the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

Archive for October, 2009

have a very subjective halloween

Posted by rigorousm on October 31, 2009

“merging with nothingness is peaceful oblivion; but to be aware of existence and yet to know that one is no longer a definite being distinguished from other beings, that is the nameless summit of agony and dread.”

– H. P. Lovecraft in”The Statement of Randoplh Carter”

– La Marche des Sans-Nom – Jean Constantial, Nicholas Laverdue, Lucas Vigroux.


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poem: Jon Sands – “A Working List of Things I Will Never Tell You”

Posted by rigorousm on October 16, 2009

When I said I wasn’t with another girl
the January after we fell in love for the 3rd time,
it’s because it wasn’t actual sex.

In the February that began our radio silence,
it was actual sex. I hate the tight shirts
that go below your waistline.

Not only do they make you look too young,
but then your torso is a giraffe’s neck attached to tiny legs.
I screamed at myself in the subway

for writing poems about you still.
I made a scene. I think about you almost
each morning, and roughly every five days, I still

believe you’re there.
I still masturbate to you.
When we got really bad,

I would put another coat of mop water on the floor of the bar
to make sure you were asleep when I got to my side of the bed.
You are the only person to whom I’ve lied, knowing

I was telling the truth. I miss the way your neck
wraps around my face like a cave we are both lost in.
I remember when you said being with me

is like being alone with company.
My friend Sarah wrote a poem about pink ponies.
I’m scared you’re my pink pony.

Hers is dead. It is really sad. You’re not dead.
You live in Ohio, or Washington, or Wherever.
You are a shadow my body leaves on other girls.

I have a growing queue of things I know
will make you laugh and I don’t know where to put them.
I mourn like you’re dead. If you had asked me to stay,

I would not have said no.
It would never mean yes.

“A Working List of Things I Will Never Tell You” by Jon Sands

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ANTH414 – Das – Life & Words – 4/21/09

Posted by rigorousm on October 14, 2009

What are the determinants of a subject? Are they able to be articulated for anthropological use?

On epistemic shocks in the wake of violence. Think of it as (a) time as a series or sequence (b) where things are related to other relevant events and the importance of effects. What is, then, the relationship between language and the subject? (Especially if language is what falls out of the subject, what concretizes the subject at specific moments, etc. The subject, then, doesn’t have to be alive to be socially active; the representation of death is more meaningful… words untethered from their origin.)

The past is always present in its entirety. (Is it?)

Themes to track: making substitutions in series, proper mourning (commemoration) versus unspeakable moments, allusions but not explicit confrontations.

We are not looking at recovery narratives (but rather the betrayal of the everyday, which the social sphere cannot heal or address), the difference between male and female subjectivities (particularly in terms of using violence as a framing device).

Human freedom vs. sociocultural determinism: does one choose to descend (15)(or is it transcend?) into the ordinary? Is this a position of power? Is this movement the engine of freedom, and if it is, how do people navigate the split between hope and danger?

Comparing and contrasting with Massumi: the effects of language make sense of things (in a linear way) – how is that different than affective and momentary understandings?

Comparing and contrasting with Rosaldo: regarding force and intensity; what are the importances of  limits and death and speaking — how does euology and mourning fit in? Grief must be expressed (or is there no desire to make it a good death? merely containing it) – Both compared with Badiou whose project goes about creating a unified subject – does Das then create a split subject (only certain parts get acknowledged)? (And what is the nature of the event (Badiou-style) that allows it to disrupt the everyday — if it’s indeterminacy of a trauma that obstructs rehabilitation, what does that do to subjectivity? There are two deaths: the social, the biological.)

Methodological critique: Das is not consistent in what she presents as evidence: laws and legal debates, which posit a general or virtual subject; novels and other fictional material, which create an unreal subject; people’s actual narratives and life material (which are incomplete facets of life), which articulate an identifiable, individual and specific subject. Is this a consistent use of scale re: the subject? Should we find this lack of consistency troubling?

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ANTH414 Notes – Goffman and Subjectivities Displaced from the Norm – 4/2/2009

Posted by rigorousm on October 14, 2009

Society defines ab/normal identity: virtual (put in retrospect, assumed traits) vs. acctual (experienced). Stigma creates discrepancies between the two. Types of stigma: inborn, socialized by or with, e.g., an orphan; productive/domestic, experience not aware of stigmas until later; stigmatized later in life, after learning about stigma. A stigma is composed (generally) of the things you yourself cannot choose.

One learns to be stigmatized, one has mixed contacts (normal and stigmatized) — one can be normal when among like stigmatized (or even above when among differently stigmatized), one can be stigmatized by association. Interactions teach us about different types of person-categories; can relations provide relief of a stigma?

How do people manage their potential stigmas? Social signs & our bodies (powerful signs); the importance of personal nuance; importance of relations (specific) in valuing of a stigma: “the singleness of a lifeline” does not equal a social category BUT RATHER a composite experience.

Stigmatized/normal two ends of a continuum, which is situational, reversible, contingent. Most people have “half hidden failings” (127); is stigma merely one of those that people can’t completely hide? Or is there a range or spectrum of a particular stigma?

Anormal (7) – if constantly reconstituting self, can there be a culturally valid definition of ‘normal’? Conscious of historically-determined (awareness that others are aware) stigmas and normal that one can abide by but doesn’t have to (c/c with Georg Simmel’s ideas about socialization and norms). What are the benefits of being hyperaware of ‘normal’ as a historicized product? The definition can then be negotiated by political process or education.

Is the norm more discursive than structural? (114) “ingrained in discourse of the norm”

What are Goffman’s methodological problems? Using people already committed to self-reflexivity – the act of considering their stigma often leads them to turn their stigma into their central narrative – or is this indicative/reflective of the way that stigma forms consciousness? Exemplar narratives versus rights groups. Stigma as a symbol for a person’s identity.

Disjointed identities: a break with a background, a social phenomena instead of psychopathology. In relation to the Other (psychology), compare and contrast with Lacan’s notion of self-process: wanting to be what the Other expects of you but being constrained by possessing a stigma?

What are the possibilities of multiple stigmas? (Are there, at all?) Is there something formal about it? Context may change its shading (weight one over another) but analysis will be roughly the same.

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Reading List for an outdated Topic – Architecture and Theory

Posted by rigorousm on October 14, 2009

  • Mark Wrigley – The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida’s Haunt (MIT Press): “architecture as a cluster of metaphors for stability/spatiality systematised concepts inside built on solid foundations outside”
  • Henri Lefebvre – The Production of Space
  • Michel de Certeau – The Practice of Everyday Life
  • Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space
  • Yi-Fu Tuan – Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience
  • Jeff Malpas – Heidegger’s Topology: Being, Place, World
  • Peter Collins – Locating the Field: Space, Place & Context in Anthropology
  • Doreen B Massey – For Space
  • Neil Brenner, Nik Theodore – Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restructing in North America and Western Europe
  • Pierre Bourdieu – The Logic of Practice
  • Edward T Hall – The Hidden Dimension
  • Eric Hirsch – The Anthropology of Landscape: Perspectives on Place & Space
  • Wendy Ashmore – Archaeologies of Landscape
  • Tim Creswell – Place: A Short Introudction
  • Kevin Lynch – The Image of the City
  • Dolores Hayden – The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes, Public History

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