Reaction Notes

1.Read: Pierre Nora, “Between Memory and History;” Jeffrey K. Olick and Joyce Robbins, “Social Memory Studies: from “Collective Memory” to the Historical Sociology of Mnemonic Practices;”
2. (please use some quote, and some thought, not summary all those reading, and ask some simple question)
3.Use this space to post your reaction notes relating to this week’s readings. Your reaction notes should do the following: Demonstrate your understanding – in a broad sense – of the material covered (including the lecture). No need to summarize it all. Focus on the bigger picture. Demonstrate your ability to find linkages between readings (for this week, the first two chapters in Barker, but in the following weeks, linkages between & beyond Barker) Make connections between the theory presented and more practical applications of them. Generate thoughtful and energetic discussions!! When you post, consider carefully whether your post will promote an active exchange of ideas or if it is likely to halt the conversation. Do take care to read carefully and thoughtfully your classmates post. Your participation will be assessed not only on your own reaction notes, but on your engagement with others’ posts. Use this space to begin your contribution to the class discussion. Share with us your thoughts on the readings. You should include a discussion question or topic to be further deliberated on this board throughout the week You should take good care to define the terms & theories as you understand them (do not just copy or paraphrase the scholars). Be sure to include real-world examples with your discussion topics/questions Example: The readings this week provided a thorough and somewhat challenging overview of Cultural Studies. The theme that struck me was _______ (I am purposely leaving this blank). I found the way Barker explains Derrida’s work with loaded binaries most compelling, mostly because it made me think more critically about the ways in which I tend to privilege one half of a binary, particularly – within the American context – when it comes to issues of class and region. As I understand it, loaded binaries are these socio-cultural constructions that develop out of experience and through institutions (family, church, school, government, media, and so on), and they are a pair of traits or ideas or ideologies that one comes to understand in the pair… It’s hard to talk about one without referencing (somewhere) that the other exists and is NOT the other, other :). As Barker points out, one is most often privileged over the other (your perspective will likely determine which it is). I recognize now, that binaries aren’t just limited to the obvious ones – black/white, male/female, but that we can create or construct our own. For me, this is Northeast/Southern (again in US regional/cultural context) and as someone who grew up in a working-class environment, I realize now that part of my defining others is based on "what they’re not." I make assumptions that are often quite wrong about people based on geography. I recognize I’m mixing up or combining some of the concepts, but it works for me. What I’d like to discuss this week – among other things – is how others interpreted the loaded binaries work. I’d also like to explore more examples of these ‘self-constructed’ loaded binaries, how they come about, and what sorts of consequences come out of them. I find Derrida’s loaded binaries work most relevant because it highlights well the ways in which knowledge is produced culturally, socially; and when one stops to consider these productions, it becomes clear that some of what we "know" of believe to be "true" can be based on false assumptions, and these kinds of assumptions have real-world consequences when they’re held by policy-makers, law enforcement, employers, people with power of others.


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