In my paper, I explore the ways in which ideas of justice are so often guided by theology and religious teachings, including the concept of restorative justice.
During Linda Susan Beard’s visit in out class, I couldn’t help but continually think back to Sister Alice Strogen, who passed away last week and who danced in and out of my life over the last ten years, always playing an important role. As I’ve been thinking about how to process her very sudden death, I keep going back to the grief that Sister Alice herself had to face on an almost constant basis as a byproduct of her job at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. What was so interesting about her is that (unlike many doctors and nurses I know) she really did allow herself to take the time to feel intense sorrow over the deaths of the children she worked with. But after pausing for that moment of sadness, she kept on doing her work with the same commitment and passion. I was drawn to Prof. Beard’s experience participating in a silent retreat after the murder of her nephew, and how she relayed the ways in which she dealt with her inner, personal demons during that time. In the piece we read for class, she talked about an “encounter with the Lord” she had on her way back from that retreat.
I’ve really enjoyed reading through everyone’s papers/projects, and while I know that for much of the class, their projects for Jody are leading into their final activism for the class, I wish that there was more of a link. In particular, I think that it would be GREAT if Chandrea and Esty’s tour (if they’re interested in this) could be incorporated into the final presentation, as a way for the larger campus community to be exposed to what we have been talking about in a very visceral, real way. I know that many McBride students have expressed feeling both very conspicuous and invisible at the same time, so I think that somehow sharing Sharaai’s paper would also mean a lot to current McBride scholars. This is also true for HSBurke’s paper on the history (and lack of historical documentation) of maids/servants at Bryn Mawr – this is not a conversation that I hear a lot of people hearing. And Owl’s paper too. I don’t know if any of you are actually interested in publicly sharing your work, but I do think that it might be a powerful way of sharing our exploration of Bryn Mawr’s “walled community” with the rest of campus.
As I started de la Cruz, I was immediately reminded of Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” as both writers were able to address an enemy with supposed kindness and respect, only to subtly rip them apart. While de la Cruz and Machiavelli were being politically prescriptive in very different ways – and with very different objectives in mind – de la Cruz’s exploit of the power and fear of god mirrors how Machiavelli argued religion is used in the larger societal context (e.g, to convince men to risk their life in war, because they will be going to heaven).
In the case of de la Cruz, she was being told that she shouldn’t be writing because the Church didn’t think it was appropriate for women (a nun!) to write about the topics that she tried to tackle. But she then threw the religious excuse right back, explaining that “God graced me with of a gift of an immense love for the truth…. God Almighty knows why and for what purpose. And he knows I've asked him to snuff out the light of my mind and leave only what's necessary to keep his commandments.” How can anyone argue with God’s creation? de la Cruz makes her case by drawing from scripture. “I see a Deborah issuing laws in military matters as well as political affairs while governing a people among whom there were so many learned men…I see so many significant women: some adorned with the gift of prophecy, like Abigail; others with persuasion, like Esther; others, with piety, like Rahab; others with perseverance, like Hannah.”
Short but interesting podcast with Maxine Hong Kingston: http://artworks.arts.gov/?p=13152
During my conference with Anne we talked about me doing something "creative" for my papers in the class, rather than a typical academic essay. So, for my web event, I decided to write a haiku.
I was very drawn to the transitions throughout the book, so I decided to take the authors own words - the first set of words from the first three chapters - and put them together to form a haiku. It is both written out below and in the attached file.
The police came and1
Oops, accidentally posted twice.
Attached is my web event for Anne.