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polymexina in theoryishotcrew

:D here's my list.

1. The Methodology of the Oppressed by Chela Sandoval
2. Soul Talk by Gloria Akasha Hull
3. Culture and Truth by Renato Rosaldo
4. Thirdspace by Edward Soja
5. Homo Ludens by Huizinga
6. Tales of Dark Skinned Women by Gargi Bhattacharyya
7. In Other Worlds by Spivak
8. Queer Phenomenology by Sara Ahmed
9. "A Cyborg Manifesto" by Donna Haraway
10. "Situated Knowledges" by Donna Haraway

:braces self:



If I were to take your list as my basic tool box, what new problems would I seek out, what unusual answers would I find?
I don't know what answers you'd find since you haven't started looking yet. :)

But one of the questions you mgiht start with would be what the political and social utility of play is in a post-colonial world.
I don't know what answers you'd find since you haven't started looking yet. :)

Does not a theoretical position suggest not only the types of questions but the types of answers as well?

political and social utility of play is in a post-colonial world.

So what function jokes, jests, and games had in the Latin west after the break up of the Roman world? The forms such playfulness takes is certainly much different today than the earlier post-colonial period, but with your books we are investigation primarily FUNCTION, right?

What sort of answers do we find?
Fair enough! I think I mis-read the question, and thought you wanted a definitive answer. Like: YOU WOULD FIND A PLATYPUS, AND THEREFORE THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING EVER! or whatever.

You'd be able to use this toolkit to look at power on a macro and micro level, and how creating spaces to disrupt or reinforce power can involve overlaying timelines that are imaginary but still socially or politically useful(like the play-time Huizinga talks about as being separate from regular time). Soul Talk would be useful in looking at spirituality (particularly the spiritual practices of minoritarian groups) as components of resistance to dominant social structures. Both are really looking at practices considered outside of regular time (play time as distinct from regular time or real-life, and ritual time as being the same). I'm grappling now with how that meets up with Foucault's point in Society Must Be Defended -- some of the groups that make use of these tactics are minoritarian subjects politically, but aren't progressive or, uh, nice. :P So in Soc. Must Be Defended, he's talking about an incredibly nationalistic anti-immigrant conservative group making use of a history that's outside of history to talk about a fictional France whose cultural geography they want to make real, instead of just existing in the ritual space associated with political rallies and stuff like that.

I think your point about function is a really good one, particularly because looking at function doesn't necessarily mean you're looking at resistance or at progressive movements or whatever. For Huizinga, play can be radical, but it can also really reinforce dominant histories or social dynamics -- so the Indian almost always dies in Cowboys and Indians, the mommy stays home when you play house, etc. It's because those stories aren't totally true (the conquest of the western US wasn't a series of smooth victories, very few mommies stay home, etc) that play has to reinforce those stories, so that they "feel" or seem true.

Edited at 2010-07-13 02:45 pm (UTC)
I had been reading society must be defended but had to put it aside temporarily. Interesting stuff and perfectly in tune with my own thoughts on the formation of Persian and barbarian "otherness" in ancient athens. I have know difficulty grappling with the multidirectional nature of his propositions. They strike me as necessary and more accurate than the Said model.
Me too! Like, I really loved Said when I first read him, but he's got a really uncomplicated, top-down definition of power.

I never was completely enamored of Orientalism and much more enjoyed Culture and Empire. Part of my distaste of Orientalism, though, has to do with its dominance in the study of Greek drama of non-Greeks (aka the "barbarian Other"). I think tragedy scholars especially need to choose again. I mean, they have Clifford Geertz for their social understanding of tragedy and Said for barbarians. We so need to move on.
Don't ever underestimate the explanatory power of the platypus.

play, like laughter, is obviously double-edged in terms of the dominant social world. Tool of the oppressed and oppressing alike. One of the reasons, I think, that many find laughter, play, parody, and the non-serious very troubling.

Part of the problem that you identify here seems to stem from a false dichotomy of DOMINANT and BAD vs OPPRESSED and GOOD. Also, you seem to be equating play and imagination-fiction - is that Huizinga?