Tuesday, April 8, 2008

To Pick Up Where Class Left Off...

When the bells started ringing at noon on Monday, Professor Chun ended lecture by asking a few really thought-provoking questions: 

-What avenues are closed off when we place primary importance on dynamic systems?
-Does this focus create new sequestering of knowledge?  
-What is at stake when we address the question of dynamics? 

Obviously, I don't have the answer to all these questions, or even to just one of them. But I have been mulling them over. These questions struck me. iIn reading the work of Srinivasan, Appardurai, and the other authors in this unit who are advocates for dynamic systems, my instinctual response had been to agree. Of course it was a good idea to entrust the telling of history into the hands of those who have lived/are living these experiences. But, as with any system, instating one system and gaining new benefits inevitably means the loss of some benefits exclusive to the old system. 

Some people have already brought this issue to the foreground in class and in section. If a group is constantly revising it's history based on its present situation, what does that mean for the whole notion of posterity? If the archival system becomes primarily dynamic and ever-changing, does that mean the "old" conception of a fixed history will become completely obsolete? If so, will we be able to cope with the lack of stability when we look back into our pasts? 

Regardless of how things change, history will still be told from someone's point of view. We're always invested within some system, no matter how self-aware we are.  

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