Dustbowl Redux

Jeffrey Lamp, ORU
The Dustbowl Redux: An Ecotheological Reading of “Interstellar”

2014 film Interstellar
epic adventure, focuses on mission to save humanity from ecological disaster by traveling through a wormhole to find a new world for humanity
plausibility of film, father-daughter, and other discussions

ecological crisis
compare movie to Bible descriptions of Israel’s land abuse

what the movie portrays is a lesson not learned
read ecotheologically, it’s a prophetic call
what constitutes home for human beings?
What does it mean to dwell in a different place? Relationship of humanity to Earth.

Film begins: interviews, elderly woman who talks about father, “My dad was a farmer, like everyone else. Of course he didn’t start out that way.”
Shown with documentary interviews from an actual dustbowl set of interviews
Anthropomorphically caused ecology

Something so cataclysmic has happened on Earth that scientific advancements have been re-written in history.

Notes from 2015 ORU.

Knowledge and Wisdom

Donald Vance, indep. Scholar
“When Knowledge and Wisdom Collide”

3 fundamental rules of robotics
1-cannot injure humans
2-must obey humans
3-must protect self

One man’s magic is another man’s engineering. Asimov
Supernatural is a null word. Heinlein
We are born into time only to live out of it… Dean Koontz, Saint Odd, 2015

Sf about tech
But tech brings its own problems.
Extension of our personal connections, people more isolated, not more connected.
Hawking and Musk alarm on …

Where is wisdom? Applied knowledge.
Tech = applied knowledge
Is there an equivalent advance of wisdom?

Where is wisdom? Applied knowledge.
Tech = applied knowledge
Is there an equivalent advance of wisdom?

Slavery gone.
Racism being eliminated.
Status of women improved.
Can’t agree that killing babies is wrong. Medical journal says babies = fetus. Let parents kill deformed babies.

In sf wise = advanced engineering
Sf lacks understanding of wisdom.
Mechanical reading of Proverbs would imply that wisdom is the goal.
Ignorant and untrained start off Proverbs. Will become old, if you live. To overcome lack of training, must make intentional training. By choices either end up a wise person or a fool. Proverbs goal = to make you a wise person

Sf knows about God, but doesn’t know God.
Interesting to read sf where people know God.

Notes from ORU 2015
Yes, I am late getting these up.

Progressive Theology: Highest Frontier

Andrew Lang, ORU
A Door into Progressive Theology: Creative and Destructive Expressions of Faith in Joan Slonczewski’s The Highest Frontier

Slonczewski =
Evolutionary biologist, Quaker, feminist, hard science fiction author

2-time Campbell Award Winner
A Door Into Ocean 1987
Advanced race on water world. Moon around alien planet. Genetically engineered planet and themselves, so all female.
The Highest Frontier 2012
I reviewed and she prompted me with questions.

What it’s really about?
On her blog:
“argues the cold equations:
No energy source on Earth, even wind or solar, will save our planet. In the long run, no power source is sustainable…
Democracy as we know it is finished… We’ll be tossing a coin—perhaps the only thing left a coin is good for. … we send our children to die. … planet that’s dying is their future. …“The Cold Equations,” with a twist—spaceship Earth is in the hands of [a] girl.”

She challenged us to reverse the roles… a female pilot and a male stowaway.

Not much talk about religion aspects.
That is the question she asked me to look at when she asked me to review it.
The religion is very stereotypic.
Centrist: politically conservative, literalists… First Firmament Church
p. 16 “Your last day on Earth, before heading up to college at the firmament.” Firmament, the Centrist word for hollow…”
“A Church with its spire pointed down… Leviticus 18:23” p. 52 (which means not to have sex with a beast. “It is confusion.”)

“science deniers are appropriating more—they are starting to deny physics as well as biology.”

A door into author’s faith?
Sees herself for force for religious good.

Jenny talks to Father Clare. How can you stand to be a Christian? I can’t not be a Christian. (author fits in with scientists, until they realize she is a Christian)
But look at all people do in the name of Christ….Leading our planet to death.
“that’s what most preaching is… WE preserve the word of God by scribbling prayers over something infinitely more valuable. It’s up to you to find the original. P. 205-206

Notes from ORU 2015

Dustbowl Redux: Ecotheological Reading

Jeffrey Lamp, ORU
The Dustbowl Redux: An Ecotheological Reading of “Interstellar”

2014 film Interstellar
epic adventure, focuses on mission to save humanity from ecological disaster by traveling through a wormhole to find a new world for humanity
plausibility of film, father-daughter, and other discussions

ecological crisis
compare movie to Bible descriptions of Israel’s land abuse

what the movie portrays is a lesson not learned
read ecotheologically, it’s a prophetic call
what constitutes home for human beings?
What does it mean to dwell in a different place? Relationship of humanity to Earth.

What might be seen in film for biblical/theological?

Events leading to the exile is a complex story that spans several centuries.
Usual explanations of Babylonian exile, most common, is failing to heed and fighting the Babylonians.

Read ecotheologically… prophetic parabolic warning

Early in the film, Cooper and Donald, Cooper “human beings aren’t supposed to be caretakers, but explorers”
Taken to a space station when he returns. As he sits on the porch of the replica, he says this isn’t how humans were meant to live.

Notes from PCA 2016

Motion in Poetry

Notes from poetry session of TCEA 2016

Yon Hui Bell, San Antonio College
“Cross Pollination” and Other Poems

did specifically write for this conference
the many faces/experiences of migration = theme
dominant issue in global and American politics

epigraphs introduce…
Where are you from? Question so frequent…

Hallie Raymond, Tarleton State U
“A Modern-Day Storybook Knight”

collection of poetry/prose/poetic prose
transition from childhood thinking about ideals and living them out

Belema Ibama, Texas Southern U
“Rooted” and Other Poems

orig from Nigeria, West Africa
visa office to now

He wore a hat when he came to America.
Sick smile from behind the glass window

Houston—the sweet that is not good for the teeth

What inspired you to write poems?
Belema Ibama: My journey, so write. Unique, but universal. Go back into the mind of myself as the child. Finally understanding and write it down before I forget.

Question: Write often on this subject?
BI: Yes.
Tend to write about foreigners’ experience in the US.
Experience of immigrant and foreigner.

Yon Hui Bell: When wrote specifically for conference, very interested in this issue because it has to do with identity. Raised by white, Republican, Trump supporters… The idea is that we are all migrants. As an adopted child, I feel like an immigrant.
Some way to understand we all are immigrants. Who is other? Shouldn’t exist.

Question: Taking on personas that were not you?
YHB: myself, lived in El Salvador… don’t speak Korean, Japanese, Chinese…
Hard for people to understand.
He experiences anti-immigration. Second part in second stanza. Not a brown invasion but a white invasion. All migrants. Interesting for him to have family gatherings with my family.
Stereotypes and divisions and prejudices.

Question: White woman born in US… doesn’t apply to me?
Always felt like new people.
First poem for this conference.
Others transitions and people coming and going from your life.

Hallie: writing happens at periods of transition, when I have something to say that needs to be said…

Question: Identity and googling…
Our identity immigrating to online. What might that bring up as well?
Before the internet, we had identity from family, social groups, community.
How has that played a part in your identity?

YHB: okay relationship with tech
Benefits to it
Social media and social justice on the internet, being able to capture and transmit instances of injustice so that everyone knows about
Went viral
Forgotten and moved on
Not quite sure… global identity sense but can oversaturate you till you have no identity.
Flickering in the spaces. Nothing substantial.
People’s connection to earth.

Question: title is rooted, but poem not rooted, unrooted

BI: When I came back to Texas, ages 9-16 in Texas, then finished high school and degree in Nigeria. Houston is hotter than Nigeria.
Aspects… so many things about Houston that remind me of Nigeria. That hot feeling.

Identity—fortunate to know because I am full African.
I know my identity. The original part of them.
It’s a good thing.

Find their origins. Helpful. Gives closure.

Particular audience you were considering? What audience were you thinking?
Hallie: Didn’t enter my head. Didn’t know where I could ever share any of this.
Just thoughts that come into my head and I have to give voice to them somehow.
Don’t know who needs to hear them.

Listening = Feminist Rhetoric

Kassia Waggoneer, TCU
“Reclaiming Listening as a Feminist Rhetoric in the Composition Classroom”

why interested
what is it
how incorporate?

Bell hooks Talking Back “No longer is it merely the absence of speaking voices but the absence of hearing ears.”
It’s not always silence. Sometimes it is about not listening.

Gendered listening
Example from television shows, cartoonists, movies…
Men are either unwilling or incapable to listen.

Social linguist Deborah Tannen says they see talking as competition.
Gender and Discourse Men “conversations are negotiations in which people try to achieve and maintain the upper hand if they can” (25)
Women “conversations are negotiations for closeness…” (25)

Tannen—Men who are good listeners fall outside norm.

GuyLand author says men who listen are marginalized and listening is seen as feminizing.

Having empathy and patience plays a significant role in conversation.

According to Tannen, idealized way to listen is silence. Silence =/= not listening.
Non-verbal cues can show listening is participatory.

Patience with speaker allows her to finish her thought.

According to Tannen, interruptions = hostile act, intellectual bullying
BUT I think the manner of interrupting makes a difference. If interrupting for clarity or development, this encourages the speaker.

Dialogic Retention



Reflection Papers

Notes from CCTE 2016 Rhetoric 4

FYC and 2YC

Jessica Menkin Kontelis, TCU
“Creativity in the Margins: Deconstructing Assembly Line Approaches to FYC and 2ndYC”

What can Discussions about Inspiration in Creative Writing Texts Teach Us About Invention?—changed name

20 creative writing textbooks “Faculty and Life” from Barnes & Noble…
state of Texas

presence of theoretical work from what is typically aligned with psychology
creativity studies

Wanted to know more of what that meant
What is creativity or inspiration?

Sudden pop of epiphany doesn’t happen reliably and usually happens when people have spent years in a discipline.

Inspiration = inspirare to breathe into, breathing purpose into a thing (composition)

2 prerequisites:
1. internalized knowledge of the systems to which we wish to contribute
2. interests and desires unique to our experientially formed perspectives

focus on second component
desires of writer that are unique
process of invention that is …

importance of triggering the interest of the writer in the topic
Many beginning writers don’t know what they are interested in.
Creative writing texts offer opportunity for triggering student interest.

Students look for topics their audiences will be interested in. But if you have an interest, you can arouse interest in the audience.
Now audience won’t sustain interest always, not forever. We’ll get sick of hearing about it. BUT if you are interested, you will know what is most interesting about the topic because you’ll see new and fascinating which you (as a fan) didn’t know. Most likely the audience won’t know those things either.

The writer is not the driver of invention but the point of articulation.
Hmm. What would that mean? Various forces in the environment combine in ways to engage others.

Considering author interest turns attention to specific rhetorical situations.

Notes from CCTE 2016: Rhetoric 4

Beyond Rhetorical Arts

Moving Beyond the Rhetorical Arts: Refiguring Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

Christopher Foreé, TCU
“Reading in the Public Sphere: Reimaging the Content and Context of Comp Classrooms”

Habermas described public sphere as public space where private discuss in public…

Rhetorical public spheres as described by Gerard Houser…
Active members forming around issues.
Rhetorical public spheres digital and physical spaces. Students participating in and reading these spheres.

What and how students read has resurgence?
Pedagogy January 2016 looks at reading and transfer

Corillo (in Pedagogy)
Mindful reading.
Students create mindful reading—thinking about how they are reading.
Create mindful readers, rather than mindful reading.
Examine ideas.
Teach HOW to read in order to make reading visible.

Invisibleness of reading in classroom.
Reading as a tool to differentiate between composition and literature

Nancy Atwell
Simplest and most powerful innovation = giving choice and option

Assigning readings…
Reading difficult texts = cohesion
Coherence = connect the reading networks of information outside the text

Reading and Writing for Student Literacy
Critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed to fend off and be able to understand inundation of public sphere rhetoric

Reading as a way of making meaning.

My experience is that students can come up with arguments in the news. Real world examples.
They avoid superficial. Discuss HOW they are being used and how they are effective.

Expand the aims “Expanding the Aims of Pedagogic… Writing Letters to the Editor”
… situational binary of privileging “real world” over classroom space

public shares civic literacy
nuanced form of civic participation

shift reading to the public sphere
don’t look at academic writing only
Look at other kinds of writing.
Read the public sphere.

What could I have the students do to encourage looking at public reading without allowing them to use those as sources?

Restore idea of public intellectual.
What do students read and how do they read it?

Notes from CCTE 2016: Rhetoric 4

Long-term Subbing in FYC

Sara Hillin, Lamar U
“Seeking Rapport: Emotion and Work of Long-Term Substituting in FYC”

for student discourse, require sincere and appropriate academic level

safe space for students: risk-taking, playing with language

What about when an instructor has to pick up classes?
Happens more often than expected.

Labor and learning issues…
Ft prof teaching 5 = 5 instructors
Consequences of not transitioning…

FYC students being asked to write in genres don’t understand (Melanie Kill)

Invite emotion –Laura Micciche’s work
Real-world human perspective who subbed during last 2 years

Ramifications of word “substitute” or “subbing”
Students will use that word.
That’s terrible. Think of what subs are viewed as.

Some of the subs had taken over more than FYC. Wider range of responses.

Subs—less surprised by self-examination

1. what subbed? FYC, lit, etc
2. when took over?
One exam with essay response, had to handle grade complaints, but hadn’t graded the paper.
3. first substitute?
One “by far not the first substitute”… fourth… further complicated by students attending a library workshop, which added another instructor (by student perspective)

Almost everyone transitioned to their own syllabus.

Why should this issue be on interest?

Can’t compare sub course with day-1 classes.
Writing is risky.

Emotion as a mitigating factor.
How well we acknowledge our own and students’ emotions makes a difference.

Pathos as a rhetorical technique is essential.

Lots of references to Bonding with student/not having developed bond
Second sub to take over “poor stepchildren”
Orphans being shuffled around.
Not a reflection of them by any means.
Humor useful. Jr level Creative Writing… pop instructor left… “Well, I’m not so-and-so and I never will be; you are stuck with me.”
Break the tension with humor.
Humor can be an aid to learning: book on pedagogical benefits

Essentially, arguing that emotion can be used actively as a category in investigating FYC situations.
“emotion determines how we orient ourselves to the world”

Take emotion seriously. What can we do to make sub situations better?

Notes from CCTE 2016: Rhetoric 4

Revision or Editing

Rebecka Scott, Abilene Christian U
“Holistic Revision Instead of Afterthought Editing”

connecting rhetoric, composition, and WC theories to editing and publishing

incorporation of scaffolding and peer review, becoming increasingly aware of writing process

would not recognize term re-writing
instead revision and editing separated in classroom
useful for helping explain: re-envision

creates inconsistencies
also we ignore editing as a recursive process

many comp students do not understand rewriting as a complex stage of writing

initial steps of evaluation

writing considered linear. Writing still linear. Comp studies, though, it is recursive.

Rhetoric for Writing Teachers, Lindemann
Not separate stages. Instead, the writers are prewriting, writing, and editing during the experience.
Defines rewriting as including revising and editing. These tasks are separate but equally relevant for rewriting. (RS includes proofreading)
Wants to draw rewriting back into the end. Revision isn’t the last stage of composing.

Lack of connection between revision and editing. More space given to revision than editing.
Revision supersedes term rewriting.
Editing = final check for formatting

Looked at various freshman composition textbooks on topic.

Rewriting is part of the writing process.

Books don’t show how they are cyclical. Books don’t even use language consistency.

Emphasis of one over the other in classroom can influence students.
Students are most concerned with grammar.
Organization and syntax matter.
Essentially the same act with a different focus.
Limited research on best way to teach these.

Initial steps:
Realign by evaluating language we use
Engage in discussion of recursive
Editing as a purposeful task of rewriting

Evaluate the purpose of rewriting as presented in textbook
Rewriting may be one element of the text that can be supplemented

Being aware of what may be lacking in our textbooks is essential for success.

Have language discussion even if confusing for students.
Part of the recursive writing.

Students are not receiving consistent presentation.

Many profs avoid. Students are unfamiliar with terms and have negative experiences.
These discussions can lead to better understanding.

Give adequate time to editing, revision, and rewriting.
This re-enforces that revising, editing, and proofreading are unimportant and part of the end-process only.

Notes from CCTE 2016: Teaching Strategies