Syncopated Resonances: Ethnography in/of Fractured Times (Session 2)
00:15:45Jieun Cho:Session Two emily seamlessly gave into Session One emily
00:16:13Yun Emily Wang:Should have worn the same shirt
00:16:20Yanping Ni 燕萍:I do not see visual. Is it just me?
00:16:29Cade Bourne:Also don’t see visual
00:16:30Anne-Maria Makhulu, Ph.D.:Emily, have you selected the optimize view when you go to share screen?
00:16:32Cade Bourne:Ok got it now
00:16:54Jieun Cho:When it”s full size it doesn’t show anything now its okay
00:17:14Yun Emily Wang:Do you also see me chatting
00:17:39Yanping Ni 燕萍:Nah, just the YouTube interface…?
00:17:58Yanping Ni 燕萍:Thanks for the subtitle!
00:18:37Jingxuan Zhang:Professor Caption!
00:18:47Jieun Cho:Kapchan lol
00:19:51Jieun Cho:This was after a 15 min glitch with the first zoom link that did not work eventually (as a backdrop)
00:25:35Yun Emily Wang:Sorry!!
00:26:15Anne-Maria Makhulu, Ph.D.:Butler’s positioning is problematic. By her own admission, a visit to South Africa, forces her to recognize that her ostensibly “universalist” metaphysics of precarity, suffering, grievability is firmly LOCATED in her experience of the US. The philosopher suddenly reduced to ethnographer.
00:28:48Jieun Cho:‘families are images and voices on screen’ technology as second skin is tied back to M-P’s notion of “flesh” as an element of life that connects people with the world
00:29:03louise meintjes:what does “the flesh of technology” mean?
00:30:18Jieun Cho:Chanting is something that we cannot do over zoom to create a communal space
00:32:50Joe Hiller:the body appearing most clearly to us in illness reminds me of virginia woolf’s “on being ill”
00:33:13Ralph Litzinger:@louise. flesh/skin in a key metaphor in screen technology literatures. but there are also technologies that sense flesh through touch. and the flesh metaphor comes up in discussions of “digital remains”- what happens to ones digital footprint after death. but she may have a different take on this. please ask her about it.
00:34:36Jingxuan Zhang:Assigned to watch “Coronation” by Ai Weiwei, and he manages to bring us into close contact with slices of life and geographies that would have been censored or heavily edited by the government. Watching a documentary of Jan-April 2020 is jarring in various ways: I felt a strange kind of asynchronous solidarity, but also more the impossibility of it.
00:35:07Joe Hiller:well put, jing! I’m feeling that to, re coronation
00:37:26Jieun Cho:It’d be interesting to think of the traces of edited out places as the flesh of the state. cf. She discussed presence as “tatoo on the flesh.”
00:38:02Jieun Cho:So absence can be something that can be felt by mediation.
00:38:46samar zora:Aside from dysfunction and sickness that enables awareness of the body, what about lust and sexuality? Pleasure is acute corporeal awareness
00:39:46Yanping Ni 燕萍:But I feel Ai Weiwei gives mainly a space for visual witnessing/reviewing (Butler’s proximity referred to by Kapchan). Non diegetic music added to the documentary (the sound/acoustic/listening aspect) feels more like disconnected with the (re/presentation) of the real scenes.
00:40:08Jieun Cho:I think disability is one way to think about that as well samar, Lennard Davis talks about the disabled body as a nightmare for the liberal dream; the liberal body is an unruly body that seeks desires of flesh, and for this, the disabled body becomes something that is neither desirable nor governable.
00:40:32Yun Emily Wang:@samar agreed! Reminds me of a moment in Kachan’s writing in which a sound recording of religious ecstasy was (mis)heard as trauma
00:41:42Yanping Ni 燕萍:https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1903802532?accountid=10598&pq-origsite=summon This review of the stage play has something informative and interesing
00:42:15Yun Emily Wang:The image she intended is coming right up
00:43:18Yanping Ni 燕萍:Oh this review is by Jason Dorwart ^^
00:44:57Jieun Cho:Nice talk about “not being alone in the ways other abled bodies can be” – Intimacy and independency are formed as embodied capacity to forge proximity at the interpersonal level.
00:45:24Yun Emily Wang:We are getting ALLL the detailed textures of this experiment XD
00:46:20Jieun Cho:which reminds me that I was trying to find any image on her desktop (which was full of texts) for a moment..
00:50:01diane nelson:I love Samar’s question – some of the early work on cyborg prosthetics did intriguing work on not only seeing the “dis” of abled or the wound/ phantom limb as the only ‘origin’ point for extensions but also how they add, including for pleasure and other formations of new relationalities (teledildonics, etc.). might connect to recent Pleasure Activism work. adrienne marie brown
00:51:54Jieun Cho:Along this line … (E. Kim – pleasure of asexuality); https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292483828_How_much_sex_is_healthy_The_pleasures_of_asexuality
00:53:29Yanping Ni 燕萍:Always forgetting this is a recording and tempted to respond to Emily…interesting experiment
00:57:35Yun Emily Wang:I am curious if anyone has thoughts/knowledge on the ideology of communication (one speaker at a time> group in unison?) that’s trafficked in by zoom’s audio design
00:57:59Katya Wesolowski:a lot harder to feel sociality or make alternative visual pathways through a computer screen in zoom
00:58:37Katya Wesolowski:aesthetic possibilities of the screen for otherly abled bodies?
00:59:27Jieun Cho:In Hartblay’s talk; I think “sensory difference as an aesthetic opportunity (or as an opportunity to aesthetic translation)” is fascinating. This sounds like something profoundly transformative in a different sense from “a threading of bodies” to forge space of sublimity that Deborah was talking about. Both are fascinating approaches towards body and sociality.
01:00:36Yanping Ni 燕萍:And the play uses multiple ways to convey! Normal speaking, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation), and ASL (American Sign Language), so both verbal and non-verbal expressions are employed to make it accessible to as many, diverse people as possible. Also the cast includes both “able-bodied normate” and people with disabilities. This reminds me of the film Blind Massage by Lou Ye, with an additional version for blind people to listen to.
01:02:04Yun Emily Wang:I really like the possibility of “listening AS dissent”
01:03:35Katya Wesolowski:another layer to this experiment is the interpretation of the spoken words into the captions – dissent to descent for instance…..
01:04:07Cade Bourne:I feel as though my question ended up asking after how differently abled individuals with regard to the senses can experience this affective richness. Rather, I think what I was getting at was this: Given that Prof. Kapchan’s articulation of the conditions for a kind of ethics of empathy involves immersion in a sensorial/affective thickness, and that her position on virtual experiences are somehow diminished in the absence of this thickness, are individuals who cannot access this thickness even in physical gathering figure into this ethics of empathy. I certainly do not believe that either speaker would suggest that such individuals are at a diminished capacity for empathy. I was curious to know how disability expertise might be applied to this question.
01:05:27Sophie Finn:Yes to “listening as dissent” — I think we need to understand that as ethnographers, we are not THE observer, we are only AN observer. Constantly recognizing that we can only listen as deeply and consciously as we recognize our own place in existence is crucial.
01:07:10Jingxuan Zhang:In a related tangent, Kyra Gaunt, in “Games black girls play”, refers to an a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock: this singing group has a sign language translator at their shows! It’s interesting to ask why they started to do that, and how many deaf-seeing people go to their shows. Also, talk about another kind of “listening”
01:07:33Jieun Cho:I think Robbins was talking about suffering as an object of inquiry and how this ends up inscribing those suffering on the bodies. This may be different from witnessing the pain of others J. Butler was talking about.
01:10:49Jieun Cho:Youtube T-T
01:11:00Yun Emily Wang:“Gaze”
01:12:41Ralph Litzinger:there is a powerful critique of Robbins by Veena Das. I’ll try to find it.
01:13:55Wei Gan:I know this is building on and inspired by sound metaphors, but I’m wondering what everyone thinks of sight – or lack thereof – in the sensorial thickness of ethnography, online and offline. As an example, I’m thinking of a virtual panel discussion with documentary filmmakers in which each panelist, when they introduced themselves to the (virtual) audience, described their physical appearance as well as the location from which they were broadcasting (including details about the room, how much sunlight they were getting…), and I thought that was so interesting.
01:14:25Ralph Litzinger:on Robbins’ anthropology of the good: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/62801/1/There_is_no_such_author.pdf
01:14:25Jieun Cho:ralph – I’d like to read that. Thank you so much.
01:15:13Anne-Maria Makhulu, Ph.D.:Not sure I’m comfortable with the idea of ethnography as shifting from savage to suffering slot!?
01:15:28Katya Wesolowski:are virtuosity and expertise the same thing?
01:15:53Katya Wesolowski:seems the speakers are using these interchangeably
01:16:41Jieun Cho:Katya- I think she’s referring to Aristotle’s concept of virtue as in an embodied capacity to getting closer to the good. But I am not sold by the term expertise either – it sounds too disciplinary
01:16:58diane nelson:yes Jing! Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey has this wonderful essay bout many of these issues…
01:17:17Ralph Litzinger:@katya. not according to Tim Michell’s “Rule of Experts”
01:17:42louise meintjes:Does virtuosity not include the imagination and the shaping of a moment that is different from the knowledge “expertise” encompasses?
01:17:59Jieun Cho:Wei – Great point!! Not all sights manage to conjure “beauty” that Deborah was talking about..
01:21:20Anne-Maria Makhulu, Ph.D.:LOL!
01:24:28Joe Hiller:the wells story is set in an imagined Ecuador, oddly enough!
01:25:56Joe Hiller:gabriela alemán’s novel Poso Wells builds on the story, for those who might be interested: https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2018/september/poso-wells-gabriela-aleman
01:26:24Katya Wesolowski:thanks Joe – didn’t know that novel!
01:28:36Ralph Litzinger:we can’t talk about Zoom without talking about servers, energy, displacement (has anyone ever seen or heard a server farm?), not to mention the issues of who owns every word and sound that is uttered on Zoom.
01:29:00Anne-Maria Makhulu, Ph.D.:Agreed Ralph.
01:29:13Yun Emily Wang:@Ralph: totally. Preview for the next colloquium on surveillance?!
01:29:38Joe Hiller:yes, excellent point ralph. I appreciated that Cassandra’s land acknowledgement included the land where servers are located
01:29:59diane nelson:Plus zoom censoring Palestinian academic!!!
01:30:39diane nelson:yes, Jieun, I think that’s why the chat was so rich, but also frustrating because it is hard to listen and read and think all together –
01:31:27Ralph Litzinger:@diane. indeed. and June Fourth gatherings to remember 1989. and the silence of universities in dealing with these issues.
01:32:04Jieun Cho:diane – Great point. I think that ties back to disability as a moment – we adapt our sensorial capacity for non-normal situations
01:32:36Ralph Litzinger:@joe yes, the first I’ve ever seen someone do that!
01:34:05Wei Gan:On the other hand, Zoom has allowed for greater accessibility and participation for creators and audiences who might have otherwise been excluded
01:34:42Ralph Litzinger:this is why I asked Laurence Ralph during that session about Silicon Valley/ Big Tech’s “empathy” for BLM.
01:35:27Jieun Cho:Wei – I also think it actually expanded accessibility for those who have issues with physical mobility. Many lectures became online and free as well.
01:36:50Cade Bourne:Im wondering if the idea was suffering as an object or was it more the cultivation of dispositions and capacities for recognizing and empathizing with suffering as a mode of engaging with its underlying forms?
01:38:19Rebecca Stein:I vote that the whole department watch The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn
01:38:31Ralph Litzinger:I think we need to be careful, in our criticisms of the form of Zoom, not to romanticize the metaphysics off face to face proximities in the classroom. there are many failed. communications in the classroom, just like there are in fieldwork.
01:39:40Katya Wesolowski:ralph – that’s is true
01:39:50Jieun Cho:ralph – yes!
01:41:10Cade Bourne:Thank you everyone!