post for 12/09

December 8, 2010

One thing that struck me in the voices envisioned exhibit was the flag that was half Irish and half British.  One thing that struck me about the flag was its appearance.  The flag looked old beaten up tattered and discolored.  I couldn’t help but think about how this flag in some way represents the relations of these two nations.  Two nations that are so close to each other geographically,   cultural, and historically can be separated by so many differences as well.  The flag however had a faint message of hope within it.  By showing how these two flags can be put together into one working flag is in some ways a statement about how the relations between these two peoples can be restored and repaired into something new and great.

Too relate this to what we have been doing in class, the first thing that came to mind was the types of forgetting we have learned about.  The type of forgetting it most reminded me of was the second type of forgetting, prescriptive forgetting.  What this type of forgetting means is that certain groups or states will forget their differences in order to move on to a new and hopefully better future.  This flag is a perfect example of this type of forgetting.  By putting together the flags of these two conflicting parties, it is a statement of how their own mistakes and conflicts should be put in the past, and a new future of togetherness and peace should be put in its place.

post for 11/30 part 2

November 29, 2010

“Explain how a particular video game reconstruction of an historical event”

The video game Call of Duty Black Ops uses the shadowy government and the communist threat during the cold war to tell its own story.  The game beings telling the story of a man named Alex Mason.  Mason is a CIA operative working to help eliminate the communist threat during the cold war.  The first time u see Mason is during the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April of 1961.  Mason was one of three Americans in the country at the time; his job along with his team was to eliminate Castro.  His team was the ones that signaled the invasion to being and even believed they killed Castro, however they only had killed his double.  Mason’s team ends up escaping without him and he is captured by the Cubans.  They explain how the Soviets had helped the Cubans find out about the Bay of Pigs plan and helped them get ready for the invasion.  The game later takes the game to Vietnam, and put u right into the NVA invasion of Khe Sanh, which took place during 1968.  IN the game u help the Americans fight off the Vietnamese army and  are able to escape with your lives. The game shows the actions of the Vietnamese soldiers accurately.  Many hide in the trees and inside holes waiting for American soldiers to pass by before springing an attack. Call of Duty shows a new way for history to be taught and learned for a new generation of people.

post for 11/30 part 1

November 29, 2010

“write about thanksgiving as a ritual that creates and reaffirms your family identity each year”

Each year thanksgiving is one of the only days where almost my entire family is together. It’s the only day of the year I see certain members of my family from out of the country or out of the state.  My family however is not one of those perfect ones that get along well with one another.  On one side of my family there is almost constant fighting or problems between certain family members who cant ever seem to get alone with one another.  However this was one of the years that finally changed that.  When I first read this question about thanksgiving I honestly thought that it would be rather challenging for me, seeing as how thanksgiving is just a day my family had to tolerate seeing one another.  However this year was much different.  Unlike any other years many of my family members stayed at my house for several days (no one found it important to tell me this in advance).  My house for days was crowded for days with about 18 people in all staying in it, where as there are usually only 4 or 5.  This year was one of the first years seeing my family members actually being happy and getting along with one another.  I spent more time with my aunts, uncles and younger cousins who I have almost never spoken to, or only spoken to on occasion.  Some of us had gone to the city together to see a Knicks game, had gone out to dinner, and shared many stories and good times with one another.  Thanksgiving this year was truly an important one.  Hopefully my family will change the way they think about one another and being to get along better with one another.

post for 11/23

November 22, 2010

In American history this specific type of forgetting is used in the Native American assimilation during the time of the United States expansion to the west during the mid eighteen hundreds.  This time was the stage for many brutal wars between the Native Americans and the United States government.  Deals after deal made by both sides were repeatedly broken and war seemed continuous.  The United States wanted to end the fighting without having to give up any land to the Native Americans.  In order to do this they stared to assimilate the Natives, put them in reservations.  Assimilation was the process of taking the “savage” Natives and turning them into brainwashed “good Christians”, so that they won’t feel like they are being treated differently than other Americans.

This is a type of forgetting because one of the processes of assimilation requires the natives to give up their religion, culture and their own history in order to become “normal” in the new culture that was more powerful and different then their own.  In the end the natives eventually all either become assimilated, moved to reservations, or were killed.

post for 11/8

November 8, 2010

A) Nabokov usually leaves out rather important details about what happens to some of the characters in his writing.  He talks about his father’s usher Osip.  Osip was killed by the Bolsheviks for not giving them bikes, but Nabokov does not go any further then telling us this.  What could be a rather interesting story, instead turns into a mundane detail that has been overshadowed by him talking about what his surroundings at the time looked like.

B) It didn’t take me too long before I realized the answer to this question.  Nabokov uses very large and complicated words to create details.  Nabokov literally goes on for many lines about something as simple as the color and shape of an object.  Nabokov also uses his own language, Russian to show a deeper understanding of his world in the story.

c) Nabokov talks about how he learned the word butterfly in a language called Basque.  He said “From him I learned, and have preserved ever since in a glass cell of my memory”.

post for 11/4

November 3, 2010

the writers these is that cell phones, particularly our ring tones are apart of who we are and is our way of showing who we are to someone with out ever having to interact with them

Personally i find ring tones rather unnecessary.  I hate it when some one has an extremely loud and obnoxious ring tone.  In my opinion it shows how much some people crave attention from others around them. I keep my phone on vibrate all the time.

Halloween memory

November 1, 2010

my most memorable memory from Halloween was when i was in the 9th grade. the reason why this year stood out to me was because it was one of the last Halloweens i spent with one of my best friends Jordan, before he moved away to California, and many of my other friends before we grew apart later in high school.  I remember me him and a group of my friends met together after school to celebrate the holiday.  We did what all other young  kids were doing at that time, throwing eggs at each other, attacking each other with shaving cream, and getting tons of free candy from trick or treating even though none of us had any costumes on.  I remember that was the first time i had ever been hit by an egg and the first time i had hit some one with an egg, it was a lot less disgusting then i thought it would be.  I remember feeling kind of like a rebel staying out late on a school night with all of my friends, but because it was Halloween it gave me a good excuse to stay out late. When i had arrived back at home my parents were mad that i was covered head to toe with shaving cream and eggs.  I wasn’t allowed to go in through the front door and had to go straight into the shower.

I think i recall this memory of  Halloween because it was one of the funnest memories i have of the holiday.  I was young enough to do childish tings such as play with eggs and shaving cream, but old enough to remember most of that day.  I also recall it because it is a memory i have with many of my childhood friends that i no longer see or even talk to. I believe that my memory is fairly accurate, although my memory may not be the best, i think that the memory i have form that night is reliable.  Many of my friends who were with me that night would agree that it was one of their funner Halloweens that they had as a kid. This memory is usually recalled  when i think back to my memories of Halloween.  My friends and i don’t bring up this day very often, unless its in the context of “yo remember that time i hit u in the face with an egg” and then that will stem into a debate over what everyone remembers and did not remember from that night.

This documentary has added to our collective memory in many ways.  Like all other civil war documentaries , Burns demonstrates how bloody of a war it was.  At the battle of Antietam thousands of American lives were lost on both the Confederate and Union sides. The union attack on the confederates resulted in a complete blood bath.

Another thing Burns emphasizes is General George McClellan.  His incompetence as a General was the reason for an extreme loss of life at Antietam, and in any other battles that took place during the war.  McClellan could have ended the war numerous times before that battle, but sis not because he was afraid to take any risk.  Robert E. Lee had said that McClellan was a biggest disadvantage to the union army, and the biggest advantage for the Confederate army.

The final important thing that Burns talks about is Abraham Lincoln.  Although Lincoln had ran for president on an anti-slavery platform, he did not fight the civil war based entirely on slavery.  Lincoln had said that his first goal was to preserve the union.  He would have done it even if not slaves were freed, only half of the slaves were freed or even none.  Lincolns main intention for invading the south was to preserve the union first and issues such as slavery came after.

part of essay due 7/12

October 7, 2010

Social memory is the way our memory can shape us, our interactions with others and how we can become later in life, even if we do not realize it.  Our social memory can in many ways affect history.

“Since the memory of past experiences is so profoundly intertwined with the basic identities of individuals, groups and cultures, the study of memory exist in different forms along the spectrum of existence, from personal individual and private memory to the collective, cultural and public.” (Thelen 1117)

Thelen explains in this quote the many different types of memory that exist.  An individual can have many types of memories that are his and his alone.  However if he chooses to share these individual memories they become collective memory, or memory shared between a group of people.  Collective memory itself can become history, weather its public his or history of an entire culture.  Much of history comes from individual memory and then later accounts of people who were there during the time of the event in history.  One person can share their individual memory, which then can become collective and then that collective memory can become known history.

“At one end of the spectrum are psychological issues of individual motivation and perception in the creation of memories.  At the other end are linguistic or anthropological issues of how cultures establish traditions and myths from the past to guide the conduct of their members in the present” (Thelen 1117)

Thelen’s spectrum shows the extent of how our social memory works.  On one side is how we think individually to our self when creating new memories.  On the other side of the spectrum is how we use try to help others create new memory, by telling stories, creating traditions and other ways of trying to shape others memory around your own.  This is how one can transfer his own individual memory into a group’s collective memory.  Instead of this memory staying with one person is then becomes part of an entire groups memory which is known as their collective memory.  This is one way in which social memory can affect history.  History started by people telling stories and passing these stories down from generation to generation passing individual memory into collective memory.  Once this transaction had successfully happened it becomes known history.

Historical memory is the memory of someone who witnessed a historical event though their own eyes, and they way in which they interpret it.  Historical memory is heavily influenced on the individuals who retell their accounts of the historical event they had seen or encountered.  “We expect the accuracy of a memory to be shaped by the observer’s physical proximity in time and space to the event” (Thelen 1119).  Because historical memory is based on individual accounts, they must be seen as accurate.  One way to ensure that historical memory is accurate is by using the memories of people who were at the historical event when it happened.  An account of any event will be best if told through the memories of people who were at the event when is happened, not by people who had only heard about it at a later time.  Historical memory is based primarily on the collective memory of those who encountered the historical event.

“By reconnecting history with its origins in the narrative form of everyday communication, attention to memory transcends specialization by speaking the language of face-to-face association and firsthand experience” (Thelen 1118).

This shows one of the ways historical memory can spread, by people simply telling others about their memory.  When an individual’s memory is shared with a group it can become collective and then historical.  This person’s account can be seen as an accurate description of a past event and an accurate historical memory.  A person’s urge to share their memory with others by speaking and telling stories is one of the ways in which a historical memory can be created and used.

The construction of history is done by using people’s historical memory.  If someone had experienced a historical event first hand, their memory can be used to create history.  However the creation of history is usually the byproduct of several memories used to make one single account or story.  “Construction is not made in isolation but in conversations with others that occur in the context of community, broader politics, and social dynamics” (Thelen 1119).  What this quote means is that no one person can create history alone.  Although this one person may have seen a historical event unfold, his long memory is not enough to create history.  When people get together to share their ideas, memories, and thoughts about the event they had all witnessed they then are creating history.  History can only be made by a group of people, not one lone individual.  “The starting place for the construction or individual recollection is a present need or circumstance” (Thelen 1121).  Many people do not use their memory for the construction of history alone. A person or a group of people will get together to create history when something happens requiring people to get together.  A memory is not shared when they have no need to interact with other people, and when memories aren’t being shared; history is therefore not being created.  All history creation happened because of an event that brought many people together to discuss their memoires of an historical event or situation that had taken place.


Paragraph 1: Intro

Main Idea 1: Explain Social memory, include quotes from readings and explain quotes, and then use details from a revere account

Main Idea 2: Explain Historical memory, use quotes from readings explain them and use details from a revere accounr

Main Idea3: Explain the construstion of history: use quotes as well as the last to main ideas to explain, and then use a revere account

last paragraph: conclusion

Thesis: Social Memory, Historical memory, and the construction of history can all be easily explained by using  the readings, the revere accounts and poem

Paul Revere part 2

September 27, 2010

One similarity is the meeting with Revere had with the British officers.  At first Revere was able to escape the officers that had initially chased him.  However they later caught him and took him prisoner.  While they had him captive they were quite violent, they had hit him and had threatened several times to blow his brains out.  The officers had asked him several questions that Revere had admitted to answering honestly.  When they neared Lexington they herd gun shots coming from the militia meeting house.  Before the officers had left Revere they had stolen his horse and left him on the side of the road.  Another similarity was that Reveres main mission was to warn Hancock and Adams of the coming British threat.  Also when the fighting had first started Revere points out that in both cases the militia only numbered around fifty men.  The first shot he had herd he believed was the British.

Revere had mentioned many more things in his second deposition that he did not mention in his first.  In his first deposition he did made no mention of Doctors Church and Warren, both of which were important in helping Revere during that night.  Also when talking about Dr. Church Revere explains how he was a traitor to the revolution.  He had been a personal friend to General Gage and while he was in Boston went where ever he pleased, while saying that he was instead taken prisoner by the British.  Church had been giving information to General Gage and helping the British while pretending to be a Son of Liberty. Revere also made no mention of going door to door warning minute men that the British army was coming for them.  Revere’s task to receive a package from the tavern was also not mentioned in the first deposition.  Because he had to get this package it was why he was so close to the fighting when it had began.  He said that the first gin to go off was a pistol, which earlier was said to be carried by every British officer.