Disclaimer: This article contains discussion of the “n-word”. I am including it because it furthers what I believe to be an important discussion on the power of language and the question of whether a word can ever be divorced from its historical meaning. Please read with the awareness that we are in no way condoning or encouraging the use of the “n-word” or any other epithets.
It’s easier to argue language than to argue the world we live in; language, however, always has and always will reflect the world we live in. Our befuddlement over appropriate language mirrors a general befuddlement over the route by which American society has passed from legalized segregation to economic resegregation, without ever having clearly established its ethics vis-à-vis race, class, and economics.
What do you all think? Have any of you read either book?
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So I’m a bit of a political junkie, particularly during the primary season. My partner has threatened to put a bullet through our television if I don’t stop watching CNN’s (fairly inane) coverage.But as things (the stakes, the rhetoric, the competition in general) heat up, I wonder what role we in the arts and humanities play in politics. I’m not really talking about our voting habits but rather how our disciplines can and do contribute to political dialog.The division between BSOS and ARHU is a fairly permeable one, I think, but for arguments sake, let’s focus solely on the disciplines that are firmly on “our” side of the fence. I think perhaps our most significant contribution is our sense of history…our ability to trace the history of political arguments and contextualize them. Our own Prof. Marilee Lindemann’s dog Roxie shows how this is done in this post on race and gender in the presidential race. Whether you agree with Roxie or not, she brings an ARHU perspective to the debate. Our understanding of language is also important. I’ve taken and highly recommend Prof. Linda Coleman’s course ENGL489P on language and politics.So, I’m wondering do you think your experiences in ARHU contribute to your understanding of politics? How? Are you interested in politics, and does your interest or lack thereof reflect your disciplinary affiliations?
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Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2008 |
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Hi everyone,I’m mentally back. I needed that. So now it’s time to respond to Kenton’s commentary. First and most importantly, Kenton requested that I post some more of my essays and suggested there might be a quid pro quo. I have nothing good to post at the moment, but I liked the idea of the quid pro quo. Kenton, and others, how about posting some of your writing? I’d love to provide a forum to discuss your work…and I’m in no way limiting this to English majors. I’ll dig through my stuff too.Here’s a list of *vaguely* ARHU related things I’ve done over the break. Reading:
- Read Atonement by Ian McEwan. I’ve actually read a bunch of his work but never Atonement and with all the movie hype I figured it was time. I haven’t seen the movie.
- Rereading The Odyssey because I haven’t read it in 10 years.
- Reading Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman to satiate my new found obsession with Ancient Rome.
- Just bought Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy by Eric Weitz and can’t wait to read it!
Other Cultural Stuff
- I saw Charlie Wilson’s War and Juno…not overwhelmingly highbrow, but I really enjoyed both.
- Went to see the WACK: Art and the Feminist Revolution at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
- Saw Edward II at the Shakespeare Theater
- Spent three (loooong) days at my synagogue on Reconstructionist Jewish educational programming (hard to explain, but you can ask me about it)
- Watched old episodes of The Office
- Spent a ridiculous amount of time following the presidential election
- Worked on the never-ending thesis
So now you guys get to reciprocate my telling me what you’ve been up to. As you can see, I have no shame and you shouldn’t either.
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