November 24, 2012

Feminist Criticism and the oversimplification of roles.

ecriture feminine is defined by the Bedford Glossary as a way of writing that is purely feminine. That is an oversimplification but it means that women tend to write in a style that is entirely their own. "According to Kristeva, feminine language is derived from the preoedipal period of fusion between mother and child, the period during which children do not recognize that they are separate from their mothers." (172) This was interesting for me because I have trouble understanding how they could simply put "feminine" and "masculine" writing into two different categories. I thought this was troublesome for our time now because our understanding of human sexuality is very different now. We have transgendered people and even those who are male/ female physically but feel they were born into the wrong body. This would seem to throw the entire idea of feminine writing into chaos. How would people who prescribe to other labels find their writing? Is there a way to track the differences? 

November 19, 2012

See No Evil Hear No Evil, Puppet Master.

Mr. Burke met Helen Keller and in alphabetical order preceding, I met Mr. Gates:

Time is dwindling, and I found out today was a "blog monday" when class commenced.. and I've noticed I've began to strike through.. discovery.

I want to take this opportunity to Thank "Professor", as I believe the offs were put into place for relief purposes, and to encourage me to do what is required:

I noticed my eyes grasping the fluidity whose wells is tear ducts.. its been rough and its not over. I've already heard someone make the "whi'-whi" sound as expected, but it seems expecting the best for me is too dauntless. It seems when I lift from my "boot straps", I am pushed from overhead. But I suppose if I keep lifting, eventually what's pushing will move.. like the storm..

What's Lupe's issue with the Bad Bitch?

Criticizing Hip Hop
Unlike most critiques of the word's use in hip hop lyrics, that attack the use of the word simply because of it misogynistic nature, Lupe wants us to take a look at the duality of the term amongst men and women in the black community, whom although using the same words are speaking a completely different language.

The young girls are singing along to the rap songs showing them that a “bad bitch” is a woman who is strong and empowered, possessing a sense of control over men because of her attractiveness. This is seen as a positive term for them. 

The young boy sees the image of his mother proclaiming herself as a “bad bitch”- so for him it is also a positive term but the definition is different he saw his mother as a positive figure who didn't look, dress, or act like the video vixen mold of a bitch. When this is how the young woman presents herself while also proclaiming to be a bad bitch, he has little respect for her because this isn't the same light that he saw his mother in. She’s essentially “bad at a being a bitch”. 

Helen Keller, the unintentional rhetorical theorist

 I have always known about Helen Keller but I just assumed she was famous for being able to read and write as a deaf and blind women. I had no idea that she had such insightful ideas about gender studies and audience construction. As Ann George states, "Helen Keller never called herself a rhetorical theorist, but we can."

George's idea of comparing some of Kenneth Burke's theories with Helen Keller's is genius. I never would have thought that their ideas were similar in anyway, but after reading Burke's essay on terministic screens and hearing some of the criticisms and ideas are associated Helen Keller are similar. Terministic screens allow people to view the world in a way that makes to them. That was the main argument against Keller since people thought that her observations and stories were told in a way that did not support her handicap of not being able to see or hear.

Boring From Within

while reading Ann Georges article "Mr. Burke, Meet Helen Keller" the three rhetorical strategies that both used to push a leftist agenda in the 20's. Though only one wrote from a rhetorical perspective, both Burke and Keller met their resistant audiences by these three strategies; "boring from within, translation, and perspective by incongruity." The first two of these are both means of identification but I found the first very important when dealing with a resistant audience. People often take an accusatory tone or seem to come off with one to their audience when the topic is something they are wholly opposed to from the start, thus coming from within the group, and speaking as one of them and understanding things from the audiences perspective will make them more willing to listen. Connecting to an audience is essential to making a difference, whether it is just changing their way of thinking or moving them to action, a rhetor is much stronger when he is able to use these strategies and understands the importance of the first in being able to use the other two.

The Dialogue of Burke and Keller

Once I started reading this piece, I was immediately reminded of PE #3, when we had to create a theoretical dialogue between Campbell and Heilbrun. Similar to them, George's piece also deals with issues of feminism and how it is an intertwined web with both politics and rhetorical theory. However, the twist of George's piece is that it discusses Helen Keller, a woman who has proved to be a thousand times more amazing than I was even aware. George introduces Keller by telling us that, even through her disability, she was an active lobbyist, and "published nearly 200 works (including 14 books), gave countless speeches, raised millions of dollars for the American Federation for the Blind, and became one of America's most effective goodwill ambassadors" (George 340).

Terministic Screens

Re-posting, because it looks like my original comment got eaten.

The example of terministic screens is, I think, a good illustration of how many people see the world. Going to college after high school is an illuminating experience for most students, especially if they go from a small town to a much bigger city. One thing I noticed was that in a college setting, people were less likely to put people into an arbitrary box to define them; or, rather, made the boxes bigger and less inclusive so it became less grating. For a lot of people, the world is divided into binaries. You can be a boy, or you can be a girl. You can be masculine, or you can be feminine. You can be heterosexual or homosexual. Burke uses the phrase, “A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing,” and this is true for these screens. The implication of identifying as a boy is that you are not a girl. If you identify as heterosexual, you do not fall in love with a member of your same sex. There are “acceptable” levels of crossover between the two binaries; girls can be a bit masculine without much stigma. But there is a limit, and if you crossover too much without identifying as the other, things start to get “complicated”.

Understanding Gender

I think the main question that Butler is addressing in Gender Trouble is whether gender is a preconstructed norm established by exclusion on a cultural level that people just assimilate to, or is it an identity which we choose to relate to at a certain point?  She is also saying if it is the preconstructed norm, why is it necessary to understand gender through exclusion?  If feminism is a product of the cultural exclusion of women, but itself is understood through the cultural exclusion of men, isn’t it’s result or understanding contradictory? “Is there some commonality among ‘women’ that preexists their oppression, or do ‘women’ have a bond by virtue of their oppression alone?  Is there a specificity to women’s cultures that is independent of their subordination by hegemonic, masculinist cultures? (5) I do believe that gender groups result from pre-established cultural norms, and that based on your sex you are expected to assimilate to these standards.  However, I do believe that this is a result of human construction and a human desire for understanding and simplifying.  I think it is possible for a sex to relate more with whatever gender they identify with better, based on genetics and how they were raised.  I think at some point one is expected to conform to these constructed gender identities, and if they don’t they are given an “other” status.

Keller and Burke

"I have never been a captain of industry or a strike-breaker or a soldier; neither have most people. But I have studied about them and I think I understand their relation to society."- Keller ("Blind Leaders" 56)" In other words, she gains knowledge and create a reality the same way most people do most of the time--through texts." (George)

The statement above is one of the clearer statements I have come across in this class--although Keller is impaired in many ways yet the practices the study still transcend to those who are unable to physically read Burke's writings. George recognizes that the experiences around Keller are what seems to have given her the ability to understand and criticize the her world.


"Mechanical reproduction of a work of art, however, represents something new" (Benjamin 1233)

The question then becomes what is it?

Benjamin throws a lot of history and terms at the reader which can boggle and distort; "aura" (Benjamin 1235) is of a clear interest, as well as other words like tradition and authority. While it might be safe to say that these choices in vocabulary hold a common, more colloquial meaning, Benjamin is using these words to help argue for this "new" device of art.
Namely, that mechanical reproduction/photography is a process that identifies a new cultural perception of the value system on art.

Reproduction and the shift of power

Benjamin seemed to have placed a special adoration for original works for their very originality. He believes that a reproduced artifact loses it aura when it has been reproduced time and time again, those reproductions taking away from the sublimity of the original product. I argue that is, in fact, not so. An original artifact does have a certain aura which is maintained through its originality. And I would agree that this aura is lost each time a reproduction of the artifact or a remediation of is constructed if that original piece. But I will not say that an original artifact has greater significance than any of its reproductions. I announce this disagreement for several reasons. Irit Rogoff makes note the power relationship between an artifact and its viewers or receivers. This relationship cannot be denied.

The power that is transferred, or shared, or diminished must be explained, however.

Existing in the Natural World First

           This article blew my mind, particularly in the brief discussion on Keller's blindness. While the comparison between Burke and Keller is both impressive and beneficial to our understanding of various rhetorical theories, it is Keller's inability to see or hear that I want to stay focused on. In Catalina's post (just a few posts down from this one), she discusses how some people are "quall" and see all colors for their opposites. They see a blue firetruck, but call it red because that is what society calls it. When thinking of this dilemma after all the theories we have read this year, we immediately see how words are little more than symbols chosen by man, and there is no right or wrong word for any word, just one that has been agreed upon.

Reproduction of Art

Last class we talked about Benjamin, Works of Art. From this we started to debate if the reprodiction of a piece of art loses it's value and/or originality. Does it become a different work of art if reproduced by a differnt person? It depends, like most of our discussions do, on the situation. FOr example we have the Mona Lisa, a beautiful piece of art that is known around the world. But why is it known around the world? Was the artist just lucky to have so many fans identify one of many works of art? Or did it become well known because of the reproduction of it that we see on the internet, or in textbooks, or in stories? If so does it take away the magic of experiencing this piece of art?

Keller and Burke and the linguistics of identity

Upon reading George's article "Mr. Burke, Meet Helen Keller", i was struck by a particularly profound realization of the nature of the practice of linguistic articulation itself is a manifestation of and a variable factor within the epistemological framework of any given society. However it is important to note that the fundamental element which dictates the way in which a speech or text is interpreted doesn't lie within the meaings granted to the words themselves, but it may more lie within the way in which the perceived accepted meanings of words are exploited to serve within a certain frame of context. Such an example of the manipulation of linguistics may be observed in the "power of cultural pieties to blind people to alternative perspectives"(george340).

a de-framed world

Burke is a theorist for what he discovered in his studies but more importantly in the questions he asked. He “reframed” the study…. I would argue he “de-framed” rhetoric in a genius way. One could never say that rhetoric is everything and anything, because then it would be nothing; but the questions he asked has probed an infinite amount to follow, hence taking the limitations off the study.  Helen Keller definitely developed knowledge and wisdom for the world but more importantly she probed a word to question everything we know, in a reflexive and personal way. She broke physical limitations of feminism and masculinity because she in a sense was a blank slate. Her political views were de-framed by everything we know. All the influence of the rhetorical process were almost entirely irrelevant to her. She gave us a blank slate and forced us to a imagine a world otherwise unimaginable had Helen not brought it into existence. They type of influence of Keller and Burke are the same in that they open a whole new world of questions; however the scope and gravity of the two are extremely different. Putting these two unlikely theorist into context furthers both their initiatives even further, which is something I did not see possible.

Burke and Keller

The introduction to Mr. Burke, Meet Helen Keller provides a good point. The Helen Keller I know is the idea instilled upon me primarily from the pop culture reference that is The Miracle Worker. It was a completely different perspective to suddenly see Helen Keller from a rhetorical standpoint and what she did as a radical feminist. I suppose the blind aspect is more compelling than the woman aspect of her story.

This makes the comparison of Burke and Keller all the more compelling. They both lived around the same time and affected change in rhetorical theorizing. It's more obvious with Burke though. He's primarily seen as a rhetorical theorist. I've read him multiple times before in classes like Writing/Editing/Print Online and Rhetoric. Helen Keller is different.

The Screens of Bitch Bad

In Burke’s Terministic Screens he discusses how our words and terms affect how we view things or what we view exactly. Basically, the words that we us to describe something are what call our attention to one thing and not to another. With this in mind I cannot stop thinking about our case study Bitch Bad. Throughout its entirety Lupe Fiasco focuses on different problems in a society that listens to rap music. He uses different screens to avert our attention to different subjects that he deems necessary. For instances, he uses the example of the mom and the little boy in the beginning to focus on how the term bitch is used in a derogatory way but the mom embraces it because she thinks it is empowering. However, in this terministic screen it focuses on the mother child relationship and how children learn from their elders what is appropriate and what isn’t in our society.

Burke and Keller

I found this comparison between Kenneth Burke and Helen Keller to be very interesting and surprising. I never would have thought to put the two in the same category but after reading this piece by George, the similarities are very clear. Both were radical in their discourse and sought to shift the way Americans saw what was appropriate as well as addressing some of the main issues that these Americans faced. Keller argued that many people were "spiritually blind" (pg341), that is they were unaware of what it was that they actually believed in; they are blind to their conformity. This was a very interesting point to me. I was unaware of all the ideas that Keller had put out there in her discourse, but this one in particular stuck out to me because this idea is still present now. People do not always realize that they are conforming, that they don't necessarily have their own opinions, but only those which others have given them.

Helen Keller, the Matrix, Quails, and Weebles

 Helen Keller's experience seems almost a case study to support Burke's claim that language can create reality. While we all create reality through language every day, we have the scapegoat of vision to make us believe we are seeing reality. Think of the Matrix -- even though Neo is immersed in a sensory world, it only exists in his mind, and the minds of many others. Does language create a Matrix world for us, placing the basis for reality on neural synapses and perception instead of the actual physical world around us?

While discussing this article with a friend, he mentioned a term new to me -- quail.

Burke Terministic Screens

“Not only does the nature of our terms affect the nature of our observations, in the sense that the terms direct the attention to one field rather than to another.” –Burke 46

                This was a powerful statement made my Burke in his essay on terministic screens. This concise statement shows how infinite this idea of terministic screens is. When he says the nature of our terms he is speaking about the way society has universally given a term meaning. These meanings form attractions and retractions to other words. An example of this would be when a person thinks about a football it brings other ideas related or opposite to the idea of the football. These terms affect the nature of our observations; every single word that is used has its own implicit meaning to the speaker because of their experience with the word. This is the idea that people absorb meaning of the word through repetition and experience.

That Body

I thought it was pretty ironic that we were reading the Bulter piece "Gender Trouble" because in one of my other classes we had a similar discussion about the influence, importance and difference in the role of sex in gender in our society today. And in a similar conclusion (meaning in my other class) we agreed that gender is a verbal manipulation of how we as individuals are supposed to act within a society. I also found it interesting that Bulter found the the role of women and their relationship with their feministic role had a spot light on it (no matter negative or positive). That everything in regards to analogy and description and to do with the relation to the female body in full regard, by there is no mention of the male at all, almost ever. I wonder why must we connect everything with tis dichotomy of the female body? Why must we limit ourselves within these social realms of thought as females as physical objects and men as their dominator? Is there some social sweep or initiation that we can infiltrate to change the limited and 'troubling' persona?


            Last week, Burke really enlightened me through theoretical work of Terminisitc Screens and their representations. Burke says we are given a choice of the terminology in which it constructs of a perceivable reality. It directs our attention to specific channels and what we see is dependent on the filter. Even if any given terminology is a reflection of reality, by its every nature, as terminology, it must be a selection of reality and to this extent it must also function as a deflection of reality.
After terminisitc screens came identification, in which it has two terms, continuous and discontinuous. These two terms define identification by ways of forming relationships through the construction of dichotomy.

Burke & Keller

I had never considered Helen Keller to be a rhetorical theorist but this was an interesting article. Burke is without question a rhetorical theorist because of the immense work he has contributed to the field and the questions he has risen and explanations he's provided. However, seeing Keller as one is less clear, though after being explained, justifiable. Both Burke and Keller have provided a sort of call-to-action to audiences and readers in which they've encountered, to question things and to seek genuine knowledge about all situations and angels. I also like that in this article the side of Helen Keller that is most often portrayed is almost shattered. While everyone knows her as a blind, deaf, little girl they often forget about the contributions she's offered to the world in her political activism and her feministic perspective. She is not a weakling begging to be coddled and held but a woman acting on the world and making powerful movements towards greater goals. She offers insight and questions that might not have otherwise been accredited to the cause and uses language to express those ideas. I believe a rhetorical theorist's job is to question and attempt to understand not only language but beliefs, purposes and public interpretation of their cause; in the way Burke has done that in his long career of writing, so too does Keller. 

Burke and Keller

In her article Mr. Burke, Meet Helen Keller, Ann George discusses both rhetorician Kenneth Burke and Helen Keller, "not the 'miracle girl' of cultural mythology... [but the] feminist, early advocate of birth control, and lifelong socialist who supported left-wing political candidates, marched in socialist parades, and cheered on strikers" (George 340). I found one of the most interesting aspects of George's essay to be her critique on Burke and Keller's cultural influences. George claims "Burke's and Keller's rhetorical theorizing was bound up with their cultural criticism and their desire to encourage radical social and political change" (George 341). Essentially, George is commenting on how their cultures and surrounding influence and played a major role in their rhetorical criticisms. In a lot of ways George's statements on how cultural surroundings effect rhetorical theorists is pretty obvious since most people are inspired by just that but they way George comments on it is very unique. It is clear that these rhetoricians lives greatly impacted their life works.

Blind Leading the Blind

I found George's piece on Helen Keller and Kenneth Burke to be very interesting. While the subjects are similar because they both seek to promote radical cultural and political change, Burke is considered a rhetorical theorist, while the same cannot be said of Keller. George seems to think that because of Keller's influential rhetorical insights, she can be considered a rhetorical theorist, and I tend to agree. Many people argue that because Keller cannot truly see or hear a certain situation, she is therefore not qualified to make certain judgements. Keller defends herself by insisting we come innately programmed with five senses, even if we are not completely capable of utilizing them all at once. "The deaf-blind child has inherited the mind of seeing and hearing ancestors--a mind measured to the five senses. Therefore, he must be influenced, even if it be unknown to himself, by the light, color, and song which have been transmitted through the language he is taught, for the chambers of the mind are ready to receive that language" (345). Even if someone is not capable of seeing or hearing a moment, be it because of deafness or blindness, it doesn't mean that person cannot imagine it in their own way and their words can still be considered factual and rhetorical.

Open your Mind

The question was raised last week in class if we can break free of terministic screens or if we will forever be en captured by them. I have been thinking about this, and I have come to the conclusion that the world itself will never be free of them, but certain individuals can. If we are conscious of them, and made aware, we can then make a conscious effort not to fall in the hole or generalize. I try to keep my mind open to all possibilities that way I don't lose sight of anything that my be valuable.

"you persuade a man only insofar as you can talk his language by speech  gesture, tonality, order, image, attitude, idea, identifying your ways with us"  so i suppose that common places and common generalizations about words and ideas are always going to stick a carry, but if you keep an open mind to all the possible meanings, then there is so much more to learn. So much more to take away from an experience.

November 18, 2012

Terministic Screens

Burke breaks up terministic screens into two sections. He breaks it up into scientific and dramatistic. Scientific viewing language as a definition and dramatistic viewing language as an action. All behaviors are said to be observed and examined through terministic screens. I have a question that I would like to ask. Is there anything in life where we can not or do not have to have a terministic screen. Will my child be already borned into the world in his own terministc screen? Burke explains that terministic screens are necessary. The human race cannot get along with itself on the basis of any other intuition. The human animal, as we know it, emerges into personality by first mastering whatever tribal speech happens to be its particular symbolic environment (53). This basically explains that without symbols there would be no initial personal intuition. How thought and action are based from something else. 

Rhetorical Strategies and Terministic Screens

In George's "Mr. Burke, Meet Helen Keller" the three rhetorical strategies for their audiences intrigued me the most because they brought me back to "Terministic Screens." It is said that boring from within "advances controversial arguments by identifying them with existing cultural values (George 341)" and I feel this was can be done when using terministic screens. In class, we used the case of Lupe Fiasco's song "Bitch bad" and it was shown as an example of how the word "Bitch" is identified in the African American Culture today. The fact that Lupe used the multimedia of videos, which is the same multimedia that creates the ideas of what it means to be a "Bad Bitch" is how he is trying to identify with his culture by what they value and this created a stir in the groups of people that discussed the songs meaning.

I Don't Think it's Possible

You can argue that she offers a pretty good stance on rhetorical theory but to me she is just an author/activist. I don't want to seem mean nor am I putting the great Helen Keller down in any way I just cant make the connection between her and the definition of a rhetorical theorist. What she may offer is insight on particular issues within the rhetorical community, which I believe is what this article is making clear (defining the clear relation to her work and Burke's). But I would not call her a theorist nor do I think she would.

Keller a rhetorical theorist, or not?

Since this week I am a discussion leader I feel that it makes the most sense to explain how much the term ecriture feminine relates to tonight reading. My term, to sum it up, is a woman feminist who carries with her the importance of language, and how the term language basically provides meaning to words only through a male’s viewpoint of the world. That is why I found it interesting that on the first page they somehow find a way to relate the strides between Keller and Burke. In my opinion relating the two in some way made sense since they both sought to make radical changes, and fought for socialism by creating identification. Even though, this is true I felt that it was against what Keller, as feminist activist would have liked. I only say this because if we are to look through the woman’s perspective of the word which my term calls us to do we would see that although, Keller was not a self proclaimed theorist she was deeply involved with the connection between language, individual minds, and the social world.

Burke and Butler

I found Burke and Butler’s readings to be engaging and discerning of great rhetorical theory. Butler’s gender trouble undermined the difference between sex as an accepted given grouping and gender as an acquired cultural and social category. Butler argued that sex also is a socially construct category that stems out of social and cultural practices and in the context of a discourse that has a history and its own social and political agenda.

Both of Butler and Burkes arguments used valid rhetorical key points in expressing their concerns. Butler's said that the grouping of "women" could possibly endure suffering both with and without a particular meaning which would be in fact be a limitation of representation itself. Butler is expressing bold and forward thinking in the feminism field here.

Diving into Reproductions

I know we left off last week in the middle of our Benjamin discussion and since we are going to re-visit this on Monday, I don’t see a reason to not further speak about the ideas from the essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”

As noted in the discussion Benjamin put an emphasis on how regardless of the level of reproduction, nothing can imitate the authenticity of the original. Especially when it comes to the uniqueness in time and space the original takes. I believe as a culture we sometimes forget the significance an original work has on the level of reproduction of the next. In terms of history, we only truly remember pieces over time that can stand the presence of time whether they may be through reproductions or maintainability of the original.

Did you know Helen Keller had a dog?

Ann George's discussion of Burke and Hellen Keller brought up an interesting point concerning the nature of experience. A huge criticism of Keller's work was her lack of direct sensory experience. That essentially her thoughts lacked sensory validity, and thus, should be taken less seriously (How can a blind person describe a sunset? How can a deaf person discuss music? etc.).

The evidence Keller provides to refute these claims is astounding, "The blind child...has inherited the mind of seeing and hearing ancestors–a mind measured to five senses. Therefore, he must be influenced, even if it be unknown to himself by the light, color, and song which have been transmitted through the language he is taught, for the chambers of the mind are ready to receive that language."

What do we really know?

In George's piece I found the idea of cultural piety and blindness really interesting. Burke argues that we have become so well-trained "in established cultural values that we are incapable of recognizing these pieties as either a cause of our problems or something that might be changed to solve them" (George 341). Keller also thinks that many of us act in blind conformity to cultural pieties. This reminded of the term cultural hegemony, which basically describes how society is dominated by the ruling class who manipulates society with their beliefs and values so well that those terms or screens become accepted and unquestioned. I think this is where the study of rhetorical theory comes in as it easier allows us to see the "screens" Burke spoke of that are different from ours. Rhetoric allows us to question why it is what we think we know and question the motives of ideas and theories that supposedly influence our language, which in turn affects how our cultures are formed. Theory allows to approach the world with what Helen Keller would call "fresh eyes."

Representation and Identity Politics

Having read Burke and Butler this week (the latter for the sake of preparing for my discussion leading on "gynocriticism"), I find myself reflecting upon the function of representation in rhetorical theory. Whereas Burke's essay on the idea of terministic screens seems to portray representation as a characteristic of many effective rhetorical appeals, Butler's claim that the category of "women" might suffer both in the presence or in the absence of a singular definition may in fact be a a weakness of representation itself. If classes of persons are socially constructed, then treating women as "the subject" of feminism conceals a discursive formation constituted by the same political system that is supposed to facilitate its emancipation. Though Butler does not believe we can just choose to forgo representational politics entirely, it is worth noting that social classifications of groups are often produced by the same political system that they (might) aim to alter.

Hellen Keller's critics present her as a scapegoat

George's "Mr. Burke, Meet Helen Keller" discusses how our construction of reality is mediated through identification with symbols, largely those communicated linguistically. "What is our 'reality' for today ... but all this clutter of symbols about the past combined with whatever things we know mainly through maps, magazines, newspapers, and the like about the present?" (George 345) The idea that texts guide much of our conceptualization about the world supports Helen Keller's opposition to critics of her rhetoric who claim that Keller could not possibly understand the reality experienced by persons with the senses of sight and sound due to her lack of immediate experience of these senses. The idea that Keller's experience (representative of all deaf-blind persons) is mediated whereas everyone else's experience is direct is a misconception. "All experience is mediated to some extent"; so the fact that all of Keller's knowledge about the world came to her linguistically should not discredit her words (George 345).

Origin of Hypertext

Since hypertextual works build off one another, a large question which came to mind while reading Landlow's paper is where did hypertexts originate from. Landlow touches on the fact that "It blurs the distinction between author and reader." I found this topic to be fascinating because it further throws into chaos any ideas we have constructed about the roles of authors and reader. Ong explicates in his paper The author's audience is always a fiction that the author must cast a reader into a role in which they can either accept or reject it. I found this fascinating because it made me wonder what the first written word's audience roles were. Since hypertextuality is NOT dependent on the internet, it made me wonder when hypertextuality came into being. The bible is a good example of a hypertext since it calls upon other works, but after how many works were books able to correctly and effectively call upon each other to build their arguments. Where did the network begin?

George on Keller

This article was difficult to read without trying to incorporate Keller's role as a woman along with her handicap. The quotes inscribed by Keller related to her experience as a part of the blind community, but also as a blind woman. Although, the argument presented in this article does not seem to be directed solely on her as a woman, the evidence seems to have some underlying meaning. George, quotes Keller's argument, "'until we know the nature of our bondage and examine the chains that bind us'' and then continues to address cultural values and the way that culture works with subjects.

Mr. Burke and Mrs. Keller: Knowing

Much of Burke's argument is that in order to know something or to successfully express yourself to an audience, you must know their symbols of language, and you must know how to use the language. "If you want to attack the Republican party, become a Republican." (p 342) This method was called "boring within". By 'boring within', you are identifying with them by talking the language, using the gestures, tonalities, orders, images, ideas, and attitudes. In this way, the speaker is sharing the same experiences and is then able to have a full understanding that is synonymous.

Societies in the Moment

"In principle a work of art has always been reproducible." (Benjamin, pg.1233) Benjamin does have a point when discussing mechanical reproduction. Art is always being reproduced. Take for example an artist and his painting. An artist may paint/draw/sculpt something, and may want to make another, it may be an original copy, but it is still a copy. A copy of a piece of art can be beneficial when it comes to observing the piece of art, but unfortunately, one cannot get the same feelings, meanings, etc out of the copy that they could get from the original. "Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is licking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be." (Benjamin, pg.1234) No reproduction will ever be able to emit the essence of the original piece of work. 

George's "Mr. Burke"

In George’s “Mr. Burke,” I thought the section about epistemology and theories of language was interesting. Basically it says that Keller’s critics thought she shouldn’t write about controversial subjects because she had no first-hand account of them. She only knew what she had been told and what had been put in front of her. George says that Keller thought she “gains knowledge and creates a reality the same way most people do most of the timethrough text” (346) and that makes her as qualified as any other person to write about it.

From what we read/discussed last week about terministic screens I would have to agree with her. Her critics argued that she was “duped” (344) by people who were motivated to persuade her to think a certain way, and thus she couldn’t see the whole truth.