Museum’s are complex. Their jobs are to give visitors an experience that will be held in their memory and frame of reference. Museums create an experience, which is decided on by how the creators chose to present it. What they create and how they create it is meant to shape the narrative that visitors leave the museum with. The narrative concerns the subject of the museum. A good example of this is the Holocaust Museum. It is a replicated Nazi concentration camp, which gives visitors a similar experience to how the prisoners (Nazi targets) felt during Hitler’s reign. Visitors are suppose to feel uncomfortable in tight elevator spaces, when they look at the thousands of photographs of victims, when they see how eerie the camp is, and when the event becomes real.
By replicating what the concentration/death camps looked like, using the same materials, using a real physical space visitors are able to feel like they are part of the camp. The experience that the museum is constructed to provide, creates a memory that is offered to the public. Museum’s have more power and authority than one would think.
The first read of Wiesel’s Night, the narration of his tramatic experience in the concentration camp Auschwitz, might seem a bit scetchy and incomplete. However, after discussing his writing style in class, it seems that he mastered a technique that is most fitting for articulating such a horrific event.
The narrative starts with the everyday, normal lives of Eliezer and his family. We witness them practicing their religious rituals in a way that forces the observer to notice what compassionate and good people he is accompanied with. By portraying these events of per-holocaust life, Wiesel demonstrates not only how quickly the Nazi’s took over, but also how undeserving his people are of their fate.
Wiesel ommits certain details from his narrative. Although this may seem as an incomplete tale, it is very effective. As his days in the concentration camp start to add up and become more horrific, the amount of ‘gaps’ in his narration start increasing. Not only are there more empty spaces or jumps from one place in time to another, but the narrator also seems to be more impacted by the events. The reader is allowed to become disoriented just as Eliezer, horror becomes a part of everyday life, to the point that he tries to ignore it. Because he is not paying as much attention to it, which is a survival technique, these details are not portrayed.
By refraiming from including some of the details, the impact of the details that we are given become more significant.
As far as representing African Americans, Dyson did a great job of bringing in the Hurricaine Katrina comentary of artists from the Hip-Hop industry. Kanye West jeopardized his own reputation and success by calling President George Bush out on not caring about the poor black minorities who’s lives were devestated by the disaster. This is a very smooth move in expressing the compassion that successful African American’s feel for their brothers and sisters; it gives them an unidentifiable “human” nature, which in this case, overpowers our own president’s humanity.
Furthermore, by adding Juvenile’s commentary concerning “looters” who stole from his house, adds to the argument. As hard as Juvenile’s lyrics are, and as controversial as they may be to white American’s, this man is also sympathetic to the poor blacks who robbed his own home. His response is understanding, and supportive. Well, there goes the cover!
Environmental Justice is basically how politicians, officials, and other citizens respond to disaster stricken areas; rather or not and how much help is provided to other Americans who need help. It is important because it shows the true colors of the American flag, it shows just how much concern and for who, the government has for their citizens.
Writings are important to Environmental Justice, because it is a way to take a stand, to stand up for the in-justice that has been done to certain people. For example, the Hurracane Katrina victims.
This disaster is different from 9/11, in that the devastating effects are still very much in the same shape as they were in in 2005. 9/11 is remembered annually, and brought up during the year as well. What about Katrina survivors? They don’t appear in the news anymore, and you don’t hear about them.
It is shocking to know that the government did not respond to this disaster. They did not offer help. Insurance Companies denied their members to file claims. I remember seeing a commercial, just last year, that tried to get people of the American public to donate money to help the victims, the survivors, the forgotten. Although they were not labeled the “forgotten” in the commercials, that is exactly what has happened. This commercial was like the ones you see from agencies that want you to donate to help stop cruelty to animals, or to help a child in Africa.
None of these commercials had to be ran for 9/11 victims/survivors. The government took 100% care of the destruction. In New Orleans, there is still a destroyed city, unrepaired homes, and unlivable conditions.
Writing about these topics helps to bring some kind of aid to the “forgotten” people. The survivors of the flood. It gives these people a voice, and helps that voice to be heard.
By looking at the circumstances surrounding other floods in history, especially the flood of 1927, the Vanport of 1948, and Hurrican Katrina of 2005, there starts to be a few connections. All of the places that were hit the hardest, with the most damage, were usually poor neighborhoods that are mostly dwelled in by the poor,or, minority groups.
The connections between these floods, pointed out by Jason David Rivera and DeMond Shondell Miller in their article, “Continually Neglected: Situating Natural Disasters in the African American Experience”, shows that the people are affected by disaster, may not be as random as we think.
The way that patriot American’s think of themselves, or of our country as a whole, can effect how the public responds to images, such as photos and videos of “the jumpers” on 9/11, and of the torture that happened at Abu Ghriab.
It surprising to think that most Americans have a standard at how one should act, or can be shamed because people jumped from the twin towers. It is like they have a certain set expectation, that everyone should come together and uphold. However, when it isn’t a horrific day suc as 9/11….American’s are usually only concerned with their own individual lives.
Realizing this, it seems very hypocritical that the majority of the public expected for everyone in the towers to ‘go down with the ship’, especially when these were not soldiers, but innocent civilians who were simply at work. These facts were not considered when images of “The Falling Man” were printed, and the public was outraged by it.
Most of what Americans believe in is the power of the ‘individual’…but it is ok for them to have all suffered and died in the towers ‘together’ because it would have been considered honorable, but because they made a decision that effected themselves alone, they are dishonorable.
It disrupts the narrative that Americans have for their country. That we are heroic, fighting until the last minute, rising up against tremendous and unbeatable odds for the good of all Americans; that being American somehow insinuates that we are more then people.
Studies such as Mattingly’s examination of African American women with disabled children, which discussed how they reacted or what they were doing on 9/11, shows that the whole country didn’t all act the same. That for some, who could not take the time to watch the news or follow the events, 9/11 was just another day trying to survive.
We like to think that our whole nation stopped. But it didn’t. Some people didn’t have that luxury, and most people take it for granted. Mostly, the world considers the response of 9/11 that is narrated by white, maddle class values. For everyone, for minorities, for the poor, maybe it wasn’t as painful. Or maybe it wasn’t as shocking. Or maybe they can more relate to the terrorists, because they do not feel a sense of ‘belonging’ in this country either. Or maybe they have been ‘bullied’ by this group of ‘elite’ Americans.
The “Portraits of Grief” are full of charming little stories; the relationship and secret language of a father and his two year old daughter, a young man who tried to sale a woman a mazda-which he knew nothing about..and charmed the woman to having coffee with him and then marrying him the following year.
These are details that are not listed in any typical obituary (which at the most is consistent with listing the time and place of the funeral processions – with typically a list of the surviving family), although they are similar to the reflection types of obituaries that the Times posts for the famous, political, or wealthy death announcements.
(Here’s a link: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/obituaries/index.html )
Why publish the “Portraits of Grief” in this way?
It seems as though it is a way to immortalize the victims, for families to have a way to have a sense that their loved one(s) will be rememberred, or that their death has been recorded in history.
These are very good reasons. Noble reasons. But there could be more to it than that. After discussing the manner in which the “Portraits” were written in class, it seems as though the Times had more motive then to put together an honorable memorial.
The editors are definitely coming off as wanting us to go to war. They can influence the public to sharing this desire by representing the lifes that were lost as being ‘normal, everyday people’, the kind of people that everyone can relate to. Because the public can achieve a shared sense of identity with the people who were lost, the attack becomes personal, and a fear developes that this could happen to ‘me’.
What else is there to do to stop this from happening to ‘me’? Go to war, fight back, serve justice…no one can get away with attacking us on OUR own soil!
And so we went to war.
The views on the war have changed a lot since troops were first sent overseas; much like our views about 9/11.
Although conspiracy theories, ideas about government corruption and the growing amount of factual information can change opinions about the cause of 9/11; nothing changes that as a country we were not prepared for it.
This puts us in a position of being victims, until we started referring to the thousands of innocent civilians as ‘heroes’. Although they may/may not have done anything heroic that day, it is an important grieving mechanism to want to believe that they did not die without cause, in vain, or that there was absolutely nothing that could have been done to prevent this disaster.
This is my third class with Dr. Smith, and my second with her that is taught in this format. So far, this class is more interesting then the previous. At first I thought it was going to be one of those classes that you dread going to every day, like, Wow, we’re going to have to discuss disasters, every day?? This is going to be depressing…
But, the first few days of class have actually been intriguing. Discussing the theories concerned with writing about disasters, really helps to lay the foundation for the accounts, types, and re-tellings of disasters that we’re going to have to read this semester.
Today, I realized how complicated it is to write on such a topic. Especially for someone who is recounting a disaster that they personally experienced. What is so complicated is that to re-tell a traumatizing memory is to enter the depths of emotional pain, and because the perspective of a person during a disaster has to be told from the perspective of a person who is already experienced it. The means that the perspective changes once the event becomes a memory. Most people who experience disaster don’t understand what is actually happening until the disaster is over.
This information definitely makes reading about disasters more interesting, and gives me something to focus on other then the sadness involved in these types of experiences.
So, although there is a debate going on between feminist and non-feminist women about rather or not feminism is necessary today, women are still only making 78 cents to every dollar that men make…for the same job!!
This is unfair.
Not only do women who do the same job as men receive less pay; but they also have more responsibilities as men.
Women will never get paid for doing housework, birthing children, or fixing dinner. This is not something that can be helped. However, it can be helped that women work the same job, for less money, and then come home and start a second shift of housework, while men sit in a recliner with their feet up watching TV.
These are things that should be taken into consideration when deciding wages.
In a single day, women can do 50% MORE work than men, and bring home enough to pay only one or two bills.
What’s wrong with this picture!?!?!
This situation is not the case for all couples; however, it is for most.
Any woman who is in a relationship with a man who helps to maintain the home, cook meals, and participate (more than little conversations, such as, “Good job on your homework”.) with their child(ren), has found a man who truly appreciates her.
On the contrary, most men know that they don’t have to help with chores, because the woman will take care of it. rather than refusing to complete household tasks, which typically ends with garbage, dirty dishes, and laundry piling to the ceiling, the woman gets frustrated and takes care of them herself.
There are two fixes for this problem. And the entirety of the problem cannot be fixed until BOTH problems are address, universally, within our society.
1. Women need to get equal pay.
2. Boys need to be taught at a young age to do chores and help around the house.
The equal pay needs to be addressed immediately, but once the solution is given; what’s next? The next concern for women will be that they still have to come home and do housework. We can start addressing this situation NOW by teaching boys that it is their responsibility (too) to help maintain the home. This is only fair.
the one thing that stands out most to me, especially concerning females and writing, are the ways that feminist writers are able to write. disregarding whatever patriarchal rules for writing that exist, after years and years of being forced to reproduce the kind of writing that we learn to create in grade school, it is very empowering to see women go against these standards.
How does the academy and the writing produced for and within the academy prove to be masculine and patriarchal? Why, in your view, is this the case?
Who founded America? Our ‘founding fathers’. So who makes the rules? Our ‘founding fathers’. Why do we need rules? To make the patriarchy work and to ensure that these fathers stay at the top.
How is the academy any different? Well, it’s not. The patriarchy is all about hierarchy. Why do we need hierarchy? To ensure that white men stay on top. They made the rules. They did a pretty good job too, because-DAMN- did it take a long time to abolish slavery! For women to be allowed to vote! And the fight for women equality is still going on today. This is politics.
The academy is no different. It took a long time to let African Americans and women in there, too. And they are still controlling us by the standards that we have to apply to our work. They tell us what an essay is, how a paper is suppose to be, how to form sentences, which order to put our words into…this list goes on.
How do we, as writers within the academy, challenge such ideals?
We write however we want and call it lyric poetry. Or we write whatever we want and however we want, and only make changes to get a good grade.
Using the concept of a manifesto to articulate feminist views is a way to speak the language of the people who write the code; which is the only way to make a change.
How are these manifesto’s “feminist”?
A trend that I’ve noticed this semester, which has been basically one discussion concerning feminist work and concerns after another, literary, is the radical form that feminist writers make use of. “The Feminst Manifesto” by Lisa Loy is extremely radical, especialy considering that it was published in 1918. It’s extremely short, ambiguous, it challenges ideas about what is ‘womanly’, and the form of it is something that would probably not be accepted in the academic world.
What are the ways in which they conform to the genre of the manifest? How do they go against it?
Linda R. Hirshman’s Get To Work conforms to the genre concept of the manifesto in that it is impressive as far as research, structure, form with clear points that would be more accepted by the ‘dead white men’ who created the genre codes for academic texts. In comparison to Loy’s work, it seems a lot more probable as far as achieving its goal. However, because Loy wors against the codes of a typical manifesto, she is demonstrating to women that there are other ways of doing things; and that we can create our own code of writing.
How is the manifesto becoming an important form of writing feminism?
Manifestos have a distinct amount of importance, especially in politics. It is a way to express one’s ideas and point out anything that is problematic about our culture, politics, or justice system. It is a straightforward and professional proposal that suggests that the current situations concerning the issue at hand can be changed. It is a way to articulate ideas that will be considered by those who are in power, because it suplies a tool that allows us to be taken seriously.