Looking at Folk: Black Rural Cultural Production and White Appropriation

To my knowledge, I’ve not had a professor or anyone in a position of authority in a classroom (where sincere questioning of power structures and imagining of new futures has happened) that has been visibly rural until this semester. In the first few weeks of class, I noticed our TA Katie’s accent. At first I wasn’t sure, but her lilting tone, rhotic accent (presence of the sound /r/ at the end of a word), and pronunciation of the short /a/ that’s characteristic of Rural White [Southern] English (my brackets) and Inland Northern American English. It was so gentle to hear. I did feel a little odd just asking sorta out of the blue where Katie was from (although I do try to use, ‘where’s home for you?’ to avoid the microaggressive implications around belonging of ‘where are you from?’). Continue reading “Looking at Folk: Black Rural Cultural Production and White Appropriation”

Folk Digest

I enjoy folk music, but my enjoyment wasn’t fully contextualized until I took Music and Ideas: Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger with Jim Kimball last fall. The class gave roots to Folk’s heritage in Sorrow/Freedom Songs as well as its place in labor and social movements. I’d been aware of the movement songs in the Civil Rights movement and in labor movements and this class really connected disciplines of organizing and music.  Continue reading “Folk Digest”

What the Middle Ages is teaching me about how the rich relate

I’m in Lydia Kertz’s class ENGL 466: Medieval Romance and Its Afterlives, and have found that studying the often-derided genre has developed my analysis of power and legislation of institutions that we still experience today, namely marriage, as well as how an upper class exacts power through its connections across sectors. Continue reading “What the Middle Ages is teaching me about how the rich relate”

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. 
Continue reading “Hoping this connection isn’t too cheesy”

Authentic Codeswitching and Bilingual Represenation

*Replaced the Skippyjon Jones link. Should be working now*

Last semester, I took a sociolinguistics class called Spanish in America. It was the most tangibly applicable of any classes I’ve taken at Geneseo so far, and it was sincerely enjoyable. One of the concepts that it introduced was Mock Spanish. Mock Spanish was first coined by linguistic anthropologist Jane H. Hill (thanks, wikipedia), and it’s characterized by loan words or phrases from a minority language (Spanish) by monolingual speakers of the majority language (English), often used in a disparaging way. In just a few short weeks, Cinco de Mayo is happening. Just keep your eyes peeled for all the appropriation and Mock Spanish going on up to and during the holiday. For example, Cinco de Drinko. Don’t do it.

Mock Spanish is often seen in advertising, or on fun (content warning: image contains profanity) mustache-themed signs, or even in children’s books (Skippyjon Jones gets roasted here). Unfortunately, it also shows up in our lexicon. This is a wonderful resource from SUNY Binghamton about Mock Spanish if you’re interested in learning about the different types. Even the outline spells out pretty well other kinds if you don’t have a lot of time. Continue reading “Authentic Codeswitching and Bilingual Represenation”

Relevant Silliness and Available Actions

This video crossed my mind in class yesterday, and I giggled at the thought of it on the blog. While Silly Songs with Larry are goofy, Larry’s situation is reminiscent of the conversations we’ve been having. Larry is unable to access something rightfully his because it fell within the boundaries of a space in which he’s not welcome. He didn’t have the means (a key? Status?) to enter the gated community, and the folks on the inside were too self-congratulatory to take any substantive action.


Continue reading “Relevant Silliness and Available Actions”

Current: Definitions and Cross-Lingual Musings

In class on the 17th, we looked at pictures and articles the Steven J. Baum law firm’s Halloween party. One of the sides that stood out to me (find it here). It says “*!$%^&(  foreclosure! I’m current!!” It prompted me to think about the word current, its interdisciplinary use as well as its connections to Spanish. Continue reading “Current: Definitions and Cross-Lingual Musings”

Survival and Selfishness (and other ramblings)

I was stuck with the documentary we watched in class. I’m also sure that mine wasn’t a singular reaction. One moment that stood apart from the others was when Mr. Gettridge’s daughter wouldn’t tell him the exact date of his wife’s homecoming. It seemed like a great surprise, then June Cross told us that he’d an agreement with Anderson Cooper of CNN to televise her return. It felt gaudy and awkward. Why would Mr. Gettridge strike this deal when his own daughter recognized it as something her mother would detest?

*I subsequently checked myself* Continue reading “Survival and Selfishness (and other ramblings)”