This spring quarter was my last quarter taking the humanities core series with this cycle’s first year emphasizing the theme empire and its ruins. The first quarter I was shy to speak in the classroom for fear of being wrong and ridiculed. Over time I lost the panic which enabled me to participate more often and engage in group discussions with more confidence. This course has helped me improve my writing skills and the discussion section enhanced my speaking abilities while simultaneously stimulating my brain with knowledge.
The first lecturer of this quarter was Professor Block. With her we learned how sex was used to divide labor where the people of color would do harsh labor, white women had “women’s work” and white men got the best labor there was. It’s evident through Mary Prince Describes Her Work as an Enslaved Salt Raker where she has to work in harsh conditions as opposed to the Sarah Baker excerpt where she’s given an apprenticeship and is taught English. It’s further proven in the film we saw in lecture where white women were allowed to do women’s work like assisting in births but black women were often performing the same labor as men. Marriage laws were used to determine who was allowed to marry who. For example, intermarriages between whites and blacks was strictly forbidden. Marriage between Native Americans and whites was only allowed between a white male and a Native American female for the sole purpose of gaining land from the women. Furthermore, marriages between African Americans were banned because if they were allowed to marry they will form families and once they did they had to be recognized as such. This made it difficult for oppressors to have control over them and treat them like subhumans. Women were expected to resist men and be chaste until marriage. It was difficult to determine when women were truly resisting since men were typically the ones who decided whether the woman was resisting or not resulting in the difficulty of defining rape.
The second lecture of this quarter was Professor Linda Trinh Vo. Race-craft was used in order to make the Filipinos seen as barbaric justifying the U.S going into the nation in hopes of creating a benevolent assimilation as President William McKinley declared. Human zoos were created to show the public in Europe and the US. what colonizers have colonized, again in hopes of justifying the war. Since the US was trying to justify it’s presence in the country the government controlled the media making US citizens unaware of the role Cambodia and Laos had in the war where they were collateral damage. The US isn’t as open to immigration as it seems because over the years it decreased the amount of Filipinos that were allowed to come into the US. After the war a new government in the Philippines emerged where their goal was to create a stateless society resulting in a genocide killing ¼ of their people in almost 4 years including educated folk, adults, mothers, and even children. Although this was a horrific event some believe that it shouldn’t be forgotten in order to prevent this from happening again, while others oppose. This creates conflict leading us to question who is remembered and how they are remembered. Lectures with Professor Vo opened up my eyes to how much Westerners meddle with other countries creating more damage than assistance, which seems to be a recurring theme that also showed up in past lecturers.
The final lecturer of the quarter and cycle was Professor Nasrin Rahimieh. We began the lectures with the people of Iran coming across ancient inscriptions where Iranian foreign ministry declared Iran as the birthplace of Aryans which he believed confirmed the “greatness” of the race and civilization of Iranis. In 1971, it was the Celebration of 2500 years of Persian Monarchy, ironically 8 years later there was no longer a monarchy in place. Women had to completely transfer their dress code implementing a chador (literally a tent) to their fashion. There was a change of clothes again in the 1960’s and 70’s in-taking Western fashion making it problematic to men because they believed women were no longer becoming. We discussed the film Women Without Men based on the novel by author Shahmush Parsipur. The film is an adaption to the novel including significant changes, most notably the focus of the 1953 coup’s failed attempt of Iran achieving autonomy and self governance. Rahimieh critiques the film by claiming that the filmmaker’s fear and sense of alienation to her country reflects in the film. An example would be after Munis comes to life and shows that she’s more powerful after she’s killed herself, in other words it has become orientalized because it is glorifying suicide. But on the other hand, she agrees the film does a great job displaying the class difference between the women and especially women entitlement through Fahri, since she has the economic means to part form her husband. Another significant change that I wouldn’t have known if the professor wouldn’t have pointed out was that of the male figure of the garden, he’s the same actor who played the last client Zahri had before she escaped. In the novel the gardener is a wise man who along with the garden helped heal them. The next topic professor will cover will be on Persepolis, I can’t wait to learn more about it.
Overall writing these blogs have been a novel but wonderful experience. I wasn’t exposed to anything like this in high school, so taking the challenge of creating them has quite fun meanwhile it allowed me to write creatively. Although I can’t say that my blogs all follow one theme, I will say that I do talk about immigration often, and I mention politics frequently, because it is something I believe everyone has to have some interest in. I enjoyed writing them because it allowed me to learn more myself through looking for scholarly sources . Also, looking for memes to go along with my blogs to lighten up the mood has also been a pleasure. I hope my audience enjoys my blogs as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Brinkmier, Theo. Filipino Soldiers Killed in the Trenches. Digital image. US genocide in the Philippines . WordPress, 16 Oct. 2016. Web. 30 May 2017.
Professor Linda Trinh Vo. April 24, 2017. University of California, Irvine.
Professor Nasrin Rahimieh. May 15, 2017. University of California, Irvine.
Professor Sharon Block. April 3, 2017. University of California, Irvine.
The Filipinos First Bath: McKinley –‘Oh you dirty boy!’”. Digital image. Philippines After the Spanish-American War. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2017.
The Loving couple, part Native American, part African American woman and her white husband in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized interracial marriage across the country in 1967. Digital image. Steep Rise In Interracial Marriages Among Newlyweds 50 Years After They Became Legal. NPR, 18 Dec. 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.
Women Without Men. Indiepixfilms. YouTube. YouTube, 30 Apr. 2010. Web. 31 May 2017.