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Posted: 12/27/2005 2:44:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2005 2:45:31 PM EDT by bulldog1967]
My Wife's sister came down from NYC for the holidays to present a "paper" at a meeting of other "intellectuals" here in DC.

She teaches at a community college.

Here is her outline:

Bio:
XXXXX is Assistant Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York. Since 9.11.01 she has been teaching an anti-war curriculum in her writing classes. An essay on this teaching titled “Cultivating Critical Eyes: Teaching 9/11 through Video and Film” appears in Cinema Journal.

English 24 and “1984 + 20”: An Incomplete Project
By xxxx,xxxx

Presentation for Radical Caucus Roundtable Discussion, “Academic Work and the New McCarthyism I.”

The world that George Orwell imagines in 1984—in which citizens are stripped of civil liberties and punished for thinking critically—bears a striking resemblance to the American empire currently enacted by the Bush Administration. In the spring of 2004, the Rhetoricians for Peace and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) launched the “1984 + 20 Project.” Initiated by Harriet Malinowitz, this project aimed to promote a worldwide reading and discussion of Orwell's 1984 preceding the American presidential elections. The thinking of the project designers was that several aspects of Orwell's novel, particularly the notions of “doublethink,” “doublespeak,” and “permanent war,” were deeply resonant for Americans today: 1984 could “teach us about the nature of political truth, the manipulation of language, and our responsibilities as world citizens.”

I was fortunate to participate in this the project in both its earliest stage as a basic writing course piloted after 9/11 at Long Island University and in its fuller formation as an international event.
Brief Background on the 1984 + 20 Project:
Teach-ins on World Trade Center Crisis after 9/11
• Free Interdisciplinary Course--English 70: Critically Reading the “War on Terrorism”
• Basic Writing Course: Writing for Social Change
• 1984 + 20 Project as international event

Underlying Beliefs
• America is moving quickly toward a kind of Orwellian dystopia (Harriet’s words).
The Bush Administration and the mainstream media are colluding in the manufacturing of consent for war. • The composition classroom and the basic writing classroom are important sites for ideological struggle.
Activist communities, including those formed in the classroom, can be effective in disrupting oppressive systems. • 1984 as central text in course curriculum, used to focus on the intersection of language and power: statist language and state control of the media.

As part of the 1984+20 Project, I adopted Orwell’s novel along with an anti-war curriculum for an interdisciplinary research writing course called “English 24” that I teach at Kingsborough Community College (KBCC) in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to 1984, students read much of The Iraq War Reader and a series of essays and documents on America’s bombing of Japan in World War II. They also watched The Insider and researched independent media sources such as Amy Goodman’s radio show Democracy Now as well as mainstream media sources.

In designing my course, I kept in mind the question how do I make complex institutional and historical analysis appealing to my students?

• Notion of spiral-like progression from the familiar to the unfamiliar.
My answer to this question was to design the course as a whole, as well as each individual lesson, with the movement of a spiral in mind so that we would cycle from familiar topics to unfamiliar ones—the personal to the political or the local to the global. For instance, we watched the Insider and talked about corporate power [more familiar and more contemporary to my students] and that was situated dialogically with the historical context of 1984 (which was shockingly unfamiliar to them).

Design of the Course

Unit One: Personal Essay—Description with a Purpose
• Students read personal accounts of bombing of Japan in WWII
• Hiroshima Diary and “Where were you in the War Grandma?”
• Students write essay about their experience of 9/11


Unit Two: 1984 and Doublethink
• Big Government vs. Big Corporation
• Teaching tools: The Insider and The Patriot Act
• Doublethink Essay-- One major assignment was a paper in which students had to apply Orwell’s notion of doublethink to their own worlds and to an issue pertaining to the presidential campaign.
• Final Exam—students were required to compared Winston’s doublethink in 1984 to Wigand’s doublethink in the Insider

Unit Three: Toulmin’s Analysis and Logical Fallacies in the media
• Mainstream or “corporate” media vs. independent and alternative media
• Logical fallacies in media discourse and representations
• Toulmin Research Paper—this assignment required students to research a campaign issue in both mainstream and alternative media sources, to compare the representations of the issue, and to evaluate the different media sources for accuracy.

I selected this anti-war curriculum for my English 24 course partly because the population at KBCC is predominantly comprised of working class and minority students who struggle with literacy issues--a demographic that would be directly impacted by the disastrous decisions of the Bush Administration. And while it is clear that the 1984+20 Project did not stop Bush from being re-elected and that there is much more work for us to do, it might have helped to stop some of my students from joining the military--an action as simple for them as walking out our front gates and signing some papers.

But the 1984+20 Project was also particularly valuable in helping me to articulate important pedagogical and ethical questions the broadest of which is when teaching an anti-war curriculum which assignments and lessons are the most effective and why?


In the incomplete project of 1984+20, these questions remain:
• While I am adamant about the importance of interactive classroom techniques (rather than a strictly didactic approach) so that students work through and make sense of the current political situation on their own, I still wonder: when do we interrupt that learning process and interject our own more informed readings?
• How do we make history interesting, inspire our students to research historical contexts, and to use historical analysis?
• In the face of so many authorities who tell lies, whom and what do we point to as truthful sources? And how do we make this convincing?
• How do we help students wade through the morass of misinformation in the corporate media and on the internet?
• Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how do we get students to care?— to care about a world that seems far away, to care about complicated ideas and information that is not so obviously connected to their everyday lives, and to care about a political process from which they are so disenfranchised?


Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:49:38 PM EDT
I didn't bother reading the whole thing, but the 1984 part sounds good. Just reading that goddamn book should be enough to scare the shit out of most anyone.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:51:36 PM EDT
What, you needed more proof?
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:52:07 PM EDT
This is basically a gathering of avowed MARXISTS.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:52:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:
What, you needed more proof?

+1. I thought that was a given
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:55:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
This is basically a gathering of avowed MARXISTS.



Ironically, the closest anyone has gotten to a real 1984 are the marxists...
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:56:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:
What, you needed more proof?



+1.


Do you need proof the sun is bright?
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:58:49 PM EDT
Reading that gave me a fucking headache.

They are so embedded in that mindset that it's just like air to them. It simply "is".

Like the idiots that call Fox New "right wing".

The whole system is slanted so far to the left that ANYONE or ANYTHING that even BEGINS to move to SLIGHTLY to the right is derided as "right wing extremists".

Most of the Left would have their heads explode if they saw a world where things were TRULY "fair and balanced".

Also that outline just drips with an elitist tone. I can't put my finger on anything specific but it's like fingers on a chalkboard reading it.

When I read something that has the "ring of truth" about it, it seems to be simple, the words leap off the page (or screen) and there is a clarity of thought that seems to be palpable.

Reading that shit just makes me feel like my brain was put in a blender set on "puree".
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:01:56 PM EDT

The world that George Orwell imagines in 1984—in which citizens are stripped of civil liberties and punished for thinking critically—bears a striking resemblance to the American empire currently enacted by the Bush Administration.


Only if you're a paranoid, delusional ass waffle with a persecution complex
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:08:47 PM EDT
Liberals have a hard time understanding that Orwell was writing about them
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:16:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
Liberals have a hard time understanding that Orwell was writing about them



Ding ding ding! We have a winner!
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:17:59 PM EDT
I found it simply offensive.

The entire premise is specious.

It is clear your SIL is deep within the womb of academia and has little or no real understanding of the world.

Unfortunatly she is, in all likelyhood, intractably & irretrievably so terribly brainwashed in her perspective that she is unredeemable.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:19:52 PM EDT
"it might have helped to stop some of my students from joining the military--an action as simple for them as walking out our front gates and signing some papers."

This blows my mind, some students did a very smart, very honorable thing. and she has the nerve to say that she as teacher needs to be stopping them. Soldiers are the ones who paid for her freedom of speech with there Blood. She should be thanking them for there service, not tryng to stop them

That paper makes me wonder about the people i'm defending. I'm in my last semester of ROTC and i've signed up for 8 years, this kinda thing really makes me think if these people really want the freedom they have.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:26:22 PM EDT
Nice way to promote politics in a academic environment, in a course that is supposed to be English (ie readding and writing). Sounds more like a Political Science course. Your sister in law needs to have a reality check or be encouraged to move to Canada or France.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:31:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:34:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
"it might have helped to stop some of my students from joining the military--an action as simple for them as walking out our front gates and signing some papers."

This blows my mind, some students did a very smart, very honorable thing. and she has the nerve to say that she as teacher needs to be stopping them. Soldiers are the ones who paid for her freedom of speech with there Blood. She should be thanking them for there service, not tryng to stop them

That paper makes me wonder about the people i'm defending. I'm in my last semester of ROTC and i've signed up for 8 years, this kinda thing really makes me think if these people really want the freedom they have.



Ditto. Senior at a $40k a year private school... playing phone tag with Navy/Air Force recruiters at the moment. The crap they spew only drives people to join up more!

- BG
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:45:47 PM EDT
While i disagree with a lot of what libtards say about things i do agree at times with the 1984 comparison. In Orwells society rights were curtailed because they were in perpetual "war" with Eurasia. A war that never ended, therefore rights were gone forever. In this so called "war on terror" politicians seem to be doing the same thing. Yeah OK, so we need to sacrafice a few minor "liberties" like private phone converstions and personal E-mail in order to safe guard the nation "while we are at war". The problem is when will this "war on terror" end?? there are no countries to really defeat nor real material objectives to take. This is not like WWII that had a definate begining and end to it. It's like saying "were suspending the bill of rights till we win the war on crime!"
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:52:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
"it might have helped to stop some of my students from joining the military--an action as simple for them as walking out our front gates and signing some papers."

This blows my mind, some students did a very smart, very honorable thing. and she has the nerve to say that she as teacher needs to be stopping them. Soldiers are the ones who paid for her freedom of speech with there Blood. She should be thanking them for there service, not tryng to stop them

That paper makes me wonder about the people i'm defending. I'm in my last semester of ROTC and i've signed up for 8 years, this kinda thing really makes me think if these people really want the freedom they have.



Want to know the WORST part?

Her, and my wife's FATHER is buried in ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY.

Lt Col. served in WWI. Korea, Viet Nam.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:52:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:57:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
Want to know the WORST part?

Her, and my wife's FATHER is buried in ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY.

Lt Col. served in WWI. Korea, Viet Nam.


You can bet he's turning over in his grave about this!
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:00:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:

Originally Posted By POW-MIAneverforget:
"it might have helped to stop some of my students from joining the military--an action as simple for them as walking out our front gates and signing some papers."

This blows my mind, some students did a very smart, very honorable thing. and she has the nerve to say that she as teacher needs to be stopping them. Soldiers are the ones who paid for her freedom of speech with there Blood. She should be thanking them for there service, not tryng to stop them

That paper makes me wonder about the people i'm defending. I'm in my last semester of ROTC and i've signed up for 8 years, this kinda thing really makes me think if these people really want the freedom they have.



Want to know the WORST part?

Her, and my wife's FATHER is buried in ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY.

Lt Col. served in WWI. Korea, Viet Nam.



She sounds like a lost cause then. She and Cindy Shithead are pissing on those in Arlington.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:03:19 PM EDT
Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:11:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By smokycity:
Nice way to promote politics in a academic environment, in a course that is supposed to be English (ie readding and writing). Sounds more like a Political Science course. Your sister in law needs to have a reality check or be encouraged to move to Canada or France.



Keep in mind that many English instructors assign liberal literature as a pretext for intellectual discourse and as an exercise in "critical thinking! God help the young conservative who decides to debate the material in class or challenge the prof's viewpoint.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:29:44 PM EDT
Can I disown her now?
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:32:26 PM EDT
She's a communist.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:10:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2005 6:10:40 PM EDT by NonConformist]
When are the Libs going to realize that they are the ones Orwell was writing about
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 6:11:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
She's a communist.



She admits as much.

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