Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Week of March 7, 2004

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Dear Habermas

Current Issue:
Volume 19, No. 7, Week of March 7, 2004

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors,
February 2004.
"Fair use"encouraged.

jeanne's class assignments - Susan's Class Page Archive NEW
Pat's schedule - About Us - Class Materials - Open Access
Previous Issue: Volume 19, No. 6, Week of February 29, 2003
Mirror Sites: CSUDH - Habermas - UWP
KIDS, Etc. - ARCHIVES - Daily Site Additions - Academic Resources - TUTORING HELP


California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 5, 2004
Latest Update: March 6, 2004

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squiggleAcademy of Criminal Justice Science (ACJS)
Conference March 9-13, 2004, in Las Vegas.

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Visions of Answerability

So, why don't you answer me? I told you you could!
Conceptual Art and Banking Education

Topic of the Week:

Answerability and Interpassivity and Learning
The question that Bakhtin asks is how shall Person speak, when the Other can answer, just like Person? Bakhtin is considering the interactive effect of his Person's speech on the Other, and of the Other's ability to respond, which means that Other and Person will jointly shape the resulting interaction. We need to add to this that Person assumes that Other has the same skills of response, that somehow the freedom to answer, means that one can answer with equal skill. Not so. That's what we recognize in altering our definition of "good faith" to include more than just good faith listening: we need also to recognize the skill differences and make every effort to help the Other respond as he/she wishes to Person.

I had in mind the school situation when I drew the piece above. My software refused to finish it' so this is a very rough sketch; but I had little time. The context would seem to enclose a classroom, a couple of rectangles suggest rows, and we all know how I feel about those as status barriers inimical to naked space. Notice also the difference in size of teacher to student, Person to Other. Surely that matters in terms on answerability. And the caption reminds us of the unstated assumptions we make from our own perspective. Certainly if I have said that you may answer, you have the ability to do so, and I can't think why you might not trust me that that is so. Hmmm?

Did anyone ever consider that being scared to death of the authority held by the teacher (represented by the bigger Person towering literally over the smaller Other, might affect the ease and competence with which the answer comes out? And did anyone ever consider that the teacher has a lot more banked education than the student? How does that affect answerability? Notice that the drawing only represents one small piece of this analysis: the terror of the authority figure that overpowers many of the skills needed to answer. See if you can draw another aspect of the analysis.

Could you take a photo that would illustrate answerability? Consider the control exerted by the artist. How and why is drawing more convenient? Consider the comparative ease of capturing reality with the camera. What disadvantage does drawing have over photography and found art? Consider that if your illustration rises to the level of art it becomes a commodity with resale value. If your illustration remains primitive, harder to turn it into a commodity? Unless we turn indigenous art into a commodity, which we seem to have done.

Try your Paint or other programs; finish my aborted drawing. See if you can develop a card for us illustrating answerability and some of the assumptions that we make about it. We're planning to have a fund-raising event by selling prints of the ones we select. jeanne

Added March 6, 2004: New York Times quote of the day online:

"To the extent that companies can squeeze another drop of blood out of their existing work force, they're doing it. Eventually you reach the point where there's no more blood to be given, but we haven't reached it yet." JOSHUA SHAPIRO, an economic researcher in New York. Backup.

Could you find a way to visually or aurally present the relationship between the worker and the existing work force, bearing in mind answerability, interpassivity, interaction? Let me offer some suggestions:

How Shall I Know Thee? From the Work Around Which My Life is Constructed
Volume 17, No. 5, Week of July 14, 2003

I originally painted this to illustrate the participatory efforts of workers to bring to awareness city water tower # 3 in New York City. But if we take the drawing on its own, and interpret it against the social context of the current job market, might we not see a different social message?

The Interdependent Struggle of Agency and Structural Context
Volume 16, No. 8, Week of April 28, 2003

Is there more to the struggle of agency and structural context here? Where does interpassivity come in. Are there those who simply choose not to struggle? How does that affect the resultant mix of power? How does this relate to the Darwinian approach to social theory? Might Darwin have said that those who struggle survive, making interactivity to be valued over interpassivity? (Recall that Darwin denied any transference of evolutionary theory as he developed it to social evolution.)

How can we envision learning and education as constrained within traditional schools and schooling and training when we consider the struggles and tensions through which society stumbles continuously?

Notice that these possible starting points for illustrating visually the dilemmas we face in social growth have appeared on Dear Habermas over volumes 16, 17, and 19. And those are just the ones I picked out running down the archives list. I recall that last semester someone illustrated the supermarket strike, and we put it up. But I'll have to hunt for that. Just notice how the big issues keep coming up week after week, semester after semester. Can it be that only those in school need to hold serious public discourse on those issues?

What is the role of banking education in this process of understanding major social issues? Recall that banking education is that set of materials that we believe that all educated people should have encountered in their learning and should be able to recall upon demand. Trivial Pursuits? The more information banked, the wider the infrastructure of knowledge upon which you can draw in interpreting all the signifiers you encounter. But the world of information grows larger every day, and will continue to grow. No one should waste their memory with trivia. Knowing some trivia may be important to the understanding of codes in dialog with other educated people (status jargon), but interpretation must ultimately depend upon a much broader process: that of critical thought and analysis.


Be sure to check the New file for news of what's going on and for assignments. Assignments are added with date of addition at jeanne's class assignments.

Also, please remember that none of you will have the time to read all this theory in depth. Focus on that theory that relates directly to your project, so that you can discuss it at the exhibit.

You can also check Daily Site Additions to see what files I've been working on or put up each day. jeanne

Schedule for jeanne and Pat this week:

Jeanne and Pat will be in on Monday, March 8, 2004. Pat will be in around 11:30. Jeanne will come in around 1p.m. Jeanne has meeting with Dia Dorsey at 4 p.m. in jeanne or Pat's office. Graduate Study group will meet around 5 p.m. in the old conference room behind the elevators on the third floor. We'll be going to the presentation by Susan MacDougal on the Clinton land fiasco at 7 p.m. Friday, March 12, we'll be at the ACJS conference in Las Vegas.

Something special this week:

Too much interpassivity out there. Machines are sending e-mail! I'm getting spam e-mails by the hundreds; makes it hard to find the real stuff. So I've asked to filter my e-mail. This works better than other spam protectors I've tried, because it provides some flexibility, answerability? It doesn't assume you are spam if my machine doesn't recognize your e-mail footprint, it just asks you to respond to a link so that it knows you're a real person, not a spam machine. Then it sends the e-mail on through to me. Once it recognizes your e-mail footprint, it doesn't filter out your mail anymore.I discovered the program when I got such an e-mail, requesting that I prove that I was human, from David of So I'm giving it a try. Hey, whatever works. But did any of us ever think that I would be asking e-mailers to prove that they're human? That ought to proffer up a project for the Spring Exhibit.

Syllabus for Naked Space, Spring 2004 Exhibit

Plans for Comprehensive Exams Study Group

Many more paintings, many pictures, many stories, soon.
love and peace to all, jeanne

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


the goat from the altoid ad

Isn't He Cute? He's from an Altoid ad, whatever an Altoid is.

Backup of Posadas' Calaveras from our Day of the Dead materials.

Dancing Calaveras jeanne's versuib from our Day of the Dead materials.

Pat, please send.