Unit 4 Assignment 2- Erica Harris

Pages 172-173 are from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. The speech was the last one, and it occurred after John Lewis’ in the comic. The image is the only one in the section that spans over two pages, and certain words are in bold and underlined. 

Martin Luther King Jr. is surrounded by what seems like a halo of light. This and the top-left hand corner are the only places in the image that are light. This speech is the only one highlighted like this, and the words that are underlined create a sense of hope for the future. The comic focused on nonviolence even in the face of violence, and this speech shows how nonviolence and words can be powerful too. The words were “like arrows” creating a “climatic refrain the world would never forget” (172). These lines describe the speech perfectly because they touched many people even now. The words on the second page are all in bold highlighting the main points of the speech of love and a better country. 

I chose this image because it stood out when I was reading this section. Love and dream are highlighted adding to the message of nonviolence. It describes how religion and hope for the future were the main bases for the nonviolence movement. Throughout the comic, there is so much violence they face. Even with all the violence, they stand firm in their belief of nonviolence. This page not only conveys hope, but it shows how many people it touched and how impactful the speech was. It is not always possible to stay nonviolent, and sometimes it may not be the best way as a response. However, they stood firm in their belief that love and a dream may help create a better and more equal America even when it may not happen. 

Erica Harris- Unit 4 Assignment 1

Terrell 

Terrell was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1863, and her parents were former slaves (Michals 2017). Growing up, her household was religious and conservative (Johnson 2019). She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Oberlin College, and she joined the anti-lynhing campaign (Michals 2017). She later became president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and campaigned for civil rights and women’s suffrage (Michals 2017). In “What is Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States,” Terrel describes segregation and how African Americans were denied from going to certain theaters, going to universities, and almost every business. She talked about how African American women could not find any work and how they faced violence and assault if they entered certain places. Terrell focuses on how African American women walked around hungry without a place to stay. This is a different type of violence than Wells describes with lynching, but it is still violence because they were being denied certain rights. They were being denied rights to work, education, and even just entering a building. Segregation goes back to slavery and treating people differently and horribly based on the color of their skin. Terrell describes how “persecution based solely on the color of the skin appear[s] more hateful and hideous… in the capital of the United States” (212). 

Michals 2017

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

Johnson 2019 

https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/history/historians-miscellaneous-biographies/mary-church-terrell

Wells 

Wells was born in Mississippi in 1862 and was born into slavery (Norwood 2017). She was denied the right to sit in a train, and she campaigned against lynching (Norwood 2017). Her press was burned by the town, and she moved to Chicago where she continued to fight against lynching (Norwood 2017). She was very religious, and she used many religious parables in her arguments (Schechter 2001). In Southern Horrors, Wells describes lynching and how people were put to death for nothing. It happened throughout the history of the country and started again in the South. She describes how white women contribute to the killings. They could accuse an African American man of insulting or assaulting them, and the men would be put to death. Almost all the accusations did not have a basis, and the violence was caused by the public. The lynchings were publicized, and the public would treat it like entertainment. Wells describes how the lynchings are barbaric and are happening around the country. She talks about how the country and people turn a blind eye to the killings and how they need to be stopped. 

Norwood 2017

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/ida-b-wells-barnett

Schechter 2001 

https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=6022

Erica Harris- Campus Event Commentary, Macbeth

Macbeth was very well done with a different take on the play. The actors did a great job bringing something new to each of the characters and changing them in unique ways from the original play. I think one of the largest character changes is Lady Macbeth. In this version, she is more innocent and understanding compared to the original where most of the violence is because of her. The three witches were also more prevalent in this version with staying in almost every scene in the background without the characters noticing them. This added to the story that this all happened because of the witches’ prophecy, and it will not end the way Macbeth thinks it will. I loved the set design with the trapdoors to make the characters disappear to create a more mysterious feeling to the play. The various lighting during the play also added to the mood and setting of each scene. The play was very good, and I would definitely see it again. 

Unit 3 Assignment 3- Erica Harris

Gourevitch and Sontag discuss media coverage and photography of horrific events that occur around the world. Gourevitch discusses how the world ignored the genocide in Rwanda, but they all watched the camps with the cholera outbreaks after the Hutus fled. People saw it on the news, and the  “mass anguish” was “an appeal to the world’s conscience” (Gourevitch 168). The world did nothing during the genocide, but it sent aid in with media coverage to the camps in Zaire. Sontag mentions how we look at pictures of war and how the dead “haven’t come back to life” to tell us “to bring a halt to the abomination which is war” (Sontag 125). Taking photographs of the dead will not help because we have not experienced what they have. We can never imagine what they went through even though we try. Overall, I think Gourevitch and Sontag bring up the distinction between empathy and sympathy. By looking at these photographs and watching people die in the thousands, we think we feel empathy for them. Watching aid being brought in, we create a sense that we are doing something to help when we are not. Empathy means having a shared personal experience to a person, but we can never feel what the people who died did. We can have sympathy for them, but we will never truly have empathy. Humans like to feel they know exactly what a person went through and how to help, but this does nothing because we create a false sense of empathy and accomplishment when all we have done is watch. 

Passport Workshop- Erica Harris

For the passport workshop, I drew stateless and received a story about a woman with her two children. She was a Norwegian citizen and lived in India with her children, but her children were stateless because she was a surrogate mother and not considered their biological family. Citizenship is based on either blood or soil, and each country recognizes one or both. India and Norway had different regulations, so the children were not considered citizens of either country. This workshop not only talked about citizenship, but it also discussed what it means not to have a citizenship as well as how this happens. We discussed what it means to be a citizen, and each of us had a different answer. However, Tintin Wulia mentioned how it is similar to a membership. Citizenship is just a membership to the country, and it depends on where you were born and who your family is. Sometimes when countries have different regulations, a person is not able to receive citizenship because they do not fall into the category of blood or soil. I really enjoyed this workshop because it not only discussed citizenship but also how there are a variety of reasons why someone may be stateless. 

Unit 3 Assignment 2- Erica Harris

Chapter 1 

The chapter starts out by describing Virginia Woolf’s book Three Guineas and how men are the people who make war. She goes on to say how both women and men see something different when looking at a picture of war and agree it should be stopped. We know war can never be stopped permanently, but we can punish those who commit violations in war. These pictures create a consensus of shock among people and are directed at those who are privileged and safe enough to ignore war. War ruins, and we don’t hold this as a reality when it is. In her pictures of Spain, Woolf shows innocent civilians who were killed to show how war affects everyone. Many times both sides are guilty of this atrocity, and the photographs may create a response in people that either calls for peace or revenge. 

War is ruin that is created by men, and war photographs are important for people to see in order to raise awareness of the atrocity of war and call for peace even when it may seem hopeless. 

Chapter 6 

Everyone is drawn to violence and is inclined to look at it even when we know we shouldn’t. In order to explain why this happens, Plato describes how desire to look overwhelms our reason. With modern technology, it has become easier to see that we all look at violence because suffering creates something powerless that people think they can fix. Even though we look at violence, we cannot bear when those close to us are in pain. It creates a feeling of it happening too close to us rather than it being far away and easy to dismiss. Because of entertainment such as television and because of more wars, we have become more insensitive to violence. “Compassion is an unstable emotion” that needs to be used “or it withers” (pg. 101). 

Everyone is inclined to look towards violence even when our reason tells us not to because we have a desire to look at something we don’t see everyday. 

Chapter 8 

Human wickedness creates suffering “in the world we share with others,” and people who are shocked by this have “not reached moral or psychological adulthood” yet (pg. 114). No one should be protected against the knowledge of human wickedness because it creates a warning we often forget. Remembering the past has an ethical component, but history has created a scene where we don’t want to remember and cannot come to the conclusion of peace. Suffering around the world has reached more people through modern technology, and it is shown in order for people to pay attention to it. Whether watching from across the world or next to the violence, it is still only watching. 

Watching violence is not wrong because many times we cannot change what is happening, but we should not forget the wickedness humans are capable of when we see this destruction happening around the world. 

Unit 3 Assignment 1- Erica Harris

“Banality of Evil” 

 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/hannah-arendt-adolf-eichmann-banality-of-evil (link applies to 1-6) 

  1. Arendt created the phrase “banality of evil” after seeing Adolf Eichmann’s trial after the Holocaust. 
  2. The crime committed needed to have a new legal approach because current law was not enough. 
  3. Wanted to understand the unpreceded crimes and how they go against humanity 
  4. Agreed with the final verdict of a death sentence 
  5. Focused on failure to think 
  6. The trial focused more on collective guilt instead of the specific crimes he committed 

https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil (applies to 7-10) 

7. Eichmann was thoughtless and did evil things

8. Was not evil himself because he did not think separately from others 

9. The theory was controversial because how could he play a role in a genocide without being evil? 

10. Many people criticized her for what she wrote about the trial 

The Origins of Totalitarianism 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/17/how-hannah-arendts-classic-work/ (applies to 1-10) 

  1. Published in 1951 based on research done during the 1940s    
  2. Totalitarianism both in Germany and Russia 
  3. Focused on totalitarianism and gave accounts of concentration and death camps 
  4. Says how tyranny can arise and inhumanity follows 
  5. The origins (not causes) of totalitarianism after World War I and the Great Depression  
  6. There are many elements but totalitarianism is not predictable 
  7. How the elements led to something so inhumane and horrific in the 1940s 
  8. Political systems were broken down after World War I
  9. How suspicion over current politics forced human rights into the background 
  10. At the beginning of the book, focused on how human dignity needs to be a focus 

Adolf Eichmann 

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Eichmann (applies to 1-8) 

  1. German official hanged in Israel 
  2. Joined the Nazi party and rose in rank 
  3. Sent to Austria and Prague to force all Jews out 
  4. Organized transportation around Europe to concentration camps, became chief executioner 
  5. Was captured by the United States, but escaped
  6. Eventually caught by Israeli Secret Service in Argentina 
  7. Was tried in Jerusalem and he denied responsibility 
  8. Was hanged in 1962 

Unit 2 Assignment 3- Erica Harris, Question 1 (9.6) and Question 3 (different truths)

Question 1 (9.6) 

While 9.7 argues that a “weak relativism” is beneficial to follow, 9.6 explains why the conceptual scheme of “strong relativism” is not the best way to think. Strong relativists believe that if two conceptual schemes contradict, they both cannot be true. When looking at languages, they see that two translations can never have the same meaning. While one translation may seem true one of the languages, it cannot be true in the other. However, this kind of rationale is not always the best because there can be multiple truths. Many conceptual schemes have different truths, so there is not always one truth to everything. This relativism does not make much sense because two rationals can work together and do not have to be in conflict with each other. In 9.7, the authors explain why a “weak relativism” is better to follow because there can be multiple truths instead of just one like what “strong relativism” believes. 

Question 3 

If there are different truths, how can people determine what is right? 

Throughout the unit, we talked about truths and how there can be multiple. There is never one truth because people may have different conceptual schemes and rationals. I was confused about how if we have so many different truths, is there ever a way to tell if something is right. In science, things can be tested to determine what they mean. However, the results may not always be completely right and people may disagree about it. It does not make sense how we determine what is right in the world when we have so many different opinions and truths about a topic. We may not agree on what is right. We may just agree on things such as laws or findings because the majority of people think it is right even when our “truths” do not agree with it. However, I was just wondering if there could ever be a way to determine completely what is right in a certain situation. 

Erica Harris- Microaggression Panel

The microaggression panel explained more about microaggressions and made pertinent points about the topic. One was that microaggressions are almost like mosquito bites, and they accumulate over time. One may not make a large impact, but as they accumulate they become more painful. Everyone is different, and you do not know how someone may be affected by what is said. It is important to think through what you are going to say and be knowledgeable of how it may affect others. Another point is about being a bystander. If you are a bystander seeing a microaggression occur, stand up and say something. You should not dismiss it because addressing it will make the person more knowledgeable about what they are saying and how it may affect others. It will also show the victim that they are heard and not being looked over or dismissed. The microaggression panel did a very good job describing microaggressions and how it may affect people differently. I liked how the panel was composed of students because microaggressions are a large problem on college campuses, and they pointed out how important it is to stand up when hearing the microaggressions and how it may affect people differently. 

Erica Harris- Unit 2 Assignment 2, Option 1 (conceptual scheme) and Option 2

Option 1: Scientists more comfortable with Plato’s conceptual scheme 

The scientists of the Scientific Revolution would resonate more with Plato’s conceptual scheme rather than Borges’. Like in the cave, many people in the seventeenth century accepted their current situation regarding how the world worked. They did not want to question it even when they were living in the dark of how the world and science works. The scientists were able to escape into the light and find new discoveries to challenge previous views of the world. When they tried to share their findings, many of them were ridiculed and not taken seriously for what they found. I think this allegory fits the scientists more than Tlön because Borges focused more on how science is idealist, and it is more looking for amazement and metaphors rather than the truth. The scientists were looking for amazement and ways to explain the world, but I think they were looking more for truth like in the cave in order to bring humanity into an age of questioning and finding out more about the world around us. These truths are supposed to be questioned and studied, but that will help bring us more into the sunlight each time we question something. 

Option 2: 

I never realized how one word can mean a multitude of things, and how sometimes it depends on the cultural or emotional connotation of the word to decide which translation is used. With that much variety and uncertainty in translation, it is almost impossible to translate it word for word (pure language) while still capturing the original tone and meaning of the text. I was wondering if looking at multiple versions of translations would be beneficial, or would it confuse the original meaning of the text? Some translations focus on the pure translation while some focus on the original tone and syntax. Looking at both of them may help the reader understand the text better, but I was wondering if this much variation would be confusing to determine the original meaning of the text. 

Unit 2 Assignment 1- Erica Harris, “The Connected World”

The early modern view of “the connected world” (ch. 2) is an example of a large-scale conceptual scheme. See if you can describe this worldview in your own words. Are there any parts of it still present in contemporary science? (See p. 38 for some suggestions—try to expand on these or come up with your own examples.)

“The connected world” means everything has a cause and effect that has an impact on another thing. From the soil on the ground to the planets, everything has an effect on something else. There are still some aspects of “the connected world” that are seen today, especially in science. One example is water temperature and weather patterns. When the water temperature increases, it causes more weather disruptions such as hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. Another example is more carbon in the atmosphere, and the health of coral reefs. Humans are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels, which causes the ocean to become more acidic. With a change in ocean pH, coral bleaching is occurring which results in the death of many of the reefs. It is unclear if everything is connected in the universe, but there are many causes and effects that impact another aspect of science. If something happens to one thing, it may have a small impact on something else, or it may result in a large problem such as rising water temperatures and ocean acidification. 

The book mentions how there are “hidden qualities” (pages 28-29) that connect the world together. Is science based on trying to find these qualities, or do we see them as coincidences that we can dismiss? 

Unit 1 Assignment 3- Morrison (freedom) by Erica Harris

One idea that stood out in Morrison’s writing was that the “desire for freedom is preceded by oppression” (210). Many times I feel we get caught up in talking about freedom and what it means without realizing why we even need to talk about it. It is a main topic because it has been denied to large numbers of people. Morrison talks specifically about African Americans and immigrants in this passage and how a history of struggle and oppression creates the need for freedom. I never thought about this before, but we cannot have the idea of freedom without knowing how it has been denied to people and groups. Even now, people are being denied certain freedoms they deserve. Morrison talks about how we have evaded and silenced the past and large groups of people in literature. In order to have freedom, the past must be discussed. When talking about freedom, many people focus on what it should look like instead of why it is needed in the first place. 

Authors: Toni Morrison, John Locke, and Karl Marx 

Questions: 

  1. What created the need for freedom? 
  2. How is humanity shown in the world? 
  3. Why are people’s identities shaped by how the world sees them? 

Campus Event, Professor Quillen “Being Human”- Erica Harris

With a universal language, we often forget that everyone has different viewpoints and experiences. No one is the same, and with current events and politics people forget to listen to others. Many times we want to argue our viewpoint because we think it is right. However, listening to others might help us think differently about the person and may even bring us closer together. Listening will also help us stop absorbing other stories into our own. It is easy to make someone’s story ours by imagining how it goes; however, only the person can truly tell their own story. Professor Quillen mentioned how sometimes we cannot tell a story for others because it is not ours to tell. When looking at the past and artifacts, the only thing we can do is try to formulate a story from what we see. However, in the present some stories are not ours to tell. We might get it wrong or portray someone in a way they should not be represented, and we take that story away from them. It is hard to remember to slow down and be aware that everyone has a story to tell, but we should make the time to hear those stories and not jump to conclusions. Professor Quillen made many important points about remembering that everyone has a story to tell, and the story is worth listening to no matter who is telling it. This will help us see more humanity in people and help connect us. 

Unit 1 Assignment 2 by Erica Harris- Locke (equality)

Though I have said above (2) “That all men by nature are equal,” I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of “equality.” Age or virtue may give men a just precedency. Excellency of parts and merit may place others above a common level. Birth may subject some, and alliance or benefits others, to pay an observance to those to whom Nature, gratitude, or other respects, may have made it due (paragraph 54) 

I chose this passage because it confused me why Locke mentions how there are inequalities in the world after arguing that everyone is equal throughout the document. After reading this, I went back to the notes from Thursday’s lecture and focused on this as a response to Filmer’s take on how the monarchy has a divine right. Locke is trying to convince his audience that the monarchy does not have a divine right and that everyone is equal; however, he needs his audience to resonate with what he is saying. They are more likely to listen to what he is saying if he admits there are inequalities because we see them everyday. 

I believe Locke is trying to appeal to more people in this passage by acknowledging that everyone is different. If he went this whole document without saying this, many people would dismiss the “equality” he mentions because we do not see it in everyday life. He included this to show how there is not equality in the world, but there should be in a state of nature. One question this passage addresses is, “Why are societies terrible at creating equality?” There is inequality everywhere in this world, and Locke mentions some reasons including birth and age. However, he does not mention the many more reasons to why there are inequalities.

Unit 1 Assignment 1 by Erica Harris

Group B

Question- What is a humane society?

Agree on- Knowing everyone’s differences and accepting those differences will help us connect and show more compassion towards each other.

Disagree on- There is hope that a humane society can exist in this world.