Haaken’s Review of Douglas’s Contesting Childhood

Janice Haaken’s review of Kate Douglas’s Contesting Childhood: Autobiography, Trauma, and Memory indicates that Douglas has interrogated the genre expectations of the childhood autobiography: “Douglas gathers up a rich web of autobiographical writing on childhood trauma to tell a larger cultural tale of the search for an authentic past” (853). “Douglas describes the demand on…

Ethical Imperative of Trauma Theory and Witnessing for Native American Autobiography

Radstone indicates that the ethical goals of trauma theory are not entirely unproblematic.  At a surface level, the goal of “cultural remembrance” for the “absent presence” is unchallenged: Though trauma analysis is in its early stages of development, its ethical imperatives do appear to have been accepted: trauma analysis positions itself by analogy with the…

Trauma, Memory, Standpoint

With this project, when I’m trying to do is understand the relationship between trauma and writing and learning. This can be complicated by neurological considerations, but we have a little understanding of the complex factors that allow some individuals to overcome trauma while others remain crippled by it. The problem for my research then is…

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…

Hayles promotes Comparative Media Studies

​ N. Katherine Hayles is concerned that the increasing disconnect between digital media scholars and traditional (i.e. print-based) scholars will lead to significant losses in knowledge: Print-based scholars would become increasingly marginalized, unable to communicate not only with Digital Humanities colleagues but also with researchers in the social sciences and sciences, who routinely use digital…

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…