Kuan

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Freewrite #2

In freewrite on January 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm

1. My rhetoric research interest is war rhetoric, as well as rhetoric of resistance, so I am interesting in both the content and in various genres of resistance. I’d like to develop my critical reading and response skills, and look into how visuals play a role in resistance. As a design/photo and writing dual major, I want to study more about both verbal and visual discourse and how they interact/counteract each other.

2. I would rank Pratt’s article 2.5 out of 5. I think it is fairly easy to access, and it deserves a second or third read before I can grasp what she implies in her article and recognize her rhetorical strategies. I can understand what her argument is from by reading it thoroughly for the first time, and it did take me more time to digest the contextualization of her argument in order to answer the questions for group discussion.

I have a question, or rather an inquire, about Pratt’s idea of “safe house.” I have trouble seeing “safe house” exist in political world, where a lot of resistance takes place, and I’m wondering if the idea is just utopian? I can see it exist in academic world, but I haven’t heard about any instance of “safe house” exist in the history of war/political world. Is it just a literacy term then?

3. I’d be up for anything, to be honest. I really enjoy Pratt’s article, and think it will be interesting to read more. I’d like also to discuss the texts and do some close reading in our very own contact zone/safe house. Yet, some course of action sounds great too!

Morality

In freewrite on January 23, 2010 at 2:38 am

I just read a post by Mattias Mackler on Right and Wrong. He said:

“In the end, morality itself is a man-made invention.”

It reminded me of a conversation I had with Angela, my roomie at home when our power was out. It was about 7 pm, there was no light and electricity in my apartment; the only light source we had was a cookie-flavored candle. The reality that we had no light after sun set dated me back to the ancient world, and I started to imagining what it would be like to live in the past when it’s dark after sun set. Human beings communicate, back then, among families and friends. They share emotions after dark, because there is nothing else to be done. They watch the night sky.

They probably had no idea what morality was back then. They lived life in one way, as others had their ways of living.

When the word “morality” came into being, there came “mercy” “class” “cruelty” too, I am wondering.

Freewrite: Contact Zone

In freewrite on January 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm

What is a “contact zone” or how to define an “asymmetrical power”?

As Mary Louise Pratt puts,  contact zones are

“social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical power…”

Does my living room, which my two roomies and I share, counts as a social space? Does reading a religion book counts as where cultures meet, clash? Does having a discussion about God in contexts of highly asymmetrical power?

If the answers to those questions are positive. Then, I must be in a contact zone while I was reading Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom alone in my living room earlier. I must also be in a contact zone where a male student shouted “God creates the universe” in my philosophy class while we were having a discussion on the creation of the big bang. I must as well be in a contact zone everyday of my life as my beliefs, faiths meet, clash and grapple with those of others.

It is hard to define those terms, like contact zone or power, I think. I can take them either conceptually or otherwise literally. Man-made words must make sense to the mankind, and change over time, just as the modern in the 60s isn’t the same as today.

Over the course of past two days filled with going to new classrooms and meeting new professors, classmates, the expectation of what I could get out of the class has shifted. Originally, I was just interested in “resistance” and in knowing what the Americas are resisting to. As for now, I think I am more interested in knowing “how” are they resisting, and in understanding the word “identity.”

The rabbi in Albom’s book once said that when a baby comes to the world, his hands are clenched. Because a baby, not knowing any better, want to grab everything. Yet, an old person dies with his hands open, as he has learned the lesson that we can take nothing with us.

Neither can we take identities with us.

During the short period of life, how identity has shaped our lives and those of others? In colonization, how identity has been manipulated, controlled and led to resistance? What are my identities, and what am I resisting to? How am I preserved? Those are some inquiries that emerged in the beginning of the new semester.

In a diverse contact zone like our class, I am hoping to learn more about humanity, some fundamental aspects that define/separate the human race and many more that are unexpected.

Life is a revolving sequence, or at least I’d like to think so.

Hello world!

In floating thoughts on January 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Oh hi, world. This is the first post of the blog. So, welcome to the world, blog. This blog is also the first one that I started specially for a class, and hopefully to continue to write and inquire later on.

Merry 2010.