Daily Archives: February 17, 2010

Critical Categories for Life Narrative, Pt. 1 (HUM470)


what is memory? according to various experts– literary critics and cognitive psychologists alike– memories are constructed. what we remember isn’t a pristine recording of some event but rather our own relationship to it. memories are thus not objective but very subjective. they change over time, for instance, or at their very least their significance shifts as more memories are accumulated. Your memory of the Big Dog Next Door or the Fallen Ice Cream Cone, for instance, might look very different at the age of 4 versus 40.

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Patchy Notes on Roy’s Guide (HUM415)

Here are some partial notes I’ve made on Roy’s An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire that may come in handy. It might be useful to review them. You might also continue drafting a list of key terms we’ve discussed in class. It will be helpful for the midterm.

1st essay: Peace is War: The Collateral Damage of Breaking News

the media: our sense that print journalism at least is somehow objective when in fact the news itself is merely one more commodity/service in a global economy.

“Modern democracies have been around for long enough for neo-liberal capitalists to learn how to subvert them. They have mastered the technique of infiltrating the instruments of democracy– the ‘independent’ judiciary, the ‘free’ press, the parliament– and molding them to their purpose. The project of corporate globalization has cracked the code. Free elections, a free press, and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities on sale to the highest bidder” (3).

note the distinction being made: “corporate globalization”, not globalization per se. The commodification of the “instruments of democracy”, submitting these institutions and practices to the logic of the market means that a political apparatus is shaped by economic pressures.

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