Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alcoff piece, 4/26/2012

Alcoff's "The Problem of Speaking for Others" is immensely necessary in understanding and interpreting theoretical perspectives in feminist and gender studies. This piece would have been a fantastic introductory piece to the Women's Studies program here at RIC because of the ways in which Alcoff explains the complexities of successful exploring all different areas within feminism appropriately. Throughout the piece, Alcoff dismantles the sensitivity surrounding one's ability to speak for others and addresses the importance of agency.  An important differentiation needs to be made between the concept of speaking for others and speaking with others.

For example, the first example given in the piece is concerning Anne Cameron and her book which was a compilation of first person accounts of Native Canadians.  I believe that Cameron was unfortunately speaking for the population which in many ways probably deterred her purpose.  Perhaps if she had included the Native Canadian community within her discussion, her purpose and intent may have been better received or would have been more responsible.  Instead, she wrote accounts that involved little to none of her experience, from a place of privilege which is offensive and inappropriate.

As a young feminist theorist, I find myself constantly struggling to find a place my activism outside of myself. I think much of these thoughts comes from a socially constructed fear and assumption that one cannot speak about an issue without have a direct personal connection. But the reality is, sexism, agism, homophobia and other sites of fear and hate are entirely world problems that effect each person in some way indirectly or directly in a variety of ways.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jaggar "Love and Knowledge" 4/17/12

"Love and Knowledge", Jaggar

In Jaggar's "Love and Emotion" she disassembles the apparatus we understand as knowledge and provides insight into the social construction of reason. She explains "emotions, then, are wrongly seen as necessarily passive or involuntary responses to the world", and that emotions provide important human perspectives in order further develop ideas in various subject matters. The association of emotive behavior as a negative attribute is entirely reflective of discriminatory attitudes towards women and femininity. It has become commonplace to connote emotionality with the feminine. Furthermore, things seen as womanly are also viewed as weak and are cast off as nugatory. It is in this way that reason provided by women has waxing and waning credibility because of the consistent subjugated place of women in society. Perhaps an important question to ask would be when, over the history of the patriarchal model, did emotion become viewed as suspicious and often silly form of reasoning?

The misinterpretation of the value of emotion in the construction of knowledge is extremely detrimental to the study of reason as a whole. By ignoring the value in the importance of emotions in reason, the process of apprehending any body knowledge becomes almost inhuman.

Jaggar describes the emphasis of understanding as one that is integral in providing a full comprehension of knowledge. Emotions are natural responses, genuine, and necessary in reasoning. A world lacking in emotion must also be absent in love and therefore is missing a large part of the point in the ability of the human brain to reason and make the decisions for the world and for the future of civilization. It is also vital to note one of Jaggars most notable points: the fact that knowledge has been socially constructed and can therefore be reconstructed.

Roz Raskin
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Throughout this course and final project, I found myself being pushed in ways of thinking and problem solving that I have never tried before. I think it was an absolute brilliant idea to have each of us work on a form of media that would benefit our everyday lives in a professional or personal way. Since I was building a text that would ultimately reflect an image of my band, I was placed in a position of challenging myself to make something that would be beneficial for any projects I may have in the long-term. I don't think I could have taken a better summer course to fit my interest especially since I have recently accepted that the music industry is almost solely based on some sort digital media and imagery.

I originally wanted to build a website for myself and The Rice Cakes but then realized that that sort of project was a much more in-depth endeavor than I had the time to develop in a sufficient way in just 3 days. So, I instead decided to use a Tumblr, a program that like website construction, also uses complex versions of coding, and it would help me practice for when I do begin learning about how to built a bigger site. It was the first time in a few years that I felt like a digital immigrant; confused and unsure of this new form of digital media I discovered. I had trouble understanding the program features at first, but once I learned how to do one application, the entire sit became so much easier to comprehend as a whole.

The purpose of building a Tumblr for my band was necessary for a number of reasons but most importantly I want it to be a place in which friends, family, and fans, can access news and information in an accessible manner. The Tumblr is composed of a blog format where the media is both produced and consumed by our audience in that they can comment on our posts or they can repost our content. It provides us with a positive way of connecting and communicating with our audience by sharing the many things we have planned for the future of the band. Already, I have met a group of kids who having been following us on our Tumblr who are planning on coming to our shows.

The next necessary aspect to ad to my Tumblr was make a make links within the site itself that would allow any visitors to connect to other forms of social networks and media such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube to name a few. Since my band as been active for about four years, we have a large amount of content. So my challenge was finding a good way to organize it as to not confuse people. I wanted to streamline all of the content so that people can explore the site and ad us to the social network of their choosing if they would like. For example, some people that are following us on Twitter are also following us on Tumblr. I think that connection between us and our audience will continue to grow and develop through our use of various media sites.

The actual process of building the Tumblr was reasonably difficult in term on my little knowledge of the way the site works. I already had a crash course in Voicethread a few days before, so I was prepared to challenge a new program. The more difficult aspect of bringing the Tumblr to life was applying a creative edge that would reflect our ideology as band, one that is welcoming and filled with excitement about music, art, and culture . The image and ethos we portray as a band contains the idea of a genuine DIY approach, an encouragement of community and fun at our shows, and a love of original art. For example, I wanted the background of the Tumblr to reflect a creativity that we share as a group. So, I scanned a bunch of little characters we all drew and combined them into a collage of sorts. I am hoping when people see the images of our drawings, they will feel that it reflects our personalities and musical style. The format of the Tumblr will be inviting to everyone who visits and they will maybe want to stay and check out the page or come back the next day and see what new content we have uploaded.

Before this course, I was definitely conscious of the idea that the education system is in need of some major changes and improvement. But after having spent the last week living and breathing a new pedagogy that encourages the use of media and technology within the educational sphere, I feel as though something drastic has to occur. As Sir Ken Robinson film revealed, we seem to be living in a society that has socially constructed teachers and students to teach and learn respectively in a very out-of-date and traditional way. The framework will continue to disillusion kids who find that their everyday lives are affected by the media they consume and create. I now feel like I have a better understanding of youth culture and I especially have much more knowledge concerning the new programs and ideology the educational system needs. The paradigm needs to change in it's entirety. Perhaps encouraging students to use blogs like Tumblr would encourage them to share and explore new ideas with their teachers and peers. I think the one of the most important ideas we can foster in youth culture is the need to constantly question and critically think about the world all of us.