Re: development: loss, destruction, transformation

From: Dorie Evensen (
Date: Tue Mar 29 2005 - 14:23:27 PST

While waiting for Yrjo's reply I wonder if this is relevant. I just heard
a tidbit of Terry Gross' Fresh Air on NPR. She was talking to people who
study the songs of birds (wrens, I think it was) - anyway, one spoke about
studying birds in their natural environment to find if their travels (break
aways?) affected their songs. The very young bird did something like a
wild imitation of the father's (evidently, mothers don't sing) highly
stylized song - but when the young (male) flew the home coup (usually
traveling about a mile), his song took on the characteristics (and the
refinements) of the birds in his neighborhood - after all, that was the
territory he was wanting to make his mark in. His learning was definitely
outside-in and definitely breaking away from what he was raised on
(purposeful? - ok, I'm pushing it here).
Dorie Evensen

At 04:37 PM 3/29/2005, you wrote:
>Nice to have you back, Mary.
>Seems like we need to Yrjo's paper in front of everyone if we are
>going to make progress
>on this topic.
>Yrjo-- At the end of one of my notes on this topic I said that it
>would be good to have
>various people who took a "breaking away perspective" give examples.
>What are your
>favorite examples? Do you have a pdf version of the paper we can use
>for dicussion?
>On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:39:44 -0800, Mary Bryson <> wrote:
> > On 3/28/05 3:30 PM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:
> >
> > > but if your kid did not learn to add or read, you might get unhappy. :-)
> >
> > OK, time for me to chime in here... I was a participant in a day-long
> > participatory conference <Beyond Postmodernism> some time ago <it was
> > actually a Postmodernism Bashing carnival> and the whole group was
> > discussing the enormous significance of a scientific model for
> "learning to
> > read" <back to, postmodernism bashing> and so I instigated a "break away"
> > discursive intervention --
> > I suggested that the discussion on "learning" might more fruitfully <ha ha>
> > intersect with some of the problematics of postmodernisms if instead of
> > "learning to read" we were to discuss "learning to be queer" and how that
> > might be facilitated and nurtured in educational contexts.
> >
> > Oops
> >
> > Oh dear
> >
> > Talk about the abject -- yes, well --- someone tried being nice and said
> > something like, "Don't you think it is partly genetic?" and then they all
> > went back to talking about "learning to read".
> >
> > Taking a genealogical approach to tracing the historical production of
> > "learning" there is so much that is pre-figured if the object of
> analysis is
> > the repetition of an act where we assume consensus --- "learning to read"
> > --- an activity that, in school, surely, is one of the means for the
> > production of a subjugated and disciplined body --- a tame ventriloquist. I
> > would argue that if the "break away" is what we want to understand then it
> > would be very useful to study the "ones that got away" -- the contexts and
> > practices that produce diss-identification with culture's normative
> > trajectory.
> >
> > Nice to be back,
> >
> > Mary
> >
> >

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