- Luke Wanden – John Locke: Enslaved yet free?
“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of Nature for his rule”
“I confess, we find among the Jews, as well as other nations, that men did sell themselves; but it is plain this was only to drudgery, not to slavery; for it is evident the person sold was not under an absolute, arbitrary, despotical power, for the master could not have power to kill him at any time, whom at a certain time he was obliged to let go free out of his service; and the master of such a servant was so far from having an arbitrary power over his life that he could not at pleasure so much as maim him, but the loss of an eye or tooth set him free (Exod. 21.)”
English philosopher John Locke’s analytical discussion of slavery in the context of human civil liberties was challenging for myself as a 21stcentury reader as Locke’s overarching argument “all men are born free under natural law” seems to juxtapose his acceptance of slavery in society. In order to understand the context and perspective from which Locke was writing his passage, I had to step back and understand the constraints of thought which he was mentally placed under. Coming from a free western society in the United States in 2019, it would be easy to view the idea that slavery is justifiable, whilst arguing for civil liberties as hypocritical. However, it is easy to forget that the idea of liberalism as a philosophical school of thought was largely unheard of, and Locke was putting himself forward for great criticism for his time. One of the main points made is that humans are all born into this world with a concept of private property and ability to reason. In my opinion Locke uses this point to argue that slaves are not enslaved forcefully but rather choose to themselves as it is better than an alternative life. For example, Locke states, “For, whenever he finds the hardship of slavery outweigh the value of his life, it is in his power, by resisting the will of his master, to draw himself the death he desires.” While confronting and provocative in nature, this statement creates a justification that slavery is acceptable, fueled by the contextually idea of English colonialism, and man is inherently free to remove himself from obeying a “master”.
2. Luke Wanden – Unit 2, Assignment 2
Thursday’s translation panelists had me pondering many new questions, ideas and concept about literary translation which I had never thought of a being points of contention before. I have come together with a list of questions to think about which helped me understand what the true aim and purpose of translating from a vernacular into another language, especially concerned with retaining meaning and purpose.
These questions are the following:
- How do we determine what a “correct” translation is definitively?
- If there is not a word-by-word translation from language to language who/what should we consult to retain meaning as best as possible?
- Should we focus on literal language translation or rather on translating the meaning as to ensure readers across language feel the same emotional connection?
- How do we adapt to the realm of politics, culture and contextual differences when translating literature? One idea varies across thousands of cultures and language across the world!
- What is the true purpose of actually translating something in the first place? To spread the potential audience? Etc.
- Is there an emotional connotation attached to meaning and how does this affect translation?
- Are translation manuals incorrect or invalid as often X does not directly translate into Y in another language (eg. German).
These questions should help to provide light and spark discourse on the true purpose and reasoning behind why we translate literature throughout time and cultures.
3. Luke Wanden – Unit 3, Assignment 2
Chapter 1 – Visual elements allow us to deeper reflect on the atrocities war causes.
Sontag aims in the opening chapter to show the reader how powerful the visual element is in illustrating the atrocities war causes. Sontag believes war needs to be viewed as a more personal element and the individual effect it has on the person rather than the societal perspective which turns war into a statistically driven game driven by complex political spheres. She also seeks to show how information, especially that given through the media can be exploited and manipulated to express on bias viewpoint. The example of the Qatar based network Al Jazeera staging photographs and reports to show the Islamic viewpoint on the Arab-Israeli conflict as being morally superior. Photo reporting is used as a method of shocking people into realizing the realities of war. Sontag uses post WWI Germany as an example of how graphic photos were designed to wake people up to the enlightened perspective that war is negative, however unsuccessful.
Chapter 6 – How do photographs affect us and what do they really mean?
This chapter goes into the idea of photographic representation in greater detail and questions the reader what do photographs of wartime and human suffering truly mean and represent to us? The first acknowledgement of human suffering through image is brought up as a harsh reality for us to accept. The “internal torment” and “mental conflict” this causes can be quite distressing. Relating back to Chapter 1 Sontag would argue this is the main point of photographers who distribute these images. It is also hard for us to relate to faraway suffering through images which we only relate through one sense – sight.
Chapter 8 – Ignorance of human wickedness has allowed it to stem into a large societal issue.
Chapter 8 approaches society’s current ignorance to the “wickedness” of human nature as an unacceptable trait which needs to change if suffering is ever to truly be depleted. After a certain age there is no excuse especially in positions of power in the USA to sit back and use ignorance to ignore the occurance of these evils. The chapter talks largely about the effect of media and TV on shaping our perspectives of war. Media also never answers the true questions we need answers to such as who is responsible? And how do we challenge this? The satirical example of media may as well show us medication and SUVs instead of news expresses the true hypocrisy our generation is faced with when consuming media.
4. Luke Wanden - Unit 4, Assignment 1
Both Mary Church Terrell and Ida B Wells were influential women in the Civil Rights Era and dedicated their lives towards achieving racial equality especially in the southern United States. Terrell and Wells were both raised Protestant Christians as most African Americans at the time were and the Christian values instilled in them were used as tools to fight for equality and basic human rights for people of color. Mary Church Terrell was born in Memphis, TN in a time where black people in the South were highly segregated and oppressed. Her main idea between social integration was ensuring black people received appropriate education and training to perform skills they would be accepted as normal members of society. As one of the first African-Americans and women to obtain a college degree at Oberlin College, OH she used her knowledge and understanding of human revolution to rise up to unjust laws. Similarly, Ada B Wells used her educational skills to advance the cause of African-Americans in society, through using journalism to expose the truth of being black in the South. She was born into slavery in Mississippi and was taught the importance of receiving an education in order to break social norms of poverty and prejudice. Due to her efforts and outspoken nature, she was forced to flee north to Chicago for fear of persecution from violent white-mobs. Additionally, Wells spent much of her time traveling abroad spreading her message of racial harmony and equality to other countries and cultures.
5. Black Girl Linguistic Play - Luke Wanden
Watching CABD’s Black Girl Linguistic Play at UNCG was a great experience which I felt allowed me to better connect with our most recent unit in Humanities. I found watching videos of dance quite hard to understand, especially grasping the emotional concept of the unit without understanding and experience. Being able to see the concept of generational trauma enacted before my eyes in real life was much more powerful and engaging, versus on a screen. It was in this moment when I realized how very important the sensory experience of a performance is in understand the meaning behind it. I found myself a lot more engaged with the dancers in a way I didn’t expect which was quite stirring for me.
Watching the performance, I noticed how the movement and sound emitted from the actors was especially apparent and added to the raw element of the performance. This led me to wonder what effect the running and tapping of feet would have on an audience reaction without the amplification of sound used by Camille A Brown.