My student wrote an essay on Bodas de sangre as anti-tragedy and it was great. I then discovered there is a book by George Steiner on this matter and another very interesting one by Ekbert Faas. I never thought I was interested in theatre as a genre but I think that many of the decisions I made as an early undergraduate had to do with not having a good background in literature from high school. I am for poetry because I am, but the additional reason I was interested in it in college was that I had no training in writing about literature and with poems, I could feel sure I was really covering them and yet more importantly, because I could focus on words, images, language. I did not want to discuss novels or theatre because I did not have the personal confidence I felt I needed to comment on characters or action in the world. I am discovering now that with poetry and the essay, theatre is quite the thing for me. Perhaps when I am truly old I will begin to feel really comfortable with narrative.
“Jefferson’s universalistic vision of human rights challenged the Anglo-American principle that freedoms flowed from a specific group’s identity (Britons never will be slaves). Jefferson did not believe that Americans were free because they were Americans or Protestant Christians. He could not credibly claim that the values he promoted were truly universal unless he showed that they applied to Muslims as well as to all other men. For Jefferson, deconstructing Orientalist constructs was a precondition for the success of liberty in the United States. . . . ”
Yes, Jefferson had slaves, but the article is talking about how the idea that Europeans should NOT be slaves developed in the context of fascination and also much interaction with things Ottoman, including being enslaved by the Turk, and then how, under the influence of Islam (Jefferson was under the influence of Islam) they started to believe rights were universal. THERE ARE SO MANY TWISTS AND TURNS TO ALL THE LOGIC ABOUT ALL OF THIS THINGS, IT IS FASCINATING AND STRANGE.
Earlier in Europe, the line “Britons never shall be slaves” referred to hopes of not being captured by Muslim seamen and enslaved by the Turk. (The idea was growing that Europeans should not be slaves, and that freedom was based on identity; interestingly Jefferson the slaveholder is the one who worked on the theory of universal and not identity-based rights.)
1. Christof’s application.
2. Annual meeting delegate forms.
3. Newsletter corrections and mailout.
4. Election and credentialing for ASC delegates.
I have always chafed in my role in it because of the way I was pressed by bossy and officious faculty, and the national leadership is the same. The state conference demanded I bring a fancy speaker here last fall, and the one who had most insisted upon this then objected to my being reimbursed for the cost. Now another one was beyond rude Saturday, after I schlepped to the center of the state para cumplir. I want to resign but should really not. More than that I want an apology from someone for their behavior this weekend. I am always surprised when people who present as allies are friends, are not.
In addition: I do not appreciate certain bad advice. And locally there was last year’s taunting, “Have you ever seen the [organization’s documents]?” when I was freakin’ following them to the letter. “If you cannot make person X fulfill my fantasy, I will Report You!” [With what goal in mind–to get me removed from the role you begged me to take?] And this year’s condescension and MASSIVE inconveniencing, also at the local level. I am so annoyed with several people in this organization; perhaps the issue is that most people are just not nice.
My problem, as always, is what I call “being treated like a servant”–by which I mean expected to do all the heavy lifting and then criticized for not doing it according to some individual’s instructions, and/or being invaded, having someone expect that my body or my mind or my house or my emotions are theirs to appropriate and use … and also that I am someone they can patronize and condescend to while I work for them. This makes me both terribly ashamed and frighteningly angry.
I am recycling my photocopy of this collection of short stories, which I never read because it was a bad photocopy. The actual book is in libraries, and Amir Hamed is a good writer.
Teresa Basile has a 2017 article on Amir’s Artigas Blues Band, and more has surely come out by now.
(This is news of the past — it is something I would have been interested in working on, had it not been so painful to be in academia.)
There are so many teaching guides on this, the students love the film, and you can have them read part of the book. I think I will start using all of this in a systematic way although it is not my personal favorite. They can learn to map the story, summarize, do a character sketch, narrate in a different tense, study the countries visited, and also learn something about who Che Guevara was other than “a Communist dictator” (which is what they say now).