[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: A supplement to David's reflection on Translatability



Quite so.  But there is no contradiction in excusing oneself and fobbing
off others whilst being acclaimed as distinguished.  The abuse of ethics
stupefies: it closes down the scope of reflection.

Best,
Huw

On 2 January 2016 at 17:45, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
wrote:

> I'm certainly not trying to suggest that MS lacks ethics!  On the
> contrary, I think his diagnosis of the university as generally an
> institution of normalization (in the sense of evaluating everyone, no
> matter their diverse abilities and backgrounds, against a single standard
> that derives from an elite) is an ethical diagnosis. My point is that if it
> is so hard to change the university even when one has a fair degree of
> power (MS is a named "distinguished service professor" in not one but three
> departments - anthropology, linguistics, and psychology - as well as member
> of the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities), then this
> suggests that there is not much merit in pointing out the operation of
> power to (powerless) undergraduates!
>
> Martin
>
> On Jan 2, 2016, at 12:08 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Well, I'm not sure that this is what Larry's intent was, but it does have
> > obvious relevance.
> >
> > It seems to me that one can "escape" normalisation, if one is ethical.
> > Ethics are what defines a profession.  Without ethics we are merely guns
> > for hire.
> >
> > Best,
> > Huw
> >
> >
> > On 2 January 2016 at 16:57, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Yes, I see the contradiction there. I had the same reaction when I first
> >> heard MS say it in his Language in Culture seminar (MS is not afraid to
> >> repeat himself, indeed, in his short manuscript on Abe Lincoln, he notes
> >> that the Gettysburg address had a long history in Abe's mouth and among
> his
> >> friends prior to being said in its canonical version).
> >>
> >> If I may give the sympathetic reading, one might make the
> anthropological
> >> argument that one must fully inhabit an oppressive regime in order to
> >> understand it. Thus, using his Wizard of Oz metaphor, we might say that
> the
> >> position that MS is inhabiting is simultaneously Toto and the Wizard.
> >>
> >> I think that this can provide the seeds of revolutionary action by
> exposing
> >> the workings of power to critique by others who can see those
> >> inner-workings but without having to fully participate in them.
> >>
> >> [and perhaps this goes back to an older question I have about
> understanding
> >> a system from the "inside" as opposed to from the "outside" - or
> perhaps in
> >> a more Gadamerian sense we might just speak about these as two different
> >> horizons of understanding the system?].
> >>
> >> -greg
> >>
> >> On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 9:34 AM, Martin John Packer <
> >> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> No, my point was that one the one hand we have a call to be
> >>> "citizen-scientists" in the face of oppression, while on the other hand
> >> we
> >>> have a confession that although the university is "at the highest
> >> pinnacle
> >>> of what you might call the oppressive regime" grading will continue as
> >>> usual.
> >>>
> >>> If we can't change the very institution we work in, what kind of
> >>> citizen-scientists are we?
> >>>
> >>> Martin
> >>>
> >>> On Jan 2, 2016, at 11:10 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Martin,
> >>>> I'm not clear on what the expectation was that the speakers were
> >> setting
> >>> up?
> >>>> To pull back the curtain to reveal the role that language plays in
> >> social
> >>>> stratification?
> >>>> You don't suppose that this can be found elsewhere in their work?
> >>> ("their"
> >>>> in the generic sense of "linguistic anthropologists' work").
> >>>> Seems a tall order to fill in a single conversation between just two
> >>> people.
> >>>> -greg
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 6:52 AM, Martin John Packer <
> >>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>>> Its only disappointing if you thought that anything else could come
> >> out
> >>>>> of
> >>>>>> it.   Note that this was uttered in the context of ethics.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Best, Huw
> >>>>>
> >>>>> But the speakers themselves set up this expectation! Here are the
> >>>>> remaining remarks:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MS: Yes, exactly. Indeed there are norms even of these other
> >> components,
> >>>>> these non-denotational components as we were saying. They're
> >> understood
> >>> in
> >>>>> terms of a folk system of enrigisterment, but there's lots of other
> >>>>> variation as well that people are actually behaving in terms of and
> >>> working
> >>>>> in terms of. But this one particular, massively complex system - to
> >>> which
> >>>>> indeed the aspiration of working under the umbrella of superdiversity
> >>>>> responds - is indeed a complex one in which people confuse standard
> >>>>> register with normativity in the first place, and they confuse
> >> language
> >>>>> with denotational structure. So all of these sorts of things that
> >> we've
> >>>>> taken decades and decades to pull apart, at least so that they become
> >>>>> visible to us as students of languaging, as it were get collapsed
> into
> >>> one.
> >>>>> And most importantly and - as you pointed out - most tellingly, they
> >>> become
> >>>>> instruments of oppression and stratification.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> JB: At the individual level.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MS: At the individual level, through various kinds of
> >> institutionalized
> >>>>> forms so that you are summoned as a citizen-scientist to say: 'Where
> >> do
> >>> I
> >>>>> stand on using my knowledge to, as it were, maybe illuminate people,
> >>> maybe
> >>>>> reveal what's going on.'
> >>>>>
> >>>>> JB: At least show what's going on. That's the least we can do.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MS: That's the least we can do. There is a wonderful scene in the
> 1939
> >>>>> Hollywood movie 'The Wizard of Oz' in which...
> >>>>>
> >>>>> JB: 'The witch is dead'
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MS: no no it's not that the witch is dead
> >>>>>
> >>>>> JB: ...a hit a few weeks ago when Margaret Thatcher died
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MS: that's a different story! Leave the Baroness out of this... there
> >>> is a
> >>>>> wonderful scene in which Toto - the little dog of Dorothy - pulls
> >> back a
> >>>>> curtain when you see the mountebank, the snake-oil salesman, working
> >> the
> >>>>> levers of the machine that's running this thing which supports
> >>> [purports?]
> >>>>> to be Oz. And we can certainly try to be that little Toto.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> JB: So on that note thank you very very much, Michael.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> MS: Well it's always a pleasure to talk to you guys!
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Jan 1, 2016, at 11:38 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On 2 January 2016 at 03:04, Martin John Packer <
> >>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> >>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> It's a little disappointing that they oppressed their own
> >> conversation
> >>>>> at
> >>>>>>> the following point, no?
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Martin
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> MS [Michael Silverstein]:  I say to my students all the time: 'now
> >>> that
> >>>>>>> I've revealed to you the entire massive machinery of
> >> socio-linguistic
> >>>>>>> oppression, of stratification around the standard and so on, that
> >> will
> >>>>> not
> >>>>>>> stop me from correcting your papers because my institution is at
> the
> >>>>>>> highest pinnacle of what you might call the oppressive regime'.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> JB [Jan Blommaert]: Absolutely. And at the same time - maybe this
> >>> could
> >>>>> be
> >>>>>>> a useful conclusion of this conversation - at the same time it
> >> proves
> >>>>> also
> >>>>>>> that there is no absence of norms, there is no shortage of norms
> >> even
> >>>>> in a
> >>>>>>> sociocultural organization of language. Normativity is everywhere.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> On Jan 1, 2016, at 9:16 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> I decided to start a new thread because I did not want to shift
> the
> >>>>>>> focus that David’s thread opened up on myth busting.
> >>>>>>>> However, I do want to share a paper on the topic of
> translatability
> >>> and
> >>>>>>> the uses of standardization that does overlap somewhat with the
> >> other
> >>>>>>> thread.
> >>>>>>>> The format is a conversation between Michael Silverstein, Jef Van
> >> de
> >>>>> Aa,
> >>>>>>> and Jan Blommaert.
> >>>>>>>> Entering this conversation exploring the notion of translatability
> >>> as a
> >>>>>>> culturally bound philosophical construct may have some relevance
> for
> >>> the
> >>>>>>> other thread ongoing.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> <NOVEMBER 4 2014 390 BLOMMAERT and
> >>> Silverstein_in_conversation.pdf>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> >>>> Assistant Professor
> >>>> Department of Anthropology
> >>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> >>>> Brigham Young University
> >>>> Provo, UT 84602
> >>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> >> Assistant Professor
> >> Department of Anthropology
> >> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> >> Brigham Young University
> >> Provo, UT 84602
> >> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >>
>
>
>