26 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2017
    1. That is, it is through specific intra-actions that phenomenacome to matter—in both senses of the word.

      I could be way off base, but this sentence reminds me of the Romantic idea (held by William Godwin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Mary Shelley, amongst others) that the betterment of the individual was achieved through interactions and forming relationships with others. An improved individual was equipped to understand the world and discover truth--which is I think what Barad is saying here about agential intra-actions and their production of phenomena, which results in both physical and cultural matter.

  2. Apr 2017
    1. Fredric Jameson describes his experience and frustration with the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles

      I read through the next few paragraphs and struggled to understand the point they were making with these examples. I wanted more context, which I found helped a great deal in understanding the point being made here, so I thought you folks might appreciate that, as well. Here is the hotel:

      And here is an excerpt from the aforementioned text in which Jameson discusses the hotel. Important points are helpfully in red: https://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~janzb/courses/hum3930b/jameson1.htm

    1. hus, if anything, a rhetoricalbasis of meaning requires a disciplinary hierarchy with rhetoricat the top

      Sounds kind of like Plato in Phaedrus on the Soul when he said that philosophers should have control over Greece to run the society as efficiently and morally as possible.

      Maybe this is a stretch, but the word choice of "hierarchy" makes me uncomfortable because it implies a great amount of self-importance and arrogant superiority.

    1. weaving images from her multiple selves and from many others into a kind of tapestry or patchwork quilt of language.

      I love the metaphor of language as a quilt. Quilts are unique, just as language is unique to each individual who engages it. It brings together different types of fabric that maybe don't seem like they would go together, but once assembled make a beautiful product.

      The image of layering multiple identities is intriguing to me, and reminds me of a class I took last semester called American Mosaic, which explored literature written by American immigrants or minorities from different backgrounds, which reflected the confusion individuals felt concerning their identities. Anzaldua, I anticipate, tries to layer these multiple facets of her identity together in her literary works, a feat with which many authors struggle.

    1. signification"

      Etymology of signification: early 14c., "symbolization, representation," from Old French significacion and directly from Latin significationem (nominative significatio) "a signifying, indication, expression, sign, token, meaning, emphasis," noun of action from past participle stem of significare "make known, indicate" (see signify). From late 14c. as "meaning" (of a word, etc.).

      I thought it would be interesting to look at the etymology of "signification" (as it is a main topic of this essay) because Gates has been discussing the diverging meanings of the word in different rhetorics. It is unsurprising that the etymology defined here comes from the "white rhetoric" tradition, as described by Gates. I suppose upon further search and inquiry I could possibly find the meaning of "signification" as defined within African American rhetoric, but it would require a lot of extra effort on my part. This lack of available definition demonstrates the "glossing over" of the African American culture in the United States and the general lack of knowledge and understanding on behalf of the majority of white Americans, and is a reminder of the ignorance that is very much alive in the US.

      This reading has encouraged me to think a lot more on divergent cultural rhetorics and how awareness and acknowledgement of the validity of different rhetorics is crucial to any progress that is to be made in race relations in the US.

    2. Smokey Joe Whitfield
  3. Mar 2017
    1. symbolic interchange as we know it is impossible, and the condition of being fully human has not been attained.

      To Booth, being fully human means that one can communicate with others through symbols, language, and other interactions. To him, lacking full mental capacity means that one is not fully human (at least I think that is what he is saying). This kind of broaches on the philosophical argument surrounding personhood, and whether one requires what is considered "normal" mental function in order to be considered "human." Animalists would say no, your form as a human is enough; Hylomorphists and Substance Dualists would argue that your mental capacity is necessary to your identity as a human person. I wonder how much, if at all, these schools of thought influenced Booth when he wrote this?

    2. Belief or thought or knowledge, action or will or choice, feeling or emotion or passion occur in every theory of thinking, acting, or feel-ing;

      Booth mentioned "tripartite" earlier and here lists three phrases which three words each.... sounding Platonic.

    3. monstrous births,

      I found the use of this phrase very interesting. My inference from previous reading was that a "monstrous birth" was a phrase from a much earlier period in history, used to describe still-births or severely deformed babies that died shortly after birth. From my understanding, they were seen as a punishment from God for some moral failing on the part of the mother. This usage implies that a monstrous birth is someone who has moral failings. I wonder whether this is the true version of the "monstrous birth" for the present age.

      [Side note: I tried finding the etymology, but struggled to do so, perhaps because it is a phrase rather than a single term.]

    4. the Weather-men group

      I had a sort of fuzzy recollection of this group from a history course a few years back, but since they are often glossed over in history books, I thought this might be helpful, especially since this piece is so historically situated in its strange political moment:

      "The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), commonly known as the Weather Underground, was an American militant radical left-wing organization founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. Originally called Weatherman, the group became known colloquially as the Weathermen. Weatherman organized in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)[2] composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Their goal was to create a clandestine revolutionary party for the overthrow of the U.S. Government."

      (This is all from the Wiki, if you want to read more:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground)

    1. And yes," says Molly, carrying Ulysses off be-yond any book and toward the new writing; "I said yes, I will Yes."

      I was curious about this line, so I did a little searching and I found this particularly interesting, since Cixous did her dissertation on Joyce:

      The episode both begins and ends with "yes," a word that Joyce described as "the female word" and that he said indicated "acquiescence, self-abandon, relaxation, the end of all resistance."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Bloom#Soliloquy

    1. speech act referred to by English analysts?6

      In J.L. Austin 's How to Do Things With Words, a "speech act" is a performative utterance. That is, "speech acts" do something; whereas most of our concern with language thus far was regarding its relative "Truth," Austin was interested in language that was not meant to assert, but to do. (For example, "hello!" is not meant to persuade, but to greet. It does something rather than conveying information.)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._L._Austin#Performative_utterance

    1. there is a distinction between the "contemplative" goal of literature and the "active" goal of rhetoric, literature frequently uses persuasion and argumentation.

      Many authors use literature as a way to express their views on society, politics, economics, etc. Some prominent authors that come to mind are William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, both of whom wrote extensively on the struggles of women and criticized the societal structure in which they lived, but expressed these views through characters and stories.

    2. Traditional language philosophy treats language as an imperfect expression of logic.

      Interesting to note that in Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, the protagonist Werther mentions multiple times that words/language could not accurately describe his feelings or the world around him; this takes the stance that not only does language not accurately convey logic, but also lacks the ability to explain one's emotions. It's similar to Locke's (and other Enlightenment thinkers') idea that language cannot allow us to express what we want to express because it does not accurately capture anything in the world around us, whether that be objects, emotions, other people, etc.

    3. Burke sees rhetoric as the loser in a connict with literature

      In the general university system, I would tend to agree with Burke. Whenever I tell anyone I am an English major, they immediately assume that I study literature (which I do sometimes, but also not all the time) and ask what I want to teach, and can't possibly imagine that there are other careers available for English majors. When I mention that my concentration is Rhetoric, people are confused as to what that even is. This kind of references the readings from the first week when we tried to define rhetoric, but never actually established a definitive definition; in the same way, I struggle with communicating exactly what I learn with my friends who have no contextual background or understanding for what I study.

  4. Feb 2017
    1. The Angel in the House.

      (Please forgive all the bullet points, but hypothes.is was not cooperating with my formatting. The options were either this, or to have the poem become one long paragraph)

      • Excerpt:
      • Man must be pleased; but him to please
      • Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf
      • Of his condoled necessities
      • She casts her best, she flings herself.
      • How often flings for nought, and yokes
      • Her heart to an icicle or whim,
      • Whose each impatient word provokes
      • Another, not from her, but him;
      • While she, too gentle even to force
      • His penitence by kind replies,
      • Waits by, expecting his remorse,
      • With pardon in her pitying eyes;
      • And if he once, by shame oppress'd,
      • A comfortable word confers,
      • She leans and weeps against his breast,
      • And seems to think the sin was hers;
      • Or any eye to see her charms,
      • At any time, she's still his wife,
      • Dearly devoted to his arms;
      • She loves with love that cannot tire;
      • And when, ah woe, she loves alone,
      • Through passionate duty love springs higher,
      • As grass grows taller round a stone.
    2. It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? I

      This reminds me of Iris Young's "Five Faces of Oppression." Young argues that we often neglect to see the many faces of oppression, and that we misrepresent reality by comparing dissimilar experiences of oppression as existing under the same general umbrella of subjectivity. Anyone who experiences even one face of oppression is oppressed, but many individuals and groups experience oppression differently because they may experience different combinations of the faces of oppression. One face of oppression which often goes overlooked is "powerlessness."

      Powerlessness is a distinction between technical freedom and actual self-possession and choice. Examples Young gives are that although we are technically allowed to choose our employer, many employees are placed at the bottom of the totem pole, where they are dictated to, rather than consulted about their own work. Those who work menial jobs, for example, in which the minutia of their jobs (what to do and how to do it) are strictly controlled are powerless. In contrast, professionals such as doctors, teachers, managers, etc. are given a degree of freedom and choice about how to best go about their work, and they might even have employees working under them, whose work they get to control. This freedom gives one "respectability" in the eyes of society and one's own eyes. If someone does not have access to professionalization, they are denigrated for this lack of "respectability," by the implication that they are inferior to professionals. This, of course, becomes a vicious economic and psychological cycle.

      This system of oppression through powerlessness is what Woolf is referencing here. Although she is employed, society has denied her the freedom allotted to most literary professionals, most of whom are men. She is employed, but she is not a professional because she is denied the freedom and respectability that being a professional connotes.

    1. They corre-spond to the three departments of the human mind, the Understanding, the Will, and the Feel-ings.

      Reflects platonic division into three parts; also seems to be somewhat Augustinian in nature. Augustinian divided the soul into three parts: Memory, Understanding, and Willing.

      The Understanding, the Will, and the Feelings seem to be Bain's update on Logos, Ethos, and Pathos.

      Lots of connections in this passage!

    1. the prin-ciples of reasoning neither makes, nor is essential to, a good reasoner, is doubtless true. Thus, 100, is it wilh grammar.

      This attitude is in contrast to the weak defense idea that a good reasoner was a good person. Here Spencer is rejecting that idea, and also rejecting the idea that good grammar is indicative of a good character.

    1. Beacon Hill

      an extremely white community to this day, the 2010 census says about a 2% percent of the population is African american

    2. including William Lloyd Garrison, who could testify to her good works from her activist days in Boston to the present.

      Historically, this sort of testimony was fairly common as a preface to the writing of women and people of color. Such testimonies from (white, wealthy, well-connected) men would sometimes appear prior to the text itself to convince the reader that the author was worth taking seriously, since women and people of color were not considered worth of consideration on their own merits.

    3. did not yet enjoy this supportive reaction

      This seems like quite an understatement, given the last sentence of the next paragraph. Do we have any historical info regarding the ways the hostility of the audience manifested itself? I imagine it must have been fairly extreme to force her to leave the city. For example, was it heckling, attempts to speak over her, jeers and boos to drown out her words, perhaps even a dramatic attempt to pull her from the stage? It seems like the reactions of such hostile audiences offer important historical information, as it should be kept in mind when we consider how women and people of color first needed to shape a type of rhetoric that would quell a hostile audience.

      As an example from a different historical moment, there are conflicting reports of Sojourner Truth's reception at the Seneca Falls Convention. Some reports imply that she was heckled, or at least that there were interjections from the audience, while other reports offer an opposing narrative that present Truth as largely supported by the audience and not decried at all. The hostility or receptivity of the audience (and the way such information is mentioned in accounts) shapes the way we can interpret Truth's oration and its effects.

    1. but this edu-cation did not include classical learning, literacy in Greek and Latin, or formal training in rhetoric, except in a few elite schools for boys destined for the univer-sity

      I do wonder what the reasoning was for this (I mean, besides the blatant "women and the lower class are too stupid to understand our Great Books and/or will lead lives that do not require a 'polite' education"). We've already read arguments that the "polite" education supposedly improved the virtues as well as the mind, right? Wouldn't all of society benefit if women and the lower class were virtuous, as much as possible?