charlie's picture

The Arc: An Exhibit on Right Relationships



The Arc

Written on the wall, to be seen as the first thing when entering the exhibit:

“Right relationships are human relations in which each (or all) seek, without abandoning themselves, to be attentive and responsive to the needs and emotions of one another, quite apart from considerations of entitlement. There are also several important “negative” markers of right relationships, namely they must be free of systematic oppression, exploitation or manipulation. That is, a relationship is not “right” if participants seek to overbear in power (oppress), to overreach in resources (exploit), or to mislead for selfish advantage (manipulate).” – John A. Humbach1


The introduction to this exhibit, to also be printed on the wall:

See video
charlie's picture

The Arc

Although cheesy, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true. To express the concept of “right relationships”, I have “curated” an online exhibit of photographs. Although all of the photographs are real, because I have borrowed them from other websites, I have created my own titles for them. Additionally, for some of the photographs, the captions below the titles are not accurate for that specific photograph, but rather are based on the content of the photograph.

Because I am not computer-savvy enough to create a virtual gallery space, I will use my words to help you imagine the exhibition space in which this exhibit would be on display. Imagine a large, open room with light, sandy-colored wood floors and high white walls. There is also an expansive wall of windows allowing for natural sunlight to flood the gallery. The photographs would be 24” by 18” framed inside of a 2” white mat and a 1.5” solid black frame. The titles and captions would be printed on cards and mounted on the wall next to the bottom right-hand corner of the frame.

The Arc

Written on the wall, to be seen as the first thing when entering the exhibit:

Katie Randall's picture

A different kind of lecture

The lecture last night was intense and, for me, different from other lectures I've attended at Bryn Mawr. Partly it was the sheer scale of it and the buildup beforehand: while I'm sure there were some audience members only there for a class, there was a collective excitement that you just don't usually feel in an academic setting. The only event I can think of that came close was the lecture by Angela Davis. So first, there was a difference in the audience.

Then there was the difference in the speaker. The biggest difference, and the one I talked about with some friends afterwards, was that Judith Butler was there as an academic and theorist but taking a strong political stance. How often have we seen that? I can tell you how often I've heard it: never. Not once. I've occasionally had a professor take up political issues in the classroom, but not often. And never in a way that tied them so thoroughly to theory. I'd never heard a lecture that was both very academic and intensely political-- they tend to be one or the other.  I'd never seen theory and practice so thoroughly entangled (to borrow Barad's term, which I may or may not thoroughly understand. But it seems right here).

Then there were the ideas themselves. Other people have complained about how hard it was to take notes with hardly any light, but I did it anyway because I knew that otherwise there was no way I'd be able to remember even half of what was brought up. I can even read most of what I wrote.

chelseam's picture

Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom: Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement

    Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom:

Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement


Summary: This project was undertaken with the hope of changing the ways we think about teaching and engaging with science. This paper will discuss ways to help students recognize that science is interdisciplinary and can both affect and be affected by the social and/or political context it exists in.  

By asking students to think about the way science is presented and conducted, and giving them the tools to think about science not as an isolated body of information, but as a dynamic and shifting discipline, we will not only be encouraging more engaged science scholarship, but will also help students begin to notice the ways science is used as evidence in different contexts and evaluate these uses.


The goals of this project are two-fold. I hope to suggest ways for biology teachers:

Gavi's picture

Voicing Rhetorics of Beauty

Voicing Rhetorics of Beauty

I. Rhetoric

            We talked in class about culture as disability, about how culture can disable individuals and groups. The qualities that are considered “abling” (or empowering or desirable) in a culture are only definable because of the absence of these qualities. Therefore, any created culture necessarily shuts some people out; it “teaches people what to aspire to and hope for and marks off those who are to be noticed, handled, mistreated, and remediated as falling short” (McDermott and Varenne). Modern Western culture is a culture of consumption; many of our abling judgments are based off the concept of consumption through vision (Garland-Thomson 29). Two valued abilities in our culture are the abilities to see, and the right, legitimizing ways to be seen; the ability to consume, and the ability to be consumed. In this essay, I’ll argue that beauty—as the standard to which the objects of vision and consumption are held—is disabling, that modern concepts of disability can be read as beauty, and that the conflation of these constructs can yield empowering results.

chelseam's picture

Claiming the Stare: Jes Sachse and the Transformative Potential of Seeing

                                 Claiming the Stare: Jes Sachse and the Transformative Potential of Seeing

                                       American Able - Holly Norris                     "Crooked" Tattoo


  We all love to look. While staring is most commonly thought of as an act to be avoided or ashamed of, Disability and Women’s Studies Scholar Rosemarie Garland-Thomson argues that the stare at its best actually has the potential to create new meanings and more open societies.  The stare as Thomson defines it, has the potential to help us redefine the language we use to describe each other and ourselves, create space for the often-excluded in communities, and craft our own identities. The stare is most dynamic and productive when the subject of the stare, the staree, is able to wield some control over the interaction and in doing so present their story to the starer.

sel209's picture

Grey Matters: Age as Disability through the Lens of Sexuality

Grey Matters: Age as Disability through the Lens of Sexuality

September 11 2001 to September 11 2011: Thoughts on the Last Decade and the Future

Serendip provided an on-line forum for public conversation immediately following the events of September 11 2001 and has encouraged further public conversation in several additional forums since (see box to right). Now ten years after September 11 2001, we are considering, again, where we have been and, based on that, where we want to go next and how we might get there.

ssaludades's picture

Personal Reflection

While I was writing my educational autobiography, I was surprised at how hard it was for me to focus on one aspect of my education, as if my education was an accumulated product of my experiences and interactions with different people - my family, friends and classmates. In this sense, I began to view education as a shared experience that these people were participants in my development as a person and helped me find my place and role in society.

Nonetheless, I was likewise disturbed by and reminded of how deeply class relations and more specifically, the status of my classmates affected this role. For many, a big part of growing up is finding a role and trying to fit into society;however, since my parents were immigrants to this country, like Rodriguez's story, a big part of my educational experience was based on being self aware, seeking acceptance, and assimilating into a culture and community that my parents were foreign to. Thus, for me the distance from my classmates' society left me very anxious about my position in the community.

LittleItaly's picture

My Educational Autobiography Reflection

So after writing my educational autobiography some questions had popped into my head about the position I took. I believe the classroom was not the key component in my education instead my community was. I made the claim that because of the way people in different economic background created their own world within their own class that it pushed me to become more aware of myself and taught me how to understand different people's stories. It also pushed me away from being open to the influences of the neigherborhood that I viewed as destructive. So this is where I am at now. I have been known to want to help people out and get them on a better path. But in my paper I had said that class has turned into being what defines a culture. So because I made the claim that people of lower class have their own culture, is it right for people to try to change them? Yes, the lower class are associated with high health risks, high poverty and crime but if that is their culture, who are we to say that the way they live is wrong? After reflecting on that another question arose. Maybe that is my culture? Maybe that it part of the American culture? To come in unannounced, and change what we see unfit. Looking at American history we can see several times when we stepped in and justified with a 'we're creating change' campaign. So maybe it is part of my culture to want to help people I think are on the 'wrong path?' But does that still make it right?

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