Class 15: E-Books

Hey guys, welcome to my first class blog post! It is a bit scatter-brained, but I hope it will all make sense for those who were not in class.

Agenda:

  • Prof. Klimasmith
  • Bibliographies
  • Presentations
  • Patchwork Girl
    • Poster
    • Workshop #5
    • Evals

Professor Klimasmith presentation:

This presentation was directed towards the undergrads in the class. Betsy Klimasmith directs the English masters program at UMB. She handed out 2 sheets, both exploring the masters degree in English. Most people finish this program in 2-4 years, depending on which specific program you wish to pursue. It is very cost neutral degree (according to her, the person trying to sell the program). This may be something the graduates in the class can help explain more in detail. If anyone has questions or need help, 6th floor Wheatley is the place to go! Penelope McDonald. Alex runs licence-sure part of program.

Bibliographies:

E-mail Alex the bibliographies if you have not already, or have handed it to him in class. He may offer suggestions for other sources and make small comments on the sources you have chosen. You may be able to use the BHR as a source, just as long as their is a clear connection to the item you are exhibiting, but more specified sources will be preferred. Darisse asked an important question for the graduates in the class revolving around whether the sources that are being collected are for the exhibition or the final paper. Alex concluded that the sources are for the exhibition, but they me be able to help with the paper itself, depending on the sources used, as the paper is supposed to be a greater connection to the item being exhibited.

Presentation:

Each presentation can last no longer than 10 minutes. It is recommended to create a 5 minute speech on the object you are presenting, with an astute knowledge of the images you are showing and knowledge of the object from the sources you collect. The later 5 minutes will be for answering questions and general discussion of your object. By no later than midnight of next Sunday you are to email your power point presentation to Alex to make the presentations go more smoothly the following day.  If you have your book you can bring it in and do not have to submit a visual presentation if you do not want. (To make file smaller- Right click on file, click on compress).

Patchwork Girl:

We stated off talking about this book with a general discussion of how/if you read Patchwork Girl. Only one person got the actual copy and read it, and one person watched it through Youtube, watching people watch the text, shouts out to Sam and her ghetto copy. Others in the class watched videos of Shelly Jackson explaining the text herself. People who did not access it that way, discussed the various ways the tried to access the text. People used google to look up reviews and explanations of the text because they either couldn’t access the text or did not have it. Someone tried to pirate the book and it effectively shut down his computer multiple times. There was a USB and a CD rom version of it, and apparently the USB was the only one that worked and it only worked on a Mac. I’m not gonna say where I fall on this spectrum but from what I am understanding, I saved some money.

The discussion moved over to Jackson herself and her study of hypertext theory with the use of Story Space. It was considered a very revolutionary platform at its time, but has since been denoted as a very structurally linear platform. What Jackson does besides conceiving this project as a hyper-textual project, is that she uses it to demonstrate how the medium effects how we interpret the information being conveyed. She decided to convey this through the classical story of Frankenstein, and draws similar connections that Mary Shelley draws between the monster and the actual literary works itself. We examined the title page of this story and inferred what “By Mary/Shelley, & Herself” could imply in terms of authorship of this story. A large amount of connections were made to the 1818 edition of Frankenstein, including the “;” and the use of “A Modern Monster”.

In groups we discussed the section of the story titled, “I lay” and its significance. Some one made the suggestion that the monster from the Patchwork Girl was not a physical monster, as it was in Frankenstein, and Alex went into detail on how the gender politics of Frankenstein may be reflected in this passage. The intimacy of the scene was brought into light, as the monster was not painted so intimately in Frankenstein, as there is a physical description of the body temperature of Patchwork Girl’s monster. The “this writing” section of this story is a pretty good representation of Shelly Jackson’s meta analysis of what it means to assemble the various sections of a text in the manner that she does. The internet is a very small moment in the history of the book.

A brief discussion of Poster’s essay:

The heart of the essay happens on page 490, with the quote “I introduce, then, the term analogue author… degrees of otherness in the relation of authors texts,” basically the entire 3rd paragraph.  “The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan that pretty much characterizes Poster’s point, while others contested that different types of authors do not exist and that a text is a text irregardless of the medium that the text is being conveyed. This was a very woke discussion.

Workshop #5:

This workshop should help us prepare for our presentations and exhibitions. We started off with a power point presentation of what cataloging is.

The workshop procedure:

  1. Watch PP of cataloging with BHR in mind.
  2. Fill out the cataloging sheet, which can be downloaded online from wiki.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to peers or Alex.
  4. Submit to Alex by next class.

Some sections may be problematic to complete and will not require completion before next class. The workshop can be found on the class wiki.

Hope this helped 🙂

 

Drone- Kazim Ali

drone

I selected this poem for illumination because of the author’s beautiful use of imagery to describe a relatively modern concept, the fear of drone attacks, in a way that is purely emotional. In other words, Kazim uses the title of the poem to characterize the subject matter of it, as, without it, the poem could be about a large variety of subjects. Also, I am a large fan of mixing science and poetry, and I believe this particular poem does it very well, as the tone convey’s an emotion behind the science of drone attacks, rather than just explaining that they are a terrifying thing. The final line in the poem struck me in particular, as the author’s fear and uncertainty he feels towards his situation in life is shown in the form of him questioning his place and his identity on this earth.

For my illumination, I wanted to capture the author’s emotional tone of the poem, the authors fear, while still maintaining a science-fiction-esque image. Also, I wanted to keep it relatively medieval in how the illumination looks, which was a huge part of the inclusion of more symbolic imagery, as opposed to more literal imagery. The two faces, one with the eyes covered, and one with the mouth covered is meant to represent the effect of drone technology on humanity, as the blocked eyes represent not being able to see the drones, while the blocked mouth represents the hopelessness of the victims. Between them, and above them, is a sun with a peace sign, a star, and a moon inside of it, and coming from it is a beam shooting down to the bottom of the image. This is meant to represent the sky at any given time, where the drone attacks are coming from. The beam in the middle begins with 1’s and 0’s to represent binary code, or the transmission of that code, which ultimately turns into an explosive beam at the bottom, characterizing the path the drone attack takes. The satellite and radio tower represent both sides of the attack. My reasoning for putting the entire image in a frame was to keep in practice with more medieval illuminations.

Before talking about this subject in class and completing this workshop, I did not really think much on the relationship of text and image. I believed them to be separate from each other, but complimentary towards the other, meaning that they can exist as separate entities, but still have a relationship with the other. My understanding that has changed in that I now see the relationship as a multi-faceted one, meaning that the image and the text can not just be understood one way, but a plethora of ways, ultimately changing how the text and image are understood depending the way they are interpreted. I guess what I am trying to say in short is that the relationship is in the eye of the beholder.