For 12.12.17

Today’s discussion was designed to offer support and advice beginning with where the writers happened to be and offering one step forward in what as the zone of proximal development (theory). In the notes below you will see that in conversation we explored three very different ways of responding, including personal, historical, and philosophical approaches. Your mission is to write one page in whatever direction might support, challenge, and extend your thinking. Best is when you discuss your topic with someone so that you might enjoy their help in finding direction as we did in class and noted below.


A personal/political approach

  • Fun when you are exploring things
  • Writing as a form of thinking
  • Relating theory to personal life
  • Responding to suggestions of others with a clarification of your interests, narrowing down … (statistics, arguments … ): that you stop your partner at the point where you see what YOU want to do

We then broke the large paragraphs up into smaller pieces and wrote sub-heads for each and thereby narrowed the problem to one or more pieces, like this:

  • My topic, what is “women’s work”?
  • “Women’s Work” Redefined
  • I would like to explore how generations of women have come to see their mother’s differently
  • I have my story, but now I can compare it to the stories of other women
  • Out of that we might identify principles/histories (herstories) psychology
  • How concepts of motherhood have changed over time (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s … )
  • How differently conservative, liberal, radical, etc. women have viewed their mothers …

Juan Bautista

An historical approach, stretching the historical imagination

  • Fascinating with a very strange place
  • Somehow to put salt on it …
  • You could be one of the few people exploring the Korean people’s humanity, their unique historical situation, etc., as an alternative story to the “official” US story, for example, what you might find if you were to look up “a sympathetic history of north korea” and select writers who have tried to offer an alternative view — one which might help us understand the situation from different perspectives


A thematic/philosophical approach

  • Responding to the topic of “ambiguity,” two or more possible meanings out there in the world, we considered two or more contradictory feelings inside, in what we might think about something (such as the wartime experience in Serbia)
  • Another approach would be to explore war stories from other places and times, to talk about the Serbian survivors by first talking about other, more distant ways such stories have been told
  • When we talk about stories, we are talking not so much about what happened, but about how thoughtful writers tell stories about what happened: we often can’t look at the thing directly, so we talk indirectly, go through the back door

Examples we discussed include