Response for July 14
Open for your responses
7/11/2014 10:19:10 am
Emily VanLeuvan-Reflections on Readings for July 14, 2014
7/12/2014 04:11:01 am
Victoria Villaneuva’s “On the Rhetoric and Precedents of Racism” points particularly stuck out to me as they directly connect/expand on examples within the classroom. Villaneuva explains a scenario in which a South Asian woman stands up at a meeting of grad students and department faculty, after a Halloween party in which a person show up in blackface, and explains how “the difference between speaking and being heard, that if one is constantly speaking but is never heard, never truly heard, there is, in effect, silence, a silencing.” I completely agree that there is a huge difference between speaking and being heard. I am tired of the battle existing between English teachers and students at my school. Yes, many of the novels read in our high school curriculum deal with racism, but we as teachers do not have control over this; however, we do have control over how it is taught. Books such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men (the curriculum list surrounding this issue goes on and on) all deal with racism, but there are also many other concepts that the novels hold. However, all the students do is complain about how every book we read deals with racism—I feel as if this is the only thing they take from the curriculum (I realize I am exaggerating a bit, but I just get frustrated). Each year I am faced with this complaint. First off, I deal with the issue of racism the best that I can, but I do not feel that I am doing it justice; I was never taught, as I feel many teachers were not, how to deal with and teach such a controversial subject; I’m learning too. Sometimes I think I am doing more harm than good. As the South Asian woman also mentions, “racism seems to be an appendage to a classroom curriculum, something loosely attached to a course but not quite integral, even when race is the issue.” This leads to my second point. Since much of the curriculum deals with this this controversial issue, for students and their complaining, they are reading it but not truly “hearing” it. My question is how can I teach this issue effectively to make students hear and understand it instead of listening to them complain about it? I try my best, but I feel as if the issue is never fully addressed/heard in the way I wish and know I could.
7/13/2014 10:51:26 am
This week’s reading seemed to deal with the difficult task of defining rhetoric(s) from other cultures. Do the scholars of these rhetorics compare them to Western classical rhetoric in order to be understood by others who are grounded in Western tradition? Would this comparison take something away from the rhetorics of different cultures? Bo Wang’s “A Survey of Research in Asian Rhetoric” addressed this issue. Wang asked experts in the field of Asian Rhetoric about the use of the Chinese word bian (argument) to describe rhetoric. Xiao Ming Li agreed that it “helps build conceptual links” between Asian and Western rhetoric, but worried that such a link might hinder the understanding of Asian rhetoric in its own right (175). I think it’s a predicament that many scholars face when presenting new ideas.
7/13/2014 12:02:25 pm
Victor Villanueva raises a valid argument regarding racism in On the Rhetoric and Precedents of Racism. He writes, “Racism continues to be among the most compelling problems we face. Part of the reason why this is so is because we’re still unclear about what we’re dealing with, so we must thereby be unclear about how to deal with it” (4-5). Villanueva is correct. If everyone were educated in a variety of ethnicities and cultures, we would all understand and respect one another much better. These educational opportunities need to be provided to every child as early as possible so that the ability to accept and embrace diverse ideas, cultural aspects, and people is instilled within them very early on. If this were to occur, everyone would know and understand what they’re “dealing with” and would respect these diverse ideas, cultural aspects, and persons much more copiously.
7/14/2014 12:43:14 am
Jodie Nelson Musings on Readings for July 14, 2014
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