“Gloriously Catastrophic Futures”

The English historian Horace Walpole once declared, “The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic.” In response, Joseph Roach includes in Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance the following quote: “The conception of history as a vast performance of diaspora and surrogation haunts intercultural musings such as Walpole’s, which transform invented pasts into gloriously catastrophic futures.” Colson Whitehead’s Zone One and the genre it is a part of are proof that these kind of transformations are still very much alive. Continue reading ““Gloriously Catastrophic Futures””

New Orleans Bounce: A Circum-Atlantic Performance

New Orleans is traditionally considered the home of the genre of bounce music. The city is designated as both the genre’s origin point and its continuing center. To some degree, this is true. Artists considered at the foundation of bounce music all hail from New Orleans. Bounce music maintains its prominence in the region through concerts and festivals. However, treating the genre as an entirely autochthonous product overlooks the rich network of places and identities that have shaped the musical form as we know it today. Continue reading “New Orleans Bounce: A Circum-Atlantic Performance”

On Boats and Containment

I have been trying to write this post for a while now, but only recently did Professor McCoy provide me with the lens to critically think about what I am attempting to discuss in this post- containment.

I grew up on boats, yet I am terribly afraid of drowning. Starting at age four, my father and I went on canoe camping trips every year in the Adirondacks. I started sailing with him at age six, and at age ten, I learned to sail on my own. My family vacations always include water, usually going to the Thousand Islands or the Adirondacks and bringing a few of our eleven and a half boats (my dad is currently building one) with us. To add insult to injury, I was a competitive swimmer in high school. What I am trying to say is that I have absolutely no reason to be afraid of drowning. Continue reading “On Boats and Containment”

Big Freedia and Queer Erasure

When Dr. DeFrantz guest lectured our class on Friday, I was ecstatic to learn more about dance. As a die-hard theater kid who was called “allergic to moving with any sense of purpose” by my high school theater teacher, I was excited to be included in a dancer’s environment in any capacity. Before the class started, I saw Dr. DeFrantz pull up Beyonce’s “Formation” video and I saw the room buzz with anticipation and speculation. Continue reading “Big Freedia and Queer Erasure”

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.

Continue reading “More on Patricia Smith!”

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”

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.

Continue reading “Forgetting Typhoon Tip”

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

Continue reading “Global Connections: Invisible and Hypervisible Salvador”

“When The Levees Broke” Credits

It was about the time right before Spring break when our English 432 course watched the credits for the Hurricane Katrina documentary , When the Levees Broke. It was during this class period that we analyzed each of the credited, there role in the film, and the interesting way they were filmed for their section in the credits. More specifically, we tried to interpret the reasoning behind having each of the interviewees pose behind individualized picture frames. Professor McCoy had told us that Spike Lee is a rather specific director, having reasons behind most if not all of the decisions made for his films. Is there a deeper meaning behind the use of picture frames?  Continue reading ““When The Levees Broke” Credits”

Eyes of the World – Wake of the Flood

Every decision we make pushes us down a particular path. At each moment, our choices narrow the possible futures to one singular future, and so we must bear the burden that each choice we make shuts the door on an infinite number of possibilities.

Sometimes being given a choice is harder and more damaging than if we’d never had a choice at all. Usually when we decide between options, we must also accept part of the responsibility for not choosing otherwise. This is an expected consequence if we paint humanity as moral.

Often, making a choice relies on morality. For instance, if we’re parallel parking in the city and accidentally dent one of the surrounding vehicles when no one is around, we have a choice. Do we leave a note explaining what happened and our contact info, or do we beat a hasty retreat, reasonably assured that our crime will go unpunished? The moral choice is obviously to leave a note on the dented vehicle. Even though we may not like having to compensate the owner and take responsibility for our actions, it’s infinitely more fulfilling to be able to do the right thing and choose that option as well.

Continue reading “Eyes of the World – Wake of the Flood”