Review of Week 6 (Feb 14, 16) and Preview of Week 7
(by Julia and Kathryn)
So we started off class on Valentines Day once again reviewing the project assignment and making sure everyone was on the same page, I know I was confused on the requirements. Dr. Seaman cleared up some questions and confusion people were having and finished the conversation by telling us that everyone’s papers will make sense to them once they figure out a focus. Once we all figure out our focus it will be easy to interpret and write the paper. We looked at some more examples of the Clinton and Obama picture and then briefly discussed the picture of the Glee cast in wheelchairs. Dr. Seaman used the picture of the glee cast and then the picture of the girl being held by 2 soldiers in Haiti as extended examples in explaining our project. After we discussed the project we moved on to talk about the reading for Tuesday, “Unspeakable conversations” by Harriet McBryde Johnson. We started off the discussion by first realizing the irony in the fact that Johnson was from Charleston! I think it was quite surprising to all of us when we first read that, we also discussed the irony in the fact that Johnson is a lawyer and a disabled woman which is the best combination for her in fighting her argument. She’s an interesting person to talk about her experience because she talks about the issues in both an academic and theoretical way. What’s interesting though, which is something Dr. Seaman commented on, is the fact that everything she says and argues comes from a completely different perspective because she combines the social issue with her personal experience. The topic Johnson discusses is very taboo and secretive, it’s something people avoid because it’s uncomfortable. We had a class discussion that a few people shared their opinions on about the complicated and very interesting relationship between Singer and Johnson. Their relationship is a cycle of irony, irony in the fact that they both respect each other regardless of their VERY different opinions about life. Singer openly tells Johnson that she represents the type of person he wants to provide the means to euthanize, but at that same time Johnson understands and respects that about him. This mutual respect from both ends wasn’t until the very middle of the story, but Singer the whole time basically had the same attitude towards Harriet. It’s also not until the end that Harriet becomes attracted to Singer. Dr. Seaman brought up an interesting point in this class discussion when she stopped and asked everyone what it was that Harriet was arguing for. Overall I think we decided that what she’s really arguing for is worldwide awareness of the issue and her main source of arguing is through Singer’s harsh ideas about infanticide. We saw in the final paragraph, with her talking about belief, that her attention is on how we discuss issues and communicate with one another and work toward change. Additionally, we talked about the odd structure of the Q & A on page 118 and then focused in on page 130 when Johnson comes to the conclusion that Singer is human, which she didn’t acknowledge before 130. Before 130, on page 127 we see that Harriet interestingly and very openly admits to being racist. This sparked some discussion in our class because this is our very first indication in Harriet admitting a flaw of hers, especially one this strong. As a class, we discussed that it’s ironic that she doesn’t want anyone to have prejudice against her but at the same time she has prejudices against other sorts of people. It suggests everyone needs help seeing things they won’t understand otherwise. The conclusion was strong, she ended with expressing her faith in humanity and how its failed before, also that she might just be setting herself up for failure by expressing her thoughts on this issue so powerfully. Overall, this was a complicated and unconventionally structured essay where the author jumped from place to place. The author had a very unique and personal voice that spoke to us while also allowing us to experience her own enlightment. Its an essay that s about belief, ethics and experience. I think it definitely opened our class’s eyes about the issue and made us aware of the problem through our discussion. Although not many people participated I think we did enjoy reading it.
On Thursday of this week we peer edited our rough drafts for project 2. One thing I have to say is that the second time peer editing went much smoother and quicker for my group than it did last time. The most common problems my group ran into was that we all had too much detail with out enough supporting analysis. We filled in a lot of space with an excessive amount of detail. We also all had a lot of trouble working in an essay from “Acting Out Culture.” We all also decided that we needed to focus on the “So What,” the meaning and purpose of our essay. We all unanimously agreed that this paper was more difficult to finish then the first.
Preview of Week 7
You found my comments and grades on your Project 2 Drafts in OAKS on Sunday.
On Tuesday, we will perform some more analyses of visual rhetoric with a few images from the “How We Watch” section of Acting Out Culture. These should give you more experience doing the sort of interpretation you’re performing in your Project 2 essay. The “Scenes and Un-scenes” images will supplement what we already discussed through Dyson’s essay on Katrina. Consider what the caption Miller has provided for the first image (the shot of the storm from above) encourages us to pay attention to as we read the following images. We are encouraged to interpret the images of Oprah Winfrey and Anderson Cooper in ways that might share something with how you’re interpreting the image of the military figures helping the wounded child after the Haiti earthquake, in Project 2. For the “Then and Now” images, consider what might be different between “conformity then” and “conformity now”–not to defend either now or then, but to see how such concepts modify with changing times, even while perhaps having very much the same effect.
Tuesday, those of you who’ve not already met with me in your scheduled slot for your individual meeting will do so.
There is no class Thursday.
Your revisions of Project 2 are due in OAKS Friday at 5pm.