Grant Hearne – Post on Unit 8 Movies and Meinhof Columns

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

(!) In this movie, “freedom of the press” extends beyond a basic right and enters a space of immorality with a strong disregard for humanity and other freedoms. 

(?) Why does Blum act so calm when the police enter her home and throughout her initial investigation?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex

(!) there were generational divisions within the RAF which brought on new, intense and troubling tactics.

(?) Is revolution sacrifice? Many in the RAF sacrifice their relationships with their families. 

“Shadows of the Summit Pointing West”

(!) Meinhof parallels preparation for the Summit to the game of capitalism, as world leaders are “finding friends and clients.” In her sense, she is undermining the productivity of these meetings.

(?) Does Meinhof support the consolidation and international recognition of power in the Eastern Bloc? 

“Hitler Within You”

(!) “Pro-semitism is only half a response.” Moving away from Naziism required the consistent rejection of the ideas and practices of their era.

(?) Was the resistance to national socialism regional in addition to generational? 

“Vietnam and Germany”

(!) Legitimacy of the Vietnam War was carried solely by the support of Western leaders. This notion plays back into Meinhof’s parallel of diplomacy to capitalism. 

(?) Which news publications participated in the framing of the Vietnam War and what are some of the most shockingly misleading headlines or covers?

“Women in the SDS: Acting on Their Own Behalf”

(!) Oppression of women is noted as having its roots in capitalism. The men are the “functionaries of capitalism” and desire the liberation of women to be privatized. 

(?) The protesting women in Frankfurt were from Berlin. What did the diaspora of the resistance in Germany look like? 

“Columnism”

(!) Papers sell because the reader is attracted to the “aura” and columnists give the paper the “aura.”

(?) Do columnists really open up discussion or do they, through rhetorical devices and just enough information, tell the reader precisely what they think you should believe?

Grant Hearne – Akhmatova Poetry

Unanimously, my AT section chose the Anderson translation over the Thomas translation. We decided that, although it is not a direct translation, it preserves the artistic value and poetic expression of Akhmatova by presenting the work in a way that is more communicable today. We agreed that Anderson was successful in maintaining rhythm. Many lines in Anderson’s translation are syntactically reversed in comparison to Thomas’s translation. For example, in “Epilogue,” Anderson writes, “from beneath the eyelids terror peeks,” and Thomas writes, “How fear looks out from under the eyelids.” I argued that Anderson’s style portrays Akhmatova’s poem more directly to the reader. 

(!) Stalin’s censorship of art and literature 

(?) How common was suicide during the purges?

Grant Hearne on C.P. Snow, Scientific Theories and Experiments

(?) Why are physicists the most representative of scientists? What does Snow mean by “incomprehension” on a spectrum between science and literature (Snow 4)?

(!) Snow states that as “the great edifice of modern physics goes up, the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.” This statement made me think about information privilege and the accessibility of information. In general, it seems that literature is more readily available to people than science. While there is literature about science, people are more likely to pick up a classic novel than a physics textbook from a public library. Additionally, there is more literature available in the public sphere than scientific knowledge. Finally, common literature is generally more affordable than literature of science. These disparities between literature and science suggest that there is a much larger barrier to entry for the scientific community. 

Scientific Theories Recognized: Game theory, Oxygen theory of combustion, Plate tectonics, Evolution by natural selection, Heliocentrism

Science Experiments Recognized: Genetic Inheritance (Gregor Mendel), Eyes Optics (Isaac Newton), Radioactivity (Marie Curie), Reflexes (Ivan Pavlov), Electron’s charge (Robert Millikan)

Grant Hearne, “Black Girl Linguistics Play”

Black Girl Linguistic Play provides accounts of friendship and motherhood within the African-American experience.  Camille A. Brown used two specific movements which stood out to me in representing these themes. In the second scene, the two girls (presumably friends) repeated movements of lifting their heads up with their hand. They would also lift each other’s heads up. I think this represented persistence and the need to build each other up. In the final scene, Brown fixed another girl’s hair (presumably her daughter) and lifted her up out of her seat until she was standing up. I think this represented Brown raising the child and also tied in the significance of hair in the lives of African-American people.

Who did Brown’s partner in the first scene represent? What was the significance of the song they sang?

Unit 5 Post 1 by Grant Hearne

“Performance Remains” by Rebecca Schneider

(!) An archive is a performance in and of itself; Archives may retain artifacts, but they also “disappear” because purpose is gained from what is lost. Schneider writes, “disappearance is that which marks all documents, records, material remains. Indeed, remains become themselves through disappearance as well.” Schneider later parallels disappearance to the death of an artist or author. “Killing the author, or sacrificing his station, may be, ironically, the means of insuring that he remains.” Their work may become more popular and have greater influence following their passing. Artifacts gain their significance as an artifact following their prime. Their past is what supports their ability to remain and retain purpose.

(!) Archive comes from the greek word “Archon” which means “ruler.” Archives, retaining and accumulating material over time, have a connection to the patrilineal order which they serve. The etymology of “archive” represents its hegemony.

(?) Schneider argues that the use and acceptance of archival methods comes from western values of materialization and accumulation (Schneider 100). Are these strictly western values or are they common values of humanity? Do these values gain significance as society develops?

(?) Schneider suggests, “if performance can be understood as disappearing, perhaps performance can rupture the ocular hegemony.” Does performance rupture or support ocular hegemony? Although performance is fleeting, it requires visual attention.

“Ritualizing the Past: Ralph Lemon’s Counter-Memorials” by Nicholas Birns

(!) Birns compares Lemon’s work to the ideals of memory-historians, writing “his work makes clear that any reckoning with the past must be both traumatic and incomplete.” Perhaps a distinction between an archive and a performance is that an archive is based on fact and performance is based on emotion. Truly understanding history requires an emotional confrontation. Earlier in the work, Birns discusses a lynching site in Duluth, Minnesota where “any trace of it ever happening is gone from the site.” Lemon highlights this lynching in his on-stage performance, yet its history is not physically memorialized. In this situation, archival material has disappeared and performance is what keeps the memory alive.

(?) According to Birns, Lemon’s work “Charlie Patton,” “balances love and violence, tenderness and desecration.” Does performance have a natural balance that archives do not?

Grant Hearne, Post on March Book Two

The symbolism on page 135 of John Lewis’ March: Book 2 conveys the culture of domineering and repressive police force in America. Page 135 depicts the youth strike in Birmingham that was met with violent attacks by police using water hoses and dogs. A little girl is seen holding a picket sign and talking to an officer. He asks her what she wants. She responds, “f’eedom.” She is so young that she cannot even pronounce freedom correctly, yet she is marching for her life. The officer has a confused, aggravated look on his face, while the girl is direct and powerful. The facial expressions of the two subjects show the purpose behind their respective groups. The actions and beliefs of whites in the south at this time were absurd. The officer’s face symbolizes the confused, unnecessary, and unreasonable state of white people at this time in the midst of the Jim Crow era. He also bears a confederate flag on his sleeve which symbolizes the prolonged connection between law in the south and the confederacy. The girl’s face symbolizes the opposite. She represents the persistence and faithfulness of the Civil Rights Movement. 

In the background, a police officer towers over black children as he directs them towards a van. The juxtaposition of the officer and the children epitomizes the contrast between southern white values and the Civil Rights Movement. The officer’s face is sorrowful, but it is likely that he isn’t sorry for the kids. He is mourning the death of Jim Crow not the arrest of children. 

What strikes me the most is in the sky. The clouds are parting and light is shining through. I interpret this as the presence of God with the children. The Civil Rights Movement relied heavily on religion and the faithfulness of African-Americans. Figures like Martin Luther King Jr. used religion as grounds for peaceful protest. The parting of the clouds symbolizes God’s grace over the protestors and His protection of the prosecuted.

Grant Hearne on an Evening with John Kasich

While I expected him to speak solely on the 2016 presidential election, John Kasich delivered something much different. Through a personal anecdote and references to other activists, such as Greta Thunberg, Kasich imparted his vision of collective society and individual contribution to his audience. He began by noting that we each have unique strengths and characteristics, making our community a mosaic of people. He continued to explain how people, no matter how young or inexperienced, can create movements and change the world. For example, he explained, Greta Thunberg simply began skipping school and has since created a global movement against climate change. 

During the panel, Kasich, friend and Davidson professor Bill Kristol, and Professor Isaac Bailey discussed what the GOP looks like in the post-trump era. They focused on economic policy and how youth must be socialized as capitalists. Professor Bailey brought race into the conversation, noting that the bridging of racial division in the United States would be a long and arduous process following the rhetoric of the Trump Administration. During the question and answer session, I asked the panelists how they saw issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive rights fitting into the GOP platform in the “post-trump era.” I do not believe Professor Kristol appreciated my question because I labeled them social issues and he felt that they were too different to consider in the same way; however, he attempted to answer my question by reasoning that society’s values and morals in the future are unpredictable and that while there will always be religious disputes, the political parties can mitigate the relationship between religion and politics.

Grant Hearne, Unit 4 Assignment 1

Mary Church Terrell was the child of former slaves who became successful business-people in Memphis. She attended Oberlin College and worked as a professor in Washington D.C. until a family friend was lynched in Memphis for having a competing business. At this time, she began working with Ida B. Wells on an anti-lynching campaign focused on African-American empowerment. She later co-founded the National Association of Colored Women and the NAACP. Her religion was important to her work as seen in her speech, “What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States,” when she states, “as a colored woman I may enter more than one white church in Washington without receiving that welcome which as a human being I have a right to expect in the sanctuary of God.”

Ida B. Wells was born into slavery, but her parents became active politicans and she attended college following the civil war. After her parents died from yellow fever, she raised her siblings in Memphis where she sued a train car company for unequal treatment. Following the lynching of a friend, she began writing agaimst mob culture. This turned locals in Memphis against her and drove her to Chicago, Illinois where she married a prominent lawyer. She toured the world speaking on women’s rights. 

In her speech, “Lynch Law in America,” Ida B. Wells targets lynchings in the United States against African-Americans, many of whom are innocent. In Mary Church Terrell’s speech, she identifies the misconception that D.C. is “the colored man’s paradise,” providing anecdotes and circumstances to support her thesis that African-Americans cannot secure any job above a “menial” position. Although each are different acts of violence, both have roots in the racist beliefs of white people in Jim Crow America. Terrell continually highlights discrimination on the basis of skin color and a barrier that kept African-Americans in low-paying positions. Her story of a female clerk who moved back to D.C. from New York shows this discrimination. Although she was an outstanding clerk for the same company in a different city, she was rejected by the employer in D.C. because the co-workers and customers petitioned the employer. This story along with that of the artist show that discrimination in Washington was not based on perceived ability, in fact their work was praised, but solely on the basis of skin color. Discrimination in D.C. limited African-Americans to low-paying jobs which locked them in oppression with no permitted social mobility. Similar to Terrell, Wells analyzes lynchings by the dynamic between oppressed and oppressor. She notes that “if a few barns were burned some colored man was killed to stop it. If a colored man resented the imposition of a white man and the two came to blows, the colored man had to die, either at the hands of the white man then and there or later at the hands of a mob that speedily gathered.” She continues to explain that these murders were committed without court trials because political explanation and justice were abandoned. These events were the white man using the body of the African-American as a scapegoat. Though with different consequences, the lawlessness of these events parallels the unreasonableness of employers and admissions officers in Washington. Both lock African-Americans in the oppression of Jim Crow. 

Women are represented differently in each text. Terrell explains that white women discriminate as much as white men. In her story of the clerk, Terrell quotes the employer as saying, “delegation after delegation began to file down to my office, some of the women my very best customers, to protest against my employing a colored girl.” This is in contrast to Terrell’s depiction of the courage of the African-American woman who moved to New York for opportunity but then moved back to D.C. for her family. Wells explains how the proclaimed victim of the African-American crime was the white woman. Of 241 lynchings in 1892, 46 were charges of rape. Many lynchers justified their actions as a “protection of the honor of [their] women.” This is also in contrast to the courage of the African-American woman who “have been murdered because they refused to tell the mobs where relatives could be found for ‘lynching bees.’”

On the surface, both speeches can be taken as a response to the injustice of racism and the particular impacts that each discusses; however, both Terrell and Wells identify the unreasonableness and lawlessness of the perpetrators and this is as close as a solution that they can come to. The solution they present is to use reason and follow the law. The solution is to be a human being.

Grant Hearne on Common Ground’s Microaggressions Panel

Before the microaggressions panel discussion, I did not have a complete understanding of what a “microaggression” is. Since attending this panel, I have become more able to identify microaggressions on campus and on social media. This event was incredibly relevant to the issue of problematic halloween costumes. 

The panel highlighted fundamental characteristics of microaggressions:

  1. The intent behind a microaggression is not always to cause harm; they may even be intended as a compliment; 
  2. Microaggressions have a cumulative effect on an individual;
  3. Microaggressions stem from stereotypes and communicate a larger social message of offense.

They then asked, “how can you identify/deal with a microaggression?” The consensus on the panel was that bystanders should call out aggressors and aggressors should take criticism and actively learn from mistakes. 

A conversation was struck on the issue of minority opportunity and self-esteem. Many agreed that minorities try to be more “white” to gain opportunity. Representatives encouraged students to stop seeking this form of “approval.” I think this is also on society to stop idealizing whiteness. 

This lesson helped me discuss the racist halloween costumes of Davidson College students that flooded our instagram feeds. During the AT session following these posts, I voiced my opinion that while the individuals may not have had harmful intentions, the actions proved worse than a microaggression. Cultural appropriation of African-American hair style on top of the prisoner outfits came across as a mock of mass incarceration of black people.

Grant Hearne on Professor Carol Quillen’s “Being Human: Disciplinary Reflections”

Professor Quillen went back to early Italian humanists, specifically a letter from Machiavelli to Vettori in which Machiavelli describes his fascination with historical figures and a desire to be like them. Simultaneously, he identifies their differences, showing that others can be “both alien and exemplary.” Using this idea, Professor Quillen concluded that storytelling is how we should interact with one another. We should see people as “tellers of stories rather than speakers of positions.” In the status quo of neoliberalism, people who are labeled “other” are deemed inferior and unable to escape this label. Often, when minority stories are shared, they are shared, spread, or influenced by the majority, which changes the story itself. Rather than stealing each others stories, we have to step back and give space for stories to be shared by the teller. 

Professor Quillen also recognized that our understanding of history is limited by what has survived and what questions we ask about it. This results in different interpretations of the same truth based on different evidence and different questions asked. For example, Augustine and Freud had different reasonings for desire. Today, we often make presumptions about other people based on their perspective rather than hearing their story. We need to ask each other how and why we have these unique perspectives rather than forming preconceived notions.

Grant Hearne – Unit 3 Post 3

Reading Gourevitch and Sontag in conjunction serves as a mirror in which we see a darker truth about how “we” perceive war. Sontag says the “we” is everyone who was never a victim. When we look at images of war, we cannot comprehend what life is like for the subject. We gaze, sympathize, and ask “how could this happen?” However, we don’t think critically about how to prevent it and fail to remember those images when war is waged again. This makes “us” complacent (and thereby complicit) in war. Gourevitch argues the same for UNAMIR and France in the destruction of Hutu Power. At a time when we could have stopped the genocide, western forces in Rwanda took a backseat. This was largely due to American policy on the genocide. The Clinton Administration tip-toed around the word “genocide,” the Convention of 1948, employment of our resources, and involvement by the United Nations. Likewise, “we” tip-toe around images of war. 

Additionally, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, more disturbing images are shared and we become more desensitized to them. We are also influenced by what the governmental and media powers want us to see. Gourevitch shares that the top concern for France was to take photographs of their soldiers saving Tutsis. Similarly, Sontag notes American media during the Gulf War circulated images of our technologically advanced military rather than images of civilian death. The impact of power structure and the globalization of media create a culture where “we” are less thoughtful about the images we see and more directed in our perception by those in power. This is exemplified by Gourevitch’s grilled cheese-genocide analogy. No one really cares about it and those in power create red-tape to hide it like a “nice wrapping.”

Grant Hearne Unit 3, Passport Assignment

Typically, when I think of the word “stateless,” I think of refugees in limbo. Through the story of Mona Kareem, I realized that a stateless individual may be your lab partner and you would never know. Kareem’s family, descendants of the Bedouin tribes of Arabia, have no residential status in Kuwait. She received a special travel document to attend a doctorate program in the United States; however, she is unable to travel home to see her family and her family is unable to travel to the United States. Statelessness has various implications for people depending on the laws of each country and how each country’s laws work with one another. This creates gridlock between countries and danger for stateless people. 

Additionally, following the project, I realized how impatient I am. As we worked on our passports, my friends and I didn’t know exactly what we were supposed to do. We became stressed and impatient. We asked Professor Tamura and Ms. Wulia many questions. In reality, many people are waiting nearly 20 years for paperwork. They are living in uncertainty and danger. How can we become so easily frustrated over a twenty minute project when so many are living in limbo for 20 years?

Unit 3, Assignment 1

Hannah Arendt’s concept: “Banality of Evil”

-In 1962 published “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil” for The New Yorker

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

-Arendt asked, “can one do evil without being evil?” while reporting on the war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann

-defined the “banality of evil” as “not inherently evil, but merely shallow and clueless”

-many fellow philosophers questioned her “banality of evil” theory, saying “she focused too much on who Eichmann was and not enough on what he did”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/hannah-arendt-adolf-eichmann-banality-of-evil

-questioned wether genocide must be intentional in order for conviction. 

-considered national socialism as having removed thought from policy

-believed the actions of the Nazis were unprecedented and explained them through an unprecedented idea: the banality of evil.

-believed the Israeli courts should have convicted Eichmann on the basis of his actions, not on his intentionality or beliefs.  

Adolf Eichmann:

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

-Nazi operative; organized the transport of millions of Jews to concentration camps

-Arendt argued that Eichmann acted without malicious intent, only to advance his career within the Nazis; he acted without thought or recognition of reality and was unable to put himself in the shoes of his victims. His circumstances, working for the Nazis, made it nearly impossible for him to see his wrongdoing.

-was accused of accepting the idea of racial purity and destroying evidence

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

-hanged by Israel for his work in the Holocaust.

-named chief executioner for the Nazi’s “Final Solution.”

-moved to Argentina following his escape from a prison camp in the Middle East; arrested by Israeli secret service in Buenos Aires

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/adolf-eichmann

-born in Germany; grew up in Linz, Austria

-worked factory jobs during the 1920’s, losing his job during the Great Depression and then joining the Nazis

The Origins of Totalitarianism:

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

-argued that the Nazi agenda was absolutely evil and inhuman; used the metaphor of hell

-preceded her study of Eichmann 

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

-concentration/death camps were characteristics of Totalitarianism

-Arendt blamed the attitude of the Great Depression where people felt “disenfranchised and disconnected” for allowing “‘mob mentality.’” This was also a time of corruption where people did not feel represented and wanted a strong leader to follow. As a result, Nazism was formed, but this blend is characteristic of the formation of totalitarian regimes.

-Totalitarian propaganda turns fact into fiction for appeal to the masses

-Totalitarianism usually results in greater suffering and a refugee crisis

Hearne, Grant: Unit 2, Post 3

Option 1:

In section 9.4, Appiah argues that the distinctive features of formal philosophy are not possible without written language. What are these features? How convincing is Appiah’s argument? Is he being unfair to nonliterate cultures?

Appiah considers consistency, criticism, and style as three tenants of formal philosophy which are made possible by written language. Once someone makes an argument on paper, “it is there…forever.” Over generations, these records allow us to understand what our predecessors believed and it allows us to “rethink” and criticize those beliefs. In contrast, Appiah argues, folk philosophy doesn’t allow for generational consistency because it can change as people share it. This is like a game of telephone where the message can change as it is told from person to person. For example, Appiah notes the heavy use of metaphors in folk philosophy, which are easier to be misinterpreted over time than strict facts. This shows the disparity in style between formal and folk philosophy. Because formal philosophy is dependent on writing, it requires the use of supporting context and evidence to support the author’s claim to a broad audience. This allows their message to be interpreted more clearly in the future. In contrast, folk philosophy is often passed down among people who are close to each other which eliminates the need for context and evidence. Context is not required because the experience between the giver and the receiver is shared. Evidence is not required because the giver of knowledge has an authority over the receiver and is trusted by the receiver. Appiah would argue that this results in a lack of reasoning surrounding folk philosophy in comparison to formal philosophy. 

The contrast between formal and folk philosophy is clear and logical, but Appiah assumes that formal philosophy is the more developed and superior because the argument is presented as folk philosophy lacks what formal philosophy has in literacy. This is unfair because Appiah permits the idea that the beliefs of folk philosophy may be reasonable given their paradigm. To reject the mode of passing on folk belief while contending that its content may be reasonable is unjust.

Option 3:

When we discuss truth and thought, we are surely limited by the way we think because our thought process is tied to our paradigm. If that’s true, how do we develop our thought process to consider our thoughts and truths more critically? We note that as we communicate with, listen to, and learn from different cultures, we have a more universal perspective and critical way of thinking; however, is our notion that this is how we further our understanding limited by our collective paradigm? Perhaps there is a different way to approach philosophy that is deeper than what we can comprehend today based on our paradigm. How do we pursue that unknown level of thought as we discuss philosophy?