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Historical vs. Archaic?: Notes Towards Day 21 (Tues. Nov. 15)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. coursekeeping
Toni's placing us in the circle of chairs in front of English House ("close to the natural world")
Cathy will guide us to Rhodes on Thursday (directions?)

For Thursday's class, read as much as you can of Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan's graphic novel, As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial

interesting to note that this book, like The Collapse of Western Civilization, is co-authored; a collaborative project (as was Take Back the Economy)

Also review for discussion in class: instructions for your final portfolio and checklist

By MIDNIGHT on Friday, your next 3-pp. paper is due, gathering material to compare Oreskes/Conway and Jensen/McMillan, either in terms of their key ideas, their impact, and/or the different ways they tell their stories. This is in preparation for developing the claim that you’ll articulate in the following paper, due week after Thanksgiving.

For classtime on Thursday, come with some notes towards that paper; and we'll spend some time workshopping this first draft.

II. 11:35-11:50

"Lexicon of Archaic Terms"
Take a minute to look through the lexicon,
pick one keyword/phrase that stood out to you. 
When you have one, find a partner and share.

Turn back to large group: What emerged ....?

What's like/different about tracing an etymology (finding a history) of a word,
declaring that word "archaic," and creating a new word, language, or stories?
What makes a word archaic? When/how do you know that new words are needed?
How are words political? (ex: definition of 'environmental protection' on p. 56)

III. 11:50-12:10: talking some more about the politics
Immediate context for our discussion:
Mr. Trump has chosen Myron Ebell ("a climate contrarian," identified @ the United Nations climate talks last year as one of seven “climate criminals” wanted for “destroying our future") to lead the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency:

Read aloud first paragraph of Epilogue. 

Reality check: your postings.

What did you find out? 
What are world governments doing in response to climate change?

Go around and share:  Just the lede. 

Take notes as others speak.

IV. 12:10-12:45: Discussion
What do we think about Oreskes and Conway’s claim that governments
“were at first unwilling and then unable” to intervene effectively? 
(read opening paragraph of Epilogue again?)

some notes re:
cli-fi, eco-semiotics, eco-linguistics, "green grammar":
focus on how language structure influences and shapes our thinking,
how conventional English usage, in particular, invites/forces us to imagine
that the world is made up of separate entities
ecolinguists experiment w/ changing the common structure of English grammar:
the conventional subject-verb-object ("Anne called the class to order") implies
that there are two separate entities that are fixed and static;
can we give a more basic role to the verb?
make it more reflective of unbroken, undivided movement ("conversing happens..."?)
eco-linguists also think about the shape of stories: no background, no foreground,
but unified field perception....
and they think about the words we use!