Standpoint vs Vantage

Standpoint is not automatic – it is earned.  It is the intellectual perspective of positionality within a social hierarchy (_________).  Vantage, however, is inherited or adopted.  It represents the narrow scope of social perception (not perspective) that an individual is willing or able to take in.  And note that one can take in a whole vista…

Classroom Collaboration – Trauma and Standpoint

If emotional abuse is prevalent in relationships, is it also common in the classroom?  Many people are unaware of verbal abuse as abuse – given the hierarchies of power in the classroom, one could easily see a perpetrator trying to establish or maintain vantage. Some hypothetical examples: Creative writing teacher feels that most students “can’t…

Can Autography Overcome the Cycle of Trauma?

In the PBS documentary on Auschwitz, they juxtaposed the interviews of an SS guard and a partisan to show how neither side (decades after the war) felt regret about having killed. The SS guard said he thought he was protecting Germany from the Jews, and the partisan was fighting the Germans. Clearly, the partisan (I…

Trauma, Standpoint, Posthumanity – Theorizing the Bio-Cultural Network of Relationships

It’s well established that some elements of personality are genetic.  It’s also well established that biological determinism can provide one of the most pernicious forms of racism.  It’s generally acknowledged (or at least proclaimed) that all people are created equal (which is not at all the same as all people being created identical).  And yet…

The Sciences, Humanities, and Autobiography

There’s a huge tension between the sciences and the humanities as to what “counts” as knowledge, while the social sciences appear to draw from and contribute to both.  (yes, this is an extreme simplification – each individual discipline within the sciences, social sciences, and humanities will have its own connections and locations within the pantheon…

Historical Distinctions in Trauma

A concern I share with LaCapra and others is the ways in which trauma can be defined and redefined and “watered down” to the point that it no longer carries any real meaning: Moreover, there is an important sense in which the aftereffects…of traumatic events are not fully owned by anyone and…affect everyone. ┬áBut the…

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…