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WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD Writing for a Real World 2008 - 2009 A multidisciplinary anthology by USF students PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO PROGRAM IN RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION Writing for a Real World (WRW) is published annually by the Program in Rhetoric and Composition, Communication Studies Department, College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco. WRW is governed by the PRC Publication Committee, chaired by Devon C. Holmes. Members are: Brian Komei Dempster, David Holler, Michelle LaVigne, Elise Mussman, and David Ryan. Writing for a Real World: 7th Edition. © 2009. The opinions stated herein are those of the authors. Authors retain copyright for their individual work. Essays include bibliographical references. The format and practice of documenting sources are determined by each writer. Writers are responsible for validating and citing their research. Cover design by and cover image courtesy of David Holler. Images Editor: David Holler. Printer: DeHarts Printing, San Jose, CA. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. To get involved as a referee, serve on the publication committee, or to learn about submitting to WRW, please contact Devon C. Holmes at <email@example.com>. For back issues, contact David Holler at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Other inquiries: Writing for a Real World, University of San Francisco, Kalmanovitz Hall, Rm. 202, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94117. Fair Use Statement: Writing for a Real World is an educational journal whose mission is to showcase the best undergraduate writing at the University of San Francisco. Student work often contextualizes and recontextualizes the work of others within the scope of course-related assignments. WRW presents these articles with the specifi c objective of advancing an understanding of academic knowledge, scholarship, and research. We believe that this context constitutes a “fair use” of copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material herein is made available by WRW without profi t to those students and faculty who are interested in receiving this information for research, scholarship, and educational purposes. Writing for a Real World 2008 - 2009 Editor David Ryan Managing Editor and Cover Designer David Holler Associate Editors Brian Komei Dempster Devon Christina Holmes Michelle LaVigne Mark Meritt Publication Assistant Elise Mussman Program Assistant Theresa Newman Journal Referees Veronica Andrew, Rhetoric and Composition Shona Doyle, Arts and Sciences, Offi ce of the Dean Vanessa Gamache, School of Business and Management Joe Garity, Gleeson Library David Holler, Rhetoric and Composition Devon C. Holmes, Rhetoric and Composition Saera Khan, Psychology Ron Key, Rhetoric and Composition Michelle LaVigne, Rhetoric and Composition Theodore Matula, Rhetoric and Composition Mark Meritt, Rhetoric and Composition Lorrie Ranck, Offi ce of Living-Learning Communities Tanu Sankalia, Arts + Architecture Darrell g.h. Schramm, Rhetoric and Composition Sara Solloway, Offi ce of Student Academic Services Fredel Wiant, Rhetoric and Composition WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 4 Reading and Writing in the Disciplines 6 Honorable Mentions 10 Sartrean Authenticity and Contemporary Black Solidarity HEATHER M. FOX 12 “No Sense of Absolute Corruption”: Damien Hirst and the Art Question ANNA ROSE TULL 25 The Experience of Hyper-Modernity in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis SHAINE SCARMINACH 35 Tinker v. Des Moines: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Authority Practiced in Court Language KELLY TENN 47 Appellate Brief for the U.S. Supreme Court ANYA WASKO 58 The Misleading Nature of Rhetoric CHELSEA LALANCETTE 71 “Let’s Reinvent the Gods, All the Myths of the Ages”: Jim Morrison and the Return of the Bacchae BETHANY GOODRICH 78 Plato’s Justice and the Social Contract: The Confl ict of the Unjust Agreement DENNIS LAMBERT 90 Karol Wojtyla in the Trajectory of Polish History JOEY BELLEZA 107 Table of Contents WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 5 Lessons to be Learned from Denouncing Lessons BRENNA MCCALLICK 121 Caption Needed: “Afghan” Girl Requires 1000 Words CAROLINE KANGAS 130 How to Be a Real Woman JESSICA CORDOVA 142 No Sex EZEKIEL CRAGO 149 Translating the Language of Science LAURA SANDERS 162 Harvesting the World’s Lungs: Repercussions of Destroying the Amazon Rain Forest ANA CHING 172 An Analysis of Just War Theory MYLES MURPHY 181 Defi ning Terrorism in Anti-Abortion Violence MAGGIE MULLEN 192 A Commitment towards Peace BRYCE SAWIN 200 Chronic Truancy in the Western Addition CELESTE PARISI 213 Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomics: Promise or Pretense? KATHERINE S. BURKE 226 WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 6 Reading and Writing in the Disciplines Writing for a Real World invites careful reading of the quiet and most diffi cult work that normally occurs in a student’s life. Though lectures, discussions, and debates give primacy to listening and speaking in our classrooms, students are also challenged to work toward a greater understanding of their subjects by pursuing an excellence related to reading and writing. In our seventh and largest edition, our authors write on a range of subjects and for a variety of disciplines. In this varied collection, one of the more common kinds of writing is one that responds to reading. As students draw on texts to develop their own ideas, they create a context in which they have to defend their claims, so they cohere their ideas into something supportable, believable, even persuasive. Thus, as writing teachers often argue, there is no better context for improving reading skills than requiring responsive writing, and there is no more eff ective way to improve student writing than to assign challenging readings. Whether the readings are Plato, Cicero, Locke, Sartre, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Don DeLillo, George Orwell, Amy Tan, or Jeanette Winterson, students respond by synthesizing and analyzing these sources into the body of their arguments. Working within this dialectical process—of reading, interpreting, analyzing, writing, and revising—is one of the more diffi cult learning contexts facing students. Happily, our authors excel at writing because they are good interpretive readers. These students understand that analysis is a fundamental part of their intellectual vocation, and this work requires moral principle, aesthetic preference, and rational argument, particularly when incorporating texts that hold views contrary to theirs. For WRW’s audience, reading recontextualized work poses many challenges. For one, these papers were composed for specifi c, discourse-related audiences, so knowledge of certain terms and theories are assumed and not always explained. Furthermore, explicit arguments are clear, but the implicit ones (between student and teacher) may leave readers puzzled; at the same time, our authors prompt us to examine our own attitudes toward their subjects, so reading their essays may resist easy comprehension. To help clarify this context, each essay is preceded by introductions from the writers and their teachers. We hope their comments improve the conditions for reading their recontextualized work. WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 7 Notes This year, our staff made a concerted eff ort to increase submissions. As a result, our entries rose by over 40 percent from the previous year. Despite this substantial increase, we know there were many more commendable papers that eluded our notice. Quite regularly, faculty would browse our stack of entries, hoping to fi nd specifi c papers written for their classes. For the most part, faculty were rewarded for their curiosity, but, sometimes, they left disappointed. Though all undergraduates were encouraged to apply, many were just too busy with their end-of-the-semester commitments to submit their work. For those who did, our referees reviewed carefully 134 entries, and every paper was read by at least two readers, and every winning submission had to pass the review of at least four referees. Here, we present 20 papers written from last year, and we thank our new as well as experienced judges for reviewing the submissions with great care and patience. Our journal referees are listed on page three. Fr. Urban Grassi, S.J. Award In this issue, the Program in Rhetoric and Composition announces its third annual Fr. Urban Grassi, S.J. Award for Eloquentia Perfecta, an award named after USF’s fi rst professor of English and Elocution. This award is given to the highest rated entry. This year’s winner is Heather M. Fox for her essay, “Sartrean Authenticity and Contemporary Black Solidarity,” written for Professor Ronald Sundstrom. Congratulations to Heather for her remarkable accomplishment! Acknowledgements and Gratitude With every issue, we renew our gratitude to those folks who continue to support the book at hand. We are deeply grateful to Jennifer Turpin, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who created a welcome home for this project many years ago, and Peter Novak, Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, who treats writers and writing with enthusiasm and aff ection. The instructors of our authors earn our special thanks for composing their introductions during their summer break. This gratitude extends to Brian Komei Dempster, David Holler, Devon C. Holmes, Michelle LaVigne, and Mark Meritt for providing a conscientious and energetic push toward publication. Our program assistant, Theresa Newman, and publication assistant, Elise Mussman, deserve special mention for WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 8 helping WRW meet its many year-round deadlines. Thank you to Norma Washington and John Pinelli for managing the ledger, and a large debt, as well, is owed to Freddie Wiant, Coordinator of the Program in Rhetoric and Composition and Chair of the Communication Studies Department, for shepherding the WRW fl ock. Finally, our deepest gratitude is reserved for those students who submitted their work. As our Honorable Mention list illustrates on page ten, we received many more commendable papers than we were able to publish. Congratulations to those who earned honorable mention, and, of course, congratulations to our winners, for all of our newest authors bravely enter the realm of published writers writing for a real world. This journal is dedicated to them. —David Ryan, Editor WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 9 Submissions for Writing for a Real World 2009-2010 We announce the eighth annual Writing for a Real World anthology, a publication designed to showcase the best essay, report and pre-professional writing produced by University of San Francisco undergraduates during the 2009-10 academic year. WRW welcomes not only essays and research papers but also scientifi c, business, and technical reports as well as pre-professional writing (e.g., résumés and personal statements). Each published writer will receive a copy of the journal and an individual award; winners and their guests will be invited to an awards reception in Fall 2010. Deadlines for submitting work written for Fall 2009 is December 18, 2009; and for work written for Spring 2010, May 21, 2010. More specifi c submission/contest rules as well as entry forms will be circulated on campus and via USF Connect during the 2009-10 academic year. 10 WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD Honorable Mentions TANYA MARYAM BADAL The Golden Gate Bridge: When Will the “Mighty Task” Be Done? written for Written and Oral Communication David Holler Rhetoric and Composition EZEKIEL CRAGO Hunting Cool in the Urban Jungle written for Philosophy and Science Fiction Jeff rey Paris Department of Philosophy MEGAN DRISCOLL Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism: The Quest for Distinction written for African American Philosophy Ronald Sundstrom Department of Philosophy HEATHER M. FOX Problems of Black Corporatism and the Relative Advantages of Transinstitutional Solidarity written for African American Philosophy Ronald Sundstrom Department of Philosophy DENNIS LAMBERT Race and Cooties: The Signifi cance of Dangerous Lies written for African American Philosophy Ronald Sundstrom Department of Philosophy WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 11 MOLLY MALIM No Child Left Behind: The Commencement of Urban Decay written for Written and Oral Communication David Holler Rhetoric and Composition TRISSA M. MCCLATCHEY The Impact of Stress at the Time of Learning on a Delayed Transfer Task written for Research Design Marisa R. Knight Department of Psychology LETICIA PAGAN Amount of Contact with a Positive Mentor Predicts Continued Academic Progress written for Research Design Marisa R. Knight Department of Psychology LAURA SANDERS Lessons in Quilting: Deconstruction in Sula written for Senior Seminar in Literature Eileen Fung Department of English VY TRAN The Fan Identity written for Rhetoric 140 Devon C. Holmes Rhetoric and Composition CATHERINE VERRIERE Budweiser’s Cultural Literacy written for Academic Writing at USF Fran Ferrante Rhetoric and Composition SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 12 WRITER’S COMMENTS What most enthralled me in Professor Sundstrom’s African American Philosophy course were questions of whether members of the same race owe anything to one another (as Michael Walzer claims) or inherit some form of pressure to behave in a specifi c way merely because (as Jean-Paul Sartre posits) they have been born a certain race and thus, share a common situation with other members of their given racial group. Though surely philosophical questions, these also undoubtedly pervade popular discourse, phrased in terms of “racial in/authenticity.” In our society, it is deemed almost self-explanatory that racial minorities should behave “authentically” and that racially “inauthentic” behavior is objectionable. In the following paper, using the context of African Americans, I consider whether these popular conceptions and the practice of labeling people in/authentic are ultimately conducive to black solidarity and black America’s effort to achieve worthy goals such as eliminating anti-black racism. —Heather M. Fox INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS In societies such as our own, in which ethnic and racial categories play a prominent role, the assumption that members of ethnic and racial groups should act in “solidarity” with their groups and behave in a racially “authentic” manner is very common. Heather Fox skillfully takes apart and criticizes these assumptions through her analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew. Her arguments against Sartre’s existentialist account of group authenticity are thorough and clarify the conceptual and practical limits of any conception of group authenticity. The end of the idea of group authenticity, however, doesn’t signal the end of the need for group solidarity. Heather recognizes this, and extends her argument by connecting it with contemporary accounts of group solidarity. She incisively argues that although there is a need for some version of solidarity, what solidarity looks like in our world of complex identities and cross-cutting issues is exceptionally different from common and yet ineffective fantasies of ethnoracial unity. —Ronald R. Sundstrom, Department of Philosophy HEATHER M. FOX 13 HEATHER M. FOX Sartrean Authenticity and Contemporary Black Solidarity IN Anti-Semite and Jew, Jean-Paul Sartre declares, the “…Jewish community is based … only on an identity of situation.”1 Although one may freely choose to “be courageous or cowardly” by either facing his/her condition or evading it, given the existential framework within which all members of the society live, the actions of one racial Other will nevertheless be felt—and potentially suff ered—by all. Many who take seriously this claim that the choices of racialized individuals can potentially devastate the life circumstances of his/her racial peers insist that Others have a moral obligation to behave “authentically.” Sartre, alternatively, denies that individuals have any such obligation, but believes that living authentically can enable Others to both cultivate true solidarity with their fellows and ultimately disempower their oppressors. As Tommie Shelby notes, whether they view authenticity as intrinsically or instrumentally valuable, “…among advocates of black solidarity, collective identity theory is often treated as a truism.”2 In this essay, however, I will argue that despite its alleged intrinsic value or potential pragmatic benefi t to racial Others, the Sartrean conception of existential authenticity as it relates to oppressed racial groups imposes ill-defi ned, and virtually unrealizable demands on individuals; solidarity groups must reject demands for ethnoracial authenticity, an out-dated and potentially highly-counterproductive unity-building mechanism, which is far more likely to undermine solidarity than rally oppressed people to constructive action, enhance group camaraderie or advance important goals. 1. Sartre, Jean-Paul. Anti-Semite and Jew. (New York: Schocken Books Inc., 1948), 85. 2. Shelby, Tommie. “Foundations of Black Solidarity: Collective Identity or Common Oppression?” Ethics 112(2). Jan., 2002 231-266 (235). SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 14 Theoretical Foundation of Sartrean Authenticity Sartre’s idea of racial authenticity emerges from Anti-Semite and Jew, a work that Michael Walzer introduces as a “Marxist/existentialist morality play,” written to “understand the rootedness of prejudice, hatred, and genocide” in Sartre’s post-WWII France.3 Through his four characters, the anti- Semite, the Democrat and the in/authentic Jews, Sartre constructs a proxy of society in which humans are born into personal existential situations that they have neither chosen, nor can escape, and within which they will live their entire lives, exercise their freedom and choose authenticity or inauthenticity. Ultimately, through the innumerable decisions they make each day, individuals inadvertently create and maintain both their own and others’ situations. Notably, in Sartre’s drama, one’s racial identity alone determines whether one will live contently or in misery, and thus represents the most determinative aspect of an individual’s life. In the case of the Jew, Sartre posits, the status of racial outsider is his/her “primary reputation.”4 Regardless of what a Jew accomplishes in her life or what her interests or character, it is her socially ascribed racial label that will forever preclude her general happiness and acceptance into the “true” France.5 Throughout the drama, Jews’ racial Otherness uniquely and inalterably alienates them from others and bars them from full-membership to the society. Sartre holds that the foregoing inextricable connection of the existential conditions of each character and the dominance of race in determining the circumstances of their lives exist, regardless of the fact that Jews do not necessarily share anything in common with one another aside from their Jewish situation. Indeed, in Sartre’s view, Jews are not a “race,”6 and they are not united by a Jewish “essence.” Jews merely (fortuitously) “… live in a community which takes them for Jews.”7 With nothing in common besides their oppression, they are united by a terrifi cally thin conception of race. Jews are, in reality, the wo/men that they believe themselves to be, but they nevertheless live in a society in which to be Jewish is to be mercilessly oppressed by self-gratifying 3. Sartre, (vii). 4. Ibid., 74. 5. As Sartre says, “…the greatest success will never gain him entrance into that society which considers itself the ‘real’ one” (80). 6. “If by ‘race,’ is understood that indefi nable complex into which are tossed … both somatic characteristics and intellectual and moral traits, I believe in it no more than I do in ouija boards,” Sartre mocks (61). 7. Ibid., 67. HEATHER M. FOX 15 racists. Although racial identities are obviously fi ctitious, designed for the sole purpose of aggrandizing one group by oppressing another, they are nevertheless powerful mythologies that invade a racial Other’s life in every conceivable way. The choices that individuals make within the confi nes of and in response to their situation distinguish each racial Other as either authentic or inauthentic, but neither mode of behavior, both Sartre writes and Walzer prefaces, ameliorate the racial oppression from which Jews are presumed to universally seek refuge. Anti-Semitism, Sartre contends, is symptomatic of class struggle—the unwillingness of the lower-middle class to accept its socioeconomic mediocrity in a rapidly advancing modern society. While racism is the preferred coping mechanism for those who cannot cope with continuous social and economic advancement, the conditions that inspire this racism nevertheless remain. Sartre predicts that until anti-Semites are no longer driven toward racism by socioeconomic pressures and class-discomfort, the ubiquitous oppression of Jews will persist. Given these causes for the anti-Semite’s vehement racism and the Jews’ subsequent racial condition, Walzer aptly notes, “Jewish authenticity is only a way of living well within the Jewish situation; it has no transformative force.”8 Although anti-Semitism will continue to plague Jews no matter how individual Jews choose to behave within their situations, how one Jew behaves still signifi cantly impacts all Jews in both the short and long-term. The Jewish situation, Sartre describes, is one of continual uncertainty.9 If one opts to respond to his/her situation inauthentically, by somehow evading or denying his/her Jewish identity, the anti-Semite will assuredly take notice and gleefully tout the Jew’s uneasiness as proof of his/her unenviable Jewish “nature.” Such (always unsuccessful) attempts to escape, therefore, only succeed in fueling the anti-Semite’s hateful campaign and in further oppressing Jews at large.10 An authentic response to the Jewish condition, in contrast, requires one to resign to his/her status as an oppressed racial Other and to clearly display Jewish solidarity, despite the indignities that s/he will continually endure as a member of a despised group. By accepting the Jewish condition, the authentic “… takes away all power… from anti-Semitism” and consequently, though the Jewish condition cannot disappear without downright revolution, the 8. Ibid., xvii. 9. “…his power, and even his right to live may be placed in jeopardy from one moment to the next” (132). 10. Indeed, within this context, by nature of being Jewish, “…it is as if [one’s] acts were subject to a Kantian imperative” (89). SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 16 authentic ensures that Jewish suff ering is not exacerbated through his/ her behavior.11 General Jewish oppression will certainly remain, but so long as Jews do not behave in such a way that the anti-Semite could interpret as fl eeing their condition, Sartre reasons, the racists’ virulence can be somewhat mitigated. Having elaborately constructed the inauthentic’s numerous “avenues of fl ight,” Sartre suggests that anything from exhibiting what could be perceived to be a refl ective attitude, to not behaving in a typically “Jewish manner” in public, to even cultivating one’s mind, could all be construed as inauthentic conduct that could inadvertently become fodder for the anti-Semite’s persecution and Jewish in-group alienation. Jewish authenticity, Sartre says, “… consists in … realizing one’s Jewish condition” and in accepting a life that is perpetually uncomfortable.12 Though he undoubtedly portrays Jewish life in very bleak terms, Sartre’s vision could arguably be defensible—and perhaps even reasonable—if the condition, in which he alleges that all Jews fi nd themselves, were not so terribly unclear. He admits, however, that the Jewish situation upon which he largely groups his entire drama is “almost incomprehensible.”13 Though the situation to which Jews must surrender cannot be coherently defi ned and is thus, presumably, not well understood or universally agreed upon within the Jewish community, Jews are nevertheless deemed inauthentic when they deny or fl ee this condition by somehow acting in “bad faith” and the stigma of inauthenticity harms not only the allegedly inauthentic individual, but also, the entire Jewish community. Applied Sartrean Authenticity Indeed, the particular sociohistorical circumstances within which an oppressed group fi nds itself will determine the nature of the universal group situation and correspondingly, what authenticity means and what precisely it demands of would-be authentic persons. Elijah Anderson elucidates this varying nature of racial authenticity in his essay “The Precarious Balance: Race Man or Sellout?,” in which he explores the diff erences between the clear conception of racial authenticity that existed in segregated America through the 1970s and the relatively disjointed black authenticity of more recent times.14 “Race [wo/]men,” 11. Ibid., 137. 12. Ibid., 136. 13. Ibid., 91. 14. Anderson, Elijah. “The Precarious Balance: Race Man or Sellout?.” The Darden HEATHER M. FOX 17 Anderson explains, were certain members of the black community who emerged as leaders in a period of fi erce anti-black racism; they “felt strongly responsible to the black race, especially in front of whites or outsiders to the community” and generally placed the needs of the race before their own. These categorically authentic blacks indeed sought to “advanc[e] the race” and hoped that their example would both inspire downtrodden African Americans and disprove negative generalizations about blacks pervasive in the U.S. The race wo/man, Anderson adds, regarded all other blacks as partners in the struggle for racial justice. Clearly, race, to virtually all black Americans during this time, presented the most pressing challenge and took priority over “all other issues.”15 Thus, though not every black needed to become a race wo/man to be regarded as authentic, it was widely known in rigidly segregated America, what behavior would benefi t—as opposed to hinder—black America’s joint eff ort to eliminate anti-black racism and advance black social equality; one’s actions were deemed authentic or inauthentic accordingly and such judgments could be made rather easily and uncontroversially. When such clear priorities as the eradication of Jim Crow and the full-enfranchisement of all blacks are universally embraced throughout the black community, racial authenticity appears to be a highly benefi cial and tenable means by which blacks can defend themselves from outside hostilities, advance shared values and goals and generally organize themselves to achieve the greatest possible political infl uence. Despite any black in-group diff erences during the Jim Crow era, most blacks did share, as Tommie Shelby encapsulates, “… more basic interests, political values, and urgent needs in common with other blacks than with any other group.”16 Dilemma: 12 Black Writers on Justice, Race, and Confl icting Loyalties. Ed. Ellis Cose. New York: Harper Perennial, 1997 (114-132). 15. Anderson, Elijah. (116-118). 16. Shelby, Tommie. We Who Are Dark: The Philosophic Foundations of Black Solidar-ity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005 (129). Muhammad Ali actually expresses precisely this notion that as diff erent as blacks were from one another during the pre-civil rights era, they shared the most important aspect of their ex-istence (antiblack racism) in common. His quote, “I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin’ hell, but as long as they ain’t free, I ain’t free” gives credence to the presumption that when American antiblack racism was at its peak, the meaning and requirements of black authenticity were much clearer and easily justifi able than today. (His quotation comes from www.brainyquote. com). SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 18 Clearly, when pronounced anti-black racism punctuated the daily experience of most black Americans, racism, above all else, was universally regarded as the primary source of black inequality and overcoming and eliminating this racism was the central priority of virtually all blacks. Given the uncomplicated relationship between unmasked formal and informal anti-black racism and nationwide black oppression, it was quite simple at that time to distinguish the inauthentic from authentic black behavior; individual blacks would have rightly been deemed “inauthentic,” for example, if they were to abet racists in oppressing other African Americans or were to otherwise deliberately hinder black advancement, while they could be deemed authentic for doing such things as demonstrating against anti-black racism or boycotting pro-segregation establishments. The drastic improvement of the black “situation” in the past several decades, however, has shattered the formerly common sense notion of black authenticity that had aided previous generations of blacks in fi nding a behavioral category toward which to strive and in feeling as if they were connected to a purpose-driven national black community. Though it was fairly clear what it meant for blacks to behave authentically in the shadow of Jim Crow, it is far from certain today what black authenticity entails or, more importantly, what use it is for contemporary black solidarity movements. Now that the black community is no longer oppressed as uniformly as in the past, and with an increasing number of African Americans ascending to the highest social, professional and economic echelons, the meaning of racial authenticity appears as varied as the positions of individual blacks across the socioeconomic strata. Fortunately today, contrary to both Sartre’s ideological foundation of racial solidarity as well as pre-civil rights American history, to be black no longer ensures that anti-black racism will be the most signifi cant determinant of one’s life circumstances or opportunities. The radical transformation of the situation of African Americans at large is partially refl ected in this statistic cited by John McWhorter: Whereas in 1940, “only one in one hundred black people were middle class,” by 2000, nearly half of America’s black population had achieved middle class status.17 For a growing number of African Americans, racial oppression, though certainly still real, is playing a progressively more minor role in their lives compared to other facets of their identity. Elijah Anderson 17. McWhorter, John. Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. New York: Harper Perennial, 2000. HEATHER M. FOX 19 observes that as black individuals advance in their careers and cement themselves in the middle to upper-middle class, “…class issues take precedence over public displays of ethnic and racial particularism,” and racial concerns often come second to self-interest and personal upward mobility. Anderson notes that in “race man ideology,” black authenticity is to “… put the black race fi rst,” above one’s personal social or professional advancement and, perhaps, even above one’s affi liation with multiracial groups. This view, however, is only one of countless interpretations of black authenticity.18 As a signifi cant part of the formerly more united African American community breaks away and becomes fully integrated into the broader society, the meaning of, requirements for and very coherence and survivability of “blackness” itself comes into serious question. Is “Authenticity” Morally Obligatory for Blacks? Despite the fact that a signifi cant number of black Americans have advanced themselves to so great a degree that race now plays only a minor role in their daily lives, Michael Walzer speaks for many who contend that all members of an oppressed minority group still have a moral obligation to their fellows to behave authentically that arises from their shared condition.19 But within this condition, what kind of loyalty do blacks owe to one another, what constitutes betrayal and who decides any of this? Though Walzer believes strongly that authentic behavior is morally obligatory for all blacks, he provides only a vague idea of how blacks are to derive the content of their obligations. Interestingly, he claims that individual blacks who have successfully advanced themselves in the broader society, have, through their advancement, chosen to be inauthentic; he does not go so far as to label these successful blacks “traitors…in any literal sense,” but admits that he does not think those successful blacks are “quite faithful either.” Having waged this very serious charge against seemingly every black who opted to integrate into the broader society and take advantage of opportunities available to him/her, Walzer predicts that the degree to which these blacks are deemed inauthentic, if at all, and the general obligation that every black has to another, will ultimately 18. Anderson, Elijah. (118-119). 19. Walzer writes that given the nature of racist oppression that all such minorities share, members of particular racial groups understand one another in a special way that those outside of the group cannot; though blacks, in this case, did not choose to be black, they likewise cannot choose whether or not they have an obligation—they are black and they do have an obligation to other blacks that emerges from their shared minority status (51-2). SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 20 vary. Each black organization will arrive at its own conclusion regarding the content of this black moral obligation “…with very diff erent results in diff erent organizations.” As problematically, Walzer adds, “There is no single correct result [for the content of this obligation] that I or anyone else can stipulate.”20 This last line puts the proverbial kiss of death on racial authenticity as a legitimate concept, much less the source of any serious moral obligation. Given this logic, there is no objective form of authenticity that all blacks must exhibit and what it is for blacks to behave authentically is subject to the arbitrary determinations of various black organizations.21 Since to Walzer, there is no “correct” content to the moral obligation, any of the above versions of black authenticity is presumably acceptable, so long as it has some degree of support from some segment of the black population. Thus, one may be deemed perfectly authentic in the estimation of one black group, but brazenly inauthentic according to another; authenticity, in this context, becomes utterly incomprehensible and meaningless. Some may think that Michael Walzer is generally right that blacks do have a moral obligation to one another, but that his conception of this obligation fails purely because it is too open-ended; to these people, the meaning of racial authenticity and the content of blacks’ obligation to one another in the contemporary context is plain and simple and hardly much diff erent from earlier historical eras. Though they cannot deny that the sociohistorical setting within which blacks live has certainly changed, they may argue that we would do well not to exaggerate the level to which blacks have actually advanced since the mid-20th century, that anti-black racism is still the greatest determinant of the life chances of every black American or that the only way for blacks to advance as a race is by sticking together and viewing one another as born partners in the black struggle for social justice. Yet as Shelby’s We Who Are Dark illuminates, we must ultimately dismiss these and similar claims.22 In 20. My quotations from Michael Walzer come from Walzer, Michael. Obligations: Essays on Disobedience, War and Citizenship. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970), 51-52. 21. For example, one black organization may profess that to be authentic is to leave the black community, become as rich as one can and exemplify of how successful any de-termined, hard-working black wo/man can be; another may insist that to be authentic, blacks must distance themselves from members of other races, and establish their own exclusively-black civilization somewhere; another organization may conclude that to be authentically black is to immerse oneself in Negritude, whatever that means. 22. None of this is to claim that blacks are free of racism, that personal and institutional racism does not exist throughout the country and that all blacks are not still (in some way and to some degree) aff ected by anti-black racism. However, blacks have advanced markedly since the mid-20th century by virtually every indicator available. HEATHER M. FOX 21 many ways, such ideas refl ect the classic black nationalism that Tommie Shelby lovingly critiques, which conceives of black authenticity and black solidarity as worthy aims in themselves and not merely means of achieving shared goals of racial justice or black equality. These views communicate misconceptions of the reality of black achievement in contemporary America and a view that black authenticity holds the answer to virtually any and all racial problems or issues that aff ect any black American. Undoubtedly, such an expectation of black authenticity and racial unity—as Tommie Shelby pinpoints—“… is premised on an alleged social fact that no longer obtains.” African Americans today no longer share an inordinate number of things in common with other blacks as they did at the height of Jim Crow when the lived experience of the majority of blacks was similarly miserable and degrading.23 Black Corporatism: False Arbiter of Racial Authenticity and Leaky Conduit for Solidarity As deeply problematic as Michael Walzer’s conception of black authenticity and its accompanying moral obligation, black corporatism, the brand of racial solidarity introduced above, is infi nitely more troubling, oppressive and unreasonable. Frankly, given its immense potential to utterly corrode black unity and derail a purposeful black solidarity movement, black corporatism demands extended analysis. It will be treated here as an instance of a centralized racial organization that claims to represent the needs and preferences of all blacks, and as a failure both in eff ectively (or democratically) encapsulating a coherent black political voice and in facilitating meaningful black solidarity. Like Walzer, black corporatists do not view racial authenticity as morally optional; contrary to Walzer’s foregoing proposal, however, black corporatism does not take into account the internal diversity of the black community, grant African Americans the opportunity to freely join various black organizations or to work within those organizations to arrive at their own personal conclusions regarding the content of their moral obligation and the moral The achievements of black Americans are too many to name and as McWhorter points out, today there are virtually no remaining black “fi rsts;” though race certainly hampers the lives of many blacks, that is not the case for all. And as Shelby notes, the notion that all blacks are involuntarily in solidarity by virtue of their shared skin color is almost laughable; to innumerable blacks, race is not a top priority and just because one is black does not mean that one necessarily shares anything in common with other black people. Race really is only skin deep. 23. Shelby, 129. SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 22 minimums that they will observe in their exchanges with one another or that they will employ to guide their behavior generally. Black corporatism, which Shelby thoroughly critiques, is the preferred black solidarity of classical black nationalists and calls for all blacks to consolidate themselves into one corporate person that will speak with a united voice on behalf of all African Americans. Under black corporatism, to be authentic, blacks must conduct their lives in accordance with the national black agenda, which presumably requires that blacks must also subjugate their own personal needs and preferences to the will of the overarching black corporate organization. While on its face, the black corporatist framework appears to be a promising method for African Americans to politically organize, upon perfunctory examination, it proves to (1) be based upon a fi ctitious conception of black homogeneity, (2) invite severe in-group repression, and (3) result in only a farcical black solidarity that actually undermines the project itself.24 Clearly, black corporatism either utterly fails to recognize or simply chooses to overlook the fact that black America is comprised of millions of individual black plural subjects, each with his/her own personal needs, preferences and worldviews; given the profound internal diversity of the black population, black corporatism cannot possibly adequately represent every black plural subject and will thus, invariably, marginalize the views of numerous minority groups within the broader black minority population. “When persons belonging to the same race are presumed to have the same interests …” David Ingram notes, “Groups can oppress their individual members.”25 Ingram cites Cornel West26, who absolutely nails the fundamental, insurmountable problem of structures such as black corporatism that purport to represent the “authentic” black political agenda; to West, the varying conceptions of authenticity that these structures endorse are not objective representations of universal black beliefs, but are “…contingent on one’s defi nition of black interest and one’s ethical understanding of how this 24. The presumed advantages of black corporatism include the potential of corporat-ism to “facilitate the formation of a collective will, enable coordinated [black] action, and create institutional mechanisms for leadership accountability” (Shelby, 121). 25. Ingram, David. Group Rights: Reconciling Equality and Diff erence. (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2000), 51. 26. Ingram took this quote from West, Cornel. Race Matters. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), 26-27. HEATHER M. FOX 23 interest relates to individuals and communities in and outside black America.” Thus, the given political agenda and accompanying form of black authenticity that a black corporate body—or any representative body promotes cannot be regarded as the real black political view or as representative of offi cial black authenticity; it is merely one version of black politics and the black conception of racial authenticity that happens to be espoused by a group that claims to have the authority to represent the needs and desires of all blacks. Taking the “offi cial black response” to HIV/AIDS as an example, it is evident, as Cathy J. Cohen argues, that neither every real crisis facing African Americans nor the particular political concerns of individual blacks will receive any attention by the broader black population at all.27 In reality, the issues typically represented by black corporate bodies are those of greatest importance to heterosexual, Christian black males; it is to be expected that the interests of homosexuals, non-Christians, females or other in-group minorities will be sidelined in a black corporatist organization. Instead of creating a vibrant and meaningful black solidarity, black corporatism stands to alienate a number of African Americans by professing a highly specifi c (and exclusionary) black political agenda or view of authentic blackness that is potentially unrepresentative of their personal beliefs and even hostile toward their particular “unconventional” black lifestyles. Holding onto Racial “Authenticity” Is Too Costly to Black Solidarity Ultimately, African Americans must either choose to build substantive solidarity movements or set their solidarity goals aside and cling to the practice of arbitrarily estranging certain segments of the black population from the broader group by labeling them inauthentic. As has been established, it is virtually impossible to defi ne the shared existential condition that all blacks are imagined to inhabit, and which they must recognize and begrudgingly accept in order for them to achieve black “authenticity”; race is no longer the most signifi cant determinant of the circumstances of an African American’s life, and consequently, it is unreasonable to insist that blacks must put black authenticity above all else in their daily decision-making and overall life plans; unlike in the Jim Crow era, when race did deeply impact the 27. Cohen, Cathy. The Boundaries of Blackness. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999), Preface. SARTREAN AUTHENTICITY AND CONTEMPORARY BLACK SOLIDARITY 24 lives of all African Americans to a serious degree, today, there is no widespread consensus in black America as to what the greatest challenge to the community is or what the source28 of that challenge is; furthermore, there is no black consensus on what the concept of “authentic blackness” comprises, what obligations blacks have to one another (if any), or how a black might even act in/authentically; claims for blacks to be authentic whether mild (Walzer) or extreme (black corporatism) are equally incoherent and divisive and clearly, pose a grave threat to black unity.29 Though defunct strategies for determining the in/authenticity of members of one’s racial group can possibly enable one to attach some degree of meaning to one’s life or to make sense of oneself and one’s behavior in relation to others, this process is hardly more than an illusory exercise and is not a reliable method for distinguishing between un/ reliable partners in any black social justice movement. Without such prepackaged racial roles, which compel individuals to rather unthinkingly assume a “one size fi ts all” racial identity, people can more freely decide to what degree they actually identify with their assigned racial groups (if at all). Some who engage in such refl ection will surely discover that they do not “feel black” at all, and may choose to distance themselves from the black community or black political platforms, while others may fi nd that they do feel a strong connection with other black people or organizations. Unless members of the black community commit themselves to banishing the destructive label of “in/authentic” from their casual and formal discourses, however, this important self-sorting process within the black community will be hampered, and the potency of any subsequent black solidarity movement will suff er. Only by retiring this divisive label and its underlying mythology will black solidarity groups be fully capable of attracting people who take the movement seriously, believe in the goals wholeheartedly and will dedicate themselves unhesitatingly to the cause of eliminating antiblack racism and advancing other worthy goals. 28. Shelby notes that no matter what the particular form that a black solidarity movement takes, it “must distinguish the diff erent sources of black disadvantage.” These three sources of disadvantage are “contemporary racism,” “inherited handicaps attributed to past racial domination” and “nonracial structural factors that have a negative impact on the life prospects of blacks” (141-2). 29. As Tommie Shelby very encouragingly points out, blacks (and other minorities) must know that they do not need a common cultural identity in order to launch a power-ful racial solidarity movement; whether or not such a cultural identity exists, certain uniquely black social justice issues—like antiblack racism and black ghetto poverty, for example—certainly remain that dedicated and diverse members of the community must work together to overcome. ANNA ROSE TULL 25 WRITER’S COMMENTS For generations it has been debated how one should defi ne what can be endorsed with the title of “art,” and even now – especially now – there is no solid answer to that question. In the early 1990s, a young British “artist” named Damien Hirst commenced his reign of terror over the art world. Hirst is known for creating works that no academic is likely to recognize as authentic art, yet his is perhaps the most infl uential and most important name in art today. In my paper, I endeavor to get to the bottom of Hirst’s appeal and, while I do not pretend to suggest an absolute defi nition of the abstract conception of “art,” I do hope to offer a perceptive twist on the many theories of my forerunners, which I have dredged up for the purpose of my research. I am an Art History/Arts Management major with minors in Fine Art and French Studies. —Anna Rose Tull INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS Anna’s essay on Damien Hirst analyzes the nature of art, the artist’s vision and how the perceptions of art critics and viewers intertwine with the former two. After noting the diffi culties in determining a universal defi nition of what art is, she then explores how some of Hirst’s most provocative works both exemplify and complicate our personal and academic responses to them and to him. Her keen analyses, particularly of The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, enlighten us about what Hirst is trying to evoke and touch on that age-old question wrestled with by art scholars and dilettantes alike: This is art?! Anna’s argument is so insightful and persuasive that I wish she’d next turn a similarly critical eye on Lady “Blah-blah’s” (or is it “Gaga”?) “artistic” 21st century contributions to the music world! Given Anna’s objective voice and appreciation for nuance in art, I’m certain she would compose just as effective an argument. —Tom Lugo, Rhetoric and Composition “NO SENSE OF ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION”: DAMIEN HIRST AND THE ART QUESTION 26 ANNA ROSE TULL “No Sense of Absolute Corruption”: Damien Hirst and the Art Question MILLIONS OF PEOPLE from all cultures and backgrounds, all speaking diff erent tongues, can look at daVinci’s Mona Lisa and appreciate her mystery and majesty. The language of fi ne art is such that a single masterpiece can touch viewers across the ages in the most profound and incredible ways. For millennia, people of all cultures, all nations, and all education levels have utilized artistic vision to create countless works of human expression. Art, much like the human race, has gone through many cycles of change throughout history and continues to evolve today, yet the common thread of art’s ability to touch the human spirit continues unchanged. Since the beginning of mankind, marked by stick-fi gure representations on cave walls, there has been something about artistic expression that resonates with all human beings – something that reaches the very core of human existence and provides all humanity with the common ability to relate art to life. In the early 1990s, however, a daring artist emerged from the British popular art movement, changing the way his contemporaries viewed art. Before Damien Hirst, art was gracefully provocative and, in some way or another, aesthetically appealing to most. Whether by an act of intellectual and revolutionary genius, or by a pure urge to rebel, Hirst made history in art by abandoning all the familiar conventions of what people believed art should look like to, instead, do his own thing, creating works equally as provocative as those of his predecessors, but in a wholly diff erent manner. Instead of creating pieces that viewers want to look at, Hirst fashions repulsive “sculptures” that force viewers to look at them; even when they believe they cannot stand to behold the maggot-infested dead cow’s head any longer, they are compelled to steal a last glance at this compelling parody before moving on to the Warhol prints in the next gallery, which, although completely outrageous for the ‘60s, by comparison seem wholesome, tasteful and tame. There seems to be a dramatic rift in today’s contemporary art between the hard-working and well-trained yet ANNA ROSE TULL 27 depressingly poor artists and fellows like Hirst who throw dead animals into tanks of formaldehyde, give them names like The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, call it “art,” and garner millions of dollars as well as exhibitions in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It might be unanimously agreed that what Hirst does is not aesthetically pleasing in the least, but might he be making some sort of philosophical or existential statement by creating such “art” that breaks the socially-accepted ideas of what art looks like or should be? If he is trying to be provocative in some way other than to be aesthetically pleasing, isn’t what he producing, then, actually art? After all, isn’t art supposed to be provocative? So, where does one draw the line between what can and cannot be considered “art”? Does any artist, art critic, or art-lover have the authority to determine the defi nition of that enduring mysterious entity called “art”? To even partially understand Hirst’s motives, his purpose, or his statement (if he is, indeed, making one), one must fi rst reach a comfortable understanding of what art really is – how, if defi nition is actually possible, it might be defi ned in order to establish a future standard for discrimination – and who, if anyone, has the authority to decide what can or cannot be considered art. Next, one must explore how Hirst might be conforming to that defi nition of art, or, if he is rebelling against the established norms, is this, then, art in itself? Finally, one should discuss existentialism in relation to art and Hirst’s artistic experience as it relates to both the artist and his viewers in order to discover what existential message he is trying to share with the world. Art is the most important aspect of human nature, and recently it is becoming a much more controversial subject to discuss. Many pieces in some of the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries leave viewers thinking, “I could do that.” The truth is, some of the paint splatters Jackson Pollock has made famous were far more diffi cult to achieve than an untrained painter might think, while perhaps the only skill one need have to produce a plain white canvas bordered in black may be minimal experience with a ruler. Yet, various works of this latter nature populate the walls of museums from New York’s Museum of Modern Art to Paris’s Musée d’Orsay. Why is that, and how can one discern reputable art from uninspired creations? While many fi nd Hirst’s work gruesome, off ensive, or pointless, I argue that he is, indeed, one of the greatest contemporary artists there is. This paper traces the evidence and names the qualities that, indeed, qualify Hirst’s work as worthy of artistic recognition. So how does one determine the diff erence between what is “art” “NO SENSE OF ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION”: DAMIEN HIRST AND THE ART QUESTION 28 and what is just an exercise in household futility? Often, artists are responsible for numerous concept sketches and color exercises before they create their fi nal products, and only the result is considered the artwork. So what diff erentiates the practice from the masterpiece? Why is one recognized as worthy, true art and the other not? Although many theorists have opined on what they believe art to be, there has never been any clearly articulated defi nition of art. This process of reining in the furthest reaches of what can legitimately be labeled “art” has become even more cumbersome in recent decades with the introduction of modern and contemporary art, as these works seem to defy all that past artwork shared – the artist’s sincere attempt to capture and represent the world around him. How is it possible that such works as Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, an excellent example of the radical Cubism movement of the early 20th century, and Duchamp’s Fountain, a simple urinal laid on its side bearing the graffi ti-style signature of “R. Mutt,” are depicting the same world as that of Michelangelo’s David or da Vinci’s Last Supper? There is no simple answer, and scores of theorists have posed various ideas as to how to describe the common intent of art, which has unknowingly held together all that has been identifi ed as art until Hirst’s work entered the debate. Interestingly, as much disagreement and confusion as there may be about what art is, a large number of these theorists are easily able to agree on what art is not: objectively defi nable. According to Morris Weitz, a philosopher who has studied the role of theory in aesthetics, “attempting to defi ne art in the traditional way (that is, closing the concept) ‘forecloses on the very conditions of creativity in the arts: … the very expansive, adventurous character of art, its ever-present changes and novel creations, makes it logically impossible to ensure any set of defi ning properties’” (Warburton 73). Thus, there must be something other than physical qualifi cations that may classify something as art, some underlying theory as to the unseen nature of that fi eld. Renowned art philosopher Arthur Danto clarifi es this renunciation of physical discriminators, best suggesting that “it is theory that makes something a work of art, not some visible element of it: to see something as art requires something that the eye cannot descry – an atmosphere of artistic theory, a knowledge of the history of art…” (Warburton 91). Danto is quite observant in noting that there is an element to the discernment of art that is utterly indescribable. Danto’s statement, however, suggests that one must be in some way, either consciously or subconsciously, predisposed to the trained viewing and appreciation of art to recognize it as artistically meriting. The problem with this claim ANNA ROSE TULL 29 is that laypeople who have never studied art history or picked up a single paintbrush know that Mona Lisa is an excellent work of art. Why is this? It is because there is something more encompassing than this theory of “knowledge” and “atmosphere” of which Danto speaks so eloquently to designate something as, in fact, art. One might recognize that the whole of the artistic experience might be contingent on the individual, on his or her personal experience with, knowledge of, and background in art. However, if we are to assert that art is a deeply personal and wholly subjective experience, which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, as many people feel it to be, then, on this premise, anyone could potentially call anything art, and others would be obligated to respect that as his or her opinion. We know that a simple ballpoint pen could not reasonably regarded as, since it remains in its original function, as a writing utensil. So, there must be certain ground-rules that, even if proven incapable of defi ning exactly what art is, may at least hint at how that common thread holds together the universal body of true artworks. In this sense, art theorist and author Nigel Warburton has much to say about the inconclusive “family resemblance” theory, which allows us to “use the term ‘art’ eff ectively and understand [one another] when we talk about art” (122). In The Art Question, Warburton examines art as a concept – something that does not exist as a classifi able physical entity, only something that can be sensed or intellectually deduced by some inherent human capacity to relate to that which is truly art. This idea reverts to the notion that art is that which has the ability to resonate with multitudes of people worldwide throughout the ages, and perhaps this is the only truly verifi able defi nition of art available. If no better can be achieved, one might be apt to accept that a decent conception of “art” is any artifact that has been put before a universally reachable population as something intended for appreciation and which makes each of those people feel something, intellectually or emotionally, toward either its aesthetics, its context, or its concept. Thus, the person responsible for defi ning a particular work of art is its immediate viewer, and this is an acceptably qualifi ed determinant because of that quality which states that a true work of art will resound with all viewers. Closely related but fundamentally diff erent from “art as a concept” is conceptual art. Hirst is a self-proclaimed conceptual artist who has declared, “Art goes on in your head” (Young), and for him, this is very true. However, according to Longmont Times reporter Quentin Young, “the problem is [that] art does not go on in your head, ideas go on in your head [and] art goes on when those ideas are given form outside your head” “NO SENSE OF ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION”: DAMIEN HIRST AND THE ART QUESTION 30 (Young). It is not diffi cult to understand where Young is coming from with this statement. Art, as we have defi ned it, must be an artifact, in other words a physical object, and Young is correct to note that ideas cannot be objects. However, with the introduction of conceptual art as genre, that physical aspect becomes more diffi cult to maintain. A fellow conceptual artist, Sol LeWitt supports Hirst’s claim when he describes that “in conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work [and] when an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory aff air – the idea becomes the machine that makes the art” (Alberro 35). Thus, for Hirst, and arguably for LeWitt, too, what is produced physically is only a byproduct of the conceptual art they have formed in their minds. This is because the very nature of conceptual art disregards the physical attributes of the piece in favor of the context and idea that made that piece possible. While it is true that Hirst’s or LeWitt’s ideas would not be able to be appreciated as art (a second factor of our defi nition) if those ideas were not given a physical “body” per se, it is apparent that the ideas behind the works take precedence over the object of the art itself and thus, in a way, the ideas are the genuinely artistic part of the work of art. The problem with this type of conceptual art, however, is that it then can never be wholly subjective for its viewers. Here, the artist has already thought it all out for them; he has left his mark so that they cannot change his intentions to fi t their specifi c intellectual and emotional expectations, which is a vital third part of our aforementioned defi nition of art. So how, if the defi nition of art requires a subjective response, can this be truly valuable art? Because, even if the intentional meaning of the work is already evident, viewers are still provoked to respond personally, bringing in their own experience and thus adopting that last part of our defi nition. Take Hirst’s Saint Sebastian, for example: we get it. We understand that this upright cow struck through with dozens of arrows is a parody on the early Christian fi gure and the respective early artistic theme. All of the information is there, and one beholds the artist’s message; he understands that the artist has been there fi rst and that he cannot wedge his way between the artist and his message. However, because he possesses his own mind, he is able to create his own intellectual experience in response to the image, whether or not it is consistent with the artist’s experience. It is his because his mind created it, and ANNA ROSE TULL 31 that is the resonating, profound truth of the human condition: that we all respond to similar visual cues in similar, yet still personal, ways. Ultimately, this endorsement of the human condition is what makes this type of conceptual art great. The Seattle Art Museum cites one of this sort of contemporary art’s driving tenets to be that “it is the viewer’s own experience and predilections which ultimately guide us to meaningful and satisfactory answers” as to what art will be. Hirst’s work defi nitely tests the predilections and experiences of its viewers; it evokes various mixed emotions that one does not normally get to feel all at once – wonder, disgust, admiration, to name a few – much less regard as art. Thus, Hirst, undoubtedly, can be recognized as a great artist, but I argue that there is more to him than that. Almost every self-proclaimed art-lover will agree that what Hirst does is not pretty in the least, and many have grasped that the aesthetics of his work must not be where his message ends, but they cannot quite decipher the new language of this medium he has put before them. Nevertheless, as much diffi culty as one might have trying to make any sense of Hirst’s ambiguous works, he is sure that the artist is not simply throwing animals into formaldehyde or pasting butterfl ies onto canvasses because he likes the way it looks (even though his Like Flies Brushed Off a Wall We Fall is somewhat nice in its complimentary arrangement of blue butterfl ies on an orange background, until one remembers those butterfl ies were once alive). An intelligent visionary who is very much concerned with the current state of the world, Hirst is hopeful that, through his art, he might convey a certain important message to viewers about the existential nature of life. A basic understanding of existentialism is that it regards the human existence as inexplicable and emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual in his or her experience. Hirst explores this uncertainty that lies at the core of human experience through unexpected and unconventional media – for instance, the tiger shark in The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living or the pills and pharmaceutical packaging in his Pharmacy series. One of Hirst’s works, The History of Pain, a sculpture of an infl atable ball suspended on a string over a sea of kitchen knives, seems to be “an allegory of mind and world [where] the ball [is] consciousness and the world [is] knife blades” (Danto 57). One might read this as a statement about the fragility and vulnerability of an individual mind subjected to the corruption of the modern world. Confi rming this idea of societal corruption as being a “NO SENSE OF ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION”: DAMIEN HIRST AND THE ART QUESTION 32 central theme in Hirst’s work, Mark Dery, a prominent American author and cultural critic, cites Hirst as stating that his 1996 show at Gagosian Gallery in New York City titled No Sense of Absolute Corruption, “refers to the corruption of the fl esh that follows death as well as the moral decay that hollows out lives spent chasing dreams that money can buy” (127). However, viewers get “no sense” of this corruption because the fl esh of his shark and cows are hidden in gallons of formaldehyde, and the eyes of our consumerist society are shut to any sense of moral decay resulting from their materialism. It seems that every step Hirst takes is a parody in some way: from concept to medium to title Hirst presents a witty criticism of the world he observes every day, inviting viewers to join him in satirizing the society that creates such a world. A major medium used in Hirst’s work is dead animals, and a major theme that inevitably emanates from this medium is death. An intriguingly complex example of how Hirst deals with the idea of death to teach viewers something about human nature is in his infamous tiger shark-in-formaldehyde “sculpture,” The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. Here, Hirst has captured the shark’s entire essence, it’s his monster persona, even in death. We know the shark is dead and thus is forever stuck in his vitrine, but he appears so real, so close to life, with his mouth wide open, ready to chomp down on whichever gallery visitor off ers him ample opportunity. That abject fear people anticipate with live sharks in the deep of the ocean is still present in their gut, and they cannot shake the idea that any second, it is going to come to life and they will be in its jaws. That inherent human fear of death is still there, even though it is a physically impossible event. Once they have experienced this confusion, the overt meaning of the title emerges: they cannot comprehend death while they are still alive. They refuse to accept the dead state of this animal because it is physically impossible for this shark, if indeed dead, to be looking at them, charging at them, suspended (nay, swimming!) in the tank as it is. It is beautifully horrifi c, and in that SoHo gallery, viewers begin to sweat a little, their adrenaline pumping, because for a minute they forgot that the permanent nature of death is immutable. Hirst similarly aff ects the thoughts and physical reactions of his viewers in every work he creates. Dery contends that “in our mass-mediated environment… the virtualization of everyday life is undermining our sense of what’s real and what’s not” (129), thus making it fairly easy for Hirst to play on that inability to escape from what we know to be true and to make a parody of our mindset. Ultimately, however, Hirst is “[using] death as a way of expressing thoughts about death [and] his most ANNA ROSE TULL 33 celebrated work has never shied away from the terrible beauty that lies in death” (Danto 53). It is because of this ability to touch the very core of the human condition and its inherent fear of death that Hirst has become such a powerful conceptual artist today. Some people defi ne what they believe to be art as that which is aesthetically pleasing; however, as with the Mona Lisa, true art is anything that has a way of reaching and resonating with all people across all ages. Therefore, art is an intellectual process, the thoughts it evokes and the way it works on our head. Hirst’s art accomplishes just that; he creates that intellectual experience of art in a way that is very new to our concept of how such a thing should be done. We have grown so accustomed to the representational and abstract painting of previous centuries that our artistic intellects are yearning for something more – something completely diff erent, and Hirst is the fi rst to off er that to us in such a profound, in-your- face manner. Hirst’s readiness to deal with the complicated subject of existentialism makes him a unique, great artist: he has “created an unforgettable image of life-and-death” (Danto 54), which lends aid to those who are searching for answers as to the meaning of life. He might not have all the answers, but he provides a sense of hope for viewers, especially those who do not mind being challenged intellectually and viscerally. This hope stems from the idea that art can wake people up to the brutal reality of contemporary society and that art, as the core measure of the human experience, can heal. Arthur Danto remarks that “if a body of work comes along that in ambition and achievement puts Hirst in the shade, we are in for a remarkable era” (59). I concur. Whether it is daVinci’s Mona Lisa or Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, art is defi ned not simply by its visual appeal, but by the sustainability of its deeper intellectual and emotional resonance with viewers throughout the ages. Editor’s Note Damien Hirst’s images are copyright protected. Readers interested in fi nding the images referred to in this essay are encouraged to search Google Images. “NO SENSE OF ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION”: DAMIEN HIRST AND THE ART QUESTION 34 Works Cited Alberro, Alexander. Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity. Cambridge: MIT, 2003. Danto, Arthur C. “Damien Hirst.” Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005. Dery, Mark. The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink. New York: Grove, 1999. Seattle Art Museum. Museum label for Andy Warhol, Rorschach Painting. Seattle, 28 Nov. 2008. Warburton, Nigel. The Art Question. New York: Routledge, 2003. Young, Quentin. “Beautiful Inside his Head.” The Longmont Time-Call (7 Nov. 2008). 18 Nov. 2008 < http://timescall.com>. SHAINE SCARMINACH 35 WRITER’S COMMENTS This paper was written for a course in which we explored the philosophical concepts refl ected in various works of science fi ction. My paper engages specifi cally with one of the works covered that, although strikingly similar, is not readily included in the science fi ction genre. The notion that a work investigating our modern world could so easily be included with those that are chiefl y aimed at exploring radically different worlds was immensely intriguing to me. For all the criticisms lodged against the failures of science fi ction to adequately predict modern existence, it is striking to note how similar that existence is to the ones that so often inhabit science fi ction fi lms and novels. My aim was to analyze the powerful way in which Don DeLillo explores this idea in his novel Cosmopolis, specifi cally addressing the question of how we can come to know ourselves and the world around us when the clues to our existence are increasingly buried amid the complexity and abstraction of the modern world. —Shaine Scarminach INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS Brian Aldiss once defi ned science fi ction as “the search for a defi nition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge (science).” In the past decade, many of the world’s most imaginative novelists – including Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Michel Houellebecq and Kazuo Ishiguro – have blurred the distinction between science fi ction and modern or post-modern literature, which resists a singular “defi nition” of human reality. DeLillo’s work, concerned with satirizing intellectual and consumerist currents amidst scenarios of terrorism and violence, has taken a “quantum leap” with his short novel Cosmopolis, one of the highlights of the Fall 2008 philosophy seminar on Science Fiction Novels. In his essay, Shaine Scarminach intelligently frames DeLillo’s contribution through a close reading of the novel’s themes, particularly the technological collapse of time and space, the abstraction of capital, and the return of repressed corporeality. As Scarminach shows, the victory of the spectacle, which DeLillo prophesied in his best-known White Noise, takes a new step with its integration back into the materiality of human experience. If this integration is ultimately ambiguous in its meaning, it nevertheless must be lived out by each of us in our further encroaching digital age. —Jeffrey Paris, Department of Philosophy THE EXPERIENCE OF HYPER-MODERNITY IN DON DELILLO’S COSMOPOLIS 36 SHAINE SCARMINACH The Experience of Hyper-Modernity in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis A RECENT ASSOCIATED PRESS ARTICLE1reported a total decline in public anxiety over what it terms “Extropians, Transhumanists, Cyber- Fascists and Doomsayers.” Through interviews with former heads of technology-based businesses, the article describes people not only as no longer fearing things such as artifi cial intelligence or cyborgs, but also that they no longer care. Visions of a world that caused fear and anxiety in the past, images of the natural environment so degraded that human beings are forced to fuse with technology and migrate to other planets, are now seen as decidedly less disturbing and unimportant. Future visions of a cyber dystopia are of no consequence to those who are much more concerned with, as one interviewee said, “the high cost of privatized healthcare and dwindling retirement benefi ts.” Coincidentally, many modern fi ction writers have produced works that blur genre distinctions much like the line between modernity and post-modernity. These works present pictures of a world in fl ux where features once relegated to science fi ction texts have become, if not normalized, deeply insinuated into modern existence: nations are sublimated to all-powerful corporate entities; technological advance and profi t margins ensure endless war, ecological disaster and depletion of resources; and human identity and consciousness is lost in a fi eld of mass-produced simulacra and virtual reality. They seek to explore what it means to live in a world where the signposts of existence have become so unmoored from their foundations that not only is an apocalyptic vision ever more realistic, but seems the inevitable outcome of a chaotic age. Centered on the sublimation of the present by the future, Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis is just such a work. The novel chronicles one day in the life of a billionaire asset manager, Eric Packer, as he takes a cross-town trip in New York to get a haircut. Firmly rooted in the present (an April 1. “Extropians, Transhumanists, Cyber-Fascists and Doomsayers No Longer Able to Scare Public, Forced to Get Real Jobs,” Donovan Gilhume, Associated Press, October 19, 2008. SHAINE SCARMINACH 37 day in 2000), Cosmopolis could easily be mistaken for a science fi ction novel, particularly of the cyber-punk variety as its anti-hero traverses through an environment of streaming data and fl ashing screens, seeking to tap into the transcendental power of the cyber world. Undoubtedly, Cosmopolis speaks to a growing awareness of technology’s insinuation into modern existence like the one refl ected in the Associated Press piece. More important, however, is its attempt to explore the larger questions of what it means to live in a period of hyper-modernity. Similar to its setting in a cultural moment where the exuberance of the 1990’s was soon to be shattered, the novel speaks to the larger historical moment we fi nd ourselves in; a modern epoch hyper-extended and poised to shift into a completely diff erent world. As Packer embarks on his entropic voyage across Manhattan, DeLillo explores what it means to live in a world where technological edifi ces have served to transform the very texture of reality. The confl uence of technology and capital has served to collapse time and space, sublimating the present to a moment persistently poised on manifesting the ever-encroaching future. The pure speed and abstraction of data disrupts the specifi c points of existential reference, leaving subjectivity awash in a stream of unperceivable cyber movement and fl ux. The ultimate question DeLillo poses throughout the chronicle of Packer’s daylong adventure is how can we locate ourselves, our very essence, in this unstable environment? Throughout the novel, there is a push and pull between the pure abstraction of data and the earthly materiality of the body. Packer continually tries to discover the similarities between organic patterns and those of cyber capital. He is at once enamored with the universalizing world of data and rejects the material vestiges of the past, while similarly drawn to material experience, specifi cally that of the lived body. Another question DeLillo poses has to do with where Packer goes to locate his essence: through the transcendent power of data or through the material decay of the body? Ultimately, the answer given is ambiguous (not unsurprising for DeLillo). DeLillo seems to posit that in a world so transformed by technological insinuation and heading towards an epochal shift the place to locate oneself is neither a return to the body nor a leap into the future of data. Rather, we can locate ourselves in a mysterious space beyond the two that is incapable of being codifi ed according to any modern or post-modern systems of understanding. Packer is a thoroughly unlikable character: narcissistic, aloof, ruthless and morally indiff erent. He lives in a forty-eight room apartment that THE EXPERIENCE OF HYPER-MODERNITY IN DON DELILLO’S COSMOPOLIS 38 boasts, among other things, two elevators, a lap pool and a gymnasium. He travels around in a thirty-fi ve foot limousine that is outfi tted with numerous electronic devices, cork lining to reduce sound and a marble fl oor. He speaks several languages, reads serious poetry and fi lls his home with paintings “unknowable to many” (8)2. His characterization refl ects not only the comic exaggeration found throughout the work, but also the larger ambiguities that arise from the confl icts he embodies. Only twenty-eight and already possessing enormous wealth, Packer revels in his ability to understand and exploit complex patterns in fi nancial markets; he is constantly driven to understand things on their most basic level, utilizing his great intellect and fi nancial power to access the enigmas he discovers. At the beginning of the novel, Packer is unable to sleep (a foreshadowing of the anxiety that increases as the novel progresses) and he gives an early glimpse of his inner drive as he regards a gull fl ying outside his window: “admiring the bird, thinking into it, trying to know the bird” (7). As Packer travels along 47th Street to get his haircut, an added sense of anxiety permeates his journey; he has borrowed huge sums of money against the Japanese yen and as it continues to rise, he moves closer and closer to fi nancial collapse. The fi rst part of the novel contrasts his desperate search to discover the internal logic of the yen’s rise with his search to reconcile the tensions brought on by the counterweight of time in its new technological dimension where it simultaneously tries to push into the future and pull back into the past. This tension created by the movement of time is embodied in the tension between Packer’s reverence for the transcendent power of data and his urge to indulge in material experience. In the fi rst of his several in-car meetings with his various aides and advisors, he is enamored by the primitive mass of noise seeping in through his limousine: “It was the tone of some fundamental ache, a lament so old it sounded aboriginal. He thought of men in shaggy bands bellowing ceremonially, social units established to kill and eat” (14). Shortly after, he spots his young-wife in a taxi and is fascinated by the missing fi nger of the driver: “Eric regarded the stub, impressive, a serious thing, a body ruin that carried history and pain” (17). He leads his wife from the taxi to a restaurant where they eat breakfast and he is again fascinated with the material experience: “He could feel the glucose entering his cells” (18). Back in his car, Packer meets with his currency analyst and while they discuss the rising yen, he extols on the fusion of technology and capital. 2. All page references refer to Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis, New York, New York: Scribner (2004). SHAINE SCARMINACH 39 After noticing only a moment before that the screens inside his limousine have begun to represent his actions before he takes them, he refl ects on his profound appreciation of technology and its power to transcend mere materiality: Data itself was soulful and glowing, a dynamic aspect of the life process. This was the eloquence of alphabets and numeric systems, now fully realized in electronic form, in the zero-oneness of the world, the digital imperative that defi ned every breath of the planet’s living billions. Here was the heave of the biosphere. Our bodies and oceans were here, knowable and whole (24). Following this meeting, Packer leaves his limousine for a liaison with a female art dealer. Again he moves toward the pleasure of the lived body as he is energized by this sexual encounter: “He felt better now. He knew who he was” (32). Yet in this brief meeting, DeLillo begins to hint at the ambiguous essence beyond both the body and data that ultimately serves as the novel’s endpoint. While discussing her attempts to secure Packer a rare Mark Rothko painting for purchase, the art dealer proclaims that he needs to buy the painting because the very act of looking at a painting “makes you feel alive in the world. It tells you, yes you’re here. And yes, you have a range of being that’s deeper and sweeter than you knew” (30). This early in the novel, Packer is still too deeply rooted in his constant urge to understand and ultimately control the enigmas around him and brushes her insight aside. Instead, he continually chides her to make an off er not for the single painting, but for the entire Rothko Chapel, “walls and all” (30). Back in his Limousine, Packer returns to technology and its ability to collapse the traditional structure of time. When his Limousine is blocked by some obstruction, he lifts his head out of the sunroof and refl ects on the symbolic power of several distant bank towers: They looked empty from here. He liked that idea. They were made to be the last tall things, made empty, designed to hasten the future. They were the end of the outside world. They weren’t here, exactly. They were in the future, a time beyond geography and touchable money and the people who stack and count it (36). THE EXPERIENCE OF HYPER-MODERNITY IN DON DELILLO’S COSMOPOLIS 40 This serves as only one of the many observations Packer makes about the objects around him as representing the quickening pace of time. As his currency analyst departs and Packer begins his next meeting by picking-up his chief of fi nance on a street corner, he demonstrates again the drive to understand the world around him, saying that “he knew what she would say to him, fi rst line, word for word, and he looked forward to hearing it … He liked knowing what was coming. It confi rmed the presence of some hereditary script available to those who could decode it” (38). Packer’s meeting with his chief of fi nance is one of the more curious scenes in the novel, not only because of what it entails, but also because it presents a convergence of the various tensions operating throughout the novel: bodily experience, data transcendence, and an unquantifi able essence. As he discusses the rise of the yen with his chief of fi nance, a conversation that becomes increasingly sexually charged, he also receives a physical examination, which is mirrored in the many screens outfi tted in his limousine. Here, the lines between digital transcendence and bodily experience are blurred as he is forced to acknowledge the materiality of his body and his enjoyment of the lived experience while simultaneously desiring to move beyond that materiality in the same way time serves to shed its technological advances. As he experiences pain from the physical exam, Packer is forced to acknowledge his body and the power of pain to bring about physical recognition: “He was here in his body, the structure he wanted to dismiss in theory even when he was shaping it under the measured eff ect of barbells and weights. He wanted to judge it redundant and transferable. It was convertible to wave arrays of information” (48). He further refl ects that, “he could think and speak of other things but only within the pain. He was living in the gland, the scalding fact of his biology” (50). Packer recognizes that the body is accompanied by pleasure as well as pain. As his eroticized conversation with his chief of fi nance reaches a climax, his ecstasy is mirrored on the screens like the pain experienced from his physical exam. The image appears seconds before it occurs in real time, a further indication of technology’s ability to collapse time and reorganize our understanding of everyday life; an indication that the unquantifi able essence comes in the form of his asymmetrical prostate, a condition he has been previously diagnosed with and has persisted in his mind ever since. SHAINE SCARMINACH 41 Packer feels “a fear of, a distance from” the notion of his asymmetrical prostate because it is unknowable, an enigma that denies assimilation into his fi eld of knowledge: “There was something about asymmetry. It was intriguing in the world outside the body, a counterforce to balance and calm, subatomic, that made creation happen” (52). After another sojourn away from his limousine in which Packer again meets his wife and refl ects on his desires to both fi nd an inherent logic in the continual rise of the yen and “live in meat space,” he returns to his limousine for a fi nal meeting with his chief of theory. She is perhaps the only character smarter than Packer and consequently, the only one of his advisors to off er advice that he seriously contemplates. With her dialogue, DeLillo manifests the clearest analysis of technology found in the book; in this sense, she acts almost as an oracular fi gure, laying bare the logic behind Packer’s desire to merge with data. As the Limousine continues to crawl across Manhattan, she freely theorizes on the triumph of data in hyper-modernity, declaring that, “all wealth has become wealth for its own sake … it no longer has weight or shape” (77). She proclaims that “money makes times” and asserts that time has become commoditized by the confl uence of capital and technology; making it so “the present is harder to fi nd” as “the future becomes insistent” (79). In one of the most striking passages of the novel, Packer and his chief of theory look out the limousine at a digital stock ticker affi xed to the side of a building and he speculates on what is passing through her thoughts: Never mind the speed that makes it hard to follow what passes before the eye. The speed is the point. Never mind the urgent and endless replenishment, the way data dissolves at one end of the screen just as it takes shape at the other. This is the point, the thrust, the future. We are not witnessing the fl ow of information so much as pure spectacle, or information made sacred, ritually unreadable (80). As his chief of theory continues to theorize on the rise of the yen, the limousine gets caught in the middle of an anti-globalization protest. After briefl y regarding the action from his sunroof, Packer retreats back into the limousine and watches on screen as the protestors take their aggression out on his car. His chief of theory THE EXPERIENCE OF HYPER-MODERNITY IN DON DELILLO’S COSMOPOLIS 42 asserts that the protestors are acting as an extension of the very system they are objecting to: “These people are a fantasy generated by the market. They don’t exist outside the market. There is nowhere they can go to be on the outside. There is no outside” (90). With this scene, DeLillo retains the ambiguous essence that is able to exist outside the all-powerful logic of cyber-capital. Among the chaos, Packer sees a man immolate himself as part of the protest. He is torn between the transcendent power of data and the power exuded by the decay of fl esh, as he is transfi xed by the image of the burning man running across the numerous screens in the limousine: “What did this change? Everything, he thought … The market was not total. It could not claim this man or assimilate his act … This was a thing outside its reach” (99). Following this climatic scene, the fi rst part of the novel comes to an end. The yen continues to rise against the dollar and Packer’s fortune continues to be jeopardized, but he is purifi ed by both the abstract plummeting of the markets and the tangible rain falling upon his face as he again exits his limousine. Packer’s security team established a credible threat on his life which serves to free him even more than the rain or the fall of markets: “It was the threat of death at the brink of night that spoke to him most surely about some principle of fate he’d always known would come clear in time. Now he could begin the business of living” (107). The threat on Packer’s life sends him ever quicker into a present that is reorganized by the quickening pace of the destruction of the past and the emergence of the future, a space where he will be able to access the unquantifi able essence that exists beyond both the digital and the material realms. The second part of the novel fi nds Packer in a kind of nihilistic submission to the forces around him as he spirals toward the ultimate resolution—an encounter with his would-be assassin. As the yen continues to rise and his fortune continues to dwindle, he precipitates his own downfall as he resolves himself to the forces acting outside of him. In this latter part of the novel, he is cleansed of particularity and able to access pure experience as part of a larger whole, which is manifested by his increasing recognition of others around him, as well as his removal of the material reality that surrounds him. After another sexual encounter with his new bodyguard, in which he indulges in a hundred thousand volt shock from a stun gun, the shift in Packer’s character begins to become apparent. Returning to his limousine, he refl ects on the feeling of freedom he gets as he watches SHAINE SCARMINACH 43 fi nancial markets world-wide collapse as a result of his failing speculation: “he felt even freer than usual, attuned to the registers of his lower brain and gaining distance from the need to take inspired action, make original judgments, maintain inspired principles and convictions” (115). After this brief pause, Packer departs his limousine to share another meal with his wife. As they discuss his dwindling fortune, he begins to turn away from the distant and aloof characterization he held in the fi rst part of the novel and starts to recognize the other people around him. Responding to his wife’s question of what’s important he says, “To be aware of what’s around me. To understand another person’s situation, another person’s feelings” (121). In these brief scenes Packer begins to relinquish his urgent need to comprehend and control, feeling liberated as the logic of the yen continues to evade him and his fi nancial prospects evaporate. Moreover, he begins to shed his drive to remain isolated from others, recognizing the place of those around him. This shift in his character is perhaps best articulated in the following two scenes in which Packer enters a rave with one of his bodyguards and observes the lavish funeral of a recently deceased rap star. As Packer and his bodyguard move through the rave, he feels “an otherworldliness, a strange arrhythmia in the scene” as the loud music replaces “skin and brain with digital tissue” and those in attendance dance in drug-fueled euphoria. The atmosphere overtakes him as he begins to feel assimilated into the ebullient mass, saying: “First you were apart and watching and then you were in, and with, and of the crowd, and then you were the crowd, densely assembled and dancing as one” (126). He refl ects, “they melted into each other so they wouldn’t shrivel up as individuals … he felt a little less himself, a little more the others, down there, raving” (127). He emerges from the rave cleansed of particularity, tapping into the sublimation of the individual that can be realized in a moment of mutual connection. He returns to his limousine and continues his trip cross-town only to have it held-up once again by the cavalcade of mourners parading through the streets as part of the Sufi rap star Brutha Fez’s funeral procession. Packer then exits to observe the procession and is brought to tears by the intensity of feeling evinced by the participants. The parade is “a spectacle he could clearly not command,” and serves to further validate feelings of purifi cation Packer began to experience as he ceases trying to control the world around him: “[his] delight in going broke seemed blessed and authenticated here. He’d been emptied of everything but a sense of surpassing stillness, a fatedness that felt disinterested and THE EXPERIENCE OF HYPER-MODERNITY IN DON DELILLO’S COSMOPOLIS 44 free” (136). In this scene, his fondness of data’s universality and abstraction persists as he sees these traits in a procession of whirling dervishes: “He thought of the whirlers deliquescing, resolving into fl uid states, into spinning liquid, rings of water and fog that eventually disappear in air” (139). Shortly after, Packer oscillates back towards bodily experience as he responds to a pie in the face by beating the thrower and then attacking a group of photographers capturing the incident: “His body whispered to him. It hummed with the action, the charge at the photographers, the punches he’d thrown, the bloodsurge, the heartbeat, the great strewn beauty of garbage cans toppling” (143). Following this scene, the urgency of Packer’s course is again made evident as he is seized by the need to cleanse himself of his attachments. He coldly kills his chief of security, the last remaining guard against the credible threat. The collapse of his wealth and threat on his life leaves him wanting “whatever would happen to happen,” allowing him to kill his last bodyguard to clear “the night for deeper confrontation” (147,148). After fi nally reaching his destination at his childhood barbershop, where he reminisces with the barber and his driver, he is again seized by his drive and leaps out of the barber’s chair with only half his hair cut: “He was alert, eager for action, for resolution. Something had to happen soon, a dispelling of doubt and the emergence of some design” (171). Faced with dwindling prospects, he is driven to seize the present, trying to wrest some meaning from it in order to understand the tensions that have existed in him since the start of the day. Leaving the barbershop, again in his limousine, he stumbles upon a movie set consisting of hundreds of naked bodies resting in contorted positions in the middle of the street. He sees this as his avenue for pure experience, devoid of bodily materiality. He quickly undresses and assumes a place among the mass of people: He felt the presence of the bodies, all of them, the body breath, the heat and running blood, people unlike each other who were now alike, amassed, heaped in a way, alive and dead together … the experience was a strong one, so total and open he could barely think outside of it (174). Yet this attempt to merge with the mass of bodies, sublimating himself as a subject, ultimately fails as it resides in the material realm; he continues to be torn between the submission to pure experience and the transcendence of data. At one point, as he rests among the mass of naked SHAINE SCARMINACH 45 bodies, he admits that “it tore his mind apart, trying to see them here and real, independent of the image on a screen” (176). Although he desires to merge with the mass of bodies, he is still torn between the mediation of pure experience through simulacra so prevalent in the information age. Packer returns to his limousine after taking part in the fi lm scene, riding with his driver until they reach the carport where limousines are stored at night. He is then fi nally alone, shed of all material attachments, and left feeling empty: “He stood in the street. There was nothing to do. He hadn’t realized this could happen to him. The moment was empty of urgency and purpose” (180). This lull is shattered by the sound of gunfi re as the threat on his life fi nally materializes, propelling him towards the resolution he has been heading towards. He returns fi re with a gun given to him by the barber and then follows his attacker into an abandoned building. Here Packer confronts his attacker as he emerges from a bathroom and they proceed to have a decidedly relaxed conversation. He discovers that the attacker is not much of a threat and is let down by this fact; he shoots himself in the hand, reducing himself to the material realm. The searing pain of Packer’s hand and the sound of wind blowing through the abandoned building soothe him: “he felt a peace, a sweetness settle over him” (199). Packer’s attacker, a disgruntled ex-employee, begins to lecture him. As the man’s story unfurls, Packer looks at his watch as it begins to play a video of his apparent future death. He has seemingly been absorbed into the data stream, the future brought on by the confl uence of capital and technology revealed in the image of his dead body on the screen of his watch. Packer’s recognition of this fact is made apparent in DeLillo’s powerful language: He’d always wanted to become quantum dust, transcending his body mass, the soft tissue over the bones, the muscle and fat. The idea was to live outside the given limits, in a chip, on a disk, as data, in whirl, in radiant spin, a consciousness saved from void … It would be the master thrust of cyber-capital, to extend the human experience toward infi nity (207). This resolution does not hold; the pain of his hand returns him to his body, where “his pain interfered with his immortality” (207). His reifi cation into data is staved off by the thrust of his body, the decay of his fl esh: “The things that made him who he was could hardly be converted to data … He’d come to know himself, untranslatably, through his pain” (207). In THE EXPERIENCE OF HYPER-MODERNITY IN DON DELILLO’S COSMOPOLIS 46 the end, Packer has fi rmly arrived in the present, his resolution residing in the unquantifi able elements of his existence: “He understood what was missing, the predatory impulse, the sense of large excitation that drove him through his days, the sheer and reeling need to be” (209). In Cosmopolis, DeLillo not only succeeds in presenting a picture of a cultural moment, but also of a larger historical one. The novel centers on various tensions that emerge as Packer’s limousine slowly crawls across Manhattan while his fi nancial portfolio speedily evaporates, he repeatedly indulges in bodily experience, and holds a reverence for the reifi ed realm of data. This presents a picture of a world in fl ux, on the cusp of a signifi cant shift. The novel speaks to the larger problem of modernity and its shift into post-modernity. It represents a world, much like that of our own, that is disrupted by the slow disappearance of its links to the past and the rapid emergence of a newly formed future. The work’s similarity to the genre of science fi ction speaks to the profound alteration the systems of technology have created in the modern world. Novelists no longer have to project into the distant future to arrive at these kinds of settings as the rapid infl ux of the future has already brought them into existence. These similarities are not limited to the themes of the novel. DeLillo’s concise language evokes a feeling of mechanization as his characters speak in a clipped, brusque manner, which refl ect the speed and fragmentation that characterizes the communication of data in the modern world. Moreover, some of the most striking passages in are ones in which DeLillo powerfully melds both organic and digital imagery. Similar to many of DeLillo’s novels, Cosmopolis examines the ways in which technology can change how we view our social environment and ourselves. Eric Packer is ultimately able to resolve his internal tensions by submitting himself not to the future, but to the present: his discovery elucidates the ultimate power of the individual to withstand the onslaught of the forces around them. Packer ultimately realizes that his constant attempts to master the world have obscured the unquantifi able essence that lies outside the fi eld of understanding. It is this essence that Packer ultimately recognizes and is able to locate himself within. This resolution is an ambiguous one, and rightly so, for DeLillo is not so much trying to provide a solution to the question of subjectivity with his work, but merely trying to explore what it means to live in the epoch of hyper-modernity. It would seem that the ultimate suggestion of the work is to resist the push and pull of one social reality or another and that we can best locate ourselves by adhering to the present in which we reside. KELLY TENN 47 WRITER’S COMMENTS In an upper division Communication Studies class, Rhetoric of Law, Professor Sarah Burgess challenged students to look beyond the facts of the U.S. Law. By studying past U.S. Supreme Court cases, the aim was to grapple with the complex nature of the law, particularly with the First Amendment, and to analyze how the law has been interpreted by Supreme Court Justices. The challenge in this paper was to not only to construct a review of previous literature on the Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines, but to critically analyze the language of the Justices. The aim of my rhetorical analysis is to dissect the authority practiced in court language. My paper is based on developing a dialogue for my research question: “How does the Supreme Court defi ne and justify who has the authority to determine what forms of speech are protected under the First Amendment?” —Kelly Tenn INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS Rhetoric of Law asks students to study law not only to understand constitutional principles of free speech, but also to gain a better understanding of the way in which the law’s language defi nes and justifi es what counts as free speech. In other words, in this upper division course, students study what the law says by studying how it says it. To this end, the task for the fi nal paper was to analyze a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning free speech to understand the effects and implications of the Court’s language. For her fi nal project, Kelly Tenn performed an insightful rhetorical analysis of the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines to understand who has the authority to limit free speech rights of students in public schools. A sophisticated and well written essay, it highlights the theoretical complexity of how the meaning of speech resides in the relationship between the content of the speech and the context in which it is spoken. —Sarah Burgess, Department of Communication Studies TINKER V. DES MOINES: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE AUTHORITY PRACTICED IN COURT LANGUAGE 48 KELLY TENN Tinker v. Des Moines: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Authority Practiced in Court Language IN DECEMBER OF 1965, three public school students were suspended from school for wearing black arm bands that signifi ed their protest against the Vietnam War (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 503 (1969)). On December 14, 1965, the Des Moines school offi cials made a rule to prohibit the wearing of black arm bands (Brief for Respondents at 4, Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) (No.21)) because in eff ect this “demonstration,” they stated, “might evolve into something which would be diffi cult to control” (Brief for Respondents at 11, Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) (No.21)), among other reasons. The consequence for wearing the arm band would be, fi rst, to ask the student to remove it. Then, two more chances are given to remove it, in being asked by administrators and the student’s parents. If the student still chooses not to remove it, s/he would be sent home until the arm band was removed. The plaintiff John F. Tinker, age 15, wore the black arm band to school on December 17, 1965 knowing that there was a rule against wearing the band. When asked to take the arm band off by the principal, Mr. Wetter, Tinker told him he would not take the arm band off . Mr. Wetter then told Tinker that he would have to leave school and “that as soon as he took the arm band off or that there was a diff erent ruling on it that he could come back to school” (Brief for Respondents at 6, Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) (No.21)). As a result, Tinker was suspended from school. The petitioners, John Tinker and his family along with a friend, Christopher Eckhardt, who also wore the arm band to school, sought damages for the school’s regulation of student speech. While wearing the arm bands, the petitioners were quiet and passive, and they believed they were not infringing on the rights of others; the school, on the contrary, interpreted their action as an infringement on the rights of other students. Thus, the question is whether the action of offi cials of the Des Moines school district forbidding students to wear arm bands at school as a means of protesting the Vietnam War deprived petitioners of KELLY TENN 49 their First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights in the U.S. Constitution (Brief for Respondents at 1, Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) (No.21)). The extent of authority over free speech was in question in this attempt to defi ne what kind of public place a school is and how speech is defi ned as protected or unprotected under the First Amendment. The complaint was fi led in the United States District Court by petitioners, for which they sought nominal damages. The District Court dismissed the complaint after a hearing and decided school authorities were reasonable to rule against the black arm bands (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 504 (1969)). On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit considered the case en banc; with the court equally divided (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 505 (1969)). The District Court’s decision was affi rmed, without opinion, and thus certiorari was granted to the Supreme Court. In John F. Tinker v. The Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503, (1969), the court, with the opinion delivered by Mr. Justice Fortas, concluded in fi ve votes for Tinker and two votes against that the wearing of armbands was protected under free speech. The court agreed that the principals lacked justifi cation for imposing any of these limits on speech. The goal of the courts, as stated by the Supreme Court, is to uphold a school regulation unless it is clearly unreasonable (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 533 (1969)), and the court decided that the school district was not justifi ed in their rule because there was no substantial evidence of interference with school discipline and the orderly process of education. In attempting to defi ne the measures of this case, it seems necessary to understand how the public place at a school has been defi ned. In “Dissent Yesterday and Today: The Tinker Case and Its Legacy,” Joseph Russomanno argues that achieving free expression requires an open marketplace in which the public is susceptible to varied viewpoints, and, that a school is a form of this marketplace: a place where students are entitled to the privileges of free speech (Russomanno 376). School is a place where the free exchange of ideas may take place as long as it is deemed safe and not disruptive to the academic atmosphere. According to this line of argument, the school offi cials are the gatekeepers to the schoolhouse and may regulate the conduct within it. Bruce C. Hafen advocates that the school is an institution that mediates between the student and society. It is a place that should support growth and maturity so that the child’s eventual participation in a free society is meaningful and rewarding (Hafen 701). Because school is meant for students to learn, a safe educational environment must be maintained (Miller 627). As the TINKER V. DES MOINES: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE AUTHORITY PRACTICED IN COURT LANGUAGE 50 court in Tinker enforced, schools have discretion to regulate student speech within the schoolhouse (Miller 626-627) in order to maintain this safe, academic atmosphere. Given that the public space of a school is referred to as an area where free ideas are welcomed, as long as they are deemed safe and not harmful to the academic atmosphere, it is interesting to ask how other theorists have defi ned what is unsafe or harmful to the learning of students. Andrew Miller provides an example, which one way speech can be harmful to other students is if students who are wearing their protest, like the black arm bands, harass students who are not wearing the symbol of protest (Miller 651). Douglas Laycock notes that not allowing students to speak about a subject matter (like the Vietnam War) outside of the classroom would be harmful to the academic atmosphere and that policy change is a legitimate form of free speech, not harmful to other students (Laycock 127). The true matter that is unsafe, according to Russomanno, is the event of forcing students to conform (Russomanno 368). From the dissenting opinion of Justice Black, he said disruptive speech “took the students’ minds off of their class work and diverted them to thoughts about the highly emotional subject of the Vietnam war” (qtd. in Miller 651-652). Miller points to this idea as too pre-emptive and that there needs to be actual evidence of harm, such as violence or threats of violence (Miller 652) instead of something that is just a controversial subject. Many theorists here agree that the wearing of the arm bands in the Tinker case is not harmful to the learning environment or to other students. To gain a better understanding of this diffi cult context, it is necessary to explore what has been discussed about the authority of these school offi cials. Russomanno discusses the eff orts of authority in controlling speech. He writes that authorities discourage or forbid the expressing of thoughts that are perceived to be contrary to the interests of the institution (Russomanno 368). In Tinker, there is a question about the degree of authority the school offi cials have and the extent of authorization they have to limit the speech of students, or in this case, to limit the wearing of arm bands. There is fear of new ideas, Margaret Blanchard notes, and this may stem from the fear of fellow citizens to make the proper choices in the new ideas being presented (qtd in Russomanno 368). In the context of the school, students are expected to follow the rules and a fear is almost instilled in them so that they do not disobey the rules. Authorities’ discrimination of speech content should be avoided so that a point of view can be more readily available (Williams 620). Ultimately, Russomanno expresses a need for students, especially with a minority KELLY TENN 51 opinion, to be encouraged and taught democratic values and that school authorities need to be careful about imposing limitations. This argument hits the school offi cials hard in the controversy of the Tinker case because it is said here that students should always be encouraged to speak up and be responsible citizens. With the school taking away certain aspects of student speech, fear is instilled into students about speaking up for their beliefs; and as such, it is probable that the student would miss out on understanding the benefi ts of free speech. Hafen, with views similar to Russomanno, realizes that the school has a very unique public position, a position that needs a clearer defi nition in relation to the Constitution of how school authorities and students are expected to behave (Hafen 667). This is because the students themselves are complex and cannot be dealt with in abstract terms nor can be ruled over in strict/direct terms to be applied to all. Though the dissenting opinion of the court would agree that they like to have the power they do in the school atmosphere, it is not necessarily fair to the students to be left at the mercy of vague rules that can be changed at any time. Because the extent of school authority lacks clear defi nitions, Hafen and Russomanno argue for educational reform so that the authorities may discuss in more detail of what is allowable and unallowable forms of student speech. The compelling theme that seems to be repeated in the texts concerns the complexity of the school space. In reference to this case, the school authorities should better defi ne the extent of their power to keep them in check with both local and federal laws. The school can diff er from the public in the sense that it has the academic emphasis, the teachers and administration as law makers and enforcers rather than the government, and the public being minors instead of adults. Rather than discussing the intent of the authority or the extent of the similarities between a public place and a school, I wish to look into the role of the authority. In this paper, I will ask: How does the Supreme Court defi ne and justify who has the authority to determine what forms of speech are protected under the First Amendment? The Supreme Court argues that the authority to determine protected speech depends on the context that the speech occurs. I argue that authority is defi ned by context and by the willingness of the of the subjects to follow; and, through drawing on the work of Nealon and Giroux, authority is justifi ed in the way the court constructs its own language in its separate context in court, ultimately suggesting that the interpretation of TINKER V. DES MOINES: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE AUTHORITY PRACTICED IN COURT LANGUAGE 52 language can be a tool in giving and retaining authority over speech. First, I will consider how the context can defi ne the authority, and next, how the people subjected to the authority are willing to comply. By looking at Nealon and Giroux’s “Author/ity,” I will decipher the eff ects of authorship on meaning and interpretation based on the language of the authority, followed by a link to how the court defi nes its own authority. And fi nally, I will discuss the power of language in law, providing an insight about the dynamics of studying law rhetorically instead of factually. Authority is defi ned by the context of the situation. The individual retains the right to free speech because it is ultimately protected under the fi rst amendment of the law. Speech is entitled to “comprehensive protection under the fi rst Amendment,” and is available to teachers and students, as the Court states (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 506 (1969)). Looking in the frame of the schoolhouse, the individual still has a right to speak and should not have to check this right at the door of the school. The schoolhouse, however, is a unique context where students, in order to learn and feel safe in an academic environment, must not only submit to the authority of the law but also to the authority of the teachers and administration. The Court recognizes that “school offi cials do not possess absolute authority over their students” and “they may not be confi ned to expression of sentiments that are offi cially approved” (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 511 (1969)). Thus, it is the job of both the court and the school to ensure the school offi cials do not suppress speech. The law says that Congress and the states may not abridge the right to free speech, as the Court makes an eff ort to note ((Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 513 (1969)), inferring that in general, free speech must be permitted. The environment of the school diff ers from a general public space, as discussed in the Tinker case, because the school authority may limit speech more strictly from what is in the law. In Tinker, allowable speech means no agitation of the academic atmosphere. The testimony of the school authorities in the court stated that the initial regulation against the wearing of the armband was not due to a fear of disturbance of the academic atmosphere, but it was that they felt “schools are no place for demonstrations.” And if they wished to change the ruling, they should handle it “with the ballot box” and not in the halls of the school (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 514 (1969)). In this context, the schools taught students to respect KELLY TENN 53 free speech, but there was a lack of clear interpretation of what the wearing of the arm bands meant and if they considered that a form of free speech. From the perspective of the students, who are subordinate to school offi cials, their interpretation of speech was not considered against the interpretation of the offi cials. This context within the distance between the students, the school authorities, and the Court, determines the outcome of how speech is interpreted in this space. The Court, then, must attempt to discern the meaning of the text within this atmosphere of academic authority. The context of the schoolhouse is what determines the line of interpretation. The Court recognizes that in the school atmosphere, there is a willingness of most students to follow the school authority. Mr. Justice Stewart, with a concurring opinion, states that “a child— like someone in a captive audience—is not possessed of that full capacity for individual choice which is the presupposition of First Amendment guarantees” (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 515 (1969)). This environment is proven to be highly bureaucratic with adult administrators in the superior position because in this case, only seven out of the school system’s 18,000 pupils deliberately refused to obey the order (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 516 (1969)). The Court recognizes that the students are willing to follow the order of the schools. In the dissenting opinion, Justice Black recognizes that students do not have the same power as those who are over 18 or 21 and should not “defy and fl out orders” to school offi cials, especially in the context of this time period in the late 1960s (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 518 (1969)). “Children need to learn, not teach,” Justice Black argues, which is a result of recognizing the movement from children being completely voiceless to a time where they were beginning to reform (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 522 (1969)). It is prevalent that authority is defi ned by the context of a schoolhouse in the late 1960s; in which the school offi cials hold power—but not absolute power—over the students, who are willing to follow. This is the court’s justifi cation for attempting to judge the student speech as they have. The Justices hold a viewpoint about the defi nition of authority in their own context of the court, authoring a perspective about the situation at hand. Considering the authority of the Court on their own speech, Nealon and Giroux off er a view into how authority is constituted. Their main goal is to decipher how someone becomes an author, considering who counts as an author and how authorial TINKER V. DES MOINES: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE AUTHORITY PRACTICED IN COURT LANGUAGE 54 intent is considered by the audience. They discuss the authority of an author and how the public moves from considering someone as an everyday person who writes versus a renowned scholar. In reference to this context, they ask “How does the institutional location of a body of work expand or delimit its impact on culture and society?” (Nealon and Giroux 11). Knowing the author helps to validate the truthfulness of the work; knowing when, why, and the circumstances also help (Nealon and Giroux 17). They provide the idea that perhaps when multiple meanings of a text are opened up that there is less of a gate-keeping function of authorities and more “authorizing [of] who can speak to what issues” (Nealon and Giroux 18-19). Nealon and Giroux demonstrate that authority is linked to authorship in the way that the audience receives and reacts to the authors. This reading provides a window into the idea that an author’s intent for meaning is not so important as how society interprets diff erent meanings based on the credibility or expertise of the author and how that author speaks. In the Tinker case, the court authors their language and because of the high position the Justices are in, their language connotes a particular viewpoint and signifi cance on the subject. Because the Justices are seen in a powerful position and are consistently defi ning their own authority through the language they use, they are seen as credible in defi ning the authority of others. The issue at hand in the case is not only who gets the authority (either Tinker or the state), but also how the Court defi nes its own authority. What makes their perspective diff erent is in their interpretation of the situation, which is from the perspective of the law, not from the perspective of the school authorities or from the petitioners. They attempt to claim their authority over other, lesser courts for instance, by pointing out what the others had said, did not say, and what their opinion lacks. When the District Court agreed that the Des Moines school authorities were reasonable in limiting the wearing of the armbands, the Supreme Court noted that the District Court was fearful of disturbance from the academic atmosphere. The Supreme Court said “In our system, undiff erentiated fear of a disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression” (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 508 (1969)). Here, the court claims their authority through pointing out their dedication to and defense for the people. They, in fact, point to their ability to recognize justice and injustice, with a law-oriented perspective, by belittling the decision of the District Court. Through this text, they convey a solid and clear link to credibility because of their drive to protect justice. KELLY TENN 55 The Justices defi ne their authority over the school’s authority by specifying the school’s past inconsistencies and through the school’s decisions that reveal their willingness to avoid controversy. Justice Fortas mentions “that the school authorities did not prohibit the wearing of all symbols of political or controversial signifi cance,” which begins to discredit the school and credit the Court themselves by pointing out this aspect (Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 510 (1969)). The Court makes it clear that the school singled out the petitioners by referencing that “the record shows that students in some of the schools wore buttons relating to national political campaigns, and some even wore the Iron Cross, traditionally a symbol of Nazism,” which was previously permitted by the school offi cials. The interesting aspect lies in the context of the situation, and the example used by Justice Fortas, implying that if the Nazi symbol was permitted (which is probably the most negative and off ensive symbol in America to date), then the school offi cials obviously do not stand up for the law itself, and instead seem to be inconsistent and unable to make the most legitimate decision. The Court’s language reveals that they believe in their own authorized opinion over any other, because it is the law, and consider themselves much more apt to make a proper decision than the authority of the sc
|Title||Writing for a Real World 2008-2009: a multidisciplinary anthology by USF students|
|Subject||College students' writings, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; College prose, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; University of San Francisco|
|Publisher||Published by the University of San Francisco Program in Rhetoric and Composition|
|Editors||David Ryan, David Holler|
|Rights||Authors retain copyright for their individual work.|
|Relation-Is Version Of||http://ignacio.usfca.edu/record=b1647224~S0|
|Subject||College students' writings, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; College prose, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; University of San Francisco|
|Publisher||Published by the University of San Francisco Program in Rhetoric and Composition|
|Rights||Authors retain copyright for their individual work.|
|Title-Alternative||Writing f/a Real World|
|Original Item Size||15 x 23 cm|
WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD
2008 - 2009
A multidisciplinary anthology by USF students
PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
PROGRAM IN RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION
Writing for a Real World (WRW) is published annually by the Program
in Rhetoric and Composition, Communication Studies Department,
College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco.
WRW is governed by the PRC Publication Committee, chaired by
Devon C. Holmes. Members are: Brian Komei Dempster,
David Holler, Michelle LaVigne, Elise Mussman, and David Ryan.
Writing for a Real World: 7th Edition. © 2009.
The opinions stated herein are those of the authors.
Authors retain copyright for their individual work.
Essays include bibliographical references. The format and practice
of documenting sources are determined by each writer. Writers are
responsible for validating and citing their research.
Cover design by and cover image courtesy of David Holler.
Images Editor: David Holler.
Printer: DeHarts Printing, San Jose, CA.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
To get involved as a referee, serve on the publication committee, or
to learn about submitting to WRW, please contact Devon C. Holmes
|File Size||1399829 Bytes|