A Practice of Personal Recollection and Forgetting

With a major theme of this class being the human relationship with memory and the role of the final essay as one of self-reflection, I wanted to use this final blog post as a means to look back and process the past 15 weeks in this class. I plan to look back at my impressions going into the class and think about how those impressions have been proven, problematized, and evolved during my time in this class.

Coming into the class, I was under the impression that we would be talking about the way that cities are represented in literature, and with that in mind I had hopes that I might be able to explore detective novels in the class and how they portray the cities of America. I had hopes that we might examine the ways that cities are constructed in the real world, and we would then compare those real life structures to those of a book we would read for class. Interestingly, we actually did each of these things, but not as I had originally expected. As we examined road maps at the beginning of the semester and talked about how certain groups were marginalized or certain aspects of the city were omitted from the map, and, while it may not have been as stylized as my original idea of literature analysis, it allowed me think about the accuracy of cities’ representation in the text that I read, be they nonfiction, as with a detective novel, or nonfiction, like a road map. The juxtaposition of our maps of New York City maps with the way those same streets are addressed inĀ Zone One also gave me the chance to satisfy my curiosity concerning the geographical representation of cities across different kinds of texts.

What I did not expect coming into this class was the focus on the concept of memory in the curriculum. It’s such a simple concept that I had never considered the what the implications of an examination of memory would be, and, upon later consideration of this human abstraction, I was shocked at the implications of how memory factored into each aspect of our society. In Roach, I took particular interest in the concepts of effigies and the ways that performance is able to carry on the cultural memories and significance of a certain idea, as has been apparent through each of my blog posts.

Honestly, at this moment, as I sit in the midst of a storm of papers and deadlines, I find it hard to think about what else I think of when I think of this class. This is only appropriate for a class that considers the relationships between our societies and storms, but for now I must weather the storm in the hopes that I will exit it with myself intact and ready to brave whatever floodwaters may have risen amidst the storm.

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