable object or performance becoming “itself through disappearance” (pg. 104) and this is hard for me to wrap my head around. I understand that even during the facade of absence there can still be visibility and institutions can be created. But to not become yourself till you disappear is abstract; does this mean that something only gains value when it no longer exists? What is something when it has yet to disappear?
!: On page 19, when it said “Lemon does not want to erase the undermachinery of art or the research he has done, instead of presenting it . . . as movement and dramatic dance” this really clicked. When I watch a performance, it can be easier for me to overlook the research put into it and given by it then when I read a textbook. Performace becomes a different thing, to me, when I take the time to recognize all that the performance embodies.
Another quote on page 19 that caught my attention was “Nearly 40 years later, it is just a bridge, a routine piece of infrastructure. Only the observer “knows” of its history, and is there to mark it.” History is all around, both in physical locations and through our interactions in the world. Without the observer, there would be no documentation of the history, but it’s really important to recognize that the observer does not necessarily see or pay attention to the whole history.
Page 20: “Lemon’s citation of the highway number shows that place, as dramatized landscape, becomes an alternate axis, complementing, and perhaps outflanking, that of time.” This quote makes me wonder doesn’t everything exist on an alternate axis (or even multiple ones)? And if so, how do we reconcile the various conflicting images and roles of these different axes? Do we need to recognize the past of a place? How do we do this a way more meaningful than a historical marker?
I selected this pictorial depiction because I thought it did a really good job of portraying the violence and fervor behind the crowd and the people they represent in this excerpt well. The crowd is large with lots of passion and anger that can be seen in the depictions of the faces of members of the crowd. The sharp cuts and angles of the middle section of this page have the effect of making the depiction more sharp and even more alarming. In addition, they cut the reader/viewer due to how ragged and sharp the shape of the depictions are. There is something to be said for this entire page having a black background and while it portrays that it is nighttime, it also creates a scary yet ominous tone and environment. Furthermore, the darkness foreshadows something bad happening. The slant of the church in the first portion of this page allows for the slanting “Boom” to have a greater role visually and to convey that the crowd is pushing against the church and who is inside the church and what ideas they hold. The use of speech bubbles creates a space to represent the spoken sentiments of the angry crowd depicted. To have this page only have speech bubbles from one side, the angry white crowd, adds more strength to this page because it allows for the representation from the depiction to be understood quite clearly. I feel that the cumulative effects of this page in its depiction is that it allows for a deeper understanding of how tense things were in the moment portrayed and the various emotions possibly present at the time. The graphic rhetoric of this page makes the depiction of the event and the emotions less flat and more realistic. By doing so, the audience is able to better resonate with the story and to have a deeper understanding.
Mary Church Terrell majored in Classics at Oberlin College and was one of the first African American women to earn a degree. She grew up in a family that was financially stable, religious, and conservative. Mary’s parents were former slaves, while she herself was born after emancipation. Ida B. Wells was born a slave but several months later was emancipated. She was doing her early schooling at Shaw University, which her father had helped create, but her parents died from yellow fever so she left school to take care of her siblings. Both women were frustrated with living in a country that claimed one thing and did the other. Jim Crow and prejudice led to the ignoring and disrespect of colored individuals and this made people mad and upset. Furthermore, the disrespect for colored bodies led to society as a whole coming together as a mob and disrespecting them socially and physically. As women, they both were activists for women’s rights and suffrage and they both played huge roles in the NACW. Wells suggests that we as a country put more focus and attention on our own problems and violence so that we can be proud of our country when we go abroad. They mention the societal benefits, economic benefits, and moral benefits of stopping anti-black violence.
The two readings for this post both deal with responsibility and the ability of individuals and entire nations to view an event, like the Rwanda Genocide, as not important enough to actually do something. Gourevitch really focused on how so many decided not to actually make space for the living in Rwanda, for the people who were being slaughtered and needed help, but instead made spaces for them as dead people. The U.S. had created a space for victims of genocide through the Holocaust museum but didn’t actually do anything beneficial to stop the next genocide from happening. I feel that Sontag might say this has to do with how people looking at war through photos or the news “can’t understand, can’t imagine” what it truly means to be there and the liveliness and speed in the war and the death happening behind the still silent image they see. Furthermore, Sontag discussed censorship and the limiting of what we can see from different countries has led to an incorrect belief being spread about Africa and Asia. The fact that the most gruesome images we see come out of Africa leds people to think that those gruesome images don’t exist elsewhere when the reality is that they exist everywhere and are just being hidden/censored. This belief of Africa is the only place, where nasty things like this happen, was also highlighted by Gourevitch when he talked about how the French, the U.S., and the UN all played off what was happening in Rwanda as savages doing what they do best naturally: fighting each other. Many countries have nasty wars but will save face through censorship just like how the French tried to save face through their Operation Turquoise. The 2 authors also come together on the topic of how people don’t care about things that don’t personally affect them, this is way photos can be both powerful and powerless; the UN made the genocide convention out of their self – interest not out of hope for the greater good.
The Minority SaPHety Net event was all about how do we create a more inclusive environment on campus and the experiences of students from marginalized groups on campus. The event had 3 keynote speakers: Carol Quillen, Todd Sigler, and Norman Bailey. Carol Quillen focused on how in order to have a more inclusive environment we need to not make others stories our stories. She related her talk back to Humanities and discussed the importance of not putting others in a box because that’s when they feel the most uncomfortable. Todd Sigler focused on the legal rights students have as an individual in this country and on campus. His main emphasis was that we have to give consent to give away some of our rights and we should not do so. We shouldn’t willingly give away a right that we have and by being informed by our rights, we can better tell when they are being taken away from us. Norman Bailey focuses on his own story and understanding the difference between when one is in pain and when one is uncomfortable. If one is uncomfortable then they should use that moment of discomfort to grow. The Student Q&A section was really interesting because they discussed not receiving support from the administration, from the student body as a whole, and from other minority groups. The most important question was where are the white students, where are the students who aren’t marginalized. In our current world, it’s not just enough for minority groups to support other minority groups. We need everyone to support each other and show up to events like this so that we all can learn how to make our shared space more welcoming.
I found the microaggression panel to be really interesting. To start off with, it was interesting to see who was in the audience and how people came out to support and learn more. The panel was all about bringing awareness to what microaggressions are and their presence on campus. In addition, it was very nice to hear about other students’ experiences. It’s not surprising that it does happen, but it was interesting to hear about it happening from professors and how the panel members would deal with that. I thought about it myself and I think I’d probably be a bit at a loss and feeling disengaged if I experienced a microaggression from a professor. Lots of people don’t actually know what microaggressions are and when discussing our evenings I had to define it to a friend. However, sometimes it’s hard for myself to identify when a microaggression is taking place and this makes me oblivious to certain things. The most important thing I got from this panel was that we all need to be more conscious in every sense. Not only should we be conscious about what we are saying and making sure that we aren’t committing a microaggression, but we should also support one another when someone experiences a microaggression. It’s hard to speak up sometimes but when someone is being brought down it’s nice to have support. We can’t just be passive because it’s not okay and if we don’t say anything nothing will change. This relates to the power of a single story in the sense that microaggressions often come from a single perception that’s believed. Honestly, just the fact that there was a microaggression panel to discuss it is a pretty big step to me. So many people have to just deal with the microaggressions they encounter daily and feel like it’s just the way things are. But by bringing awareness to issues that some might not even know are issues, I believe we are taking steps towards solving the issue.
When it comes to getting people to care about the truth so that they don’t bullshit, I think it’s really hard to do. The people who choose to be ignorant of the truth are making a choice not to be informed. If they are ignorant of the truth due to a different conviction they hold I sincerely do not believe you can make them care about the truth if the truth doesn’t fit into their conceptual scheme. However, I feel that in general the more education we receive throughout life the more we will value the truth. Education in the formal academic sense but also education of the different perspectives that different people in the world have. This type of education will at least make people more open and a bit more thoughtful. I think we really can’t make people care about the truth, we live in a world and in a society where bullshit is constant. For some individuals, they’d rather live in the bullshit then open their eyes to the truth and those people can’t be made to care about the truth. The desire for truth is a personal one that has to do with one’s own growth and it’s something that we each must come to on our own.
This unit has really led to so many great questions but the question that I keep going back to is what do we know as truth? We read various texts throughout the unit that said different things about the truth. Is it that different truths exist in different paradigms? Are we only able to know baby t truths and not adult T truths? Does an adult T truth exist? The concept of truth is always one that has made me wonder do we live in a simulation and does anything matter. This unit did not provide me clarity on truth but I don’t actually think it can. I feel that sometimes it’s okay to just be confused and I believe that throughout my life my understanding of what is truth will evolve. I guess I’m asking this question then not for an absolute answer but to educate myself through different multiple perspectives so that I can better reflect upon what is my truth.
On pp. 274-5, Kuhn notes a number of parallels between political and scientific revolutions. Can you think of some important differences between the two that Kuhn should have mentioned?
While I agree with Kuhn that there are parallels between political and scientific revolutions, the nature of the two are different. Science on its own prior to the influence of politics is an impartial subject. The partisanship that is so evidently present in politics is innate in politics but science seeks to find something absolute and is very unbiased in its natural form. I also feel that while political revolutions can be for what one perceives to be the greater good they can also be for one’s own self-interest and not contribute to the common good. Scientist are concerned with a better understanding of how things work and scientific revolutions don’t happen out of self-interest but because of the desire of scientist to improve the shared knowledge. While both scientific and political revolutions, according to Kuhn, leave one paradigm for the next, the manner in which the leaving of a paradigm happens is different in both cases. The switch from one paradigm to another in a scientific revolution tends to not be physically violent like political revolutions can be.
The reading for Tuesday led to an interesting discussion in my section about the truth. Scientist strive to find the truth but sometimes the truth they find isn’t the actual truth. I feel that truth is subjective to the paradigm and the ideas of that paradigm. It’s scary to question what we have been told and boxed mentally as truth in our minds but I think it’s very important to do so. This isn’t to say that science is not real but going back to Sapere Aude in order to truly be enlighted we must think and question for ourselves. I wonder if just like how there can political revolution and scientific revolutions, might there be revolutions of what is the truth? And if the truth is a definite thing, why do we believe we’ve already found it? Might we be discovering parts of the backstory to the truth but not itself yet? It can become very abstract to think about truth in this sense but there is immense value in not just taking things as they are and exploring one’s knowledge and perception of the world in a deeper way. Just like how translations shouldn’t just be taken as they are but we must think deeper about them and what they’re saying or not saying.