Today's topic was dis/ability and identity. Here is a selection of videos shown.

Bill Shannon - work it out
(his blog is

2 more by Mad Hatters of Bath and Greg Walloch )
tyresias: (simpson)
intro to the piece )
part of the piece )
Throughout Weights, but perhaps most explicitly in the poem, “Magic Wand”, Manning uses juxtaposition to illustrate how, as a blind and black man, he is “caught in a network of contradictory gazes” (Sandahl, 2004, p595) which fail to apprehend the whole of his identity. Moving back and forth between images of the basketball star, sociopathic gang-banger, and pimp to images of the saintly soul, pitiful child, burden, and gimp, Manning underscores how he is constructed by others either as a black man or a blind man, but never as both. He writes:
Quick-change artist extraordinaire,
I whip out my folded cane
And change from black man to blind man
With a flick of my wrist.

In the remainder of the poem, Manning explores in more detail the ways in which, as a black man he is reviled, while as a blind man he is patronized and pitied. Yet, whether shaped by hared, fear, or pity, both of these constructions fix his identity. Manning reminds us, however, that although he “wield[s] the wand”, each perception is simply a magic trick, an illusion that never fully apprehends him. Moreover, this construction is not of his own making, but of ours. The poem ends:
My final form is never of my choosing;
I only wield the wand;
You are the magician.

---end of transcription---
beatrice's mystery solved )
These 2 quotes are about sociologist/ethnographer Pierre Bordieu, one of my academic crushes.  The first one is about class and the second on society and hyerarchy. The man is challenging me to rethink of the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity, post-modernism and post-structuralism.

read more... )


the reinforcing rather than mutually exclusive relationship between assurance and insecurity )


Snipet from a disabled manifesto )

Originally, creoles were, of course, white Europeans born in the colonies, or those Europeans who had lived so long in the colonial setting, that they acquired many “native” characteristics and were thought by their European peers to have forgotten how to be “proper” Englishmen and Frenchmen. Shortly thereafter, the term cam also to be applied to black slaves.

Read more... )

I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?

this section on Rastafarianism )
I'm linking this here for personal/academic use later but I thought others might be interested in it. It's an article on the federal government under funding 1st Nations schools across the country, with a focus on a case in New Brunswick where a school had mould problems, was shut down and the kids continued to be taught in temporary quarters that do not include a gym, a cafeteria or a library despite a 2000 report explaining what needed to be done to resolve the situation.


Before I go into this week's quote selection )

 The Four Seasons

Like spring, I treat my comrades warmly.
Like summer, I am full of ardor for my revolutionary work.
I eliminate my individualism as an autumn gale sweeps away fallen leaves,
And to the class enemy, I am cruel and ruthless like harsh winter.
-Lei Feng

‘Narcissism’ originated as a term of clinical description, having been chosen by Paul Näcke in 1899 to define that form of behaviour whereby an individual treats his own body in the same way in which he might treat that of any other sexual object, by looking at it, stroking it and caressing it with sexual pleasure until by these acts he achieves full gratification. In this formulation the term ‘narcissism’ means a perversion that has swallowed up the entire sexual life of the individual, and consequently entails the same expectations that we would bring to the study of any other perversion.

Good ol' Freud )


on homeless bodies )

           Excluded from the public places that make up the city, the homeless exist in a perpetual state of movement… “It is the coming day, not the hour of expulsion, that brings the torment and exhaustion. By day, most cities and municipalities tolerate the homeless people who live on their streets only as long as they are in motion…. Homeless people with nowhere to go are often forced to spend their day getting there. Walking, remaining upright, and endlessly waiting become all-consuming tasks, full-time work”. Paradoxically, the homeless are forced into constant motion not because they are going somewhere, but because they have nowhere to go. Going nowhere is simultaneously being nowhere; homelessness is not only being without home, but more generally without place.
-Samira Kawash

Psychoanalysts, postmodernists, and feminists have contributed to the undermining of the foundations of Western thought. There are also ambivalent about and partially complicit with it. Psychoanalysts call into question the autonomy of reason, the equation of consciousness and mind, and the unity and stability of the self. They emphasize the existence and partial autonomy of an inner world pervaded by desire and fantasy. This inner world has unconscious and uncontrollable effects on other aspects of human subjectivity such as thought. Postmodernists compose more complex and less hopeful stories about the relationships between knowledge, power, history and subjectivity.  Feminist theorists argue that ideas about knowledge are dependent upon and made plausible by the existence of specific sets of social relations, including gender.
Read more... )From a feminist viewpoint it appears (at best) quite odd that many postmodernists are unaware of the problems in their approach to gender. They are emphatic in their claims that the subject is a thoroughly constituted but not a constituting being. However, writers such as Derrida appear to adopt a voluntaristic (indeed almost free-will) approach to gender identity.If subjectivity is constituted by pregiven categories like masculine and feminine, no individual subject can escape the effects of these categories any more than she or he could speak a private language. Unless the entire discursive field (and each subject's unconscious) is changed, these categories will continue to generate particular forms of subjectivity beyond the control of individuals, no matter how freely the subject believes she or he is playing with them.
-Jane Flax


Why I'm doing this )

In any case, recent appreciation for transcribing some of my readings has prompted me to do a weekly post of other quotes. I hope this will lead to dialogue within the simultaneously safer and colder realities of this virtual world. None of the quotes in this week's selection are longer than a page single paced but all of them combined will take more than 2 minutes to read. Read those that engage you in full, skip over others. They may or may not be related to any others. Comment on those that spoke to you, made you reflect or on those that disengaged you quickly, with why if you prefer. I will challenge myself not to offer my thoughts on any within the post. My bias will still be evident to the critical eye noticing what I do and don't quote, how much I quote, etc. and I will do my best to be accountable when shortcomings are shown to me.

d�finition de la communaut� francophone )


Same quote as above but in English - about defining what francophone community is )

 LJ ate the original descriptor of the below quote. Redefining "the West" as it has been experienced by an Indian emigrant.

Redefining  )


Reconnecting mental health to the body and challenging the foundation of why mental  )


How one Native American learnt about himself and revisited his sexuality by partaking in community action )


A psychiatrist refuses the construction of his blackness imposed by white supremacy (translated into English) )


One academic offers a critical way to reconsider the above quote )

To Whom It May Concern:
I am not what I have tried to be!
Will I ever be able to write a few words correctly?
Will I ever learn not to misspell words?
No. Never. I am a cobbler.
-John Petracca

the poet's grand-daughter's take on the poem and repositioning working class knowledge more generally within an academic frame )
Unrelated to the rest of the entry, I called Brassard's office )Why do we have such an absurd need for a solid, deep-rooted, robust, and pink-cheeked identity, a peasant identity anchored for centuries to the same land? Why not embrace an empty self? I have no roots. It's a fact .... I am a crowd, a one-woman march, procession, parade, masquerade .... To be a crowd, what a marvelous gift!
-Alicia Dujovne Ortiz

My latest rant on the tired topic )

The following excerpts are from "Beyond the Pale": Rearticulating U.S. Jewish Whiteness by Caren Kaplan. It was written in the 1990's and although it is US-centric this author is one of the most aware ones I've come across who does locate her experience and theories with an awareness for the rest of the globe (not just Europe or Canada).
Internalized anti-semitism? Insufficient ethnic identification? Classism? Racism? The list of possible crimes again "my people" is as long as my propensity for self-flagellation can support. Betrayal is at the end of the road for such a journey away from home base. But what is "home base" in the current climate of identity politics in the United States, when so many subjects express contradictory, ambivalent, or multiple affiliations? Between the demand for singular adherence to a modern identity script and the homogenization of assimilation there lies a zone that could be described as "beyond the Pale." The literal meaning of pale is a stake driven into the ground to mark a boundary. The word also connotes a limit of restriction. Thus, to be beyond the pale suggests a transgression, a movement beyond the boundaries of civilization, beyond the reach of a community or collective sense of values and identities. [...]
No one is free of the burden of definition in a political society that operates through rights claims that assert an intrinsic quality of identity. This aspect of the liberal, democratic state plaques the feminist theorist who adheres both to post-structuralist concepts of the social construction of categories and to activist agendas for social change. But some categories are less marked by ambiguity or angst for me than others and that can't be accidental. Rather, such certainties and uncertainties can be read as maps of power, privilege, and discrimination inscribed on the body as each person's social text. In my own case, it is my understanding of myself as a Jew that tends to throw the limits of identity politics into sharp relief .... I have experienced the cognitive, if not political, dissonance of access to the privileges of whiteness accompanied by the threat of racist violence and discrimination expressed as anti-semitism. It's confusing but instructive. Such points of complication can serve as sites of investigation: they are the signs of ideology at work. [...]
Read more... )
part 1 of a poem )part 2 of an unrelated poem )Bits from this week's reading on the politics of resistance and marginality )Moreover, while Canada may have come to oppose slavery, it did not do so in an antiracist context. Escaped slaves were welcomed into Canada not just for benevolence's sake but as cheap labor. After slaves were emancipated in the United States, Canadians encouraged blacks to relocate there. And after emancipation many blacks voluntarily left Canada for the United States, not only to return to kin but also to flee Canadian racism.
[...]Read more... )By extension, blacks outside of the United States are often on some level in contention with black America, whether they wish it or not. As many have observed, black subjects globally are affected by African American poiltical and civil rights struggles, as well as by other widely circulating African American discursive technologies and cultural forms, such as literature, scholarship, music, dance, fashion, and so on. This is especially the case in nearby Canada even though Canada is almost always overlooked within the writings that make this type of argument.
Read more... )Blackness is seen as American, while Canada's foremost national bond, according to countless polls, is a collective sense of self as un-American. When the most notorious "invisible empire," the Ku Klux Klan, was established in Canada in the 1920s, anti-Americanness was part of its platform.
And yet, this same multiculturalism fosters perceptions of blacks as having non-Canadian origins, a form of displacement, alienation, and expatriation (or repatriation) from the imagined community that is Canada. In the United States this type of association is uncommon for blacks and more common for, say, Asian Americans, who are often treated as recent immigrants, for instance, being complimented on their English, even if their Americanness extends back many generations.
It is the same logic that has prompted some to note that blackness, unqualified, is often coded as American. The anthropologist Michel Rolph Trouillot, for instance, conjectures that "the U.S. monopoly on both blackness and racism [is] itself a racist plot" (1995: 71). The politics of place, the issue of geopolitics, is every bit as consequential an aspect of identity as race, class, gender, and sexuality.
A conclusion of sorts )

I'm tempted to say that I want to marry the man who wrote the majority of the texts in my Tuesday course reader.

Read more... )

For years now I have had this gut instinct that nomadic folks get the short end of the leash held by sedentary people. And I've been trying to make sense of my particular relationship to languages due to all the movement in my life and that of my family. And been trying to conceive of what this means for entire groups of people with nomadic histories and ongoing realities. I've done what I can do explain this in discussing relating to Roma people in Europe but it's been primarily met with defensive backlash that I've smoked one too many to include nomadism in conceptions of citizenship, race discussions, linguistic/cultural dialogues, etc...

Un tel acquis n'est possible toutefois que dans la mesure où ces communautés de langues minoritaires sont réellement en mesure d'exercer des rapports de force dans l'arène politique, ce qui exclu dans les dictatures (les communautés catalonophones, bascophones ou galliciennes dans l'Espange franquiste) ou ce qui est extrêmement difficile pour les communautés dont la sédentarisation n'est pas attestée sur les bases historiques anciennes (dans l'Union européenne: yiddish, rom, berbères, kurdes, etc.).
-Normand Labrie, Stratégies politiques de reproduction sociale pour les communautés de langues minoritaires (emphasis my own) Je ne suis pas fou. And now I rush to therapy.



October 2012

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