Montaigne’s “good witness”

Michel de Montaigne indicates a distrust of witnesses who are sophisticated enough to bend and manipulate a story to fit a preconceived point of view, individuals who “cannot help changing their story a little in order to make their views triumph and be more persuasive” (6): That man of mine was a simple, rough fellow…

Schwartzkopf – It Doesn’t Take a Hero

General Schwarzkopf’s autobiography opens with the mention that he was shaped by emotion – by Vietnam and his mother’s alcoholism as much as by his father being a general (x).  And I wonder now if it it was his experience in Vietnam that led to what I would consider a “conservative” approach to Desert Shield…

Life Writing Authorizes Trauma

Maurice Stevens points out how trauma has long fallen on gendered and racial lines.  The litigious nature of traumatic experience constrains the resulting “in group.”  In the past, railroad companies would employ lawyers in the effort to avoid blame by reducing the number of individuals who could be considered injured (CITATION Stevens) – likewise, Euro-Americans have…

Social Media Defined

Social media, roughly defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content” (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010: 60), (quoted from Jose va Dijck)

Life Writing as Reinforcement of the “materialistic and narcissistic subject”

Sarah Allen addresses the ongoing critique of life writing as a genre that doesn’t actually challenge students to change their views on the world.  She notes the prevalent fear among teachers that the life writing essays only contribute the materialistic mindset of consumer society: No doubt, this is part of the reason behind writing teachers’ suspicions…

Kevlar Weave as Metaphor of Chronotopic Lamination?

Kevlar is tough, it’s woven, and it’s layered.  Could this be applied as a metaphor for the ways in which ideologies become integrated as a coherent sense of identity within the individual psyche?  And then the psyche can become “frayed” when some experiences cannot be connected (woven) together through a coherent ideological paradigm. This could…