The Least We Can Do: Bearing the Weight of Iniki and Others

I would like to configure this post in conversation with the post written earlier this week by Jenna, Jonathan, Aidan, Madi, Clio, and Cameron. This group writes thoughtfully about Hurricane Iniki and its impact on the Hawaiian Islands; what I wish to do is expand on one of their points by drawing connections back to previously-examined course content.

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“Go Hurricanes!”

In recent news, one can find a host of sports team names challenged by public outcry. Teams ranging from the Washington Redskins to the Ithaca Bombers to the Holy Cross Knights have had tough questions to answer about their selected nicknames and mascots. Yet for the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, this scrutiny has been virtually non-existent since the team’s relocation and name change in 1997. Is this surprising given what we know about the connotations of hurricanes? What processes of remembering and forgetting must occur to allow this?

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More on Patricia Smith!

I suppose the time has come and gone (or at least shifted) from our focus on Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith. However, I have been moved by her words ever since, particularly those of “Katrina” and “11 A.M., Wednesday, August 24, 2005,” in which Smith personifies Hurricane Katrina. This led to our classes’ exploration on the significance of naming. I’ll admit, I’m a huge poetry nerd, and since then, I’ve even been inspired by Smith to write several different poems on names and origins.

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Remembering and Forgetting Incarcerated Children

I’ve written two blog posts on children as paratext and effigies, and I hope to continue the topic of children’s reduced autonomy in this post. After reading the “Of Levees and Prisons” chapter in Unfathomable City, I wanted to write a blog post on juvenile detention, control, and the even further reduced autonomy incarcerated children face.  Continue reading “Remembering and Forgetting Incarcerated Children”

Making a “True” Statement vs. Stating the “Whole Truth” in Photo-Journalism

What does it mean to be a journalist? In my mind, it means reporting on local, regional, and even international events that can effect any number of people. I believe that the news should always be truthful and without bias. We can see from most if not all media sources, that there is some level of opinionated language used in that sources articles. Even if it is not intentional, bias can sometimes sneak into anyone’s writing. During one of our previous English 432 classes, we took a look at some of photos taken of New York following Hurricane Sandy. These photos illustrate New York city, holding onto what little electricity it had left. Continue reading “Making a “True” Statement vs. Stating the “Whole Truth” in Photo-Journalism”

On Romanticization Versus Advocacy for Incarcerated Individuals

Since we first encountered it a few class sessions ago, I’ve been captivated by Mariame Kaba’s essay “Free Us All,” and its wariness of building movements around individuals. Rather, Kaba cites the #FreeBresha and #FreeMarissa movements as being successful precisely because organizers took “great pains to understand that each survivor is one among thousands of Black women and girls who have been and continue to be criminalized for trying to survive.” Collective defense is a critical component in Kaba’s call for prison abolition. Continue reading “On Romanticization Versus Advocacy for Incarcerated Individuals”

Hurricane Iniki: Look at All Those Chickens

(Blog title reference)

By Jenna Lawson, Jonathan Kalman, Aidan Koch, Madi Bussmann, Clio Lieberman, & Cameron Rustay

In Hawaiian, the word “Iniki” has a somewhat contradictory meaning. Some categorize it on a surface level as meaning “strong and piercing wind.” However, a deeper look into Hawaiian language dictionaries turns up the definition “to pinch, nip; sharp and piercing, as wind or pangs of love.” Likening piercing winds to the pangs of love presents an interesting dilemma about how to reckon with Iniki’s legacy and perception among those who experienced it. The fact that there was an upsurge in babies given this name in the wake of the hurricane further entangles the presence of love and joy with the destruction inherent when a hurricane makes landfall. Continue reading “Hurricane Iniki: Look at All Those Chickens”

Forgetting Typhoon Tip

By Matt Albanese, Noah Mazer, Tree McNulty, Isabel Owen, Melissa Rao, Don Rothwein, and Davina Ward

The Story of Typhoon Tip

The scientific knowledge for Typhoon Tip/Warling is extensive. According a 1980 article entitled “An Analysis of Super Typhoon Tip” by George Dunnavan and John Diercks, Tip is the most studied storm in recent memory. Forty piloted missions were flown into the storm. The mission was carried out by the 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

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Hurricane Maria: Searching for Answers, Finding More Questions

*This is a collaborative blog post, created by: Sakshi Kumar, Neha Marolia, Michael Griffin, Luke Edelman, Catherine White, and Katie Sullivan  

Maria’s Story:

The story of Hurricane Maria officially began on September 16, 2017 when it wasn’t even called Hurricane Maria yet. At 11 a.m. that morning, four days before landfall, it was called “Potential Tropical Cyclone 15.” It wasn’t until 5 p.m. later that day that it was newly named “Tropical Storm Maria.” The next day, it was deemed a hurricane and the first hurricane watch for Puerto Rico was issued on September 18.

Courtesy of the New York Times

Maria landed in Puerto Rico on September 20. On this day, 20 inches of rain fell, the whole island lost power, and 80-90% of the structures were destroyed in some towns. The next day, President Trump issued a state of emergency for Puerto Rico. Three days after landfall, 85% of the Puerto Rico cell towers did not work, and on September 26, 44% of Puerto Rico lacked drinking water.

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Global Connections: Invisible and Hypervisible Salvador


Gamboa de Baixo, a low-income black neighborhood in Salvador, Brazil. The construction of Contorno Avenue in the 1950s and 60s rendered the neighborhood invisible by placing it directly under the road, which symbolized modernity and progress for Bahian elite.

“This process of forgetting is essential to the social construction of the city, creating in essence two cities, a ‘visible city as much as an invisible city.’” –Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Black Women Against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil

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