11/12/2014 12:54:17 am
In “Rhetorical Spaces in Memorial Places: The Cemetery as a Rhetorical Memory Place / Space” Elizabethda A. Wright explores the concept of cemeteries functioning as rhetorical spaces. Specifically, she focuses her criticism on the region of Portsmouth, NH, which had been constructing an urban renewal project over a previously unidentified African American gravesite, and, needless to say, certain implications and concerns arise with these findings. Furthermore, Wright draws her attention toward the historical facts which point to how women and men and women of color are barely, if ever, given rhetorical spaces in public (such as construction of monuments or statues) other than through grave stones. It seems that, much more frequently than not, history has taken pride in representing women though abstractions – such as with lady liberty, and aggressively tried to limit the rhetorical spaces of people of color to gravesites. She also addresses the notion of gravesites functioning as a place of utopia, if ironically, to demonstrate how gravesites rely on the silence of their citizens to function properly.
11/16/2014 10:16:08 am
I really enjoyed Wrights piece, Memorial Places. She connects memory, space, and rhetoric through the use of cemeteries. She says that memory and cemeteries survive through rediscovery. I like what she says on page 55, that, saved memory can be interpreted differently. Although she is discussing death, this is so true and is done by us all. Sometimes we make a memory feel/appear better than it really was, and other times we make things seem worse than it was. Either way, the memory isn’t real and can be interpreted differently, especially depending on our current mindset. I love the quote she includes by Wordsworth, “only the sun reads the epitaphs on gravestones.” This is beautiful but terribly heartbreaking. It also connects to the notion she presents at the beginning of her article, where she says that cemeteries survive through their possible (though not definite) rediscovery. Wright also says that cemeteries are for the living; I could not agree more. I always found it ridiculous that it’s expensive to die. Your family has to pay for what happens to your body after you pass away, usually following whatever request you make. Even if I were to say burn my body, just get rid of it, they would still have to pay for that to happen; you can’t just leave. In death, I’ll be a financial burden and I hate that… Maybe that’s what they get out of it, a memory and place to rediscover me every time they visit. I was really disturbed by the treatment of the African burial grounds. For a society that appears spiritual and thinks of the existence of the afterlife, why would they want to build houses and pave over cemeteries of any race? Wouldn’t they be creeped the F out? Sounds like bad karma to me. Anyway, the conversation about how these rhetorical spaces can be rediscovered (or not) it’s all up to chance is pretty cool. The language Wright uses to discuss this is really quite beautiful. She says that these spaces have waited to speak, and they wait for when it could be remembered, when the changing world is ready for it, and the memory is more acceptable. Basically, it’s fated to be rediscovered. I consider myself an optimistic realist, or a hopeful pessimist, whichever you prefer, but I do, however, believe in fate. Also, while discussing the lack of respect to Native Americans, I couldn’t help think of field trips we went on in school. We would look artifacts from burial grounds and are told to be thankful we have them there to view. After reading this article it kind of pisses me off that in museums there are an overload of these types of artifacts from various cultures. We are never taught that we are disrupting these spaces but we are fortunate enough to have the artifacts (I.e., sarcophaguses).
11/17/2014 12:13:27 pm
“Our Story Begins Here: Constellating Cultural Rhetorics” was fun to read. I had had a busy day of errands despite persistent rain, and I wanted nothing more than to put on my pajamas and read a novel on the couch in the living room with a mug of coffee and some cookies. I was delighted to realize this was written as a play and basically fit the bill for what I was in the mood to read anyway.
11/18/2014 03:23:34 am
James F. Blandino, 11/18/14 Cultural Rhetoric
11/18/2014 04:09:41 am
Sandra Couto HW#
11/18/2014 04:58:23 am
Elizabethada A. Wright’s piece “Rhetorical Spaces in Memorial Places: The Cemetery as a Rhetorical Memory Place/Space” uses Foucault's’ idea of the heterotopia to show how these places of burial becomes the sites where forgotten memory can be remembered. In particular, she focuses on how the exclusion of women and African Americans from the public sphere, were able to have their stories and experiences remembered through the cemetery. Foucault’s definition of the heterotopia is one that “juxtaposes(s), in a single space, several spaces ‘that are in themselves incompatible’” (54). In addition, Foucault explains how in the heterotopia, “all other real sites that can be found within the culture are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted” (54). The key word here is inverted, throughout the essay Wright explains how women and African Americans were excluded from the public sphere, as that space was seen as belonging to the white men. I found the remarks made about how to honor one’s history while simultaneously having to acknowledge that the history was built upon the backs of slavery.
Ailton Dos Santos
11/18/2014 05:34:24 am
Carole Blair, in Contemporary U.S. Memorial Sties, asks people to rethink rhetoric as material, as something tangible, with “flesh and bones”. She defends that, unlike writing or speech that sometimes can be “put aside”, memorials are always present and “accessible”. For a text to become rhetoric it must be written, it must have a “presence”, and memorials have a presence, which bears meaning and is material. “Rhetoric is not rhetoric until it is uttered, written, or otherwise manifested or given presence.” (18). Usually, for something to be considered as rhetoric, only its symbolic feature is taken into account, even though that symbolic characteristic may last only for a short period of time. Cemetery as a Rhetorical Memory by Elizabethada Wright is an “exhibit” of something finite (body) as something perennial (through memory). A Cemetery is both an “unusual and usual” place for memory, since some people see it only as a place to “store” bodies, while others see it as a place to go anytime they want to remember their loved ones. The symbolism and materiality of the grave turn the cemetery into a peculiar place to recall those who have been forgotten because their bodies have disappeared physically and mentally from the memory of their community. Elizabethada sees the connection between rhetoric, memory, and place. The place is seen as the physical part of this rhetoric (the cemetery) while the space is the rhetoric’s mental property, the content of the memories is triggers, which means that the place and space can be see respectively as tangible and intangible. The ties between memory and space are important. In the nineteenth century the domestic spaces (such as the kitchen) where supposed to represent the place where women were supposed to be, showing their roles as wives and mothers. “Women were allocated a domestic rhetorical space, men all other.” (p. 53). The word cemetery may be scary for most people, which instead of a rhetorical location may be considered as spooky one instead, but it is a sacred place that contains memory. When somebody dies, the body is taken somewhere; Sometimes because you have buried someone you may think it means they “left” this world, that they no longer exist or they are “unreal”, but they do “exist”. “The cemetery’s very real graves leaves the possibility of being rediscovered even after they are forgotten.” (p. 55). The rediscovery of the place (material) allows the space (not a physical reality) to survive. “A memory can be saved.” (p. 55). Cemeteries are places where all people are meant to be remembered, but women in the nineteenth century were deprived of this right. It may seem that because of cremation the cemeteries can be obsolete and have no use to society, but with the cremation people have only decided to take the “place” somewhere else, but the representation of that body or its “space” is still there.
11/24/2014 01:09:09 am
Roberts’ piece, Visual Argument in Intercultural Contexts: Perspectives on Folk/Traditional Art was really interesting. I honestly had not given folk art much thought before reading this so it was all new information for me. I love the idea proposed, that, folk art is the art of everyone. When discussing folk art, Roberts explains that it isn’t the outcome of the art that it is important but it is the process of making the art that is. In our world today, most people don’t enjoy the processes of what they do but revel in the outcomes, never letting us fully experience the process. From my understanding, folk art helps the act of being and experiencing survives. I love the line, “One may not hold the belief that the image represents but one cannot deny that the belief is represented.” I think that’s so cool. It seems to me that folk art isn’t passive aggressive in what it is trying to present but is clear and honest in what it is (which makes sense it my mind). The discussion of folk art facing intercultural challenge was pretty cool to read. Beadwork has always fascinated me and I liked reading about the unique ways that the Blackfeet did their beadwork. It was empowering to read that they continued their symbolic beadwork despite the negative responses from colonial powers. The argument of this lives through the art and not the discourse which I find to be amazing.
11/25/2014 01:33:29 am
Roberts studies Blackfeet beadwork from a forty-year period (1895-1835) in order to look at folk art as a visual argument. Using the criteria proposed by Birdsell and Groarke, she claims that folk art, and the Blackfeet beadwork in particular, can carry a visual argument because it communicates messages, has deeper meaning in context, and may be seen as representing identity (152). She defines what she means by folk art and explains the tension the artist works with in order to display one’s skill within the constraints of the genre (153). In order to appreciate folk art, one must understand the importance of the traditional knowledge of how to create objects of a particular type and not look only at the objects themselves as artifacts separate from the process by which the artists have created them. In folk art, aesthetics shared by the community are more important than an individual’s ingenuity (154).
11/28/2014 12:32:08 pm
With this last set of readings, I am finally beginning to understand rhetorical bodies and may overextend the application a bit (à la Alexie’s paragraph epiphany) in my excitement.
3/4/2021 12:33:36 am
Appreciate your blog poost
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