Autography Establishes Vantage, can Promote Standpoint

Gornick’s description of life writing that reveals the “loneliness of the monster” and the “cunning of the innocent” is exactly the performance of standpoint, the portrayal of understanding one’s social position within the greater cultural hierarchy.  This inherently questions the assumptions of hierarchy. The point of vantage, on the other hand, is to establish one’s…

Lead and Paradigm

if leaded gasoline changed cultural norms not only for crime, but for all behavior, then the “generational disconnect” observed between Boomers and adjacent generations could be partly explained by it.  With Millennials, it could be that a “mellow” generation is being judged harshly by older adults who have been neurologically affected by childhood lead exposure.…

Memory Keeping and Ideological Resistance: Constructing Intimate Social Narratives

Berlant’s intimate publics and Perreault’s autography can both be seen as stages of memory keeping.  But memories carry historical and ideological weight – thus, “memory” is inherently rhetorical and political.  Memories of the past are incorporated into the cultural metanarrative of group identity, and these memories shift with time as the metanarrative “recall” adapts the…

Hiroshima podcast on Public Radio

pri.org/hiroshima- a podcast addressing the trauma of the atomic bomb.  Also addresses the mental health considerations.  (And don’t forget the severely constrained Smithsonian exhibit.)  I’m especially interested in the concept of the memory keepers – those who were not there for the bombing, but who carry forward the memory of family members who were.  But there…

Amato and Fleisher – “Reforming Creative Writing Pedagogy: History as Knowledge, Knowledge as Activism”

Amato, Joe and H. Kassia Fleisher.  “Reforming Creative Writing Pedagogy: History as Knowledge, Knowledge as Activism.”  Web. Fundamental questions that arise in reform pedagogy: Can writing be effectively taught without also addressing the historical and cultural contexts that determine how writing is judged?  (probably not…) What do we mean by “higher efucation” in terms of…

Persepolis changed my views on Iran

We’ve seen so much fear and misunderstanding about the nuclear deal with Iran, especially Mike Huckabee’s comment on “leading Israel to the oven.”  I’m guessing that many of these commentators have not read Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, or Mark Bowden’s Guests of the Ayatollah.  Those books personalized the people of Iran for me (especially Persepolis).  Also…

Escapism of fiction?

Fiction is often described as “escapist” (particularly genre fiction), but fiction is also the means by which some of the darkest human thoughts and desires are addressed and explored.  So is something like Fifty Shades of Grey really “escapist”?  Or is it more that the book engages the taboo subjects of sexual relations as affected by…