Here are some images that represent our project. The first portion is what we showed during our final presentation.
Collaborators (AKA Book Buyin' Bitches): Hayley, Julia and Jacky
Developing and carrying out a final project that revolved around a subject which interested us felt like a perfect way to culminate our experience and learning together this semester. As one who has depended on books for various reasons for most of my life and never had to question my own literacy, the idea of Books Behind Bars in its effort to both raise consciousness about issues surrounding literacy, privilege and social distance as well as money to buy books for incarcerated women felt particularly close to home. While it was a topic that was personal to me, I saw much potential in BBB in that it had the ability to reach across and off campus, affecting both Bryn Mawr students and the larger population of incarcerated women that we had grown close to. Additionally, our consciousness-raising efforts were particularly far reaching in that our fliers were distributed across campus and thus hopefully engaged even those who were not in attendance of our final presentation. Although it may be impossible to determine how individuals reacted to our thought-provoking marketing techniques, I see the monetary success of our collection (we raised over $165!) as an indication that people not only noticed the flyers but thought about what they meant and why the issues they raised are important.
In my memo, I chose to anaylze the structure of our Vision class and how its complicated layers which served to humanize the incarcerated population paralleled my journey in answering the question: "why should we care?"
My main Sunday post is here in response to Chandrea's but I just wanted to throw something extra out there. My friend, who is a student consultant one of the college's search committee for new professors, was shocked to find out that Linda-Susan, who has a position on the same committee, is a nun. I was intrigued that this fact had never come up in the many conversations they'd had together. After telling my friend about the topic of our discussion on Thursday, I asked if Linda-Susan seemed especially contemplative to her. This came out of Linda-Susan's answer to my question that the Sisters at her monastary take strides to bring contemplation and contemplative conversations into places that they don't seem to exist. While of course this was probably not something that could be exeptionally visible to my friend, she did say something interesting in that Linda-Susan often "played devil's advocate" during their discussions. So now I'm wondering -- what place does pushing back have in contemplation? Where does disagreement fit in? By playing devil's advocate does Linda-Susan attempt to prompt her colleagues into deeper contempation over a subject?
I realized that by including my paper via attachment (because of picture issues), I wasn't creating a searchable document. So here it is in the best form I could get. The first picture is cut off on the side for some reason. Please follow links to see whole picture.
Maid in Silence: The Hidden History of Bryn Mawr’s Housekeepers
Close the Gaps
Eva’s Man by Gayl Jones chronicles the hectic, fractured life of Eva Medina Canada, whose existence has been tormented by sexual and emotional violence since girlhood. In a haunting, tangible parallel to the chaos of Eva’s experience, the novel’s narrative becomes increasingly more broken as the story progresses – eventually unraveling into a continuous narrative stream with little distinction between memory and reality. Jones’ masterful mirroring of content with form serves to draw readers in and engage them in a psychological state of chaos and confusion, not dissimilar from that of Eva’s emotional turmoil. By creating this twin experience, Jones effectively closes the social gap between readers and the story’s protagonist thus sustaining the ability for a deeper, more generative connection with the novel and its presentation of the female experience.
As a connoisseur of crime-based reality television shows like Dateline and 20/20, it was not difficult to understand what drew me to Eva’s Man. Beyond just the enticing content, however, the novel’s structure allows for readers to truly feel as though they are within the story. My loss of direction and feeling of confusion were productive in that they served to parallel the downward spiral of Eva’s emotional state as witnessed through her hectic story-telling and grim outcome of incarceration. In this way, the act of reading Eva’s Man provided an experience that allowed me to engage more deeply with the content.
In my memo, I took a look at the prevalence of religious practice/belief in prison and how prisoners are able to use relgious metaphor in order to combat the negative images and perceptions of crime and criminals.
Something that happened at the end of our class at the Cannery last week had me thinking about the connection between metaphors and silence. As one who's never quite grasped the meaning or function of metaphor, I was thankful for Howard’s straightforward description. He described metaphors as a tool to explain ideas that can't be put to words by using other objects or ideas as a medium of comparison. Metaphors give words to otherwise unexplainable ideas. What I took away from that explanation was the idea that metaphors provide a sense of agency to those who perhaps lack a broad vocabulary or just those for whom words don't suffice a way to express an experience or feeling. This tool then provides a sense of agency because, all too often, you rendered broken if you can't express yourself in a way that others can understand. In what I saw to be a distinct parallel, Anne explained mentioned at the end of Friday’s class that silence, too, is a strategy that can be used when words just don't work. And, as we've established many times in class, silence is understood as way to exert power and agency in assuring that you aren't misunderstood or your words misused. So, silence and metaphor are used in similar situations but result in vastly different outcomes. What does this say about the choice between using metaphors and choosing silence? Is one more effective than the other?
Hi guys! I was reading through Offerings to Athena tonight looking for information on my topic and I just wanted to give a heads up to those pursuing topics revolving around race (both African/African American and Asian) that there are some specific sections in the text devoted specifically to each of those subjects. So, check it out! It's on reserve in Canaday.
At some point in our conversation last Thursday, we arrived at a discussion of whether or not texts should always be accessible to us. Now, I completely understand the frustration that comes with not understanding. I definitely felt shut out by Footfalls and Mark's comment that there really was no take away. Well then why are we watching it!? But, with that said, I can't help but think about how English departments around the country would be out of a job if students understood everything they read. So much of my learning, specifically in high school, revolved around making the inaccessible accessible, and our teachers provided the tools for us to do that. What is analysis if not breaking down a text and its literary elements to further your own understanding? And then you write an essay to share that understanding with others. As a writing center tutor, every day I come across people who struggle to understand their class texts. To work through this and try to find some meaning that is accessible and interesting to them, I see my tutees grasp on to a certain aspect of the text or a particular motif, whatever. Through further exploration of the little accessible piece that they pull out, the entire text starts to gain a deeper meaning for them. Rather than shutting down like I was tempted to, I also used this method during Mark and Catharine's performance. After it became painfully apparent to be that I wasn't going to "get it", I shifted my focus to something I could appreciate, which was Catharine's craft of her role through voice.