Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Week of August 11, 2003

Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Site Index A Justice Site

Dear Habermas
A Journal of Postmodern and Critical Thought
Devoted to Academic Discourse on Peace and Justice

Current Issue:
Volume 17, No. 9, Week of August 11, 2003

jeanne's schedule - Susan's schedule NEW
Pat's schedule - About Us - Academic Resources
Previous Issue: Volume 17, No. 8, Week of August 4, 2003
Mirror Sites: CSUDH - Habermas - UWP
KIDS, Etc. - ARCHIVES - Daily Site Additions
Class Preparations - What Is Dear Habermas? -


California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan, Transcend Art and Peace
Latest Update: August 12, 2003

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Stefan Szczelkun's Cabbage Mask

Cabbage Mask
By Stefan Szczelkun, Artist

Topic of the Week: In Search of Aesthetics and Community
Friday, August 8, 2003: This week has gone almost exclusively to writing lecture notes and syllabi. It was in the process of putting up linked references to Habermas and to Lukac's reification concept that I came across Stefan Szczelkun's work. Not on our site. But on yahoo search that turned up Stefan's work on our site. Cleaning up a site is genuinely serpentine. I've been all over the place from site index to syllabus to vocabulary index to lecture to topics index, and now here I land back at one of our own pages that I haven't cleaned up yet. I am in desperate need of aesthetic process.

Notes to myself: He reminded me of SubComandante Marcos - what a neat metaphor. The mask fits in with all the identity crises (like California's recall election) and the extent to which the aesthetic is part of our identity. And I came across his page when looking for Lukac's reification. My goodness, there's a whole world of serpentine interconnectness here. But you'll have to wait a day or two for more. jeanne

Stefan Szczelkun's Summary of Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action, October 1999 Stefan was ahead of us at that time. I hadn't yet figured out how the aesthetic process of answerability was going to work within the institution of education. Now, just as I'm putting up Greg Nielsen's The Norms of Answerability, and Maria Pia Lara's Moral Textures, and Bakhtin, and Habermas and our own production of community from the aesthtic process of all this coming together, I come back across Stefan's work on our own territory, in our own community. I'll try to reach him by e-mail. It's been four years in the process. But what a wonderful illustration of how this should work.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2003: I don't know how I missed it when he first submitted the summary below, which to my disgrace, I never finished putting into an html format I could upload, but Stefan is an artist. I should have noticed "Royal College of Art." I hope he'll come back now and join us again. I'll hunt for him as soon as I get the syllabi up. Oh, yes, the syllabi. My betes noirs. Meanwhile I dream of Dubya in Stefan's cabbage mask defending the rights of the oil interests, and lashing out at education, as though educators weren't silenced by his non-answerability.
  • * * * * *

    A Range of Sources on Global Events

    Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times
    Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Guardian
    Wall Street Journal -The Weekly Standard - The Nation
    Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - The Washington Post
    Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor

    Indymedia - BBC News - New Profile - Progressive Sociologists Network


      Friday, August 8, 2003: I am getting desperate to finish all the syllabi and lectures and discussion questions and indexing. And I'm frustrated by how badly I want and need to write out our theoretical positions and paint and pour metal. I'm retired; when do I find all that time I'm supposed to have. Maybe I'm conflicted, hmmm? See what's wrong with disengagement theory? THIS is 68! Not like it used to be.

      I never got last week's NEW file up, and I may not again this week. I've simply GOT to finish up what we so badly need on the site, and the lectures you'll need in a few weeks. I can hear my mother on my shoulder saying "Jean Rae, if you'd just stop enjoying it so much you could get it finished." I know, Mother, but I'd rather enjoy it.

      Please bear with the mistakes. I'm flying with this stuff. Just e-mail me the corrections. The E-mail is finally working again, after that "impossible to occur" problem. Do you suppose that maybe all these things that keep happening around me are happening at least in part because of my own utterances and actions? I reckon Bakhtin would say yes. By the way, I've been mis-spelling his name all week. David Nasatir, pace, at this speed I might mis-spell my own.

    Using Academic Language Effectively:

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

    Dictionary of Critical Sociology
    Maintained by Robert E. Mazur, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Sociology.

    Words of Art: Front Page
    Wonderful Fine Arts dictionary at Okanagan University College in Canada.
    Will cover many of the terms social theory shares with literary theory.

    Today's Word: From the Word.A.Day Site

    Social Theory across Disciplines:

    Peace and Social Justice
    Essays, Comments, and Discussion Questions

    • Wednesday, August 13, 2003. The Aesthetic Process of the AfterWar: Survivors, Not Heroes or Villains, in Occupied France by Alan Riding, New York Times. August 13, 2003. At p. B1. Backup. Review of Robert Gildea's new book, Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation. More than fifty years after the event an historian sifts through old records and discovers that there really were not many heroes and villains, just ordinary folks trying to make it through.

      Try to imagine the historical telling of the War with Iraq in 2050.

    • Thursday, August 14 2003. Visual Documentation of War: Soibelman Sndicate News Agency Collections The Soibelman Syndicate News Agency Collection Archive at Visual Studies Workshop consists of approximately 40,000 "news" and "feature" photographs, several thousand negatives, and twenty cartons of business records, account books, logs, invoices, letters, scrapbooks, and tear sheets of a photographic picture agency which operated in New York City from 1932 to 1942.

    * * * * *

    Lived Experience:

    Emancipatory Narratives

    (Gary Kazanjian / For The Times)

    "Sister Kenneth Quinn at her home in Three Rivers. She must leave her home, and the charity she founded."

    • Tuesday, August 12, 2003. Non-Answerability and the Catholic Church: Bishop Forces Out Beloved Nun "Sister refused to turn over financial control of the charity she founded and has run in Visalia for two decades." By Mark Arax, Times Staff Writer. Backup.

    • Tuesday, August 12, 2003. Non-Answerability and the Catholic Church: When Religion Insists on Non-Answerability Because a part of learning to live with difference is learning to respect the Other as different from us, the aesthetic process of answerability becomes crucial. These two stories lead us to wish that Bakhtin were required reading for bishops. Lecture and discussion questions included.

    Kids, Etc.: Stuff to Share with Others

    • Update for Young People I'll catch up with these when our Fall class stuff is done. jeanne
    • Update on Health
    • Update for Seniors

      Friday, August 15, 2003. Tests! Tests! Tests! Barbarian's Online Test Page Fun tests for those of us who are mad enough to take them!

    • Saturday, August 9, 2003. A Valentine Story: The Valentine Thief While searching for constructivist philosphy I found this wonderful cartoon story. Backup. Save it for Valentine's Day. Or maybe you could even use it for Christmas, kind of like the Grinch that Stole Christmas.

    • Friday, August 8, 2003. The reification of products merging into an unknown aesthetic: God Is Like . . . Backup. This is a delightful piece stressing how we reify products. It is on a Christian site. Do you think the same piece could apply to other religions? The link was sent to us by Patricia Morris, CSUDH.

    Art Shenanigans

      When the Aesthetic Process of Learning Fails

    • Wednesday, August 13, 2003. Destructuve Testing: The American Society for Nondestructive Testing No, it's not what you're thinking; but I wish it were. This group doesn't mention the harm done to students by "testing." Many school-related tests are harmful to our students in several ways:

      Destructive Testing When Students Violate Normative Expectations in Teaching

      • Tests assume a monologic non-answerability that the testor knows the answer, and that dialogic responses are not permitted to channel the original utterances of the test.
      • Students are urged to meet normative expectations for the tests regardless of the reality in which they live.
      • Dialogic answerability violates normative rules and is often punished.
      • The very aesthetic process through which this pattern is played out is harmful through its training and support of monologic non-answerability.
      • The unstated assumption that we "know" with any certainty supports further arrogance in the name of knowingness.

      • For those of you not used to inspecting the visual environment around you, watch specifically how other studets react when one student persists in asking questions. "We want to hear what the teacher has to say." Think of that as the colonized supporting the monologic non-answerable titular authority of the controlling sphere. Scary. Those students are so sure they and the teacher "know," they're unwilling to entertain doubts and validity claims from elsewhere. Of course, that means they have no time for the "slower" student who needs greater explanation. What does this say about our learning community?

      The Society for Nondestructive Testing doesn't consider the traditional school testing. They are concerned about engineering and structural technology. Everybody figured out pretty quickly that you can't blow up a bridge to figure out where the parts will fall and how we will be able to reconstruct it with least damage. Engineers came up early on with stress tests that let them predict and advoid such mishaps. But I think it's about time we turned our attention to the harm we do to children when we expect them to all progress at the same rates, raising no objections, asking no questions, causing no problems. Hence my painting for the week. After all, our lead photograph is of a cabbage mask this week. That must say something it's hard to miss. jeanne

    Academic Assessment

    UWP and CSUDH Classes Linked through Dear Habermas in Fall 2003