10/28/2014 02:56:47 am
For the week of the 28th, I want to focus on the piece by Elizabeth Groeneveld and her response to a 2006 issue of Bust magazine in which she explores the idea of a fashionable feminist. Before proceeding, I have to confess that while I try to keep up with feminist issues, I am not always involved in the nitty gritty details of the debate. I found Groeneveld's study of what it means to be a feminist and the role that fashion plays in this to be of great interest, because it was something that I had never really thought about before. I never got the impression that she was being overly critical of the Bust magazine piece, but rather wanted to focus on not only the limitations of the magazine’s spread, but draw attention to the complexity of what it means to be a feminist.
11/3/2014 03:14:26 am
Out of the pieces we read this week, I enjoyed Everyday Use by Alice Walker. We definitely read this in our other class; at first I thought I saw it in a movie but it’s probably because I could picture what was happening in my mind. Who knows! It’s really interesting to see the speaker put her daughter Dee on a pedestal (culturally, at least) throughout the piece, yet, she makes it clear how indecent of a person Dee is and she is aware of her nasty demeanor. Not to sound like a total B, but Dee reminds me of my sister (though way worse); she acts as if she knows everything and should get whatever is it that she wants. They’re both the older sister so maybe that has something to do with it! I digress. Anyway, I did not like how the speaker talked down about herself and about Maggie. I mean, she basically illustrated herself as a man and states that she was always better at a man’s job; it’s not a man’s job if a woman is doing it! It truly breaks my heart that she says she is the opposite of what her daughter (Dee) wants her to be. Dee is obviously extremely different than her mother and Maggie, she even identifies that “hesitation was no part of her nature” illustrating the separation between them. When it comes to the physical, the speaker seems to praise Dee a little bit and contrasts her to Maggie whose face is burned. Up until the very end, the speaker is so negative about her feelings of herself and Maggie. Also, it was really weird to hear a mother say, or think, that she thought one of her daughters hated the other—it really unsettled me. The speaker is also funny, unknowingly so; when she meets Dee’s man-boy-friend she thinks that his name is Asalamalakim even though he is just saying hello. However, I was extremely uncomfortable with the section where she states how he looks at her; “He just stood there grinning, looking down on me like somebody inspecting a model car.” I hate this. The speaker is no naïve and is obviously aware that he is acting as though he is above her, but to make her feel like she is being inspected? Who do you think you are? You’re supposed to IMPRESS the mother of the girl you’re with, not act elitist. I love that the entitled Dee does not get what she wants from her mother this time. I mean, she says she wants to ask her mom for something but she doesn’t really want to ask for it because she is expecting to receive it. I lost it when she said that “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts” and that hanging a quilt was the only way to appreciate it. Whether Maggie wants to look at the history of the quilt on a wall or while snuggled up in it, there is no wrong way to appreciate something. Dee really is obnoxious. Dee further exemplifies how ridiculous she is at the end of the story when she tells her mother that she doesn’t understand her heritage. How can you tell someone what their heritage is? Also, two people can have the same heritage but celebrate it differently. I liked the end as well; it was perfect that Maggie smiled as the story concluded, and that it was a genuine smile and not a scared smile.
11/3/2014 08:14:59 am
Liz Rohan’s article “I Remember Mamma: Material Rhetorics, Mnemonic Activity, and One Woman’s Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Quilt” explores rhetoric by focusing on it material, tangible elements. Furthermore, Rohan addresses the mnemonic activity associated with constructing material rhetoric. This is set in the backdrop of the nineteenth century, and through the relationship between Janette Miller and her mother, who was very ill during Janette’s quilt making.
11/3/2014 11:20:43 pm
Jillian Smith Dr. Anderson ENGL 521 4 November 2014
11/4/2014 01:32:58 am
James Blandino, 11/4/14, Cultural Rhetoric The Keepers of Memory, The Conjuring of Spirits
11/4/2014 02:56:46 am
Coming from a culture where memories are not preserved and sometimes memories are overlapped by other memories, I found these reading pieces very interesting. This cultural aspect of memory-keeping is something I admire here in the US. People do everything to preserve old objects, old deeds, old stories and old memories. Even though it might have been promoted as business, it actually helps preserve history; something I’d love to see back in Cape Verde. Between the ages of 13-15 I kept a journal where many of my memories of that time are, but it was not something that my family or, in general, society endorsed. I stopped writing journals although until this day I keep and store my daily appointment book. I don’t intend these appointment books be more than my memory-keeping tools, but I think it’ll be interesting to my son knowing what his dad did on November 4th, 2014.
11/4/2014 05:29:01 am
Ailton Dos Santos
11/4/2014 05:45:37 am
The article I Remember Mama by Liz Rohan suggests that things that help to assist memory (especially in the nineteenth century), Mnemonic materials such as keeping a diary or an old quilt, should also be considered as important parts of rhetoric. Rohan analyses the way people in the nineteenth century, especially women, used diaries (quilts, or even photograph) as tools to remember events/people. Janette, a young woman who kept a diary during the nineteenth century, used diaries so that she could remember things, in her daily basis, or important events. Janette recorded things on her diary so that she would not forget them. Maybe there was a “memory crisis” in the nineteenth century that made people struggle to remember things, so they needed something to material to “emulate” or represent their memories. “Memory-Keeping thereby became a business…” (370). Despite the fact that diaries then became “mainstream” or a way to make business, it was not just a superfluous item where you could only record your daily basis activities, “Memory had to be housed outside the mind…” (370), people recorded important part of their life in it. Clothing can be mnemonic materials as well, as shown by Janette’s diary. Her mother had died, and her mother believed that her quilts could tell her story, guard her memory. The way women dressed in the nineteenth century meant something, weather it was their state of mind or even their personality. Photography, also used by Janette, was something one could store and create memory. I personally cannot relate to diaries or any other objects as mnemonic materials since I have never kept any of them. Maybe it is something cultural, since in my country Cape Verde it is not a habit to preserve things for so long or to write down our thoughts, but I can see the importance of mnemonic materials for they contain history and can therefore help us remember or discover important aspects of our own history.
11/12/2014 08:49:11 am
11/28/2014 11:32:20 am
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