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"I,..." Notes Towards Day 7 (Tues, Sept. 22)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. Silence by Rosa; Madison up for Thursday (schedule now up on-line)

II. working on sharing silence in this classroom
(not only as "set aside," or transition from Jody's class...)
do that today by creating a silent dialogue, in two parts

find a partner, tell them what you are thinking of doing with your next paper:
who you are going to put yourself in dialogue with--
what they are saying; what you might say, in response
write out two sentences: one of theirs, one of yours--

ex, "Paul Goodman says that 'Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world.'
Julia says, "Nature brings another sort of silence to the mix, one that Goodman misses out on."

another ex: Price states, “[there is a] desire to protect academic discourse as a ‘rational’ realm, a place where emotion does not intrude."
Meera says, "Bryn Mawr students have taken the performance even further, believing that they have to exude stability and reason at all times."

let's go around and read these...

III. Silent Cultures
turn to a partner, to share your initial reactions to the (spoken) memoir of Rigoberta Menchu

* then select a short passage that you find provocative/key/challenging,
to briefly share w/ your partner; we'll close by reading these aloud....
(a "text rendering")

my own first reading
, on sabbatical in Guatamala, Fall 2006,
the times, they are a-changing...,
highlighted her shift from traditional forms of "accepting
what is" to violent struggle against oppression;
but now I'm interested in how much she insists on silence....

on this reading, I had a very strong sense of the ethnographer,
Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, asking questions, and Rigoberta
repeatedly saying, "I'm keeping that secret...."

finish the text by Thursday....
by tomorrow @ 5, post your afterthoughts or anticipations

IV. keynotes from Menchu's biography:
b. 1959, received primary school education in Catholic boarding schools
1960-1996: family activists during Guatemalan Civil War
1980: father died in burning of Spanish embassy
1981: she escaped to Mexico
narrated life story to Venezulean anthropologist Elizabeth Burgos:
1983: "Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia"
(My Name is Rigoberta Menchu and this is how my Conscience was Born)
1992: Nobel Prize
1999: center of media controversy when authenticity of her testimony/
validity of her Nobel Prize was challenged by anthropologist David Stoll
2006: filed complaint w/ Spanish court to extradite
former military rulers on charges of genocide, torture
worked w/ pharmaceutical industry to provide low-cost generic medicines
2007, 2001: formed indigenous political party,
was candidate for President of Guatemala
now: working as peace ambassador to youth

a model both for speaking up and choosing silence...?