Aliza Cantor Unit 5 Assignment 1


In the Schneider reading, on page 100, she quotes Jaques Le Goff when discussing the use of documents in history. They state, “history has been composed of documents because, ‘the document is what remains’(Le Goff)” (Schneider, page 100). I had never really thought about the fact that the artifacts that we use to recite history, were not necessarily hand-picked, rather they were all that remained as evidence. Schneider later talks about how part of a performance is the disappearance at the end, however, I am curious about the audience’s role. If the performance truly disappears once it is complete, wouldn’t that include its presence in the minds of the audience?


In the Birns reading, she discusses the work of Ralph Lemon. She mentioned, on page 20, that in one of his pieces, he portrayed what happened to Emmet Till. In one photograph there is nothing known about the woman that Till “gazed” at, however next to this photograph Lemon had an abstract drawing of a southern belle that may have looked something like the woman Till looked at. He also gave this woman a name. I found this portrayal of the event very interesting because it made the woman seem more human. By giving her a name and a face, people were able to imagine how the events may have occurred. This portrayal of the event also made me wonder why. Why is it that people need tangible information to more easily grasp, or imagine, a situation?

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