CHID 480 F: Mediating Identities

The collaborative space and artifacts archive for CHID 480 F: Mediating Identities at the University of Washington, Spring 2012. Taught by Edmond Y. Chang.

Superheroes as transhuman icons? →

This is a well thought out analysis of The Avengers, but it also made me start to wonder, in what way do these unbelievably powerful characters represent the possible future of humankind?

= james

— 2 years ago

American Airlines Rejects Female Passenger Because Political Pro-Choice T-Shirt is "Inappropriate" →

An interesting conflict in identity politics (if we read it as such) and how politics, public/private, personal expression, and possessive individualism sometimes align (for some) and not (for others):

Oh, no. You can’t do that. You can’t take that message that your body is your own anywhere. Because in the United States today, that is like taking your burqha off under the Taliban. That is “offensive,” “insulting” and “not for public consumption.”

At least according to American Airlines, which apparently has not heard the term freedom of expression.

— 2 years ago

#American Airlines  #political t-shirt  #censorship  #public/private  #possessive individualism  #gender  #sexuality 
Disidentification by Jose Esteban Munoz →

From a Queer Theory class, a page with some useful prompts and points about “disidentification”:

Disidentification is meant to be descriptive of the survival strategies the minority subject practices in order to negotiate a phobic majoritarian public sphere that continuously elides or punishes the existence of subjects who do not conform to the phantasm of normative citizenship.
— 2 years ago with 7 notes

#disidentification  #Jose Esteban Munoz  #queer  #race 
arcaneimages:

Creature from the Black Lagoon. Never get tired of this one. 

—Brian B.

arcaneimages:

Creature from the Black Lagoon. Never get tired of this one. 

—Brian B.

— 2 years ago with 20 notes

Brian Christian on The Turing Test →

A radio interview with Brian Christian, the author of “The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive.”  He tells Steve Paulson about one of the most famous philosophical experiments: the Turing Test.

- Anna

— 2 years ago

Consider identity, gender, and video games: The Guild’s “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar”

— 2 years ago with 4 notes

#The Guild  #avatars  #gender  #video games  #identity 
Introduction to Althusser: On Ideology →

Althusser posits a series of hypotheses that he explores to clarify his understanding of ideology:

1) “Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence" (Lenin 109). The traditional way of thinking of ideology led Marxists to show how ideologies are false by pointing to the real world hidden by ideology (for example, the “real” economic base for ideology). According to Althusser, by contrast, ideology does not “reflect” the real world but “represents” the “imaginary relationship of individuals” to the real world; the thing ideology (mis)represents is itself already at one remove from the real. In this, Althusser follows the Lacanian understanding of the imaginary order, which is itself at one step removed from the Lacanian Real. In other words, we are always within ideology because of our reliance on language to establish our “reality”; different ideologies are but different representations of our social and imaginary “reality” not a representation of the Real itself.

2) “Ideology has a material existence" (Lenin 112). Althusser contends that ideology has a material existence because “an ideology always exists in an apparatus, and its practice, or practices” (Lenin 112). Ideology always manifests itself through actions, which are “inserted into practices” (Lenin 114), for example, rituals, conventional behavior, and so on. Indeed, Althusser goes so far as to adopt Pascal’s formula for belief: “Pascal says more or less: ‘Kneel down, move your lips in prayer, and you will believe’” (Lenin 114). It is our performance of our relation to others and to social institutions that continually instantiates us as subjects. Judith Butler’s understanding of performativity could be said to be strongly influenced by this way of thinking about ideology.

3) “all ideology hails or interpellates concrete individuals as concrete subjects" (Lenin 115). According to Althusser, the main purpose of ideology is in “'constituting' concrete individuals as subjects" (Lenin 116). So pervasive is ideology in its constitution of subjects that it forms our very reality and thus appears to us as “true” or “obvious.” Althusser gives the example of the “hello” on a street: “the rituals of ideological recognition […] guarantee for us that we are indeed concrete, individual, distinguishable and (naturally) irreplaceable subjects” (Lenin 117). Through “interpellation,” individuals are turned into subjects (which are always ideological). Althusser’s example is the hail from a police officer: “‘Hey, you there!’” (Lenin 118): “Assuming that the theoretical scene I have imagined takes place in the street, the hailed individual will turn round. By this mere one-hundred-and-eighty-degree physical conversion, he becomes a subject" (Lenin 118). The very fact that we do not recognize this interaction as ideological speaks to the power of ideology:

what thus seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology [….] That is why those who are in ideology believe themselves by definition outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the practical denegation of the ideological character of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, “I am ideological.” (Lenin 118)

4) “individuals are always-already subjects”(Lenin 119). Although he presents his example of interpellation in a temporal form (I am interpellated and thus I become a subject, I enter ideology), Althusser makes it clear that the “becoming-subject” happens even before we are born. “This proposition might seem paradoxical” (Lenin 119), Althusser admits; nevertheless, “That an individual is always-already a subject, even before he is born, is […] the plain reality, accessible to everyone and not a paradox at all” (Lenin 119). Even before the child is born, “it is certain in advance that it will bear its Father’s Name, and will therefore have an identity and be irreplaceable. Before its birth, the child is therefore always-already a subject, appointed as a subject in and by the specific familial ideological configuration in which it is ‘expected’ once it has been conceived” (Lenin 119). Althusser thus once again invokes Lacan’s ideas, in this case Lacan’s understanding of the “Name-of-the-Father.”

Most subjects accept their ideological self-constitution as “reality” or “nature” and thus rarely run afoul of the repressive State apparatus, which is designed to punish anyone who rejects the dominant ideology. Hegemony is thus reliant less on such repressive State apparatuses as the police than it is on those Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) by which ideology is inculcated in all subjects. (See the next module for an explanation of ISAs.) As Althusser puts it, “the individual is interpellated as a (free) subject in order that he shall submit freely to the commandments of the Subject, i.e. in order that he shall (freely) accept his subjection, i.e. in order that he shall make the gestures and actions of his subjection ‘all by himself’” (Lenin 123).

— 2 years ago with 1 note

#Louis Althusser  #ideology 
The importance of identity politics?
Consider: “Astonishing X-Men Creators Dish on Marvel’s Historic Gay Wedding” - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/flash-steinbeiser/x-men-gay-wedding_b_1536037.html

The importance of identity politics?

Consider: “Astonishing X-Men Creators Dish on Marvel’s Historic Gay Wedding” - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/flash-steinbeiser/x-men-gay-wedding_b_1536037.html

— 2 years ago with 3 notes

#identity politics  #X-Men  #gay wedding 
The Political Critique of Identity" by Linda Martin Alcoff →

Without doubt, the critique of identity has worked effectively, and justifiably, against some of the problematic interpretations of identity politics, where identity is construed in reductionist and simplistic fashion and where its link to politics is rendered overly determinist. Nonetheless, I believe the more significant effect of the critique has been a negative one, in discrediting all identity-based movements, in blaming minority movements for the demise of the left, and especially in weakening the prospects for unity between majority and minority groups, contrary to the beliefs of such theorists as Schlesinger and Gitlin. Although the critique purports to be motivated by just this desire for unity, it works to undermine the credibility of those who have “obvious” identities and significantly felt identity-attachments from being able to represent the majority, as if their very identity attachments and the political commitments that flow from these attachments will inhibit their leadership capabilities. It also inhibits their ability to participate in coalition politics as who they fully are. In this way, the critique of identity has operated to vindicate the broad white public’s disinclination to accept political leadership from those whose identity is minority in any respect: Catholic or Jewish, Black or Latino, Asian or Arab American.

— 2 years ago

#Linda Martin Alcoff  #identity  #identity politics 

The logics of race, racism, and the tensions around stereotyping, parody, and comedy. 

— 2 years ago

#Shite White Girls Say...to Black Girls  #race  #racism  #stereotypes  #parody  #YouTube video 
Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is →
An interesting use of video game as metaphor…

I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.

So, the challenge: how to get across the ideas bound up in the word “privilege,” in a way that your average straight white man will get, without freaking out about it?

— 2 years ago with 1 note

#white male privilege  #video game metaphor  #race 
Very good colloquium on critical gaming.
—Brian B.

Very good colloquium on critical gaming.

—Brian B.

— 2 years ago

Black and Latino…the complexities and some experiences in Hollywood

—Audrey

— 2 years ago