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Month: August, 2012


The first TED talk we’re going to deal with.

And this is also important.


Homework: Due for Wednesday, 9/5

HOMEWORK for the weekend:

Read CDA 251-255

Find an example of a speech you like (written or in video form) and post it to your blog.

Continue to set up and customize your wordpress blog, write your ‘about’ page (plus a picture), and write your first post.

Your first post (at least 200 words) will be about one of the elements listed as a component of your Introduction Speech and your sense of place and how it has shaped you. Concrete examples include: family, friends, population, region, food, local culture, rural/urban/suburban, demographics, landscape, biodiversity, infrastructure. You need to use elaborate descriptions of that place – think Annie Dillard in “Sight into Insight”—which means including your senses (at least four of them) in your description. Think of this post providing a rich and full description and immersion into that place for your reader, and then you need to connect it to one of the elements listed above, even loosely. Annie Dillard does this, for example, with landscape, biodiversity, and rural environment in relation to herself, memory, and sense of the natural world.  Please please please proofread and spellcheck your posts thoroughly.

Due by 11am on Wednesday, September 5th.


Blog Notes

for right now, you need:

-your theme (agh! if it works!)

-about page with profile + pictures

-main page

preliminary considerations for posting:

-Who is the audience?

-What is my tone?

-What is my purpose?

-Did I proofread?   

-Is this appropriate for wrd110?     

-Does my post answer the assignment?

initial goals for the blog:

-posting research about space/place/identity

-answering discussion questions that Hannah provides for the class (unless noted that they should be posted to blackboard)

following others’ blogs:

-being a part of the blogosphere is a conversation: we’re entering into that conversation as a class

-therefore, we’ll learn from each other, and that means that you need to look at others’ blogs – this is also a way that you’ll get a sense of where your interests overlap with others’ and you might learn something/make some new friends  

August 29th, Wednesday

IN CLASS: on Wednesday, we’re going to continue working through a bit of Rich Schein’s “Belonging through land/scape” and discuss a bit of his jargon and the communities he’s trying to reach and/or address. Who is his audience? Where are they coming from? What will they do with his message? Where do we fall in this conversation? etc. It took me forever and a day to type up those notes to the article, so please spend a little time with them, and also think about these questions:

-How is the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden a powerful reappropriation of history, space, and identity? (820, 823)

-How is Schein’s article a deep exploration of a particular place?

-What are ‘cracks in the mortar’ according to Schein/Jones? (p.814)

-What is a ‘cultural landscape’ according to Schein? Is landscape discourse? (p.819)

-What is Schein arguing? How does he change the discourse around these places?              

-How is his story of the gate in Hampton Court an example of landscape as discourse?

We are also going to do a wordpress tutorial and talk about setting up your blogs, the purpose for your blogs, and how we’ll create an online community/conversation using this technology. The blog can be a great tool for you to build research/notes/ideas in addition to doing the reactions/responses that I’ll assign regularly.

I’ll also be giving you little quiz over the CDA reading.

We’ll talk about space/place some more as well as your first speech.


HOMEWORK: (due friday) read CDA 223-245; skip p 228-237 and add in p. 80-83 on logos, pathos, ethos. Make your wordpress profile and choose your theme. Follow my blog. Post your url to blackboard.



“Belonging through land/scape” (continued, p.819-825)

-“The cultural landscape mediates our being in the world” (819).

-“…the idea of landscape as materialized discourse” “‘landscape is tension'” “…how landscapes work still matters, even as how they matter is also important” (820).

Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden (IMMAG) + Northeast Lexington Initiative (NELI) – Issac Murphy: famous African American Jockey – the garden is on marginal land and Thoroughbred park is the gateway to the garden space.

-Goal with presenting a historical geography of IMMAG: “a cultural landscape might be marshaled to effect a politics of belonging by some people who live their everyday lives in and through one particular part of the racialized city” (821).

-Thoroughbred Park and 1. race/class divide 2. naturalization of ‘a’ story as ‘the’ story of the horse industry…”very white and rich landscape” that writes out and covers over the neighborhood where many jockeys and workers in the horse industry actually lived – what is not sanctioned by this public monument? (821)

-“Thoroughbred Park is a normative landscape, telling in tangible, visible form (both through presence and through absence) a selective story of regional identity which reverberates in ideas about belonging (who does; who does not); a story that ultimately writes out of the picture certain people and neighborhoods and their place in urban life and landscape. Thoroughbred Park claims territory, and (re)draws the boundary lines of belonging for resident and visitor alike…” (822)



-The IMMAG is central to creating a place of belonging and shows, alternately, that “we have the ability, if even in small incremental ways, to effect change in and through the landscape, to challenge and alter its physical fabric and symbolic meanings” …landscapes as “points of intervention, moments or places where we might seize the opportunity to enact a (slightly) different version of the world” (823).

-story about the gate…”the line persists” (823)

-“land and landscape as symbols, representation, markers of belonging…land and landscapes matter…they work to mediate and constitute belonging–to a community, as a citizen, to a city, to a nation…these stories are predicated on the fact that marginalized people have, perhaps in part, been denied belonging through land and landscape” (824).


Initial thoughts/quotes/reactions: Rich Schein’s “Belonging through land/scape” (p. 811-818)

As promised, I’m writing some informal notes/thoughts/quotes that come forward when I read Rich Schein’s “Belonging through land/scape” – this is totally informal, but maybe it will help some of you move through the text and beyond (or around) the jargon. The jargon matters, and is totally a part of this academic conversation, but we’ll get to some of it later in the course.  These are the kinds of notes I would write to myself about this article, but this is only the first 7 pages or so. I hope to continue with my notes over the rest of the article but this is a beginning so take some time to look over it for now and compare with your notes/thoughts.  The really place-specific stuff comes in the second half, but this beginning part is a theoretical/historical setup for the rest of his discussion.

-Key points to recognize in the introduction: “race, belonging, land, and landscape”  and those citizens “written out of ‘belonging’…through land and landscape” in addition to the recognition of “belonging-as-social-justice…in response to dominant social, political, economic, and cultural practices” (811).

-How have African Americans been “categorically denied citizenship and community, or the right to claim belonging” through the practices of the shaping and designating of land and landscape in central Kentucky ? Land and landscape as “stages” for practicing “citizenship and community” (811).

-Space and power relations, the concept of belonging, the possibility for (re)appropriation of space as a place for liberation but with unclear boundaries or ways to find that freedom…Rose’s concept of ‘paradoxical space’, connecting “landscapes and a sense of self and belonging…new identities can emerge in the liminal space produced in the tension between belonging and exclusion” (812). Landscapes have ghosts, histories, are narrowly constructed…are narrative constructs –“‘they would not exist as places were it not for the stories told about and through them'” (812). Storytelling as key to self, identity, community, belonging.  What stories are untold? What voices are silenced? Stories as about “the future as they are about the past” — where do the past and future collide and how are they inextricably linked? (813).

“dessentialized individual” – with a sense of belonging that is fluid, changeable, multiple, shifting and moving against set categories of belonging as set by societal constructs (class, gender, race, ethnicity…) “belonging implicates and inside and an outside” – and “…what happens when someone else does not want you to belong” plays into the dynamic of selfhood, community, belonging, history that reverberates in and through landscapes – which is connected to power-relations (813). Can one define one’s self or is one always defined by others/structures?

Jones: tensions between “worlds and selves” (814) – points of oppositions to rules, norms, history, regulations occurs through what Jones calls ‘cracks in the mortar’ which “challenge the seemingly essential and fixed…foundations of everyday life” (814).

The geography of the city, in part, defines citizenship, but citizenship can be redrawn and renegotiated over time, in everyday spaces, with different points of resistance to a given norm/practice/expectation. ‘Landscape’ represents the idea of ‘cultural landscape’ – not just physical landscape- and cultural landscapes “articulate, mediate, (re)produce, and provide the grounds to challenge everyday life…” (815).

Land and Belonging

What do we associate with the idea of private property in America?

self control, belonging, responsibility, financial standing…

Property and the “structural legacies” of slavery – which connects to resources, social justice, ownership, access to the American dream – all of which are tied up with daily life, interactions, and transactions. How do such landscapes (cultural &/or physical) redress or support such a legacy? (815)

-deed tracing exercise (see text, 816) – the ‘crack in the mortar’ is that slaves could own property though means that were not state-sanctioned, approved, or recognized, and also connected to family, kinship, heritage, inheritance and other ties of identity and belonging that are, at times, separate from the state (816).

-discussion of the legacy of “transition from farm to town” for African Americans – and the property and race relations therein, and how an urban landscape changes identity, possibility, and spaces for belonging. How is the history of the farm and the history of the town different in relation to racial identity? (817)

-statistics and housing standards (negative) around Bracktown, the legacy and culture of historic preservation and how it connects to the African-American community and property, how recording (or not recording) property exchange matters to a legacy and history of race – how property may have changed hands informally, how this is a point of power and resistance connected to informal economies, verbal contracts, social networks, family, identity outside of an contra exclusionary white systems of government and power (818).


8/29, Wednesday (preparing for)

For Wednesday’s class we’ll be moving into the Compose, Design, Advocate text in order to prepare to meet the more technical objectives of our class. While you read the first thirty pages of this text, try to move strategically through the text – pick out the parts that seem the most essential and search for the key parts. This process will streamline your reading time/process for the purposes of class on Wednesday.

Therefore, while reading, I ask you to keep several questions in mind, and be able to answer them in a (fairly) simple manner:

-What is composing?

-What is designing?

-What is advocating?

-What is an argument?

-Why does an argument occur?

-What is the difference between formal and informal arguments?

-What does it mean to advocate? How is argument connected to advocating?

-What are seven things to consider when forming and presenting an argument?

-What are the three parts to the composing and design process presented in this textbook?

-What is the philosophy of communication presented in this book?

Monday, 8/27 (Continued)

To go along with this article and this response that we’ll be discussing in class on Monday, I’m posting this video excerpt from the film The True Meaning of Pictures – something that we’ll get into during class a bit but is good to have in case you want to re-watch it in the future.

8/27, Monday

BEFORE CLASS: Post responses in Blackboard to the thread that reads: personal concepts of space/place/history: write me a description of a place that you keep returning to, repeatedly, and try to articulate why, what draws you back – remember, a place is a more open concept than simply a physical space. (Due by Monday, August 27th at 11am)

This assignment is, of course, related to Annie Dillard’s work as well as Pinepoint, but is a personal writing, not a direct response to the readings you’ve done. Think, memoir, memory, and description.

IN CLASS: We will discuss the assigned readings (Schein, Rich: “Belonging Through Land/Scape” – Adams, Shelby Lee “Of Kentucky: Photo Essay – “Shelby Lee Adams Invited Me to a Party”) – know in advance that Shein’s work will take the most time of the three and is related to Lexington, specifically, as will our research, ultimately.

Schein’s work is dense and laden with some jargon of his field, which is Geography, but try not to get to freaked out or caught up in the fact that he uses discipline-specific language. I would like you to think about how he presents and questions several different concepts in relation to place, identity, and belonging. Also, pay attention to the way that he organizes his paper and creates arguments using research.

While you’re reading, for example, try to consider the following questions as guides (some ideas to consider that we’ll delve more deeply into during class but that will also help you pinpoint some of the author’s arguments and main driving forces):

-What does it mean when, historically, African American landowners were excluded from property-holding record-books? How does(n’t) the state sanction identity and belonging? Who gets written into history and why?

-How is property intertwined with belonging and citizenship in the United States?

-How can communities find new forms of legitimacy and write/rewrite spaces to serve their needs?

-Historically-speaking, how is family related to individual identity and property?

-What new information did you learn about Lexington, especially in terms of space, race, and history? Were you surprised?

-How can something seemingly simple like a gate or a false hill or an empty space speak about history, race, belonging, values, and exclusion? How does Schein illustrate connections between the past and the present using simple aspects of space?

-How does the treatment of property reflect the belonging, hierarchies of power, racial tensions, and cultural landscapes?

-How is the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden powerful? How does it rearrange power for the African American community around the East End?  

In class, we will do a writing exercise in response to Shelby Lee Adams’ work and the article “Shelby Lee Adams Invited Me to a Party” so try to think about your reactions to these two pieces in tandem – is Adams making a visual argument?

Monday and Wednesday, I’ll present some wordpress tutorials and I will provide an explanation of the objectives with your wordpress blog in terms of how it will help you aggregate research and ideas throughout the course of the semester – you will be creating your wordpress blog the week of the 27th, so if you want to start checking it out then feel free to explore the site.

Week One (8/22-8/24)

August 22nd

IN CLASS: Introduction to Course; Ice Breaker

HMWK: Watch “Welcome to Pinepoint” Read: Sight into Insight Buy: a sketchbook, ereader, texbook

In Blackboard: write three thoughtful personal reactions + points + prepare to discuss your reactions to the project.  Review syllabus and bring personal objectives + motivations + investments in this course – plus one question about the syllabus

August 24th

IN CLASS: discussion of article, discussion of the idea of identity + place + space+ dimensionality + self + affect. Discussion of cumulative objectives of the course and personal objectives


Read: Schein, Rich “Belonging Through Land/Scape”

Adams, Shelby Lee “Of Kentucky: Photo Essay”

“Shelby Lee Adams Invited Me to a Party”

Prepare: Reactions to the readings (in the discussion section of BB), Brainstorming of personal concepts of space/place/history