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Latest update: November 6, 2000
Curran or Takata.
Teaching Essay by Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata
with Tina Juen and Jeanne Anderson and Donna Maria Woods
Part of Teaching Series
Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata, November 2000. "Fair Use" encouraged.
A visit to the Getty a few weeks ago gave impetus to the idea of carrying out our interactive project on the Teacher Who Practiced Loving on illuminated parchment paper. But somehow the date collided with our interactive project on Day of the Dead. No problem; we just combined illustrated manuscript decorations with calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls).
Now that our Day of the Dead project is just about completed, it's time to focus on the Teacher Who Practiced Loving. We learned a great deal about loving with the Day of the Dead project. Unlike Halloween, which is celebrated on the eve of All Soul's Day, Day of the Dead is not about frightening vampires and terror and ghouls. Day of the Dead is a celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed on. The community celebrates life going on by inviting the souls back, by decorating and cleaning the graveyard, by picnicking and decorating with flowers and candy skulls and costumes and masks and frolicking. It is a warm and caring ritual that serves well to lead us now into the project on Practicing Loving, for there is much in Day of the Dead that exemplifies mutuality.
From Lear:"Socrates pointed out that we are unique among creatures in being able to address a fundamental question: How shall I live? This question was, for him, so important that he famously claimed the the unexamined life is not worth living. It is arguable that the citizens of Athens put Socrates to death for goading them to think about what their own lives meant." Link to TR Young's advice to young radicals, with the following statement:"If radical, feminist, marxist, critical or postmodern sociology is central to your work and if you value it, you must expect to be marginalized and must expect that those threatened by it will find 'good' reason to challenge your tenure in academia."
Since marginalization is recognized as one of the responses of the dominant discourse to challenge and multiple interpretation, those who feel the need to march to a different drummer, to explore beyond the bounds of the normative, can dispel some of the pain of marginalization by the mutual support that comes from knowing that the dominant is not the absolute (sometimes it's barely the majority), that 50 million Frenchmen really can be wrong. It does hurt to be marginalized, but there is compensation in reclaiming one's own agency and imaginary.
Lear's Introduction on importance of love.
Teacher's recognition of need for mutuality, wasn't it in an algebra class?
Illuminated manuscripts - love of God - before the days of "the individual"
The cult of the Virgin in the middle ages: the cathedrals.
Link from loving God to loving the Virgin to loving man to loving humans - to caring about respecting life.
And so to the project on offering such love to Others in our Practicing Love project.
Enter Non-Linear ThinkingAcademic discourse, at its best, cannot remain linear, for when several of us are gathered together talking about something as exciting as illuminated manuscripts from the middle ages, it's not long before someone recognizes some of their favorite things. Tina Juen had earlier alerted us to the Teacher Who Practiced Loving. Then left us to figure out how to integrate that effectively into Theory. Now Jeanne Anderson was moved by some of the illustrated manuscript work to go back to work that she had seen in music history. She loved the paintings of the lute in the 15th century. So off we took to explore paintings in which the lute appears.
Pictures of lute and middle ages instruments.
Vermeers and lutes and procuresses.
Procuresses led to questions and issues on poverty and resources
Poverty and war led to Goya's Lex Capriccios