Imagined Communities


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Imagined Communities

  1. 1. Imagined Communities CCR 633 ::: 3/22/11Thursday, March 24, 2011
  2. 2. medium or technology?Thursday, March 24, 2011
  3. 3. Stephen Duncombe Gallatin UniversityThursday, March 24, 2011
  4. 4. Kate: Anderson is arguing that the combination of print and capitalism was the driving force for the creation of imagined communities as nations. Ben: Either Duncombe is just smart as hell, or his politics aligns well with mine because I found some of his work in the intro prophetic, this is before he even really dives into zines: The powers that be do not sustain their legitimacy by convincing people that the current system is The Answer.That fiction would be too difficult to sustain in the face of so much evidence to the contrary.What they must do, and what they have done very effectively, is convince the mass of people that there is no alternative (10). This to me was interesting in its rhetorical sense–that we aren’t going to argue our way into a better social world. It spoke to a different sort of rhetoric–one of action and example, living by the fact that another world is possible. We don’t make something happen by arguing against the current system of power, or by professing solutions, it happens by living as if we are already free.Thursday, March 24, 2011
  5. 5. Kate: Can we complicate his equation by considering what other technologies may have also encouraged the community consciousness building of nation-ness? For instance, what technologies might have made textual circulation more possible? Are there other factors and/or technologies that made the imagined nation-community possible?Thursday, March 24, 2011
  6. 6. LaToya: In light of Anderson’s assertion that print-technology has assisted in creating these imagined communities that have empowered the elite bourgeoisie can print-technologies be used to build communities among marginalized groups? What other technologies can be employed to build communities? Rachel: Text seems to continually be placed as a tool that dominates the colonized, are there instances where it does not pose this threat?Thursday, March 24, 2011
  7. 7. LaToya: As I explored in my dead technology project, lasting, tangible artifacts and evidence of writing technologies of marginalized groups, such as Africans and African Americans in the U.S. in the 17th – 19th centuries are hard to come by in part because of the power structures that Anderson highlights in Imagined Communities. How much have socio-cultural, political, and material conditions really changed since then? Has the technological progress of the 20th and early 21st centuries leveled the playing field, or do marginalized groups still face similar challenges?Thursday, March 24, 2011
  8. 8. Ben: Marginalized people with little power over their status in the world still retain a powerful weapon: the interpretations they give to the circumstances and conditions that surround them, and the ideals and character traits they possess (24). This made me think of Anderson: “It was a vernacular radicalism, an indigenous strain of utopian thought” (8).Vernacular, Indigenous, and Utopian played such prominent roles in Anderson’s ideas of nationalism, but I think they might better be described as terms of imagined community, not strictly nationalism, and that’s what Duncombe really gets at in his text.Thursday, March 24, 2011
  9. 9. Ben: What would a comp course in public writing look like? Tim: I’m really interested in the power of zines to create a happening in composition. For those of us who got to see David Green’s jobtalk about composition workshops as “cipher” and classroom practice/ portfolios as “mixtape,” I’d be really interested in talking about how the technology of zines matches up with the mixtape/cipher technologies of hip hop in creating expression, in doing work in language with others. For one thing, I wonder how important “authenticity” is in the mixtape and cipher circles. I know, of course, that you have to be fresh. But does that freshness necessarily mean the same thing as zine’s “authenticity”?Thursday, March 24, 2011
  10. 10. Kate: I find the concept of the imagined community intriguing. However, there were some places where I want more fleshing out of the formation of the imagined community. For instance, in his discussion of the census, Anderson is primarily interested in how the census solidified racial categories as well as understandings of race and nation. What does this mean for a particular nation’s imagined community?Thursday, March 24, 2011
  11. 11. Rachel: I am wondering… could museums be a text?  The information that they carry is rich, in what they intend on telling the viewer, and in what they reveal when we study them as institutions.  Today it could be argued that we use museums in a manner much like Anderson described.  We have the classics, and then the masters, all with a plethora of wall space for the attention that we expect visitors to give them.  Finally, in the basement, or long corridors, we have cases upon cases of artifacts, or the art of ‘others’.  It is not only similar to the history of imperialistic categorizing and collecting, but to our notion that we can successfully save and give due respect to these objects.Thursday, March 24, 2011
  12. 12. Ben: I was interested in the update Duncombe put on the 2nd edition of this book: “Do Zines Still Matter?” I’m not sure what he’d say. Is there a politics similar to zines that can be done digitally? Can we do the zine without the paper? But something has to be lost, right? The agency can’t be the same, and I can’t think of the same aesthetic, or the same joy in it. Thoughts? What about blogs? What is there to a zine that is missing from a blog?Thursday, March 24, 2011