Ulrike Meinhof “Shadows of the Summit Pointing West” ?/!
?: Why did proponents for the anti-nuclear movement in the Federal Republic and in Central Europe get labeled as “potential war criminals”? It seems contradictory to accuse advocates of disarmament and non-proliferation of war mongering or being war criminals.
!: England was opposed to unification and integration in Central Europe because it would diminish their own power and influence in the region.
“The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum” ?/!
?: If the journalist that Katharina killed was so incessant upon investigating her, going as far as interviewing her mother in the hospital, why would the journalist scrap all of his investigative work in favor of asking Katharina to have sex? Was he only interested in sparking drama/tarnishing her image?
!: Katharina really didn’t do anything heinous to deserve any of the treatment she received.
“Baader-Meinhof Komplex” ?/!
?: At what point did Meinhof cross the threshold between dissidence and extremism?
!: I’m surprised by the lengths the RAF was willing to go in training their militants, reaching out to Fatah groups in Palestine.
My AT group discussed the similarities and differences we found between the two translations. We came to the consensus that Thomas’ translation was probably a more accurate portrayal of the original Russian used in the poem, but Anderson’s was adapted to the English poetic repertoire.
I think that the Anderson translation conveyed the message of the original poems in a more comprehendible way. The language was less obscure and I was able to interpret it. Thomas’ translation seemed to be representative of the original language, but it lacked the clarity of Anderson’s translation.
!: Broad censorship shows how important having an uncontested ideological monopoly was to maintain and preserve power.
?: What is it about Russian culture that idolizes poetry more so than other countries?
“The non-scientists have a rooted impression that the scientists are shallowly optimistic, unaware of man’s condition. On the other hand, the scientists believe that the literary intellectuals are totally lacking in fore-sight, peculiarly unconcerned with their brother men, in a deep sense anti-intellectual, anxious to restrict both art and thought to the existential moment.” Snow, p. 5
!: While scientists define themselves through original processes, literary intellectuals define themselves in opposition to science (pg. 11)
?: What is it about scientific thought that generally correlates to more liberal political thought?
Scientific experiments that I recognize: Eratosthenes, Mendel, Newton, Curie, and Pavlov
Scientific theories that I recognize: game theory, plate tectonics, special and general relativity, evolution, and heliocentrism
! : To people in small towns in Ohio and other states who had never interacted with black people before, Jim Crow was the only portrayal of black people they had exposure to.
? : What was so appealing about minstrel shows that they became the first form of “national popular entertainment”? What does it say about our country that the first form of “national popular entertainment” was intended to counteract the abolitionist movement?
Birns: “Lemon, though, wants his audience not only to appreciate what they see onstage, but to also understand that the performance is an outgrowth of a larger process, and not an inevitable event.” (pg. 19)
Question: As a member of the audience, how is it possible to perceive and interpret all of the elements of Lemon’s performances?
Observation: Meaning is dually dependent on the presentation and the interpretation of the performance.
Schneider: “Within a culture which privileges object remains as indices of and survivors of death, to produce such a panoply of deaths may be the only way to insure Remains in the wake of modernity’s crises of authority, identity and object.” (pg. 105)
Question: Is videoing and archiving performance worth it or does performance lose its punch if communicated through a medium?
Observation: Physical remains are equally as interpretable as performance.
In Raymond Santana’s lecture given in the Lily Gallery, he described the process by which he and four of his childhood friends were falsely charged and prosecuted for crimes that they did not commit. I have seen movies, shows, and read articles about the Exonerated 5, but the personal touch that was added by Santana sent a more powerful message. He explained how their case is just one example of the skewed justice system that exists in America and it got me wondering how many other cases have been falsely tried as a result of implicit biases in the institutions of policing and justice.
I had a unique perspective of the performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony in the Duke Family Performance Hall. For my work study occupation, I take photos and videos of music performances at Davidson. I was managing the livestream of this concert and it allowed me to observe the concert from several angles. We had shots that were up close and personal I got to see the amount of effort each musician was putting in to make the greater noise of the symphony sound that much better. The musician’s concentration over such a long period of time through movements of the symphony was stunning. I also got to hear the horn solo weeks prior to the concert for an advertisement the music department was publishing and finally hearing it in concert was really cool because I could hear the improvement that was made.
Professor Quillen’s last lecture summed up her entire unit and brought some new ideas into the discussion. First, she talked about how the definition of what it is to be human has changed over time. At some point, colonial America’s definition of human excluded Native Americans and African slaves. Women have progressively been integrated into the definition of human as they have ascertained more rights. This discussion lead into an analysis of the UN charter document and the language contained in it. We looked at words like “human” and “equality” and discussed whether the goals and expectations that the UN was founded upon were just idealistic or attainable.
Page 108-9 depicts a scene in a Mississippi prison in which Freedom Riders who had been charged with Breach of the Peace, a broad legal term encompassing any acts that violently or noisily disturb the status quo, are released just days before their bond fees are due. The Freedom Riders had been tormented and dehumanized by the guards in the days preceding their release. However, during the time that their mattresses had been stripped, they had been hosed, and verbally accosted, they insisted that no treatment could remove their passion and their firm conviction in their beliefs.
The scene on the former half of the spread shows the Freedom Riders’ own surprise at their release. Their bond had been posted and their clothes and possessions were given back, perhaps symbolism nodding to the Riders rekindling their identity and individuality that had been stripped during their time inside prison. The ladder half of the spread shows the former prisoners walking on a winding road fading into the distance. There is a color contrast between the first and second page, the first using a black background and the second using a white background. I think the color contrast is meant to incite two things: freedom and hope. Freedom from the oppressive system and hope for progress. The narrations match this description as the second page talks about how their movement had become nationwide and how the federal government had become involved.
I think that these two pages convey an unprecedented and unexpected turn of events for the Freedom Riders. They had prepared themselves to deal with the taunts and borderline torture of prison and continuing their rides, but were instead granted release. An entirely new sense of gratification that they had never experienced in their time riding surfaced. To me, this seems like the turning point of the story. They had only been met with resistance up until now, but as the narrator says, they had “stirred the national consciousness and awoke[n] the hearts and minds of a generation.”
Born within a year of each other, Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells lived in the period following the civil war in the midst of segregation, lynchings, hate crimes, and attempted reconstruction. Both were born in the South, Terrell in Tennessee and Wells in Mississippi, and both attained a higher education despite the odds being stacked against them. Their careers comprised of different types of activism against issues that respectively effected them; Terrell was an intersectionalist whose focused on empowering black women whereas Wells focused on uncovering and exposing lynchings through her investigative work.
Terrell was a Methodist and Episcopalian. She founded the African Methodist Episcopal church in Ohio as well as another Methodist church in the state. Terrell primarily focused on the advantages that White women had at the expense of Black women. The power imbalance and the concurrent racial violence was the target of Terrell’s work. She believed that better education would lead to an equal social standing between races and that community empowerment was the most effective way of achieving these goals.
Wells was a Catholic. Her investigative journalistic work attempted to trace the alleged reasoning behind lynchings that took place in the South. Unsurprisingly, an immense amount of the lynchings she investigated were committed on unfounded reasons if there were any reasons at all. She believed that if the menace of racial mob violence was exposed to the public eye, there would be more support in favor of reforming segregationist and racist policy.
The two texts have some extrinsic similarities, but I’d say counter each other more than work together in unison. The similarities lie in the subject matter; both pieces depict an outsiders perspective of atrocities, war for Sontag and genocide for Gourevitch. Sontag discusses the effects of abundant viewership of images of atrocities and how it essentially numbs us to the actual horror of the events. She argues that our own personal conceptions of the victims and perpetrators have an immense impact on our emotional reaction to the atrocities. Gourevitch argues that the Rwandan genocide was not appropriately addressed by the world powers and was cast aside as a political question instead of a moral one. I think the reading of these two texts concurrently is important because Sontag challenges us to separate our personal feelings towards the victims and perpetrators of violence and view all acts of war and oppression as equally revolting which demonstrates how bad the complacency of the world powers in Gourevitch’s telling of the Rwandan genocide was.
Chapter 1: Images of war cause a reaction that is dependent upon preconceived notions of the specific conflict.
Sontag begins her book by introducing Virginia Woolf’s idea that the images of war cause a repulsion from violent conflict. In Woolf’s essay directed towards a lawyer, she argues that men are naturally more prone to resolving differences with war, proving this by displaying an array of images of the effects of war. Sontag refutes this point, saying that the pictures can actually strengthen the beckoning of revenge if the viewer sees the pictures as actions of the enemy. Even if the images display damage caused by one’s own side, Sontag argues that the images won’t have any impact in diffusing the militant perspective as they will be rejected or contorted into an argument for retaliation.
Chapter 6: The feelings of sympathy caused by viewing images of war only distance us further from the conflict, justifying inaction with knowledge of the conflict.
Sontag opens this chapter by depicting a natural human curiosity directed at understanding or seeing the suffering of others. She argues that this desire is more deeply rooted in an unconscious drive to have feelings of sympathy for the sufferers. If sympathy is achieved, then it is just for us to do nothing because we feel morally accomplished in having sympathy for the sufferers.
Chapter 8: The dissemination of photos depicting atrocities is a good thing because it reminds us of the innate evil in humans and teaches us how to avoid it.
There is a fine balance to be struck in the frequency at which we view photos of violence. On the one hand, viewing the violence allows us to understand the evil inherent in human nature, allowing us a window into the pain and suffering that occurs out of our direct sight. On the other hand, constant viewing can lead to a skewed, depressing perception of the atrocities. Sontag challenges us to be critical in our viewing and understanding of the photos.
I really enjoyed the passport activity for two reasons. First, the drawing of what nationality we were from a jar full of papers (each with a different nationality) accurately presented citizenship as a lottery system; we don’t get to choose where we are born, we simply have to deal with it. This put my luck of being an American citizen into perspective. The additional benefits I receive as a result of my luck seem unfair. Fortunately, I was not lucky in the drawing of the nationality in the activity in which I was awarded citizenship to St. Kitts and Nevis. Secondly, the actual craft side of the activity (folding, punching, and sewing the passports) was a relaxing break from the conventional classroom education of the day.
Hannah Arendt’s concept “Banality of Evil” and her book The Origins of Totalitarianism
Arendt was reporting for the New Yorker in 1961 when she was reporting on the war crimes trial of Eichmann
The Banality of Evil describes someone who has committed atrocities without evil intention, a joiner, or someone who is disengaged from the impact of their actions. Arendt believed that Eichmann joined the Nazi Party to advance his own career, not to implement any deep seated ideological hatred
Fellow philosophers of then (1960’s-70’s) and now (2011) have criticized Arendt of trying to psychoanalyze Eichmann’s way out of trouble by detaching the acts from his intention
Her book includes three chapters/essays: Anti-Semitism, Imperialism, and Totalitarianism
It was later proven by a released Israeli memoir that Eichmann did in fact have racial and anti-Semitic ideologies, connecting his actions to his intent.
(All bullet points researched from https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil)
Was tasked with the logistics of assigning masses of Jews to ghettos, work camps, and extermination camps, earning him the title of one of the orchestrators of the Holocaust
Fled to Argentina after WWII and hid until 1960 when he was captured by Israeli forces, taken to Jerusalem, tried for war crimes, and executed in 1962
Drafted plans for the deportation of Jews to the farthest reaches of Poland and later for the deportation of Jews to Madagascar
Was charged with the role of deportation of Hungarian Jews to concentration camps in Germany (primarily Auschwitz)
Was charged with 15 crimes, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and genocide.
(All bulletpoints researched from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Eichmann)