Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Today was our first public lecture (which means everyone at SCT plus open to public). Given by Saidiya Hartman, she began her talk by discussing the photography of Thomas Eakins, and more specifically, a photograph of a reclining nude Black girl taken by Eakins. She appears about 8 years old. It isn't necessarily pediophilic, but there is certainly a discourse of power present. Hartman decided to embody the subjectivity of the little girl to engage in this discourse of power (and later, she includes violence) and narrate the experience of the girl.

Much of the narrative was of the positions Eakins wanted to put her in, the way his look and touch felt, etc. Some of it was merely descriptive, but all of it was uncomfortable. Anyways, this is just all bad news for me, so I started feeling not so great. I started to numb out (I am a master numbing-outter.) but then she kept on going and going and goingggggggggggggggggggg. So I sat there torn between the desire to rake my pen across my arm, imagining the expressions of those around me once they saw blood, and the desire to walk out of the lecture defiantly, clearly showing offense that my sensibilities had been offended.

Well, in the end I did neither. I sat through it. I sat through it until the paper shifted to a discussion of W.E.B. DuBois. Then I thought of some pretty good ideas during the rest of the lecture. Then I left school. Then I ordered a pizza and buffalo wings on the way home. Then I ate while watching "Inland Empire" (Great movie, btw.) And then, I finally let my ED flush away all the bad feelings down the drain.

On a lighter note, I noticed these colorful little pinwheels attached to the top of the fence that guards the gorge on my way home. There's also really pretty colored elastics that weave in and out of the fence. I think they're supposed to deter you from killing yourself or something.


  1. Awwww, i am so proud of you sat through the whole class!!

    I have a lot of google to do after reading this....I had no idea what so ever about your class -.-...in my head " who? who again? what? who?" So, some google for me to do after this post..lol...

    I wonder about the pinwheels as well. Is the suicides rate in cornell university very high? I heard about it.....

    anyway...stay happy! :D

  2. I'd think they'd draw attention to the gorge... like, HEY OVER HERE!!! SHINY SHIT ON WIRE!!!