Thursday, April 14, 2011

"We need a vocabulary for," "we need terms for thinking through," "we need an ecology of," "we need an aesthetics/ethics/epistemology of."

I can see why one makes this gesture. But one is tempted to answer: If we need it, then make it. I propose this vocabulary for, I propose these terms for thinking through, etc.

It's easier said than done. But then, that's why it's more often said than done.

And if we need it, then we should get it, no?


Molly said...

I agree!

Molly said...

I am Sunjoo. I usually have my nickname as "Molly." Trying to leave a comment on your blog led me to realize that I once tried to blog here too. I've rarly used this account, though. (*So now I'm like: this is how you leave a comment here....)

I totally agree with you in this post!

Natalia said...

Ah, Sunjoo. Do you prefer to be called Molly? In either case, I'll need to get your whole story someday.

Molly said...

The other day I read the following passage in Tony Judt's *Ill Fares the Land*:

"A century ago, the German sociologist Werner Sombart famoulsy asked: Why is there no socialism in America? There are many answers to this question. some have to do with the sheer size of the country: shared purposes are difficult to organize and sustain on an imperial scale and the US is, for all practical purposes, an inland empire." (30)

And I thought about ... Arcadians. If only the country were smaller! And thus organizing and sustaining "shared interests" were easier! Hearing one another's story in the actual, "physical" presence of one another would be much fun! Etc.

Molly said...

Judt too speaks of a need for new language:

"Why do we experience such difficulty even *imagining* a different sort of society? Why is it beyond us to conceive of a different set of arrangements to our common advantage? ... Our disability is *discursive*: we simply do not know how to talk about these things any more." (34).

Just citing (as in 'just sayin')!

Natalia said...

Ha! I think they call them "conferences." If you're planning to be at MLA, let's have coffee then.

Lauren said...


(suggested this in a grad seminar last spring. Professor wasn't happy.)

Natalia said...

Lauren -- one of the great struggles of teaching a grad seminar, as I see it, is getting grad students out of attack-and-destroy mode. It can be a long and laborious task, and sometimes one overcorrects.

It's possible that the prof misread what was going on and, in the spirit of overcorrecting, was trying to steer conversation back toward what was productive about the piece under discussion, the validity of your objections notwithstanding.

I mean, sometimes grad students are like sharks.