Thinking about the readings on mapping and defining disciplinary activity, take 5 minutes to answer the survey questions. When everyone is finished, share with someone next to you and see if there are any similarities or differences that are worth noting about your experiences in the field thus far.
1. Where are you from? City, Province or City, State
2. From what institutions did you obtain the following degrees (as applies)? BA or BS MA or MS PhD Other Please specify degree.
3. What graduate program are you in?
4. What professional organizations do you belong to?
5. Who were the first scholars you were introduced to and how have they shaped your understanding of the field?
6. What scholars best connect with your research interests and why? List up to 3
Survey modified from
Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies. 24-25.
Look at the page 102 in Unflattening, Sousanis includes only two panels, both showing rain.
The two panels are significantly different and demonstrate different emotional situations.
How are the details in these images different or similar to each other?
What do the details communicate?
Finally, the focus is on the details used to show the rain to communicate different emotions.
Discuss the two panels.
Consider ways to describe rain.
What words do we use?
What are some of the phrases we use when talking about rain?
“Squeezed into the same slots. What comes out is interchangeable. Standardized.”
Write about a recent time that you’ve felt “squeezed into the same slots” when it came to writing. Did it make you feel standardized?
Dillard describes her failing drawing compared to her family’s successful portrayals as a lack of being able to see the “artificial obvious.” She explains that “The point is that I just don’t know what the lover knows; I just can’t see the artificial obvious that those in the know construct” (Dillard 3). Her family seems to understand the artificial obvious, whereas she was unable to identify it while drawing her “lame” horse.
What is the artificial obvious? How does one recognize or construct it on a daily basis?
“A photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me)” (Barthes 27).
Working with this definition, for you, what is the punctum of this photograph, if any? Studium?
We seem to live in a world where math, science, and “practical” knowledge are valued, and the humanities–the arts–are not. Yet, Barry talks about art, and the arts more broadly, as an essence that lives and transcends. Consider the following passage from Syllabus:
“There is something common to everything we call the arts… This ancient ‘it’ is something I call ‘an image.’ By image I don’t mean a visual representation, I mean something that is more like a ghost than a picture; something which feels somehow alive, has no fixed meaning and is contained and transported by something that is not alive- a book, a song, a painting–anything we call an ‘art form’” (15).
In the time remaining, respond to at least one of the questions below:
- What does Barry’s explanation mean to you?
- How might you differently describe the “it” that is present in the arts/humanities?
- What do Barry’s and/or your explanation say about how we ought to value the arts/humanities?
- Can you name and describe an example of Barry’s ‘image’ concept that is representative of her (or your) description?
- How is Barry’s understanding of ‘an image’ similar to or different from an idea?