Annie Swetha , Introduction: Special Issue on Black and Latina Sexuality and Identities

 

Main argument

How an intersectional view on race, gender, and sexuality brings out the discriminations faced by individuals with multiple marginalized identities.

Sub argument

The article examines the significance of Intersectional analysis, which voice out the painful lives of women of colour. It also shows the interconnec­tions of gender, race, and sexuality provided by studying black and Latina lesbians. This interconnection between race, gender and sexuality is relevant to my research which attempts to analyse identities within Trans communities, through an intersectional lens.

The paper questions the notion of viewing individual identities as a part of a larger community due to which individual-level issues are not taken into consideration. It states how a black Lesbian woman is doubly oppresses than a black heterosexuals or black gay. The article elucidates on how researches done on HIV AIDS attention has solely based on heterosexuals, Black man or Black Gay. Black Lesbian is not taken into consideration into this larger framework.

The article provides an analytic lens for understanding black and Latina women’s experiences. It also highlights the multiple levels of oppression and resistance found in these women’s lives. Through an intersectional lens it gives voice to the invisible identities of Women of Colour. This idea is relevant to my research which will focus on the multiple marginalised identities among hijras.

The articles use the theory of Collins who believes on how race and sexuality depend on the other for meaning. Sexuality has been used by those in power to support racism. This racial consciousness can be identified in my research which focuses on how hijras with fair complexion are respected more than the others.

The article examines how Black and Latina lesbians are not only marginalized within the white community, but within their community. Their identities remain invisible due to multiple level of marginalisation based on issues of race/ ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Limitation

This paper is limited only within the experiences of Black and Latina Women experience. It has not focused the existence of multiple marginalized identities among various communities.

Conclusion

Thus the article shows lesbians of colour occupy an even smaller space in this intellectual landscape due to lack of inclusion within the feminist discourse and also within their own community.

 

Asencio, Maryso, and Juan Battle. “Introduction Special Issue on Black and Latina

Sexuality and Identities” Black Women, Gender + Families 4.1 (2010): 1-7.Print

 

 

 

Ecocriticism- Chandraprabha

 

Ecocriticism, Ethics and the Vedic Thought

Author(s): T.J. Abraham

Source: Indian Literature, Vol. 51, No. 6 (242), Golden Jubilee Issue (November-December

2007), pp. 179-186

Published by: Sahitya Akademy

 

The essay claims to address some fundamental issues plaguing the discipline of ecocriticism and show why in its present form, it is destined to fail as a movement.

Claims:

  1. The present deadlock in ecocritical thought springs as much from its inherent contradictions as from the absence of a firm ethical, philosophical underpinning.
  2. This study tries to highlight a few such paradoxes in ecocriticism, especially in its western variety, and calls for a perspectival shift in the form of a philosophical framework

Arguments: 

  • human beings cannot entirely do away with the ‘use’ of non-human sphere because cultural productions of all sorts necessitate the use, and even some exploitation, of nature.
  • impossible to differentiate the ‘right’ use of nature from the ‘wrong’ one.
  • the radical ecologists advocating a return to forests deride the activists of protection of environment describing them pejoratively as “environmentalists” who value nature solely for human survival and for ensuring the promotion
  • The fourth paradox concerns ecology and textuality, both about the possibility of an extra linguistic reality and also about the reliability of language-mediated reality. Any signifying system including language cannot be neutral, but only pro speciesist.

Key points:

  • The western enlightenment project, by and large, reinforced the anthropocentric assumption of the centrality of human individual and upheld the view that the nonhuman world existed for human welfare. As a corollary, nature came to be viewed as not only thoroughly knowable but also to be mastered and exploited by man.
  • Chaos Theory demolishes the totalizing truth claims of contemporary science, as it cautions us about the mysterious forces (known as strange attractors, butterfly effect, etc.) in control of natural systems, due to which predictions about nature cannot be made with certainty.
  • Complexity Theory talks about self-organizing systems in a world teeming with complex systems. The theorists of this school claim that systems, both human and nonhuman, are self-organizing, and that self-organization is a spontaneous process occurring at certain critical periods of time, especially at what they describe as the ‘edge of chaos’.
  • Ecocriticism, hence, engages the question of justice and argues for the rights of the nonhuman sphere
  • Contemporary western ethical thought, with its deep-seated humanist bias, is not conducive to the acceptance of ecocritical philosophy which insists on a comprehensive ethics appropriate for a more than human world.
  • The God equals man equals nonhuman equation, a view that has taken the centre stage down the centuries in the mainstream Indian thought.
  • An ethical framework genuinely anti-humanist at its core singularizes the dominant Indian tradition which accorded equal status to the human and non-human spheres.
  • Such an egalitarian view was instrumental in engendering a philosophy of immanent monism (advaita). Indeed, the rise of the advaita philosophy may be traced to the realization that human beings live in a more than human world, characterised by mutual interdependence and more importantly, that any alienation of the two spheres could spell doom for the earth.
  • In the Taittiriya Brahmana, we are told that “the same divine milk that circulates through creatures here on earth lights the suns—all the suns of the galaxy. It condenses also into the forms of the clouds. It pours down as rain and feeds the earth, the vegetation and the animals. The individual with the awareness of this secret cannot be avaricious for any portion of the abundant food that may come to him. He will share it willingly with his companions. He will not wish to break the circuit by hoarding the substance to himself…. His food avails him nothing: when he eats, eats his own death” (2.8.8).
  • The aphoristic words from Aruni to his son “That thou art” (Tat tvam asi) sum up the entire vedic conception of reality including the nonhuman sphere. Tat tvam asi enjoins one to be aware of the identity of one’s core essence with the hidden substance of all and everything, and not to be alienated from the nonhuman world.

Infanta-Impact of Using Worldlists in the Language Classroom on Students’ Vocabulary Acquisition

Coşgun, G. (2016). The impact of using worldlists in the language classroom on students’ vocabulary acquisition. International Journal of English Language Teaching, 4(3), 49-66. Retrieved from http://www.eajournals.org/journals/international-journal-of-english-language-teaching-ijelt/the-improvement-of-students-writing-skill-achievement-through-error-analysis-method/the-impact-of-using-wordlists-in-the-language-classroom-on-students-vocabulary-acquisition/.

This research deals with vocabulary learning whose pedagogical implications will contribute to the field of second language learning. This research paper aims at proposing a framework for vocabulary teaching strategy in English as a foreign language context. The researcher in the introduction to his paper clearly establishes a strong correlation between vocabulary and academic achievement by quoting Abrudan, words “represent the building block upon which knowledge of the second language can be built” and without them people cannot convey the intended meaning. The researcher realized that the students experienced a great difficulty in learning and using target vocabulary. He states that the “underlying reasons is that students and dents are exposed to a myriad number of words every day and do not know which words provide them with a working vocabulary.”

The researcher explores the effectiveness of making use of a word list in classroom and students’ view on the process. The significance of the research is that, the findings might attract the interest of both foreign language teachers and students, and encourage them in the way of adopting the mentioned strategy in their studies.

The aim of the research is to explore whether the use of wordlists on a word wall helps students improve students’ vocabulary acquisition. To be able to find an answer to this question, the questions focused on throughout the research are:

  1. Does the use of word lists on a word wall in the language classroom improve students’ vocabulary acquisition?
  2. What are students’ views on using word lists on a word wall in the language classroom?

The researcher very clearly structures the research paper. In the methodology section of the paper, the research is situated in a particular context. The paper is narrowed down from the wider context by explaining the ways in which vocabulary is being taught in the institution which is studied in the research. The researcher gives the number of the participants in his research and a few required details such as their age and their prior knowledge in the English language.

The researcher employs a traditional approach and blends with many other research methods. “The research was classroom research which was conducted by the teacher “for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of her educational environment and improving the effectiveness of her teaching” (Dörnyei). Furthermore, mixed methods research was adopted in the research process. As a method, mixed methods research “focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies and its central premise is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone” (Creswell, & Plano).”

The researcher explains the procedure of data collection and lists down the methods and activities conducted for teaching the vocabulary in the context of the research. The Vocabprofile was used as a source for the words that were to be taught. A receptive test modeled on Nation’s (1990) Vocabulary Levels Test and a controlled productive test modeled on Laufer and Nation’s(1999 ) Productive Vocabulary Levels Test were the pre- test and post- test. Apart from this, the researcher also conducts interviews and maintains Field notes/ Reflective Writing. The data derived from all these methods are analyzed. The quality of the research is ensured by employing triangulation method, which is defined as “the mixing of data or methods so that diverse viewpoints or standpoints cast light upon atopic” was adopted (Olsen).

“The test was spot-checked before it was used by two experienced colleagues and level specialists since “the quality of questions asked will directly affect the type and the quality of responses” (Campbell, McNamara & Gilyn). In addition, to maximize objectivity and validity and to avoid “inaccuracy or incompleteness of the data” I supported all my conclusions by evidence, recorded and transcribed the interviews (Maxwell).”

The researcher then tables the data of the tests and gives samples of both the interviews and research findings. The interview was conducted to study the attitude of the students towards the research.

The research confirms that using a wordlist on a word wall can be regarded as a working factor in fostering leaners’ vocabulary acquisition.

The limitations of this research are that the conclusions cannot be generalized because the research was conducted only with two classes and that it was conducted in a limited time. The study of the long term effects of the newly acquired knowledge of target vocabulary can be studied in further researches.

Pokemon Case Study – Yohaan P. Sharma 1537214

“Pokémon Case Study.” Pokémon Cast Study. N.p., n.d. Web.

This online paper traces the movement of Pokémon from Japan, its origin, and how it spread across the world.  In addition to this, the paper also discusses the merchandise that the franchise has spawned and how the product was slightly altered so that it could be accepted in other parts of the world.

Essentially, this paper deals with the path that Pokémon took to becoming a global phenomenon.

Emerson begins his paper by discussing the Game Boy. The Game Boy was a handheld video game console that could access games through cartridges. The cartridges would need to be bought separately and each cartridge acted as the storage unit for a game. The comparison of the ATM could help in understanding this system.

Thinking of the Game Boy itself as the ATM, the cartridge would be the card that is used to gain access to the bank account through the ATM. Different cards could access different bank accounts but all potentially through the same ATM depending on which card was used.

The Game Boy is important to discuss because Pokémon was first released on the Game Boy platform falling under the Role-Playing Game (RPG) genre. X goes on to talk about the objectives of the game and the way in which products within the game anticipates its status as a commercial cultural phenomenon.

X states that Nintendo, part owner of Game Freak, producer of the games, was not enthusiastic about the game initially because the early stages of the release did not classify Pokémon as a hit but its popularity grew steadily through word of mouth. This is probably due to the fact that the game could not be fully completed unless a player was able to link his game to another one for trade.

The popularity of Pokémon grew so much that Nintendo made an arrangement with Shogakukan, a children’s publisher, to run Pokémon comics in their magazine Koro-Koro Comics; a book that, until today, releases Pokémon information periodically as well as information of other Nintendo characters and games.

The reception of the comic series led to the development of the television series that is, today, running into its nineteenth season in Japan. While the producers of the game were hesitant fearing that poor television could hamper the sales of the game, the writers of the show were forced to play the game extensively in order to make the show as compatible to the game as possible. The television series was so well received that Nintendo made a new Pokémon game that closely mirrored the game’s plots and characters, though this was the only game that did so and from then the television series adapts the characters and plots from the games into the show itself.

This case study helps in situating how Pokémon as a franchise spread across Japan and how various forms of media served to complement each other and add to the credibility and reach of the franchise.

Anna: On the queen known for her infinity

Hughes, Lucy, About Cleopatra: On the Queen known for her infinity, 2006, Web, 4 July 2016
Another significant character of Shakespeare’s plays is Cleopatra. She is consistent only in her inconsistency. She is a woman as changeable as water. Writing 200 years after Cleopatra’s death, Plutarch found traces of the way her own people had seen her. He did justice to her reputation as a linguist and scholar. He acknowledged her courage and the efficiency of her rule. He recorded fragments of the self-glorifying vision which she and her aides had adroitly cultivated, that of wise mother of her people, the incarnation of the goddess Isis here on earth.
But in his Roman sources, Plutarch found a very different Cleopatra, a depraved sensualist, a woman defined by her foreignness to Rome, whose nature and career seemed to confirm every prejudice Romans might hold against both foreigners and women – that they were sly and cowardly, that they were frivolous to the core, interested only in hairdressing and parties, and that they had sneaky, insidious ways of ensnaring a virile Roman hero and drawing him down to their own level.
The image of Cleopatra as irresistible temptress was elaborated by her enemies. It suited Octavius that the Romans should believe that his chief rival for power in Rome, Antony, was totally unfit to rule them, and that the conflict which reached its climax at Actium was not just another phase of the civil wars of which the Roman people were so heartily tired, but one fought against an aggressive foreign power.
Thanks to that persona, Cleopatra has remained for over two millennia as the quintessential object of desire, and she has been repeatedly re-imagined in accordance with changing fashions in desirability. Medieval poets hymned her sweet docility and her devotion to her man. Renaissance painters depicted her as a blue-eyed blond (she was a famous beauty, and beauties, in northern Europe at the time, were fair). Orientalists re-imagined her as a dusky houri. Romantics from Pushkin onward cast her as a femme fatale and entertained masochistic fantasies of her thrilling cruelty. ‘She is the most complete woman ever to have existed,’ wrote Theophile Gautier in 1845, ‘whom dreamers find always at the end of their dreams.’
But Cleopatra is not only the figment of others’ imaginations. She was herself a skilled manipulator of her own image. In Plutarch’s version of her story, and in Shakespeare’s re-interpretation of it, it is possible to glimpse some of the ways in which she presented herself to her subjects. Using costume and gesture, spectacle and ritual, she dramatized her power.
There are dozens of more or less pornographic paintings, dating from the 1st Century onward, of the death of Cleopatra in which the Queen, naked or nearly so, applies the asp to her bare breast. In fact all the ancient historians agree that, as Shakespeare correctly shows, she didn’t undress, but dressed for death. And the ‘royal robes’ she calls for would have been the paraphernalia which identified her as a goddess, an identification which was dramatically emphasized by the fact that the snake that killed her was Isis’s sacred creature. We well never know what the real Cleopatra was like. She certainly wasn’t the libertine of the Roman imagination, she was probably celibate for the majority of her adult life. Nor was she an omnipotent deity – her defeat and death are proof enough of that.

Silpa – “Half God, Half Man: Kazantzakis, Scorsese and The Last Temptation”

“Half God, Half Man”: Kazantzakis, Scorsese, and “The Last Temptation”. Graham Holderness. The Harvard Theological Review. Vol. 100. No. 1. January 2007. Pp. 65-80

Arguments

The article points out the theme “The dual substance of Christ” which is mentioned in the prologue to Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel The Last Temptation of Christ and also in the film version of the novel directed by Martin Scorsese.

Both Kazantzakis and Scorsese located their work at the heart of Christianity’s most complex internal controversy, the relation between divinity and humanity in the person of Christ.

The paper explores the theological underpinnings of both versions of The Last Temptation and attempts to demonstrate the value of their contributions to theological discussion and debate.

In this paper, the author argues that though apparently denying divine omniscience, Kazantzakis fleshes out a persuasive model for understanding the purpose of incarnation. Kazantzakis affirms that God is incomplete without man and the author further claims that the contrary is also true.

The main objective of Kazantzakis was to liberate Jesus from the church and to bypass both the Christian doctrine devised by Paul and the “falsifications” of the gospel writers in order to get at the historical truth about Jesus of Nazareth.

Kazantzakis saw his work not as a repudiation of Christian truth nut rather as a revaluation of Christian spirituality for a modern age. Kazantzakis was clearly attempting a theological as well as an imaginative reworking of the life of Jesus. He was undertaking a theological revision of key doctrinal matters such as the incarnation and the atonement.

Sub Arguments

The dual nature, or dual substance, of Christ has always been, and still remains, an intellectually challenging, doctrinally controversial but nonetheless unavoidable cornerstone of Christian belief and worship.

Man without God is a mere animal, haunted by his anthropoid ancestry, and struggling to extricate himself from the coils of evolution. But conversely God without man could have no direct physical knowledge of the human existence that he himself had created.

Kazantzakis’ view of the “dual substance” of Christ assumed then that the two natures were utterly distinct, absolutely different, and violently inimical one to another.

More than any other foundational doctrine of Christianity, the supposedly symmetrical and stable relationship between the persons of the Trinity has proved in practice a site of controversy.

When the novel began to approach the person of Jesus, it was in the form of an anticlerical, secular and humanizing project. This Jesus, man rather than God, appears in both liberal theology and secular fiction of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Scepticism about the Christological possibilities of imaginative prose encouraged scholars to assume that the Christ of the novel is invariably the human Jesus and that Christ as incarnate God is therefore not representable in modern fiction.

The structure of Jesus’ journey, which corresponds loosely to the four phases mapped out in Kazantzakis’ sketchbook (son of the carpenter, son of man, son of David, son of God), shows a Jesus growing through successive stages of evolution into consciousness of his mission.

Backings

Kazantzakis links the dual substance of Christ with the dual nature of man as the product of both nature and God.

Creationism and evolution are juxtaposed as respectively theocentric and anthropocentric explanations of the universe.

Kazantzakis’ Jesus is predominantly human, full of weakness, self-doubt and ambivalence. He is not at first consciously aware of his own divine status, his mission of salvation or his destiny of crucifixion. He encounters his divinity as something hostile and alien. Throughout the novel Jesus retains a love of life and of the earth, which seems to conflict with his divine destiny.

Kazantzakis’ Jesus may not be conscious of his identity and destiny but is certainly subconsciously aware of them at the level of dream and vision, where much of the novel’s narrative operates.

The three temptations of the snake, the lion and the burning archangel discussed in the novel are the core temptations of humanity. The snake is desire, love of the earth, the yearning to have a wife and children, and the hunger for Mary Magdalene. The lion is the fierce and violent passions of animal instinct: the visionary beast proclaims that he is “the deepest voice of your deepest self.” The archangel tempts Jesus to think of himself as God.

 

 

 

 

Diasporas by James Clifford – Shivangi Bhardwaj

Clifford, James. “Diasporas.” Cultural anthropology 9.3 (1994): 302-338.

 

James Clifford in his work Diaspora brings to light the way the term has been used and how it has evolved over time and how it is placed in society now. He begins with the Jewish idea of the term and how it is used in context with Polish, Chinese and African context now. The term is more than geographical and merges with history and despite the continuous heterogeneity if these diasporic experiences the common thread of ambivalence runs through. The experience differs but the sense of homelessness, the rootedness in the home country and the alienation from and for the host country. He talks about how border and histories merge and the difference is very thin between what was felt in medieval ages and in contemporary times, even though the idea of exile hardly exists in current times. There are times when two communities associate with each other when they share the same diasporic geography. Their histories might differ but their experience merges. He brings in Said and Bhabha to create a diasporic identity that runs through the world and that identity is based on fragmented history, memories and a need for identity. And in the case of English Diaspora he draws from Rushdie who points out the fact that the British history was a diasporic construction, something made entirely outside their geography, hence a certain ambivalence seeps in towards both the host country and their homeland. This paper helps in constructing and understanding diasporic identities in the research that will be undertaken. This paper does not look at Indian diaspora and looks at medieval and contemporary diaspora missing out on the one that took place in the modern times.