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two things I promised one I didn't!

Anne Dalke's picture

The first (for Kelsey) is a link to the talk I heard @ Haverford yesterday: a presentation by the anthropologist Tom Boellstorff on "Disability, Online Culture, and Collaboration." It was Tom who gave me the great line (so apt for our work here) that "embodiment is always emplacement," who discussed the "pluralization of worlding" in on-line spaces, offering a needed separation--especially for those who are disabled--from bodily limitations. He described the digital world as importantly "discrete" from the off-line world, but as also "indexical"--pointing towards it ("a bullet hole is an index of a bullet; smoke is an index of a fire; tree rings index how much rain has happened each year; indexicals take us beyond words, and beyond the human...."). The functions of the on-line world challenge all sorts of deep cultural assumptions about what's "immaterial," what "matters." This was all great stuff, and I'm happy to share more with anyone who's interested....

The second promise (to smilewithsh) was a little harder to fulfill, but I've finally excavated the story (first heard from my brother-in-law, a serious birder) about the ethical flap over birdsong apps--> turns out this is a slippery slope, made steeper by the proliferation of smartphones, "leading toward harassment of rare and/or endangered birds and, in the worst case, genuine interference with their nesting success." So, if you are planning to do some bird identification @ Tinicum on Friday, with the help of a birdsong app, you'd better watch it!

The third thing is a story I remembered (well, sort of remembered...) while we were discussing Riva Lehrer's portrait of Eli Clare in class today:

Kristin Lindgren is a disabilities studies scholar @ Haverford. A student of hers, Veronica Jimenez-Lu, said she'd be delighted to have posted on Serendip what she discovered, in doing work for Kristin's class, about the tattoo in this portrait:

The tattoo of a common reed frog on the outside of Clare's right calf marks the final stage of his transition, which is marked by his personal understanding of his new identity. Nearly reaching the fold of his grungy brown socks, the frog permanently imprinted on his leg is an exact replica in color and form of a frog known as a transgender amphibian. The soft red outlining of the frog’s body is completed with a smooth shading of dark yellow with spotted black round ovals. The particular frog Eli Clare has chosen to imprint on his body, a common reed frog, is best known for its change in sex organs from female to male.

Here's the Wikipedia article that Veronica cites: