King Lear, Rap Music and Talking to Ghosts

“…by the sacred radiance of the sun, the [mysteries] of Hecate and the night…From whom we do exist and cease to be, Here I disclaim all my paternal care…”

The above quote is spoken by King Lear in the first Scene of King Lear when he disclaims Cordelia. In one of our first classes Dr. McCoy said something about how the name “Katrina” held a violent history. I did some research into the origin of the name “Katrina” and apparently it comes from the name “Katherine.” The etymology of “Katherine” is debated but a couple of the possible etymologies directly adhere to violence. One of the possible origins is the Greek word for torture; “aikia.” Katherine was also the name “borne by a semi-legendary 4th-century saint and martyr from Alexandria who was tortured on a spiked wheel.”

However, I also noticed that the name is thought to have possibly derived from the name of the goddess Hecate. Apparently Hecate was “a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons, and the underworld.” Continue reading “King Lear, Rap Music and Talking to Ghosts”

Meaninglessness; Inside and Out

Insecurity, invagination, in and out of doors, outdoors, property, maps; we have already discussed many topics in a short amount of class time. So many topics that it has already become both easy to find something to write about and difficult to keep a post within the extension of the word “comprehensible.”  And in a sense that’s what I want to talk about; the term “extension.”

The word extension has a list of definitions but the one I want to focus on is the one that is used in the discipline of Logic: “The range of a term or concept as measured by the objects which it denotes or contains.” Okay, so what does this have to do with anything?

Continue reading “Meaninglessness; Inside and Out”

Monday’s Archive (but don’t overlook Brianne’s post below)

Posted after the jump in all its low-tech, messy glory is the archive from yesterday’s discussion identifying possible themes with which the art this semester might grapple. Don’t let this archive obscure Brianne’s post on narrative foreclosure though! Continue reading “Monday’s Archive (but don’t overlook Brianne’s post below)”

Abstract/Prospectus with a little writing

This project takes as its launching point several claims about power and contemporary subjectivity:  first, that the legitimization of authority and power now takes place through biopolitics, a form of power “in which the vital aspects of human life are intervened upon for the purpose of rationalizing regimes of authority over knowledge, the generation of truth discourses about life, and the modes through which individuals construct and interpellate subjectivities between a sense of self and the collective.”  Continue reading “Abstract/Prospectus with a little writing”

Biopolitics and Neoliberalism: Research Semester Bibliography

Here’s the bibliography for my research this semester; I read every text on this list, but not every text I read made it onto this list.  These are the sources that I think will either find their way into my essay next semester, or alternatively, influenced my thinking enough to include them, even if I don’t think they’ll make it into the essay (“The Subject of the Plague” is a good example of the latter).  And then there are some sources I probably forgot.  If I remember any, I’ll add them.  The only text on here I haven’t finished is Love by Toni Morrison—I’m putting it on hiatus for finals week but I’m going to finish it over winter break.  In addition to this bibliography, I’m hoping to post a prospectus or abstract illuminating how I see my final essay taking shape, as well as what I currently see as the first few pages of that essay. Continue reading “Biopolitics and Neoliberalism: Research Semester Bibliography”

Choice and the Number Eight

In A Mercy, Jacob Vaark wants to build his house on a hill. The dream of a house on a hill is similar to the dream of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and John Winthrop’s idea of a City Upon A Hill (1630). I bring this up to draw attention to the fact that this colony was made up of Puritans who had come to the New World to be a “model of Christian charity” for the eyes of the world. Continue reading “Choice and the Number Eight”

The (Re)Birth of a Nation

I’m not sure if anyone has posted about a certain film that premiered during this semester and carries massive cultural implications in our current, racially charged climate. Since we’ve somehow not mentioned it in class, I’ll post here.

The Birth of a Nation is considered the movie that invented modern cinema.  The filming techniques it pioneered revolutionized the way films were produced.  Its huge release and marketing made it the first blockbuster film.  The Birth of a Nation is also famous for being horrifically racist, a fact that film experts have to dodge around when discussing the film, much to the delight of those who support racism.  For those who don’t know, the plot centers around two families who fought on opposite sides of the civil war uniting to end reconstruction in their corner of the south, by killing black people and preventing them from voting on election day.  The film features horrific racist caricatures, and portrays the violence perpetrated on freed slaves in the south, including lynching, as heroic actions.

This movie I want to showcase is The Birth of a Nation 2016.  Written, produced, directed, and starring Nat Parker as Nat Turner, the black priest who led the most violent slave revolt in the US, preaching a vision of ending slavery.  The birth of the nation was made with the goal of re-appropriation.  That is, taking a piece of pop-culture and stealing it back from the signification of racism.  The idea is to replace the image of the classic Birth of a Nation and the white supremacy it stands for with that of Nat Turner leading an uprising with the fury of a people locked in chains for two-hundred years by the old order.  Doing so will re-appropriate the cultural meaning of the image, and by doing so, alter American culture to a more tolerant standard.

Jericho Brown Talks Paradise/Paradiso

I honestly don’t know what it is, but I keep finding connections between the stuff that we talk about in class and the things that I’m reading on the side. To be more specific, I’m currently reading a book of poetry called The New Testament by Jericho Brown, a well-known contemporary poet who talks about race.

Continue reading “Jericho Brown Talks Paradise/Paradiso”

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Reparations

I just read “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates… it’s such a well-written, informative piece about what our next steps should be as Americans. It goes deep into our history and highlights specific examples of how we have neglected rights that our Constitution grants. The reading isn’t tough. It moves back and forth through time often, but it feels more like sitting on a rocking chair and being swayed.

I’ve pasted some quotes that shook me. Give the article a read, please. It’s long, but powerful. I must warn you that some images and statements are triggering. Tread thoughtfully.

Continue reading “Ta-Nehisi Coates on Reparations”

Scapegoats, Morrison, and how a paradise can be ruined.

Today I read a pair of blogposts and attached articles analyzing Toni Morrison/Paradiso that I felt would go together wonderfully.

The first was by Hannah, and included this article describing in Zhizekian terms how tyrants create their oppressive regimes.  To summarize: the tyrants create an evil other, which they give responsibility for all their nation’s problems, (problems usually caused by themselves.)  they then set about violently destroying that other.  I feel that Toni Morrison’s application of this methodology within Paradiso is blatant and twofold.  first, the obvious assault on the covenant.  Second, 8rock’s ostracizing of any family or person with lighter skin, up to letting a pregnant woman die with her baby for that reason.  “Even with their wives begging they came up with excuses because they looked down on you,” (197.) Continue reading “Scapegoats, Morrison, and how a paradise can be ruined.”