Catherine Diop Homo Narrans Commentary

During Professor Quillen’s speech, she brought up the idea of how one can view someone as alien but also as worthy of imitation.  The concept of “otherness” present in the ideas she mentioned is something so prevalent in our lives and it’s a concept that has been present throughout history. It’s through the “otherness” that we dehumanize others, but also as Quillen mentioned through universalizing language. I found myself wondering why does universalizing language gives us the space to dehumanize others, and it comes down to the notion that it covers up the complexities present within individuals. When you only view someone as one thing, one thing that is different from yourself, it becomes nearly impossible for that person to be good enough. When Quillen stated this it reminded me that part of living ethically together is not setting expectations of others that were never really our’s to set. Throughout her speech and also in the time that I’ve been in class Professor Quillen has talked about not looking for who is right or wrong when it comes to experiences but looking to understanding the contradiction in how when can act one way but do something completely opposite of that. We have to look deeper than bad and good and keep in mind that our lives and our experiences allow for multiple stories. Not only do our experiences allow for many different stories but Quillen said that we as humans are obligated to listen to all of the stories. 

Leave a Reply