Anne Dalke's blog
By 5 p.m. on Sun, Oct. 21 (the date of our return), please
post (AS A COMMENT HERE) a mid-semester course evaluation:
* take some time to review all your postings/papers,
reflecting on what's working and what needs working on,
both for you as an individual learner and for the class as a learning community.
* How are you using the class? How do you see others using it, individually and as a group?
* How is this course functioning "ecologically," how might it be more "ecological" in structure and action?
* Are there additional ways you can imagine y/our using the class, to expand our understanding?
SLSA 2013 CALL FOR PAPERS
The 27th Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)
VENUE: The Campus of the University of Notre Dame
DATES: October 3-6, 2013
CONFERENCE THEME: POSTNATURAL?
What does it mean to come “after” nature? In 2012, Arctic ice melted to the lowest level in human history; with ice everywhere in retreat, island nations are disappearing, species vectors are shifting, tropical diseases are moving north, northern natures-cultures are moving into extinction. Acidification of ocean water already threatens Northwest shellfish farms, while historic wildfires, droughts, floods, and shoreline erosion are the norm. Reality overshoots computer models of global warming even as CO2 emissions escalate. Yet none of this has altered our way of living or our way of thinking: as Fredric Jameson noted, we can imagine the collapse of the planet more easily than the fall of capitalism. What fundamental reorientations of theory—of posthumanity and animality, of agency, actants, and aporias, of bodies, objects, assemblages and networks, of computing and cognition, of media and bioart—are needed to articulate the simple fact that our most mundane and ordinary lives are, even in the span of our own lifetimes, unsustainable? If we have never been natural, are we now, at last, ecological?
the quote I mangled in class today. Paul Lauter's Reconstructing American Literature Project takes on the modernist catechism of literature as "discourse with no design on the world," as representing and creating without trying to change." He claims that to focus on the original use of language (as a complex, detached, aesthetic form) trains us to disassociate the "ways it is put together from what it is about, how it affects us, and how we might USE it....We attend to the shape, sinew, texture of a hand, not whether it offers us peace or a sword."
to see Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History of the United States. Discount tickets for groups of 10 or more at $15 per person.
"Voices" features a cross section of speeches from Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King Jr., and brings to life the extraordinary history of ordinary people who built the movements that made the United States what it is today, ending slavery and Jim Crow, protesting war and genocide, advancing gay and women’s rights, and struggling to right wrongs of the day. November 10 at 8pm at Plays & Players in Philadelphia, PA
[more from Through the Looking Glass:]
"What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?" the Gnat inquired.
"I don't rejoice in insects at all," Alice explained, "because I'm rather afraid of them -- at least the large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of them."
"Of course they answer to their names?" the Gnat remarked carelessly.
"I never knew them to do it."
"What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?"
"No use to them," said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?"
"I can't say," said the Gnat. "In the wood down there, they've got no names -- however, go on with your list of insects."
"Well, there's the Horse-fly," Alice began, counting off the names on her fingers.
"All right," said the Gnat: "half-way up that bush, you'll see a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look. It's made entirely of wood, and gets about by swinging itself from branch to branch."
"What does it live on?" Alice asked, with great curiosity.
"Sap and sawdust," said the Gnat. "Go on with the list."
"O Tiger-lily," said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, "I wish you could talk!"
"We can talk," said the Tiger-lily: "when there's anybody worth talking to."
Alice was so astonished that she couldn't speak for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid voice -- almost in a whisper. "And can allthe flowers talk?"
"As well as you can," said the Tiger-lily. "And a great deal louder."
"It isn't manners for us to begin, you know," said the Rose, "and I really was wondering when you'd speak! Said I to myself. "Her face has got some sense in it, though it's not a clever one!' Still you're the right colour, and that goes a long way."
"I don't care about the colour," the Tiger-lily remarked. "If only her petals curled up a little more, she'd be all right."
This summer, my daughter Marian told me that, as a birthday gift, she wanted to treat me to a Mural Arts tour. Researching the various options, she came upon the Restorative Justice tour (and the rest is history. Our 360 went. We saw. We problematized....)
From yesterday's NYTimes: Who's in Charge Inside Your head?
"Buddhists note that our skin doesn’t separate us from the environment, but joins us, just as biologists know that “we” are manipulated by...the rest of life....Where does the rest of the world end, and each of us begin? Let’s leave the last words to a modern icon of organic, oceanic wisdom: SpongeBob SquarePants....'Absorbent and ...and porous is he'...are we, too."
A friend just shared w/ me an AMAZING review of "Are You My Mother?" by Heather Love (an English professor @ Penn), which I want to share w/ you all: http://publicbooks.org/fiction/the-mom-problem As you know, I really REALLY did not like the book on my first reading, but this review has gotten me re-thinking/re-feeling my damning critique ...I will now have to go back and re-experience it, for sure...
A few bits to tease you into the review-->
Bechdel's quip: "I think people who are well-adjusted are not going to be interested in this story...
Fortunately, there are a lot of people who are not well-adjusted.”
Then there are Love's several insights (to have such a name!), including the difficulty of portraying "resentment and ambivalence toward the mother as an inevitable result of her role as caretaker," and also her lovely LOVELY final evocation of Winnicott's question about
“where we most of the time are when we are experiencing life.” He thinks we're in a space of “deep dreaming" that is created between individuals, and between individuals and their environment. What I am thinking now is that your "site sits" might be such spaces (if you can allow them to be). And what I am wondering is whether we can make (are we making?) our shared classroom time into such a space. We'll return to these questions when we read Thomas Barry's essay, "Dream of the Earth," but I wanted to flag them now.