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ENGL 352 (1)
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Department
English
Course
ENGL 352
Professor
Bina Freiwald
Semester
Winter

Description
ENGL 354: H-539 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM Think about issues that are brought up…any other women writers you have studied…what issues are the same or different - active participation: engage, ask questions, in class journal writing, give a five minute presentation or 2 page written submission  presentations are very open-ended, can compare authors - open book mid-term - final paper  give an option of topics or our own topics, or an annotated bibliography if we want 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM When we dead Awaken: Writing as revision - Adrienne Rich Wolfe – says one thing and then the other (very ambivalent) - makes the argument against conflating gender and creativity - Jane air: women think so much about this masculine/feminine thing that we cant write properly, need to be like Shakespeare who does not think about this - then she says that maybe we just do it automatically - The best mind is the androgynous mind…however it is more complex then that, good writing is never in the abstract, it is grounded in experience - as long as women‘s life experiences will be different then that of men, then there will be distinctiveness in their writing, a uniqueness that is a plus - we need to find that commonality so that women‘s writing will be taken as seriously as men‘s - Jane Austen (hiding her writing)…its unfeminine to be engrossed in the creative act - she is for both transcending gender identities and writing that is marked by it - repressed internalized anger needs to be externalized Key Elements and ideas in rich‘s essay 1. literature and society; literature can be an agent of oppression or a vehicle for opposing such oppression, an avenue of resistance and change (re isbens play); 2. Feminist criticism as ―re-vision‖ (18)  a. seeing the writing of the past with fresh eyes ―not to pass tradition but to break its hold over us‖ (19)/‘literature‘ (and culture in the broadest sense) and ‗living‘ are inextricable: radical critique ―would take the work first of all as a clue to how we live, how we have been living, how we have been lead to imagine ourselves, how our language has trapped us as well as liberated us‖ (18)  b. A cautionary note: ―its exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful‖ (18) o  c. Always remembering those who do not yet have access to the public forum, cannot yet make their voices heard: ―I am aware of the women who are not with us here because they are washing the dishes…‖ (20) o echoing Virginia wolfe o lets not forget our privilege o 3. exploring ―a whole new psychic geography‖ (19)  we not just interesting in the material conditions but in the subject  the psyche of the woman writer becomes a subject in her writing  A to F (anger to female poet) - there is something that has a hold over you that is accepted by society the prostitute that is saved by a man war-hero the American dream (glorified a workaholic lifestyle) She made the outline to show us what she wants us to do at home A (anger) to F (feminine poet) A (anger): 1. Mans power over her 2. the difficulty in expressing anger B. Grappling with the realities of women‘s lives and the cultural constructions of femininity  1. Woman has served as the painters muse, but also as comforter…(19)  2. The image of women as written by men (21)  3. Women artist seen as unfeminine (19)  4. Myth of the special woman (21) C. internalizing such conceptions of femininity leads to ―Fear of Being and saying themselves‖ (20) - these constructions of femininity have a bad impact on the psyche - anger is a necessary step but it is a bad place to be stuck in - poetry is a good way to resist Adrienne Rich 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM When we dead awaken - Her understanding of feminist criticism as ―re-vision‖ - With change often comes main and disorientation - The new psychic geography - Anger is necessary, then the realization of oneself as a female poet Internalizing such conceptions of femininity leads to ―fear of being and saying themselves‖ Distancing out of a certain fear to tell the whole story, the fatigue from keeping all of that anger in. She leaves us with her dream, her vision:  Critique is only half of the story, you need the dream, you need to know what to say yes to  What is the writer saying no to? What is wrong and probomatic?  What is the writer saying yes to? What is ok? What is the dream? What is the desire? It is the movement beyond anger and towards a becoming. Men are failing! New york times article.  Characteristic traits (patience, etc)  Adaptability (Hanna, ―The end of men‖) The extent to which riches essay can teach us to do literary criticism:  Thematic o Identify central issues addressed by a or raised in the text  Aesthetics (formal elements) and ethics o Point of view, inter-textual connections, politics/ethics  Time and Place, History and Location o Context evoked or represented o Moment/place of writing o Author‘s other works  Reception o Reader o Reception history (take it with a grain of salt, approach it on our own) o Canon An Atlas of the difficult world Question 1: a) identify the diversity: different labours, across class lines; setting and geography across USA: natural, farming, industrial, city; diversity of people (isolation and community;attachment); American history the span; Formal diversity (lyric, catalogue, narrative, anecdote); b) What is it doing in this poem: i. Diversity is needed because the poem is interested in locating the individual in the web of the social ii. All connected  Think about the way she uses the first person plural 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM An Introduction by: Kamala Das – really liked this poem - What are the preconditions for being a self - anger, which validates the effective response, she begins there, what has given rise to this anger?  It is written in a dictator sort of way  Gender: ―be girl‖, when an infant comes into the world, we are automatically told it is a boy or girl….where does that begin? It is already there, it always exists – speaks to the way gender ideology is already there as we enter the world as infants o ―be wife‖: part of the gender ideology is the casting of woman as ―relative creature‖ always in relation to and subservient to men o there are two versions of human creation in genesis, one where male and female were created at the same time and another where woman was created from man  class: what you were born into  ethnicity of birth: this is something that we again cannot control…we are born that way, with those stereotypes and rules o we do not have a say in the matter  sexuality: not promiscuous, the way she presents her body (appearance), heterosexuality seems to be foregrounded, no control over first sexual experience or her own sexuality,  Language: as a poet, English seen as language of the colonizer, to what extent can the British claim English as their language  Mental health: Saying yes to as part of revision:  Not schizo, but embrace your multiple, plural identities: regarding language, sinner saint, There is a movement towards generalizing this condition, the poem begins and ends with I. An Introduction: this is only the beginning of a process Language of the concluding lines: - it is all about I - this process is a process that we all undergo - the language transcends the individual, everyone of us is an I - we all have to challenge and think about these conjunctions What questions remain: - leads to the universal condition of making an - belong? – we do want to belong, but we do not want to be categorized  what is the connection between these two things?  Intimacy vs. isolation  Categorization comes along with belonging  What kind of a community of belonging  Michele Cliff and the end of an Introduction 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM The guest lecturer next week is not part of the class info we need to know for the exam Louis Althusser: Marxist  Interpellation: idea that you can be summoned into a specific role through sub-consciousness and other peoples perceptions of you, if someone expects you to be a certain way, even though you may not act in that certain way they will pull you into that role  Is it possible to resist these interpellations o How women are seen, there are things we are still not gone (housewife, dishwasher, maid, nurse) I am bigger than this word I!  There is belonging in the word I, because we are all an I  We all want to belong to something Lets think about communities that are resisting of this dominant ideology Even the poem begins and ends with an I, there is a focus on the you throughout the poem - she defines what she is saying no to…but is she also telling us what she is saying yes to She says I am going to challenge those interpellations - we are left with understanding a process ―A Wedding‖  She is in a difficult position of wanting to reclaim her history  She‘s using her fathers house as a sanctuary for the needed, she assists this broader cause of Indian independence - the language issue runs through this story and through An Introduction - There are more of me then there are of you, I am both - by the time you start thinking of the language as the language of the colonizer, it is already mine…it is repressive but it still belongs to who I am - What‘s the father‘s story?  Both languages feel just as part of you  The father initially internalizes the English that was taught him  At some point he realizes that it was an interpellation and he stops using the language he knows most to save the one that is his ancentors Pollock, making of warriors 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM Genre: Play - Compared to Adrienne rich and the anger, ―don‘t talk‖ - cake symbolic of her opinion of her sister getting married How does Pollock manage using this type of material to infuse it with dramatic effect? Scene 22  Allows her to speak but doesn‘t listen to what women say  Also he tells her later on that she cannot speak well and that she is not helping her cause, essentially shutting her up  Weld is attuned to the fact that Angelina is not letting her sister speak the way she normally would  Page 33, what manner of woman  Page 34, one sex has the subordinate role  Women are considered to be manly if they want more rights  Page 34, if you start talking like that we withdraw any protection that we give you  Cake eating scene: any change like that will be difficult (Adrienne rich)  When faced with her own sisters need for help after childbirth, it is hard for Sarah to follow her own beliefs and leave her sister behind  When Sarah‘s children are grown up she is able to continue her work towards women‘s rights  Women and slaves are the same thing Thomas:  Truly seems to recognize what makes her happy and that she is smart  Form: Play  Characters: Women 1,2,3 …Sarah, Thomas, weld, Angelina, father,  Frame characters and embedded characters:  Choice on the part of playwright o Decides which characters will appear o What is the interpretive effect of that choice  She tells Anna mae‘s story but does not give her a voice on the stage o Sarahs voice I heard in the end, anna‘s is not o Silencing of wounded knee  Forces us to ask the questions what are the similarities and differences between these two women? o Anna‘s voice was taken from her o Sarah‘s was not o Anna as a theatrical tool: silence is very powerful too Pollock is not letting Anna be on the stage to draw attention to the fact that the consequences of colonization are not something that are still part of the mainstream discourse anymore  Quite rare that as a society we say to ourselves, we‘ve done it to them  That native voice is still not heard  Even though she is absent, she is still present o Stereotypical male gaze of the 12 men, heavy gaze….i didn‘t stop, and why should I stop, bystander effect…but she is afraid too o Anna mea would not be surprised….not be surprised that her character would not be on the stage, still haven‘t heard her voice Character‘s cutting into each other‘s speech:  Choppiness  Women are constantly interrupted (like when we dead awaken)  Solidarity, mutual understanding, sisterhood  Are three effects co-exist  First person plural (we as a way of gathering) Who is the collectivity? What is the vision of the collectivity that is projected? Borderlands/La Frontera 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM Bi-lingual text  Draws your attention to the sentences you do not understand because you have to spend more time on it  A slowing down, which is good  Almost like a gate-keeping tactic by the author to exclude those who do not understand Spanish o How does that make us feel Body and Spirit  Western tradition of slitting the two language, the two cultures o Working against that o She really wants to flesh out these things  The relationship with the reader Preface:  Positive valorization of this mixed language, or culture o She is attaching positive values to this hybrid, rather than the negative ones of the past  New vision o Language figures in this o We are not the ones who are always outside the gates What other kinds of mixtures (hybrids) does the author work with:  Why does she start the first chapter the way she does, with a Spanish song?  The writer and the female  Spanish of the conquered What is the effect of this generic hybridity  She is saying that she can do whatever she wants and go against the traditional stereotypes and break them  Yes, these are the conventional modes of expression, but there is no reason to do it  When you have an epigraph that is from popular culture you are validating it  Expands the understanding of this linguistic hybridity  We move from the collectivity to the personal and we need the collectivity because this is a book about a culture 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM The music  Capture the bigger issues that this book pursues  Pg. 25 o Let the virgin of Guadeloupe guide me o The Mexicans of the border and the Mexicans of the border For Anzaldua, is a sense of belonging, of home possible? Is it desirable?  We are looking for ways to belong  The writing moves in so many different directions  This book seems difficult to contain, its fragmentary nature and critical nature make sit a bit challenging  Try and outline a certain trajectory in view of the question of belonging and home Belonging and Home  Need to ground it in the text  Mexican movies gave me a sense of belonging (82)  Also a very strong investment in collectivity that she belongs to (85) *  The struggle of borders in reality still (85) o What will heal the fissure within?  Between the Mexican and Anglo  Consider the tension between the pulls of o Land, something that is fixed and is not dynamic  Past-oriented  Fixed ancestry  traditions o Mestiza Consciousness  Mobile  Forward-looking  Forward  hybrid  We are constantly moving between the idea and the text The Pull of the Land: note how part one of Borderlands/la Frontera is framed (25)  113  same quote twice…inviting us to think about its meaning  layout  large gap between the ―and will‖ in the (25) version, why? o Hesitation in the first one o Second version she is more assertive o In the process of exploring she comes to a firmer grasp of the future she is pulling for There is a tension in this book between pulls: - Mestiza Consciousness  the traditions that came before  we internalized with them so we have to engage them o not to pass them on but recognize that they cast a spell on us o need to break that spell  the fracture or fissure is within me Gender spheres  Men have very little knowledge of the woman‘s sphere  41 homophobia pull of racial purity language – movimento de rebeldia y las culturas que tradicinan  movement of colonized societies post liberation o im going to keep my language  traitorous cultures o people who do not want to let go of their new traditions, they new beliefs, language o she is also gay, so she is being repressed all around her MIDTERM 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM - come with outline, order in which I will do my ideas, and what my ideas are  one single spaced page only  no lower than 11 pt font  as detailed as possible - come with a bibliography of the quotes I will use - whatever we can write out in 115 mins - no fancy writing necessary, no repetitions, good grammer - support points by providing quotes - address the specific requirements of you questions - write in a focused manner Write an essay that discusses EITHER Kamala Das‘s ―An Introduction‖ OR Bharati Mukherjee‘s ―A Wedding‖ using the conceptual frameworks outlined in the handout on Ideology Critique and Shotter posted on Moodle, employing such critical terms as: identity grid; interpellation; dominant ideology; social construct; resisting interpellation through non-recognition and self-fashioning; necessary conditions for becoming a person according to Shotter. With respect to your chosen text, address such questions as: what elements of the dominant ideology are represented in the text? What are the dominant interpellations directed at the speaker/characters? What roles does one have to take on in order to become a person in that society (drawing on Shotter’s model)? What are the consequences of not conforming to dominant interpellations? How can one resist oppressive interpellations while also claiming personhood in the social sphere? Identify any instances of non-recognition and self-fashioning in the text. Briefly comment on any specific poetic or narrative devices the author uses in your chosen text that enhance any of the aspects discussed above. Support your points with relevant quotations from your Quotation Sheet. - essay can kind of move from one question to the next, no thesis, intro, conclusion - Part 2 1. Anzaldua writes in Borderlands/La Frontera: ―A Massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war‖ (102). Write an essay that draws on selected examples from each of the seven chapters of part I of Borderlands (pp. 23-120) to explore Anzaldua‘s critique of dualistic thinking AND the alternative concepts and images she offers Your essay should: • Identify and briefly describe (with relevant quotations from your Quotation Sheet) the areas where Anzaldua encounters dualistic thinking (for example in relation to: language; religion; ethnic/racial identity; gender/sex identity; the body/mind split; etc.) • Identify and briefly explain (with relevant quotations from your Quotation Sheet) some of the cultural constructs, concepts, images, metaphors, and narrative strategies that Anzaldua uses in order to construct a non-dualistic vision, a “third perspective” that goes beyond “a Synthesis of duality” (some examples: “borderland”; “mestiza”; “queer”; “Coatlicue”; the three mothers “tres madres”; generic hybridity; “corn”, etc.) • Briefly consider the following question: are there any instances in Borderlands where Anzaldua’s vision seems to be itself marked by dualistic thinking? Support all your observations with relevant quotations from your Quotation Sheet.  Is she aware that she wants to contest dualistic thinking Borderlands/ La Frontera 9/6/2012 11:46:00 AM Pg. 104 bottom  Connection between ideology critique  ―this step is a common rupture…she recreates history…adopts new…she is willing to share to make herself vulnerable…she surrenders all notions…deconstruct, construct…she learns to transform the small I into the total self‖ o Shotter (Ideology Critique) o IDEOLOGY o Ideology is a system of beliefs and assumptions (often unconscious, unexamined, invisible) which represents “the imaginary relationships of individuals to their real conditions of existence” (Althusser) o o Ideology underlies and shapes every aspect of our lives: what we choose to wear, the material goods we wish to possess, the kinds of relationships we desire, our life-plans and aspirations. o Ideologies are collectively held, they often serve the vested interests of a specific group or class (often against the interest of other groups). o Within a given society, the dominant ideology is the system of beliefs and assumptions of the group in power. o The dominant ideology often includes contradictory elements, but those contradictions are either not recognized or somehow justified/rationalized by members of the dominant group. For example, the dominant ideology in the USA during the slavery era both endorsed the pursuit of freedom as an inalienable right of individuals, and regarded slavery as perfectly legitimate. The same society, of course, also denied women (and children) any legal status, considering them subordinate to, and in a sense the possession of, the male relative (father, husband). - how we understand a male or female body comes from ideology - everything we wear and think is decided by ideology - we cannot create our own ideology, it is something that is in nature - they often support certain groups and classes - suffrages, slave‘s  the leader these groups could use is exactly the point where there is an internal contradiction  there is a place where resistance can emerge INTERPELLATION One way in which ideology works is through the process of “interpellation”: “ideology hails or interpellates concrete individuals as concrete subjects, by the functioning of the ca
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