Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Week of October 6, 2003

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Current Issue:
Volume 18, No.7, Week of October 6, 2003

E-Mail seems to be fixed. jeanne

jeanne's schedule - Susan's Class Page Archive NEW
Pat's schedule - About Us - Class Materials - Open Access
Previous Issue: Volume 18, No. 6, Week of September 29, 2003
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan, Transcend Art and Peace
Latest Update: October 4, 2003

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The horse and the old man from George Wilkins' horse story.

What if we tried transparency?

Topic of the Week:
Hypotheticals? What if . . .we tried transparency???

Friday, October 3, 2003: This must be the first horse I've drawn since my Daddy told me when I was a very little girl that I couldn't draw horses. I drew from the horse at the bottom of the illustration on and from p. 190, the picture in George's book of the horse story. There wasn't time to go looking for horse pictures, and I don't know any horses. Besides, I had a Modiligiana portrait of the horse and old man in my head, so no pictures would have been able to help that much. You're all welcome to call up the file horse03.gif and improve on him, neither I nor Modigliani will be offended.

I'm hoping to take a course on portraying heads at the Art Center, but, let's face it, not before summer. Until then, consider this my stick figure horse. Remember, I don't disdain stick figures.

I had just been to Los Angeles County's Museum of Art last weekend for a Modigliani show, and was thinking a lot about the way Modigliani painted the eyes almost as a mask. One of you said, Velma, I think, that they were like "windows on the soul." I knew this all related to answerability, and was pondering that when I read the story that George Wilkin's gave me from his third grade reader, about the horse and the old man.

Modigliani's portrait of The Boy

Pierre, the hero of the story, was assigned a horse named Joseph for his milk run in the old days when we still had milk bottles and milk runs. For many, many years Pierre and Joseph hewed to their route, until they had both grown old. Then one morning, when Pierre came to work for his run, they had to tell him that Joseph had died during the night. They offered him any horse of his choice, but Pierre said no; he they didn't understand, and he removed the cap he had always worn.. Jacques, the one trying to console Pierre and find him another horse, looked into his eyes "and saw something which startled him. He saw a dead, lifeless look in them. The eyes were mirroring the grief that was in Pierre''s heart and his soul." Pierre walked off, with tears in his eyes, to see Joseph, his horse, one last time. And as he crossed the street was struck and killed instantly by the car he walked in front of. It was the paramedics who told them that Pierre had been blind for years. (A Secret for Two, by Quentin Reynolds, in McDougal, Littell, Literature, Red Level, 1989. George's third-grade text book.)

Now, wouldn't have been nice if we had taught George about answerability and transparency right then in the third grade? I'll bet he would have understood. He's remembered the story all these years. I'll put up Wednesday's and Thursday's lectures soon, I hope. But meanwhile, let me review with you that answerability, as I understand it through Greg Nielsen and Bakhtin, is much, much more than responsibility and accountability. Answerability is the recognition of the choice we have everytime we communicate with an Other, that the Other, just like us, has the abilit to answer. The infrastructure may shield us from having to hear the Other's utterance in answer, but the Other can and does answer in some way. I see this as different from responsibility because answerability simply is. I can deny it if I choose to disrespect the other, but none the less, it is, and may someday erupt in unpredictable fashion, like California's recall.

And the transparency, which made me want to paint a horse for the first time in fifty years, was what had intrigued me about Modigliani's portraits. Yes, you could see them as masks. But you could also see them as mirrors into the soul. None of Pierre's workers ever knew that he was blind. The transparency that would have let them now, never happened. The aesthetic process and community response, didn't happen. But Pierre found that transparency with his horse, Joseph. Would Bakhtin have said that his co-workers had a responsibility to hear Pierre, to establish the trust and answerability that might have led to understanding? I don't think so. I think that Bakhtin knew that the trust, the respect for the Other, the possibility of answerability and transparency are all there, always, and taken together could provide the aestetic process of creating a community that would have known that Pierre was blind. But I think he would have seen that possibility as human possibility. It is our gift to use or to ignore, and it will shape our community.

Do you think you could explain why I saw the horse with Modigliani eyes instead of the old man with Modigliani eyes? Consider answerability, transparency, and responsibility. jeanne

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Research Projects in Progress:

Sunday, September 21, 2003. Research and Conferences: Visual Essay Project Proposal: Fall 2003 This project is open to both UWP and CSUDH students. If you're interested, please let jeanne or Susan know as soon as possible. E-mail will do. This is the initial proposal, and I want all of you to be able to share in the planning. No particular visual skill is required. We will use photos, video, collage, drawings, paintings, sculptures of whatever is at hand. And we will work in groups so that no one has to do it all. But the groups will be amorphous; you may come and go as life happens; and you may turn in your own work separately if that proves best. Join the fun!

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 - Mother Jones - BBC News - New Profile
Progressive Sociologists Network

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

Advanced Theory:

Announcing Mid Terms

Mid Terms are jeanne's way of consolidating each class and of locating the 50 or so field mice I now have running around not attending class and not in touch with me. If you are a field mouse, you might need the grade the mid term can generate. If you are not a field mouse, you may choose whether to accept a grade for the mid term. But these are class projects necessitated by the fact that so few of you do have books. I had to find a different process that would guarantee some substantive learning. So, yes, you have to do the mid term. No, you don't have to have a grade on it, unless you have no other grades. jeanne

  • Monday, October 6, 2003. Mid Term Material: Race and Answerability Based on Dwayne Sanders' commentary on the Rush Limbaugh affair on ESPN, this piece is detailed and covers quite a bit of our theory discussions. It will serve as a basis for a mid-term in a few weeks for the graduate theory class. jeanne

  • Tuesday, October 7, 2003. Mid Term Material: Answerability and Differences Based on Dwayne Sanders commentary on prison term length and rehabilitation. This piece will serve as a basis for a mid-term in a few weeks for the Sociology of Knowingness class. jeanne

  • Tuesday, October 7, 2003. Mid Term Material: Mid Term for Statistics Class will be a Report of the Survey on the California Recall, complete with an oral defense of that report before a community professional.

  • Tuesday, October 7, 2003. Mid Term Material: Mid Term for Agencies class will be a class project demonstrating the class' collective ability to display leadership in helping ordnary folks find the help they need. The class will determine over the next week what form the aesthetic product will take. The product must take into account administrative law and leadership in a traditional environment.

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Commentaries on Issues

Index of Commentaries I'll transfer older commentaries to this index next week. jeanne

Lived Experience:

Emancipatory Narratives

Kids, Etc.: Stuff to Share with Others

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Art Shenanigans

Saturday, October 4, 2003, one student's version of What I Learned in Class Last Night

I also wanted to share what I did learn in class last night...I made a painting! Please download the attachment to see what "I" learned in class last the way..that is me in the corner being 'enlightened' ! ( Sorry that it is a little sloppy..its really hard to draw with a mouse!)

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OOPS! I made a mistake. Called Yvonne, Lesley. Sorry, jeanne Here it is the right way:

Lesley's haridos dancing.
Yvonne's Dancing Hairdos

Friday, October 3, 2003: Yvonne came to tell me on Thursday that she had to pick up Serina? and wouldn't be in class later. And she had a whole nother hairdo! Then she told me she was dancing more lately. Yvonne is a dancer. Of course, she has to have hairdos. But now I can only think of her in multiples of Yvonne Dancing. jeanne

Friday, October 3, 2003: Modigliani's The Boy On the Web Museum. Notice particularly the eyes.

Modigliani's The Boy

Friday, October 3, 2003: Pat flying past EAC 150. Oh, well. jeanne

Pat flying past EAC 150. Oh, Well. jeanne

That's Our Pat

Academic Discourse

  • Monday, September 8, 2003: Consistency:Sample Checkin for Consistency By Tanya Newton, CSUDH.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2003. NEED HELP? jeanne set up a set of instructions for a first submission. We will give these instructions to the CLASS tutoring group in the small college, and you may also share them with each other. Time to get started on sumbissions, kids.