Anne Dalke's blog
* each of us will select three passages from Life on the Outside,
and post them on Serendip by Monday night, 12/2 (be sure to include p. #s).
* We will then select the ‘categories’ we want to use to discuss them.
* Hayley will print off the passages, and bring the large sheets
(marked w/ the categories) and tape.
I. SASHA: Welcome everyone, provide nametags, distribute any leftover books
II. HAYLEY: Pass out our passages; give everyone time to read and reflect on the one they got
(suggest the possibility of opening the text and reading what happens before and after your selection--
& feel free to write on this text...)
III. HAYLEY: Get into pairs to describe your passage to one another (if we have enough people @ this point):
say what connections you make to it and what questions you have about it.
IV. SARA: We bringing back the sheet of "power" we made in an earlier class.
We're going to pick some categories from this sheet that describe/summarize the main ideas in our passages.
[SASHA WILL BE THE SCRIBE HERE.]
Tape your passage to the sheet which …
Fits best/describes what’s going on/that your passage is an example of...
* zero-sum game
* the power of love/race/class/gender
V. SASHA: Get folks to talk about why they put their quotes where they did→
with the aim of complexifying these categories
My daughter just sent me this article, written by Nancy Fraser and publishd in The Guardian (Oct. 13, 2013):
How feminism became capitalism's handmaiden--and how to reclaim it. I thought, given our recent discussion with Heidi Hartmann, and our more recent one "with" Wendy Brown about the end of the feminist revolution, it might capture your interest. Here's a taste: "We should break the spurious link between our critique of the family wage and flexible capitalism by militating for a form of life that de-centres waged work and valorises unwaged activities, including – but not only – carework.’"
One of the students in Mark's class had the idea that the talk Zadie Smith delivered @ Bryn Mawr was an example of "deep play in writing" that we all experienced/received. I loved this example, and wanted to share with you a copy of the talk, just published in The New Yorker: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/dec/05/zadie-smith-man-vs-corpse/
Wow--shout-outs to both Hayley and Sara for thoughtful postings, below...I DO love to listen to y'all think out loud...
I picked the quote I'll use on Friday (and which I offer here as a source for black-out poetry making):
Governor Thomas Dewey granted clemency to Ruth Brown, enabling her to be set free....She left Bedford Hills at age forty-five after being locked up for twenty-one years. She was supposed to be on parole for the rest of her life.
Two years later, she was imprisoned for not obeying the rules of her parole....She had been a prisoner for so long that she felt more at home inside Bedford than outside it....
For years to come, the story of Ma Brown was passed down from one generation of Bedford prisoners to the next. Her story was part history lesson, part cautionary tale. Nobody wanted to lose all contact with the outside world like Ma Brown had...Nobody wanted to discover that by the time they were finally permitted to leave, they had lost their desire to be free (83).
"the gift of privacy with the excitement of participation...choose your spectacle and conserve your soul"
This quotation is taken from E.B. White's classic Here Is New York, rendered into beautiful, colorful typography by Debbie Millman. It says more poetically (and much more positively) what George Simmel "said" to us several months ago: that we cultivate a blasé outlook when we are in the city, because we can't cope with all
One of the many events Mark and I thought about sending y’all to this semester (and passed over, in favor of other attractions…) was the current exhibit @ the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis. I went to see it this afternoon, really enjoyed it, and thought you might as well (@ least obliquely, and electronically, if not in person).
There’s lots of Duchamp and other Dadaists (which should make us feel right @ home!); Léger was inspired by the “shock of the surprise effect” in their raucous staged events. Léger said that the “task of modern art” was not to simply represent modern life, but to "equal" it; he imagined “color liberated from representation.” There’s lots of motion in these paintings (and Mark, you’ll be interested in particular in a “cine-poem” Léger co-created, “The end of the world filmed by the angel of Notre Dame”--it sounds as though it anticipated Wim Wenders’ work, which you like so much).
I'm wondering, in light of our conversations about queering and cripping time, what you all might make of a talk focusing "on the slow end of this tempo spectrum, on creating opportunities for students to engage in deceleration, patience, and immersive attention...."? See The Power of Patience.
I wanted every one to know that the full text of the whole issue of
Radical Teacher on teaching in carceral institutions is now available on-line through Pro-Quest,
and I'd like to recommend that we read (@ least!)
Artif Rafay, "An 'Impossible Profession'? the Radical University in Prison" and
Robert Scott, "Distinguishing Radical Teaching from Merely Having Intense Experiences While Teaching in Prison."
I really enjoyed our conversation last Wednesday; coupla other things i want to remember:
* if we go in talking, we're not attending to the "series of lock boxes "we have to go through
--what about the possibility of our "going in silently," the better to attend to what's happening around us?
--the danger/vulnerability of doing so-->"the more casual we are, the more protected we are"
--sara s's project has got us "sensing" the environment there, attending to what it looks like-->
--but flip this: what does the environment think of us?
Anne will print off/bring in the memos to get us/materials into Riverside
each of us will send to Hayley a paragraph we've selected for discussion
Hayley will select one of these and make 15 copies (for the black out poetry exercise)
everyone will bring the sharpies they have (also black crayons?)
Sara will bring multiple copies of the code-switching article;
Hayley will bring all remaining copies of Life on the Outside, along with extra paper and pencils
I. Sasha: welcoming everyone, getting them to put on nametags,
finding out who read how much of the book, and inviting a
general sharing of what folks liked/didn't like/noticed/want to talk about...
In response to Celeste's good questions about what the trouble is with power feminism--is it about representation? (or is it about achieving power @ the expense of others?)--and in furtherance of EmmaBE's observation that power feminism is about getting power for yourself, rather than trying to redistribute/break down the structures of power, I promised to share w/ y'all a passage we read and pondered in my prison book group: Elaine Brown's A Taste of Power, her very compelling memoir about growing up in North Philly, having her consciousness raised about class and race issues, becoming a Black Panther, becoming the head of the Black Panthers, and then leaving the party: