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"You-Topia" And What It Means To Be At "Home".

leamirella's picture




1. Just go through the paper and read all of the points. Be sure to click on everything that you can click on, the extra nodes will pop up.

2. Check out this image of the framework of my SpicyNodes. (To prove that it follows a logical order even if you don't think so!)


3. Read this Explanation:

During the barometer portion of our class on the 27th of September, I was struck by the claim that "you have to be coherent to be of sound-mind". For this paper, I decided to challenge this by making my paper incoherent to those that are not used to reading academic papers in an online format. By having you read the paper first by just clicking through the links without any explanation, I attempted to challenge your concept of what it meant to be coherent. The interface lends itself to multiple orders of clicking through the paper and it is not clear (like it is in a traditional paper) how to "read" through what my argument is. However, I do, like with a typical paper, have a claim that I am trying to present as well as multiple arguments that support this claim with evidence. Though it does not seem like the paper is coherent, it does not mean that I am not aware of what I am talking about."


leamirella's picture

Thank you for the comments

Thank you for the comments, Kaye. You make a very good point about the "blaming the victim" mentality and truthfully, I had not considered this when I wrote my paper. Though it is true that broader social change is needed, I do feel that it is important for that personal reconciliation to happen first.

The "You-Topia" refers to just the sense of utopia that an individual feels themself. I still do not think, however, that we can build a society that is a utopia for everyone.

As for the framework of the argument, I have included a screenshot from the Spicynodes editor which shows my points in a more logical order. However, my intention with this paper was to make something that was unclear to read and thus challenges our conventions of what makes, firstly, a coherent argument and secondly, our construction of what an academic paper should look like. 

SpicyNodes Argument

Kaye's picture

exploring a new-topia

I had such fun exploring this "new-topia" and recommend that other viewers 1) click on the right-most icon in the tool bar so you can see the images full-screen and 2) adjust the focus so that the bubbles you click on are easier to read. 

This non-linear, playful interface creatively builds on Eli Clare's ideas of home, expands on our class-work drawing maps of home and utopia, and challenges Varennes' claim that utopias are impossible.  Your concept of “you-topia” extends Anne’s word play on “utopia” and highlights that utopias are highly personal and individualistic.  As I understand your argument, you are claiming that each of us can achieve a “you-topia” by reconciling our bodies with our emotional/psychological states and that this also allows us to “take into account the reactions of society.”  Conversely, if there is a disconnect between our bodies and our thought processes, we seek to resolve this cognitive/physical dissonance by seeing the world as dystopic.  Through an internal reconciliation between body and mind, a body can become a happy (physical) home. 

I find this an intriguing idea, but worry that it reinforces a “blaming the victim” mentality.  While the possibility of internal reconciliation gives an individual the agency for creating a “you-topic” space, it also has the potential to burden the individual and to absolve society of its role in disrespecting differences.  You refer to Eli Clare’s  “positive experience of being ‘at home’ in his body after years of struggling” and that “upon finally finding his home, it is true that he was still marginalized but because of the way in which he viewed life at that point … he had found his own utopia.”  How do you evaluate the impact on someone’s life of being “still marginalized”?  Is broader social change not needed?  Can an individual’s “you-topia” be sustained in a shaming society?   

I was unable to find the framework for your argument on SpicyNodes.  Could you provide a direct link to this page?  I was able to design a coherent framework for your argument in my own head, but I’d like to see the logical framework you constructed.