A Matter of Perspective

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden”.                                                      ~The Secret Garden

Seeing is believing. That’s what we have been taught our entire lives; that our eyes are the one thing that is able to distinguish fact from fiction. But, what we are never told is that everyone sees differently. This goes beyond the literal sense, although it does provide the best explanation. Picture where you are now. Literally. Whether you are standing up, sitting down, or on the line at Starbucks, focus on your location and what YOU see. Now, imagine someone wants to stand in your exact spot, to see exactly what you see. Impossible isn’t it? It is physically impossible for two people to stand on the exact same spot at the exact same time, and even if the person was able to stand in your position after the fact, that person would still see different things, notice different aspects of the same surroundings.   Their perspective would inevitably be different.

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“As Now Printed”

I find myself to be continually intrigued by the phrase “as now printed,” found in “The Forethought” chapter of Souls of Black Folk (6). The edition we have says that this note was written at the same time as the original release of the book in 1903, indicating that DuBois anticipated that Souls of Black Folk would not only be re-released but also that the text itself would be edited. I don’t claim to know what DuBois was thinking when he added those words to the introduction to the text, but to me, it feels as though he was both reserving the right to edit and release different editions to his own work (which we know he did) and also acknowledging that future reprintings might be out of his own hands and things that he wanted to be included might not be there. This prediction has come true; for example, we don’t have the bars of music talked about in that same sentence in our edition and the most commonly released edition of Souls of Black Folk isn’t the most recently updated version but instead the first edition, which contains anti-Semitic language that DuBois later removed. Continue reading ““As Now Printed””

The Rewards of Re-Reading

I’ve had the pleasure of reading selections of W.E.B Du Bois’ work The Souls of Black Folk three times, including as an assignment for this class. The most consistent element of my praise is how singular Du Bois’ voice is: it seems to reverberate in the historical context, in the philosophical context, in the literary context, and in the present day. I know of very few works, literary or otherwise, that have that wide of a reach.

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(GENESEO): The Myriad of Navigating Geneseo’s Binaries [1]

SUNY Geneseo was founded in 1871. In comparison to 2019 that means that the school has existed as an institution for over 148 years. In the next two years, it will be SUNY Geneseo’s 150 existing as a college that is “known for its exceptional faculty, its welcoming atmosphere, and its reputation for producing fiercely loyal alumni.” In fact, that is exactly what SUNY Geneseo is.

An exceptional institution.

Geneseo logo Geneseo’s Enhanced Logo

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Possession Through Repetition

In my last post, I discussed the ways that repetition with a difference results in progress. I find this idea interesting, especially when applied to the reading and writing processes. Due to new experiences and knowledge acquired during the time between a first and second reading, new meaning can be drawn from a text. Additionally, while writing, an author repeats their argument, story, or history until it is representative of the most recent iteration of their thoughts and ideas. Using my newly acquired knowledge, I reread Possession by Suzan-Lori Parks through the lens of repetition and noticed how she describes the writing process as repetitive.

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Something New Under the Artificial Light

After discussing Bernice Johnson Reagon’s article “Nobody Knows the Trouble I See,” originality’s importance to African American song actually made me think of art history. Specifically, I started thinking about two artworks: Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) and Archibald Motley’s Nightlife (1943). Continue reading “Something New Under the Artificial Light”

Greta Van Fleet, The Blues, and Cycles of Repetition

Greta Van fleet is a Michigan-based rock band, that has gained considerable traction within recent years. While the band has received praise from critics and fans alike, they have also received a great deal of criticism regarding the authenticity and originality of their music. Take for example this single from their most recent album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army:

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Hoping this connection isn’t too cheesy

Our conversations on lines with Lytton gave us a lot to mull over, but I wasn’t really sure what it was going to do in my life beyond that. I’m not much of a poet. I was at work the next day where I’m in charge of writing the kitschy signs. It was right before Valentine’s day so something festive was in order, but I wasn’t interested in completely forgoing my anti-heteronormativity and anti-hallmark holiday values for 12 dollars an hour.  See the image of what I wrote and the transcribed bit below. 
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Authors’ Consent

In seeking to better understand the concept, I found a broad definition of consent from Merriam-Webster dictionary that reads, “compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another.” This means that there are at least two parties, a seeker and a provider of consent. The SUNY policy handout from class offers additional details to inform our understanding, including the statement that consent “is clear.” It further explains, “Affirmative consent is a clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed, and voluntary agreement…” If we are considering consent in non-sexual contexts, then the logistics of clear, affirmative consent can be complicated. Should you ask permission every time you want to rant to a friend about your day? Are you responsible for seeking permission to use a project group chat on the weekends? To seek permission for these things would certainly limit the risk of doing harm to others, but it would be impossible to anticipate and prepare for all ways that such harm could occur. Because of this, I can see the “gray area” that Jessica refers to in her most recent blog post. Continue reading “Authors’ Consent”

Consent as a Grey Area

Recently I was having a discussion with my of my friends who has a learning disability. She was telling me that this semester in one of her classes her professor does “popcorn reading,” otherwise known as calling on a student randomly to read out loud. Although, her learning disability is something that she does have a good grasp on at this point in her life, she still struggles with reading out loud. As a result she dreads going to that particular class. This brings up a very interesting question for all of us who are apart of the collegiate community. Should professors ask their students for their consent when it comes to things like randomly calling on them in class or as students of the college do we automatically give our consent when we pay our tuition bills and register for our classes? Continue reading “Consent as a Grey Area”