Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Week of April 18, 2004

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Dear Habermas

Current Issue:
Volume 19, No. 13, Week of April 18, 2004

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

jeanne's class assignments - Susan's Class Page Archive
NEWS and Announcements
Pat's schedule - About Us - Class Materials - Open Access
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 16, 2004
Latest Update: April 22, 2004

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

jeanne's Conflicting images of woman
Freeing the Feminine Other

Ideology and Identity
The Mirrors of Our Cultures

This week's painting is taken from an acrylic on canvas that I haven't finished because I have to keep coming back to the site and teaching. So this is retirement! Well, at least it's fun. I began notes on trying to understand my unfinished painting before I got around to painting it digitally. They are at Feminist Theoretical Paths.

After struggling to explain the unfinished painting to Pat yesterday, and to conceptually link it Feminism, Bakhtin, and the Dialogic, I sat down to digitalize the subject with some trepidation today. Why the iconology of the Virgin Mary? Surely it cannot be just because I grew up in my tender years living in a convent school. Certainly that had an impact, but the iconology of the Virgin is repetitive in my work. And why, oh why, did the naked lady of the mud flaps appear in her arms instead of the child Jesus?

As an artist I don't have to know the answers. As a teacher, I need to understand what my mind is telling me. Finally, I think I found at least one coherent explanation in Chapter 6, Style and Power, by Josephine Donovan, and Chapter 7, Radical Writing, by Peter Hitchcock. Please do not take this to be "the" explanation of my painting. There is no "the" explanation. This is just a recorded dialog between the "me" that paints and the "me" that teaches feminism and social justice.

Both the iconology of the Virgin and that of the Naked Lady come to us chiefly through male ideology of what woman should be. Just as the colonial woman has difficulty finding a way to speak who she is, women everywhere have trouble to see themselves except through the icons of male ideology. I have trouble to see myself except through male images. That doesn't usually trouble me because I'm not alone by any means. The image of the Virgin was a safe ideal to cling to, at least until the 21st Century. And the image of the naked lady could be adopted and thrown angrily or ironically back at the male ideologue.

Now, it helps that males we live with no more match the ideal than do we:

Man, jeanne's version 1

But that doesn't help me to see me. What does help me is that I can recognize that there are thousands, millions?, of images of woman within me, and that the problem with the traditinal male perspective is that it is linear and hierarchical. so it sees me as having all these images, yes, but the male perspective ranks them as hierarchical, changing the hierarchy according to the male interest in the particular female. This is how we can get so confused that we try to look like the naked lady when it looks to me like she could do with some orthopedic and/or chiropractic help. When the males in our life are reflecting their momentatry interest in the naked lady, we lose in the hierarchy of rankings with our own image. But when he's hungry the male isn't looking for the naked lady sunning herself. Then he's got another female image in mind. I don't mind so much that he has all these different icons in his head. I have them, too. It's called culture. But I do mind when he tries to define me by his icons and within his hierarchical vision. That's where feminism comes in.

Feminist theory recognizes pluralities, recognizes that temporal patterns alter images, short-term temporal patterns that determine whether we're hungry or not, and long-term temporal patterns that determine whether the fashion idol of the times wears corsets or not. If the naked lady isn't wearing one, she's malformed. But then, so is Barbie, and guys seem to like that.

In the painting, as much of it as I can verbally express at this point, the Virgin is the more socially acceptable of the two icons. She's the "good" girl. And the naked lady is the Mary Magdalene of all time, the "bad" girl. But the Virgin and the naked lady are both woman. And the Virgin holds the naked lady with no display of antagonism. That's a feminist style of a paratactic figure, one that sees many perspectives as equally valid, equally important, if temporally dependent. And women connect such figures with "AND." Meaning that I saw the Virgin AND the naked lady. The "and" connection allows each different perspective to be just that, a different perspective, a different icon, a different ideal, a different enactment of all of those. That style is one of using "polysyndeton, a paratactic figure that connects ideas through a series of 'and' phrases.

I didn't know I was doing that. I never even saw these words before that theory book. But theory here, once again, helps me understand better what I am trying to say in relation to the dominant discourse, so that when I need to answer, I will be able to do so much more effectively. When I yelped last semester about the naked lady icon, I didn't know precisely why I was yelping. So I didn't know how to make Wayne understand that there was indeed something wrong. Something that had to be talked about and acted upon. Now, almost a whole semester later I see that it was the dominant discourse style of hierarchy of icons and imagery that was part of the problem. And now I can illustrate that for you and for me. Wayne may still not agree with me, but I can answer him with greater confidence than I had when I just stood there and barked. If we are going to be effective in creating social change, we're going to need to use theory to help us organize what we feel so that we can organize our catalysts for change more effectively.

Freeing the Feminine Other

Collaborative Poem for the Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004.

Link on images, link on words. It's long and involved. But I left a lot undone so that you could add other images, other explanations, other words. Just email me what you want to add. I CAN DO THIS! jeanne

References:

Feminism:

  • Feminism, Bakhtin, and the Dialogic. Edited by Dale M. Bauer and S. Jaret McKinistry. Suny. 1991. ISBN:0-7914-0770-5 (pbk).

Imagery and Icons

Ideology

NEWS and Announcements:

New Listing of Readings for Each Class and Group:

Readings for Spring 2004 These are links only and by class or group. Much less complicated than cclss04.htm. Use any of these to authenticate your learning, or any other of your choice. jeanne

Travel Opportunity to Thailand.

CSUDH course credit offered. About $2000, including airfare.
Chiang Mai Field Trip Flyer. Dr. John Quicker, Criminologist, offers a summer field trip to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.

That's where I rode an elephant in the elephant camp for working elephants. Elephants were used for construction in Thailand until the 20th century brought modern machines. The elephant camps are like welfare safety nets for the elephants who no longer have jobs, and the people who used to have jobs caring for the elephants.

Chiang Mai is also where I released a whole family of birds in the name of freedom. They usually only give you one in a small cage to release, but they sensed that I wanted to turn the whole batch loose, and they offered me a huge cage from which I could let them all go. All the little birds were crammed in like sardines. They were so happy to be released. jeanne

If you're interested, let Dr. Quicker know: E-Mail Icon jquicker@csudhedu

Sermon: "Ain't nothing like the real thing" based on John 20:19-23

L. V. Wilborn,
Presbytery of the Pacific

The sermon was great, and we enjoyed the service. I've asked for copies of Rev. Wilborn's sermon to upload for you. jeanne

Time and Place of Naked Space Exhibit:

Layout for Naked Space Exhibit in Spring 2004

The Naked Space Exhibit will take place on Wednesday, May 12, and Thursday May 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the western-most sector of the Grand Hall. You are welcome to come and go as fits your schedule. Please invite your family, children, friends, neighbors, etc. to share in our gallery display and discussions. We'll need help setting our displays up in the morning and taking them down in the evening. Thank you for volunteering. jeanne

Replay of notice from Monday, April 4, 2004: About Grades Testing Procedures for Those Who Missed Interpersonal Exchange Pat and I have been in less frequently this semester. Especially me. And then there was the email problem. So I thought this guide to grading procedures might help. jeanne

Naked Space Exhibit Theory References

Independent Study Students: Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004

Independent Study Students: Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004

Independent Study Students: Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004

jeanne's Chalice

On Thursday, Pat and I went out to Micahel's Art and Craft Store in Burbank, and bought some materials for making the Tribute Goblet of Answerability/Illocutionary Discourse. We followed the pattern of my early painting for a student's poem on Tribute, and found my coloring sheet of the chalice.

  • Tribute
  • Naked Space by Michael Griffin
  • I know there must be others I've overlooked. If so, please alert me in time for the program. jeanne

The Goblet as an activity for our friends, family, and children on May 12 and May 13: Pat and I bought a package of acrylic jewels - multi by Crafting Expressions and a bottle of Magik Gold Glitter Glue at Michael's Arts and Crafts for about $3 each. We bought a tiny glass goblet for $2, and I already had a small plastic champagne glass. We came right home with our finds and decorated beautiful Pimp Goblets, Chalices of Tribute, or Love, or Answerability, or Illocutionary Discourse, as you like. In under 10 minutes! That means this is a feasible activity. So we plan to set aside Table 13 in the Exhibit for this. But what neat souvenirs, and what a neat way to occupy both youngsters and oldsters.

We're going to supply as much of this stuff as we can afford. But if you have some glitter, some glue, and some acrylic jewels or sequins around the house, and a little goblet you can bring, the supplies will go much further. If you have some real pretty stuff, bring your own supplies, and share with others if you have enough or some left over you don't need. Trust me. It's fun! jeanne. But nobody leaves without understanding the theoretical meaning of art as an expression of memories and our cultural history, and the importance of those memories to our identities.

Suggestions and Instructions for Projects for the Naked Space Exhibit complete with illustrations and examples. See also the Readings. Notice that the program of Exhibits will come right from this list on the Readings Page. We'll need to rearrange the order and add the names of the Exhibitors. Now is the time to tell jeanne what you're doing.

  • Syllabus for Naked Space, Spring 2004 Exhibit

    Comprehensive Exams Study Group

    Meeting Times and Assignments: Wednesday, April 21, 2004
    Discussion in either jeanne's office or SBS E205 from 1 to 5 on Wednesday, unless someone gives me another time.

    Check daily site additions until I get this up. jeanne

    Notes for Fall 2004 Classes

    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

    Evaluating Internet Resources

    Evaluating Hoax Email with samples, including an old one about charging for email that's going around again. Link updated March 29, 2004.

    Evaluating Internet Resources Library Site at University of North Carolina. Don't forget to question. This is a good detailed source. Link checked March 29, 2004.

    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.

    APA Style Style sheet for Psychology. Good reference for proper rules of citation. Twenty-five Easy Steps Toward a Correctly-Formatted Paper or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love MLA by Keith O'Neill. Style sheet for humanities.

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

    and Careers

    • Letters of Recommendation How to get me to respond to your request. Many of you need letters. If you will follow this format, I can do them quickly and make them good.

    • Dog Letters If you do not give me adequate information, but do manage to get my attention, you may end up with a dog letter. That is a letter that says that you work well with people, that you are enthusiastic, that you persist at getting things done, and that everyone likes you. Of course, my dog gets along well with people, brings his ball to them, is enthusiastic, and persists at getting them to take his ball. Everyone likes my dog. That's a dog letter. It's so general it could be about my dog. jeanne

    • College Journal Resume Suggestions . . . Backup

    Play:

    • Ruediger Appel's Interactive Art Work

      A Modified Version of M.C. Escher's Woodcut "Metamorphose II." by Ruediger Appel.

      Notice that Ruediger Appel makes these images freely available to others, and that he builds on the work of others. That's one of his Kandinsky Interactive gifs swinging peacefull on our web page, and we have used his work for many years now. It IS respectable to play with others' art work. That's what creativity is, "climbing on the shoulders of giants," and remembering to give the giants credit for their part of the work.

      By the way, is the Kandinsky figure going round and round, or is it swinging back and forth?

      I just changed the background for Dear Habermas to one of Ruediger Appel's background paper creations. Do you like it? jeanne

    • Mental Mapping:
      From the IVSA listserv, I was alerted to a great site in Nottingham that tells us about mental mapping. It seems very like Kurt Lewin's old lifespace topology and valence. Good ideas seem always to be reinvented. At any rate, this site gives you some ready explanations on drawing a map such as Kurt Lewin might have suggested, but this in the 21st Century. I've linked to just one explanation. Explore the site and learn more. jeanne

      The Nottingham Psychogeographical Unit Mental Mapping Seminar . . . Backup. For more information on how this technique can be used in projects to reduce violence in schools see School Projects that Enhance Answerability

    • Explore:

      Ellie Crystal's Metaphysical and Science Web Site Fascinating web site. I came across it when searching for Moses and the meaning of his Egyptian name. Includes the Golden Mean, Native American Geometry, and much more. Do I agree with everything on the site? Now, really! If you've never read on the Golden Mean, you should explore that. If you've never encountered the debate over Moses' Egyptian name, you should encounter it. Reading and hearing in good faith does not necessarily mean "agreeing." Maybe you will; maybe you won't. You know there are many, many other perceptions and interpretations. But it's important to read and think widely. Only in that way can we build inter-relationships that will respect answerability. jeanne

    • Headline of the Week:
      Administration Considers a Post for National Intelligence Director
      New York Times, April 16, 2004.

      Now there's an idea! Let's get someone who can inspire, direct, and protect our national intelligence. One antidote for dumb, dumber, and dumbest. Oh, I guess that's not what they meant. jeanne

    Who to TakeWho To Take:

    I went to see how you were doing on Who To Take, and found five postings up. I am delighted to see that there are teachers you like, who help you, and take the time to help you understand and get good grades. Now, all of you go find the postings and add your own favorites to the list. Also, take heed. Here are professors you might like. jeanne



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