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Notes Towards Day 7: A Conversation "with" "Syllabub"

Anne Dalke's picture


Class notes by rmeyers ;
on self-editing...

I. coursekeeping
naming tests, continuing...
record-keeping today by nk0825 & rachelr

for Thursday: read as much as you can of Tim Burke's
Easily Distracted: Culture, Politics, Academic and Other Shiny Objects

for guidance through the thicket, see also instructions from Tim
...who takes blogging to a whole new level:
he advises profs not to buy the products of media companies that will not affordably accommodate a major technological innovation which substantially enhances our classrooms,

and tells every single multinational company offering online
products and services [to] get out of China.

afterthoughts re: our visit w/ Hannah? 
: We really covered a lot of ground--it was interesting and fun for me to have to answer for the decisions I made while writing the blog. I learned that if/when I start a more long-term kind of blog, I want to look for ways to invite my audience to engage in discussion, maybe by sharing more of my own emotions.

xhan's: i agree that the internet blog is just the medium she uses to share her experiences with the world: it seems to make your experiences come alive. i really like the formatting of the blog, the juxtaposition between the words and images really do help readers see what you are experiencing and doing. i think what differentiates blogging and merely journaling is that it is a much practical way for documenting events, when one is traveling .... it would be natural for me to share my thoughts and experiences with others via an interactive medium such as blogging!

relevant thoughts about (how to host) visits upcoming?

other bits from our course blog, to highlight before moving on to food:

sgb90 re: Finite Made Evident: Here were all these links leading into alternate universes of information and I couldn't possibly hold all of those universes in my mind at once (or ever). In short, I felt terribly finite, limited, amidst a wealth of perspectives and subjects. I suppose that is part of what our increasingly porous mediums are allowing us to become conscious of: we were always limited in what we knew or could perceive, but now we have the technology to make that limitation more evident.

rachelr re: people who feel compelled to classify everything into genres are not the people who would be the most voracious bloggers. It is the instant gratification, the unknown, the lack of boundaries, and the novelty of blogging that is attracting people

aseidman re: reversing chronology on blogs?

and how they (may) affect our future: We've got to be careful to only put out into the world what we're proud of .... an impresion made by words in a blog really does last forever.

rmeyers re: artists creators remixers authors bloggers academics
thoughts arising from the ReMix Manifesto (problems w/ access??)
Is it time for all artists/creators/remixers/authors/bloggers/academics to begin new lives on the internet? What if we abandon publishers and copyright laws and each artist/creator/remixer/blogger/academic sells/shares/creates/shows-off/displays/
quotes information/work/quotes/data on the internet? ... It sounds reasonable to me, but maybe I'm missing something?

... Brett Gaylor ... should have talked to some artists/creators/remixers-in-their-own-right/authors/bloggers/academics about how they would feel about selling their own work or if they actually all love the copyright ....  I have to ask myself if there is a side being left out here.

II. relevance of any of this, to a conversation "with" Kate Thomas
about Communication Technologies, Past and Present....?

Kate's scholarly interest in 19th c. communication technologies a
great historical backdrop for our conversations re: emergence of the blog,
whose ancestry includes the newspaper, the letter, the autobiography, the diary....

her interest in the effect on social relations and culture of the
invention of postal system in Britain in 1840:
inexpensive, reliable message delivery systems led to an
explosion of letter writing & disappearance of epistolary novel!
(obsessed w/ mechanics of sending letters/ignored content?)

also done some research on "Michael Field," pseudonym for a lesbian couple,
Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper, who considered themselves a single poetic voice
intriguing historical backdrop for our upcoming conversation w/ Tim Burke,
and earlier discussions re: the possibility of "faking" identity on the internet-->
how much that frees us up/constrains us....

also (not unrelatedly?):
some work on the vagrant: questions about public mobility/deviance

a new class on Eating Culture:
the role food plays in tracing and guiding
global networks of power, politics, and trade

and then: this blog, Syllabub: Words on Food

where to begin....?
with the visuals--
the egg, the bitter orange, the peashoot ... ?



shall we begin with the paradoxicals?
or the lucious rhetoric of syllabub and syllabi?

the prune ... as an emblem of the dried and withered place of women in education .... our very being is formed from within our gut .... prunes ... were sent to discipline us. From the inside, out.

This is the long and knavish way around the short and brutish fact that I stole an apple.... I was set on honouring the pilfered apple.

I've decided to apprentice myself to the arts of pliancy .... (and this digression continues only because I am apprenticing myself to elasticity) .... I am very good at counting wrongs and losses, ... but I am trying to bend – or maybe snap? – away from that particular talent.

...history merely filled the cavity.

These losses comfort me.

Eggs bulge with vile potential.

...audacity is a consequence of sly hoardings

Marmalade...encodes our sourness,
our love of an exercise in control and violence.

The real princess knows to complain...
This is the true sign of aristocracy... discontinuous. Princesses...are never real.

The world is pucker around us.
It has a drawstring of rules and regulations...
failures often force us to forgo convention for obscurer, better options...

the realization of the randomness of rule and regulation--the stakes are so high,
but the laws so spectral. How are we to know?

...a curiously cosmopolitan end for an oyster, which otherwise
lives its entire life anchored to one spot in the ocean....


The history of ice has always been--paradoxically for a substance
that is the definition of stop action--the history of transport.

Truly bucolic pleasures incorporate the grotesque...

It is in the vile body that we find our revel,
and in the sacrifice of it that we face ourselves.

Anne's notes from our conversation with
Kate in "Emerging Genres" (April 17, 2008)

Kate thinks of herself as an "old-fashioned" sort of blogger,
recapturing nostalgia for the days when there were six postal deliveries

she is not a "bloggy" blogger, because she does "so little with links";

there is "no super connectivity" on her blog; it's more like a diary or a food column
(her links are to other food writers and one "starving" artist)

syllabub--> syllable --> syllabi

some troubling thoughts regarding
--the ephemerality of writing about one's own "ingestive practices,"
--"adding to the debris in the world/on the web"
--the complexities of writing about local experience on a non-local apparatus

blogging is an alternative to the evaluating process of academic writing,
the very surveyed quality of the writing required to hold a professorial position

in the slightly coy presentation of self, as in 18th century novels which use initials
to identify characters, there is a "deep representation of what Kate is made of";

she "withdraws into the subject, with a "quiet
commitment/implicit engagement" in food politics
she is not "mapping what's out there, and writing to it," although
she is serving, in a supplementary capacity, some of the issues
surrounding our alienation from our food options

freeze-framing/archiving the pleasure of a dish well made

the instant gratification of writing on-line is very freeing

there is an etiquette: Kate feels the need to be
courteous and respond to her respondents

did we feel invited into the blog?
it's "more meditative, not conversational"

Class notes by rmeyers ;
on self-editing...