Anne Dalke's blog
one of the students in my critfemstudies class recommended What I Want My Words to Do to You (this in response to our reading Eva's Man last week, and reflecting on our frustrations with her silence...). she found the film life-changing. watching the trailer, i realize how direct it is, how grounded in a belief that the truth can be told. very different than the film i'm imagining sara's working toward making, which sounds as if it will be so much more oblique and evocative...
below are my selections; more than requested, i know. but--the image, well, it just breaks my heart: that youth.
p. 310 is about gender; so are pp. 103-4, though it’s more intersectional there, as it is on pp. 427-8.
and p. 325 is about language use.
can’t wait to see what y’all pick!
by 5 p.m. on Thursday: each of us will e-mail Sara 3 quotes or images
(anything that we find compelling, anywhere in the book--
w/ an eye to “code-switching” and/or “impression management” and/or queer theory)
don’t be afraid to include a longer passage, one that makes the context clear
Our revised lesson plan:
I. we'll begin by remembering Marcell’s b’day, and mark it somehow
(w/ congratulations, certainly--also w/ song? we're not sure)
II. Jody will serve as general timekeeper, keeping us to this plan
any of us has the option of calling for writing time if it seems appropriate
III. Hayley will start us off w/ the quotes, passing sheets of 8x11 paper
we'll do this in two rounds: one to write in response to the quotes/others' comments,
one to read (and take notes, if we want)
II. Sasha will get us into pairs, to look @ the comments and
generate questions about them that we would like the large group to talk about
III. Sara will open up the conversation
possible topics for discussion/short summaries/critical ideas to share include
* “impression management” (how you present a certain “me” to others)
* gender and power
* queer theory/women-centered relationships
V. Anne will offer the opportunity to do some writing, as a form of closing:
what summation can we offer? what thoughts are leftover? and/or not yet articulated?
so today i hauled a HUGE and HEAVY pile of books
(Kettle Bottom, Sula, Orange is the New Black--okay Jody brought that one!--
Angela Davis's autobiography, Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird...,
down to a coffee shop in south philly, where jody and i looked through them,
seeking for our next book group book (need to order early next week...pressure's on..)
none of them worked. we walked to the wooden shoe and looked through the shelves;
nothing worked. we are e-mailing folks who might have suggestions about a readable,
contemporary memoir by a woman of color (preferably from Philly), and are also
planning to look @
Lorene Carey's Pride and If Sons, Then Heirs (contemporary Philly writer, but these are novels)
and also James McBride's The Color of Water: A Black man's Tribute to his White Mother
(Brooklyn man, but we both remember this as very powerful).
any leads from any of you or your friends would! be! great!
have a good weekend, all--
I. start w/ a silent conversation….
post 5 quotes (one selected by each of us) on large sheets
II. Paired or small group conversations about the quote we’re most drawn to
III. Each small group comes up with some questions they would like to discuss further
IV. Big group discussion
[do we need a writing time in here somewhere?]
V. Focus in on gender and power?
VI. Share article about code-switching? [or maybe a quote from this could go up
in the silent conversation...? don't know where it best fits...]
VII. Hand out next book and reading assignment (we're giving up on the writing, yes?)
Thanks so much to y’all for posting your notes and reflections about the session I missed on 10/25. I am pulling out Jody’s promise to talk about the blood and violence parts of A Taste of Power next time (?!). Want to pull out, too, Sasha’s reflections on the women’s faith-based orientation to the world (is that translatable to how we think about things? Could “praying” just be stepping back/taking a deep breath/ asking for some sort of clarity?) –and also the striking idea of power as love. And I especially want to pull out what Sarah wrote about “the kind of narrative that circulates in prison programs, which is one that seems to ‘train’ people to shift focus away from criticism of the system,” and her observation that the silence in class last time about critique of the prison “is a perfect example of the strength of its power.” This is of course a reminder that we! WILL! talk among ourselves next Tuesday about the introduction to the Radical Teacher issue on Teaching Inside Carceral Institutions.
Looking forward to this....
As mentioned today in class, we'd like you (please) to consult your calendars,
and come to class next Tuesday able to tell us when you are free to attend
the Nicole Canuso performance of The Garden--
possibilities include 7:30 & 9 p.m. on Fris, Nov. 1, Nov. 8, Nov. 15,
6 & 7:30 & 9 p.m. on Sats, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16
4:30 & 6 pm. on Suns, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov. 17
6 & 7:30 on Mons, Nov. 4, Nov. 11
7:30 & 9 on Thurss, Nov. 7, Nov. 14.
Also we'd like to know if you could be free and available to fulfill Mark's fantasy of a final gathering of us all,
@ the same time, in a special place, for a special meal and conversation, in the city on December 6-8?
this talk by neil gaiman caught my eye (because i'm teaching one of his graphic novels in my critfemstudies course).
two things he says i think are relevant to our work:
"the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers"
"I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn't read. And certainly couldn't read for pleasure.
It's not one to one: you can't say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations...."
By 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20 (the day we return from fall break), please post AS A COMMENT HERE your mid-semester course evaluation of what's working and what needs working on in this class: what have you seen? what have you done? what's your interaction been (with texts, with your classmates and prof)? what are you (still) hoping for?...then we'll spend some classtime, in the week when we return, discussing needed adjustments.
By midnight Sunday, October 20th (the day we return from break): please post a 3-pp. mid-semester course evaluation here. Imagine that this course is a city in which you've been playing: what have you seen? what have you done? what's your interaction been (with the city, with texts, with your classmates and profs)? what are you hoping for? Think about form-and-content; how are you structuring this account? How can you organize your essay so that it illustrates what you want to say? What data have you to report, to illustrate your claims-and-ideas?