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HISTORICAL CONTINGENCIES AS A VEHICLE FOR UNDERSTANDING FREDERICK DOUGLASS’ RHETORIC Dr. Morse “War” Winter 2016 Today’s Goals • Lecture Review, Close-Reading, Image Analysis, Rhetorical Strategies and Application of Historical Contingency
Reminders about…Historical contingency The idea that historical events are dependent (or contingent) on multiple causes that shape When, How, and Why an event occurs The ways culture, history, economics, politics, environment (and human action) shape or influence human character, beliefs, and values at specific moments in time The opposite of inevitability These are events we couldn’t have predicted “We’re all rooted in time and change is the only true certainty in our human condition” (Fahs Lecture).
Warm Up Discussion – Lecture Review What historical contingencies or sources help explain why many Northerners initially opposed to emancipation and to black soldiering changed their viewpoint by the end of the war? What kinds of resistance by the slave population took place in the upper South at the beginning of the Civil War compared to the forms of resistance that took place in the deep south? How did these human actions serve as an effective kind of slave politics? Make an argument that supports a claim that black soldiering and the contraband movement were revolutionary.
A Bit of History: The Contraband; The Recruit; the Veteran, by Thomas Waterman Wood, 1865 What kinds of transformations are depicted in these visual texts? Harper’s Weekly, April 22, 1865
• How did sketches and photographs have the potential to impact how the larger public can access events as they unfold? Limitations? Drawbacks? Contingencies? Contrabands, Newport News, 1861. Alfred R. Waud. Source: Library of Congress
Essay 3: Historical “Image” Analysis 1. Select 1 -2 visual texts from the Civil War era and articulate a clear, specific and arguable thesis about HOW the selected image(s) re-presented or “performed” or “pictured” some particular attitude, belief, values or other particular aspect(s) of the Civil War for its contemporary audience. q 2. Look back at the event through a historical lens q 3. Requirement: Academic Secondary Source Article/2 other Academic Sources for Context Click Here how certain historical contingencies account for or shape the kinds of rhetorical appeals and messaging in place for a particular American, Civil War era audience § perhaps one sympathetic to the southern cause or one that celebrates black soldiering Challenge - look beyond an obvious, singular reading of the selected image(s). q Look for ambiguous or contradictory or competing or otherwise complicated mixed messages q To reveal additional meaning about Civil War period § hypocrisy, economic justification of abolitionism, lingering racism, gendered subjugation, etc.
• Looking for tension and complicated mixed messaging: • The images appeal to natural, human, god given rights in making an abolitionist argument (a moral argument) • However, through the historical lens the image to the left also reveals an Abolitionist position based on an economic justification (ironically represented by the donation box) underscoring lingering racism in the Northern states
• Looking for tension and complicated mixed messaging • These images depict both a celebration of emancipation and a changing society, but at the same time continue to privilege deeply rooted ideological beliefs
Essay 3: Historical “Image” Analysis Drafting Schedule Carefully Read the WH Ch Analyzing Visual Images Look for images of interest beginning in Image Gallery and archives listed for Blog Post 1, on course web site, etc. (and keep exploring and building context) Tuesday, Week 2: Research (Secondary Source Search), http: //hcc. humanities. uci. edu/humcore/Student/Winter 2016/assignment-prompts/Essay 3 Historical-Analysis-process. html Select/Research/Present 1 -2 images in class (may/may not be for essay) (50 LP) Thursday, Week 2: Ideas Draft #1 Due Use “Image Analysis Checklist” to analyze/brainstorm all aspects of officially selected image(s) – bulleted details are fine, but attend to each section to earn full points (50 WP) Tuesday, Week 3: Preliminary Thesis Due (In-Class Thesis Workshop) (25 WP) Thursday, Week 3: Complete Working Draft Due (4+ pp. ) (50 WP) Tuesday, Week 4: Peer Editing Due (50 WP) Friday, Week 4: Final Draft Due (100 pts 5 -7 pp. 40% Writing Grade)
Part One: Group Discussion of rhetorical analysis Characterize or Define Rhetoric and its purpose Characterize or Define Ethos/Logos/Pathos and purpose How might an appeal to Pathos be an effective rhetorical strategy in his Narrative? In his speeches? To what extent is it vital that Douglass construct a particular ethos for his audience(s)? Ethos as what and to what end? How would you characterize the rhetorical scene (setting, audience, purpose) of Douglass’ public work?
Building Ethos / Historical Contingency “Shapes” Meaning What kind of identity or ethos is represented by Douglass in the image? How might this photo reframe the Civil War Era notion of Enlightenment “man”? Now look at the Letter in the Preface from Wendell Phillips. How does the distinction between human an animal appear in the letter? In what ways does this metaphor contribute to Douglass’ ethos?
Depicting Violence to the Slave Body: Final 2 paragraphs of Chapter 1 n What is going on in the scene? n n Who is involved? Where does it take place? (symbolism? ) How would you characterize the humiliation/violence to the body? To the woman? Connection to animal? To a carcass? Why is this important rhetorically? Rhetorical Appeals? n n Where is Douglass? How old is he? What might be his deeper purpose for sharing this memory of violence? Historical contingencies (Values/Attitudes, etc. D might be reacting to? )
Let’s Move to Group Passage Work Look at the final paragraph of Douglass’ narrative. How do his personal experiences contributing to and leading up to the narrative prepare Douglass for public life? n What rhetorical connections can you make between the final passage of the narrative (1844) and the opening of his “What to the Slave is the 4 th of July” speech (1852) with respect to Douglass’ ethos? n Discuss possible contingencies impact his rhetoric, use of language, references, etc. n
“Slaves Waiting for the Sale, Richmond, Virginia” Eyre Crowe, 1861, Oil on Canvas (English Artist) (Click on Image) “The Cotton Pickers” Winslow Homer, 1876, Oil on Canvas (See it at LACMA) (Click on Image) • How do these images exemplify themes and struggles of “family” and “community”? • How does Douglass use his own family experiences to make an appeal to his listeners/readers? (Function of family or female/male relationships or exploitation or personal experience to connect with or to disconnect from an audience? )
HOW DOES THIS IMAGE “PICTURE” OR FRAME HISTORY AND REFRAME THE AMERICAN HERO? HTTP: //INTERNATIONAL. LOC. GOV/AMMEM/NDLPEDU/COLLECTIONS/AAO/FILE. HTML
JOHN LOCKE SECOND TREATISE ON GOVERNMENT, BOOK V (1690) • Sec. 25. …natural reason, … tells us, that men, being once born, have a right to their preservation, and consequently to meat and drink, and such other things as nature affords for their subsistence. • Sec. 27. Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.
5 minute Research Exercise (Search: Venerate the Plough) Building Context for Deeper Meaning How is American National Identity characterized or “pictured” in this image? What legacy does this farmer leave his son? What references to the Enlightenment or to the Declaration of Independence are represented in this image?
Painting by Edward Hicks The Residence of David Twining 1787 What history of America does this image “picture” or frame? Connections to/Departures from the earlier image? Chapter 2 gives a description of life on Colonel Lloyd’s plantation and of “slavery as it there existed. ” Look at bottom of 47 -8, 54 -55, 2425 “Here, too, the slaves…” Connections between Douglass’ narrative and the visual texts?