Anne Dalke's blog
So (as per usual) I’m making some adjustments.
Sunday night, please post a paragraph about your experiences in the Wissahickon (Jenna and Shamial--economic/educational/artistic/literary reflections on the environments you occupied this weekend will be most acceptable contributions to the discussion).
Turns out we’re going to have a visitor on Monday afternoon. Michael Morella, a reporter who will be contributing to the US News and World Report's fall edition of "College Road Trip,” has taken an interest in Bryn Mawr’s 360° program, and has asked to sit in on our class. So I think it makes sense to move things around a bit, to create a space in which, in good 360° fashion, the orientations of our different disciplines might be made a bit more "porous" to one another.
In preparation for this discussion….
by class time on Monday, please look through the powerpoint presentation by Elizabeth Callaway, A Space for Justice. I’ll fill in details when we meet—but do pause to ponder the move from slide #12 to #13. Also read two short essays by Sue Ellen Campbell, “Magpie” and “"The Land and Language of Desire” (which will soon appear in our password protected file of readings), and bring to class a few jottings of your reactions to share.
I was sorry not to be able to join y'all in the sunshine @ Harriton on Friday, but today I took my own little eco-trip. It started with the amazed discovery that the Pennsylvania State Constitution has an Environmental Rights Amendment** (who knew?!), and that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled in accord with that amendment, to intervene in the state's legacy of “virtually unrestrained exploitation"-- a potential “game charger,” able to turn state environmental regulation “upside down.”
Feeling happy about this, I wandered over to the Art Alliance, in my neighborhood, to see a few very-related installations of eco-art: Caroline Lathan-Stiefel's "Frakturing" uses a 1905 stained glass window to invite viewers to think about issues of plant diversity and sustainability in an age of fracking. Another of her installations, called "Greenhouse Mix," is a delightful “jungle in the salon." In a third, called "Noise," my companion, the pomester, made music by changing his grip on a couple of apples.
This week, as you prepare to share both your own eco-art, and that of other eco-artists, take a look @ this Philadelphia Inquirer article, Changing Skyline: Mural Arts Program's entry into Fairmount Park crosses boundaries, which Ava just shared with us, and which I think raises some really interesting questions about the necessity and effect of placing art (and what kinds of art?) in natural spaces.
We will be staging our "art gallery" in Dalton 212A on Monday @ 2:30--
just so we'll have a little more space to move around, enjoy what we are seeing...
I think that most of you are familiar with Michelle Alexander's powerful book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I just learned, from the Inside/Out listserv, of an equally compelling critique: James Forman's Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow, New York University Law Review 87 (Feb. 26, 2012).
Take a look; I'd really like to discuss this...and thanks!
I’ve been waving Rena Fraden's Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones and Theater for Incarcerated Women @ y’all for a couple of weeks now, and thought I’d take the time to write out a little of what I find so compelling about the book. It is really making me feel dissatisfied with the sort of writing we are getting, and making me be more thoughtful about ways in which we might help folks dig deeper, be more truthful.
If you don’t know the story of Medea, read about it here—it’s all about betrayal, abandonment, anger, “too much love.”
“Jones finds theatrical ways to interrogate the personal, surrounding the contemporary with the mythical, providing more texts, and thus context, for these women, so that each individual’s story is not isolated but always seen in relation to others…autobiography alone neither guarantees new insights nor changes behavior. As Joan Scott has argued, experience is not transparent but is ‘at once always already an interpretation and something that needs to be interpreted’ (p. 21).