Western Simplification and Defying Boundaries

Fadwa Laroui "set herself ablaze" outside a government building in Morocco to protest the injustice she had experienced in trying to obtain adequate housing, "having first fought for rights in a corrupt social system and then within courts" (200). Similar to Nyasha in Nervous Conditions, Fadwa uses her body to protest when she feels that ... [Read more...]

Crisis of Faith and Collective Memory

In Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, she experiences both a crisis of identity and a crisis of faith upon hearing her parents' discussion about the burning of the Rex Cinema. Before this experience, she had wanted to be a prophet and felt she had been "born with religion" (6). She was experiencing tension between science and her ... [Read more...]

Artists and War

Forgetting characterizes memory as we select memories that fit our version of our identity. While a flawed system to begin with, when traumatic memories occur people either erase them or repeat them. In Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World, Masuji Ono's unwillingness to directly talk about the past illustrates that the trauma of war has led to him erasing or ... [Read more...]

Maiguru and Hybridity

A tension between two things results in a nervous condition. Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions explores the nervous conditions that have developed in Zimbabwe due to colonization. It resulted in gender tensions because of the loss of land and money that occurred. Maiguru, Babamukuru's wife, is torn between her desires and her husband's, and her place in the Shona ... [Read more...]

Evil Witches? Good Robin Hoods?

The Wicked Witch of the West presents the stereotypical American view of a witch- an evil, ugly, old woman who uses magic for self-serving purposes and often has her broomstick nearby. Children's movies, like The Wizard of Oz, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Tangled, ingrain this image of a 'witch' into our minds from a very young age. ... [Read more...]

Song and Art

The image I chose, Vik Muniz's Marat/Sebastiao, was part of his "Pictures of Garbage Series," which presented the portraits of catadores- workers who pick out the recyclable materials from the trash. Muniz worked with the catadores in Jardim Gramacho, the largest garbage dump in the world, located on the edge of Rio de Janeiro. He took their pictures ... [Read more...]

Missing Pieces and Western Press

2. “The journey of a researcher” does not follow a simple path. Select a quote from the preface or introduction, which considers the author’s journey, starting questions, or identification. Explain why the quote is significant. "But are we missing pieces?" is the question Segall poses in response to news segments about mass protests and democratic transition ... [Read more...]