Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Identity, Place and Community

(Migrating from another site)

“The 20 Best North American Districts, Downtowns, and Neighborhoods.” and “Around the world in 20 places.” Project for Public Places (November 2004)

21st Century Neighborhoods (Derek Owens site set up for student essays about their neighborhoods and communities)

Alarcon, Daniel. “Grand Mall Seizure.” Alternet (December 20, 2004)

Anderberg, Kristen. “Too Angry For What?” Alternative Press Review (Dec 30, 2004)

Armstrong, Karen. “The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness.” Book TV (August 21, 2004) (Program introduction: "Karen Armstong became a nun at the age of 17, but left the convent seven years later, in 1969. She went on to write several books on religious subjects, including "A History of God," "The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism," "Islam: A Short History," and "Buddha." "The Spiral Staircase" tells the story of her personal search for God and for her place in the world in the years after she left the convent.)

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

Berry, Wendell. “Compromise, Hell.” Orion November/December 2004 (Here is a true conservative who always challenges us to consider what it means to be an American and to consider the consequences of our actions for the future of our country, its citizens, and its places. Those who insist that progressives are only "liberal" are missing the point and perpetuating a dangerous myth.)

Brief Biographical Interjection

Clifford, James. “Taking Identity Politics Seriously.”

Delio, Michelle. “On the Road: Great River Road.” Wired (October/November 2004) (Website introduction: “Wired News correspondent Michelle Delio follows the Mississippi River along the Great River Road in search of the geekiest people and places she can find. Her stories document the trip from the headwaters in Itasca State Park, Minnesota to the delta in Venice, Louisiana.”)

Dow, Whitney and Marco Williams. "Two Towns of Jasper." and the PBS Site ("We have known each other for twenty-five years. We attended the same high school, shared holidays and weddings, and at times even lived in each other’s homes. Both of us went to similar northeastern colleges and ended up with similar careers as filmmakers in New York City. Our belief was that the bond of our shared histories trumped the fact that one of us is black and one of us is white. That all changed with the murder of James Byrd and began a five-year odyssey that has culminated with the film you are about to see. When the news broke that three men from a small southeastern Texas town had chained a black man to the back of a truck and dragged him three miles to his death, we called each other and spoke about the murder. What happened confounded twenty-five years of friendship and all of our commonalities—we saw the murder in startlingly different lights. One of us, who is white, was outraged at the murder and expressed shock and disbelief that such a crime had taken place at the dawn of the 21st century. The other, who is black, was outraged but felt no special shock or surprise at either how or why James Byrd was killed. This fundamental difference in our reactions led us to conclude that making a film about the crime would provide an illuminating window on how race is lived in America. In the three years it took us to complete Two Towns of Jasper, we did something that few friends or colleagues do: we interrogated race and race relations in America on a daily basis. In so doing, we discovered that despite our commonalities, we experience life in America in drastically different ways, solely due to our race.")

Elie Wiesel's Night ("Night by Elie Wiesel—a memoir that focuses on the final year of the Holocaust—a year the author spent at Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp. The Central Question: What is the relationship between our stories and our identity? To what extent are we all witnesses of history and messengers to humanity?")

Erving Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Family Name ("Is something a secret and everybody knows it, but nobody talks about it? ... Family Name documents Macky Alston’s efforts to confront his family’s history and relate what he learned to his own identity.")

Farewell to Manzanar ("Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston—an account of a young girl’s experiences at an internment camp in the United States during World War II. It reveals how the time Jeanne Wakatsuki spent at Manzanar shaped her identity—her sense of who she is and what she might become. The Central Question: How do our confrontations with justice and injustice help shape our identity? How do those confrontations influence the things we say and do?")

"The Farmer's Wife." Frontline (PBS: September 1998; Updated June 2003) ["Acclaimed filmmaker David Sutherland takes us deep inside the passionate, yet troubled marriage of Juanita and Darrel Buschkoetter, a young farm couple in rural Nebraska facing the loss of everything they hold dear. Part 1 of "The Farmer's Wife" recounts the moving story of Juanita and Darrel's romantic love affair and begins the journey to the core of their emotional struggles, which have pushed their marriage to the brink. Darrel and Juanita tell their own story, in their own words, without the intrusion of a narrator. It unfolds before our eyes, as it is happening."]

“Geography Education: 9-12 Grade.” National Geographic

“Geography Standards.” Xpeditions (National Geographic: 2001)

Gessner, David. “Sick of Nature: Today's nature writing is too often pious, safe, boring. Haven't these people re-read Thoreau lately?” The Boston Globe (August 1, 2004)

Ghetto Life 101 (The Text) and Ghetto Life 101 (The Audio Story) ("The idea for GHETTO LIFE 101 came from David Isay, a New York writer and producer. He was asked to make a documentary for a public radio station in Chicago as part of a series on issues of race and ethnicity in the city. Instead of interviewing scholars and other experts on urban life, Isay decided to ask young people who lived in urban neighborhoods to tell their own stories. He sent letters to social service agencies and high schools all over the city asking for help in finding two students interested in taking on the assignment. He received dozens of responses. From that list of applicants, he hired Jones and Newman as reporters, because “they were smart. They were funny. They were the ones.” LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman decided to speak frankly about themselves, their families, and their community. They chose to share not only the good things about their lives but also their sorrows, fears, and disappointments. To broaden their audience’s perspective, they interviewed relatives, teachers, classmates, and others in their neighborhood - the area around the Ida B. Wells, a housing project on the South Side of Chicago. Lloyd Newman and his family have an apartment there. LeAlan Jones lives in a house nearby. After a week of recording impressions, conversations, and interviews, LeAlan Jones signed off with these words: Me and my friend Lloyd Newman just did a description of our life for a week, and we want to give you kids in America a message: Don’t look at ghetto kids as different. You might not want to invite us to your parties, you might think we’ll rob you blind when you got your back turned. But don’t look at us like that. Don’t look at us like we’re an alien or an android or an animal or something. We have a hard life, but we’re sensitive. Ghetto kids are not a different breed - we’re human. Some people might say, “That boy don’t know what he’s talkin’ about!” But I know what I’m talking about. I’m dealing from the heart because I’ve been dealing with this for thirteen years. These are my final words, but you’ll be hearing from me again, ‘cause I’m an up-and-rising activist.
Peace out.")

Godvin, Tara. “Hawaii War Memorial Crumbling Into Ocean.”

“Great Public Spaces: Great Community Places.” Project for Public Spaces (Ongoing Project/Archive)

The Great Mirror (website description: “The Great Mirror is a collection of about 6,000 photographs taken over the last 30 years by Bret Wallach, a geography professor at the University of Oklahoma. The photos generally show cultural rather than physical landscapes and are intended to illuminate the peoples who have shaped the landscapes and whose values are reflected in them. Though often detailed, the captions are narrowly focused. For a comprehensive introduction to this subject, which is cultural geography, see Understanding the Cultural Landscape (Guilford Press 2004, ISBN 1593851197). Site additions in 2003 include Alpine Austria, Belgium (Bruges and Brussels), Italy (Venice and Florence), Thailand (Bangkok), Spain (Andalucia), and Germany (Heidelberg and Trier). Additions in 2004 include United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Oman (Muscat and Jebal Akhdar), Eastern U.S. (D.C.), Western U.S. (Glen Rose and Las Colinas), India (Calcutta, Hyderabad, and Sanchi), Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura), and expanded coverage of China. Latest additions: pictures of Uzbekistan and expanded coverage of London.)

“History of Chicano Park.”

Identity Paintings (Facing History and Ourselves website)

The Individual and Society

“Indivisible: Stories of American Community.” Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (Online Project: 2000)

Kelliher, Laurie. “Suburban Myth: Elizabeth Llorente's stories puncture our preconceptions of the suburbs. And she's getting others to take a closer look in their own backyards.” Columbia Journalism Review (July/August 2004)

“Kids in a Phishing Community: An Experiment in the Transcendence of Community.”

Lane, Lois. Me and My Big Fat Mouth Home Fires (Weblog: January 14, 2005) ["Earlier stories of my younger days and my wrongdoing have shown a less than angelic Lois Lane. Today will be no different. At the ripe old age of five, I displayed a stealth-like ability. Some children may have used this type of power on something less criminal, like sneaking cookies out of the cookie jar just before dinner time. Not me. I was much more big league than cookies."]

Lopez, Barry. “The American Geographies.” About This Life. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998

---. “A Literature of Place.” Portland Magazine (Summer 1997: reposted at Envirolink)

Masco, Joseph. "Desert Modernism." Cabinet Magazine #13 (2004) ("Las Vegas is currently the fastest growing city in the United States, consuming water as if it were surrounded by ocean. It is also an island of public commercialism within a military-industrial crypto-state, that vast section of Nevada backcountry where secret military technologies are designed, atomic bombs detonated, and chemical weapons and nuclear waste stored. Nevertheless, the desert can still today take on the appearance of pristine possibility, unrolling toward the horizon as a rugged tabula rasa, a dreamspace for spectacular progress. This ability to reinscribe desert "purity" requires constant effort, as the pursuit of utopian potential is predicated on a continual emptying-out of dystopian realities— in this case, those of nuclear weapons, waste, and war. Thus, if the desert in the post-Cold War American imagination still signifies hope for an endlessly renewable frontier, such migration from self and nation remains fraught, as escapees to the western interior run headlong into an equally imaginative military-industrial economy that constructs the desert as a hyper-regulated "proving ground" for the super-secret, the deadly, and the toxic. To negotiate these conflicting approaches to the epic West, both citizens and officials have come to rely on tactical amnesias, temporal sutures enabling a precarious—if addictive—cosmology of progress, fueled by high-octane combinations of risk, silence, utopian expectation, and paranoid anxiety. It is this dual process of mythologizing and monumentalizing through cognitive erasure that I call "desert modernism.")

Memphis: Building Community ("Day in and day out, our morning newspapers and evening newscasts document the consequences of our failure to value one another. It is a failure of truly global proportions. Cultures United has grown from our separate and combined efforts to address those divisions in Memphis and build a community that nurtures and respects both the individual and the group. In thinking about what we could do to make a positive difference, we drew on our own experiences. Over the years, as we have worked together in a variety of settings to practice democracy, we have shared not only ideas, talents, and skills but also laughter, tears, and friendship. As a result, we have come to trust one another and see each other as potential partners in an important enterprise - creating a caring community. We formed Cultures United to encourage others to join with us in that enterprise. One of the best ways to break the barriers that separate us is through the kind of humor that helps us see the world through someone else's eyes. We invited Bill Cosby to perform at our first public event on March 23, 1996, because that is exactly what his stories do. Even as we laugh at his tales, they touch our hearts in ways that reveal that we have far more in common than we ever imagined. In one of those stories, Cosby tells of how he and his pals would stand under the Ninth Street Bridge in Philadelphia and yell so loudly that the echoes could be heard blocks away. Cosby’s comedic genius ensures that those echoes continue to be heard. It is a legacy that lives on in our shared laughter. Memphis: Building Community celebrates other legacies. It recalls the voices of a few courageous individuals who tried to promote democracy by shattering the barriers that divide the people of Memphis and the nation. These men and women struggled to create a sense of responsibility that goes beyond race, class, religious orientation, and culture. They worked to bridge differences by opening channels of communication. Their legacy lives on in our own faith and optimism. We, too, believe that by putting our heads and hands to work, each of us has the power to make a positive difference.")

Mental Mapping Project. Department of Geography, University of Oklahoma. (2000)

Mundy, Liza. “A World of Their Own.” Washington Post Magazine (March 31, 2002)

The New England Holocaust Memorial

Obama, Barack. “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.” Public Lives (C-SPAN2: December 4, 2004) (Website description: Illinois U.S. Senator - Elect Barack Obama discusses his memoir, titled "Dreams from My Father." It's his account of growing up in a racially mixed family, doing community work in Chicago, and a journey to Kenya where he met the African side of his family. Mr. Obama also talks about the challenges he expects to face once he takes his U.S. Senate seat in January 2005. Includes Q&A. Barack Obama represented the South Side of Chicago in the Illinois Senate before being elected to the U.S. Senate this past November. Former president of the Harvard Law Review, he lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago.”)

One World TV (Free site that allows everyday people to create and broadcast their stories. Over 5,000 entries so far. This is an amazing project that shows us the power of these new technologies to share stories from around the world. Media for and by the people.)

Place Theory Bibliography, Pt. 1

Professor B. “Do I Bitch About Students Too Much?” Bitch. Ph.D. (December 2, 2004)

Project for Public Spaces (An amazing organization dedicated to revitalizing public spaces around the world. A much needed effort for increasingly atomistic, technological lifestyles/societies. Huge archives of images, descriptions and suggestions/plans.)

Research on Space and Place (Bruce Janz’s amazing project to document and link all sources on “space and place”)

Self-Knowledge Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (February, 7, 2003)

We and They

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