[-empyre-] Vor dem Gesetz/Before the Law, hoveringly

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Nov 20 02:04:14 EST 2014

ps (to last night)
I just wanted to acknowledge, in addition, some of the contributions to our discussions over the past days, from John Hopkins, Erik Ehn, and Christina Spiesel; and I found it interesting, 
in the contexts of human rights, the law and legal philosophy raised yesterday, that Christina chose to focus on the educational system and various aspects of teaching, cognition (machine)
learning, assessment, etc., presumably in the evolving corporatized and privatized neoliberal higher education sectors.  Christina also very persuasively points out that

teaching that produces critical thinking is labor intensive -- it actually requires teachers who have real knowledge/preparation before they get to students
and then students who can be responsive to inter-generational conversations.

This notion of the inter-generational conversation, and the various modes and possibilities of cultural performance and knowledge transmission  is an important one that deserves 
further attention, I believe, also especially because it seems to me that 'justice,' but also existing laws (and any form of dialogue and exchange based on situated codes and conventions and
discourses of specific historical and cultural contexts) and rules of propriety, debt, compensation, or distribution, are intimately connected to teaching and learning. 

And of course, Christina, I agree with what you argue, namely that feeling and the emotions are also guides to value; what one would probably have to address, also when I listened to Fereshteh's brief
report on her new play, featuring a female protagonist (educated) who

>> has experienced a trauma in her islamic homeland and doubts the effectivness of psychotherapy in a world full of violence, war and joblessness, tries to heal herself by writing a play. 

is the different availabilities of processing a world of violence, through a writing or talking cure, through role models, through action models,  and incitement from preachers, elders, brothers and father and mothers and sisters and peers.
Your comments, Christina, probably refer to the US (you teach at one of the top Ivy League universities?), but I wondered about the schools that Pia visited in the occupied territories, or schools in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I tried to contact Iraqui writer Sherko Fatah after reading about his last stay in the land of his father, near Suleimanija, but he has not replied yet; I also contacted artist./ethnographer Abdel Hernández in La Habana; he teaches at ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte) and I asked him whether he would join our roundtable as I hoped to hear more voices from regions outside euro-american northern hemisphere;due to lack of stable internet connection, Abdel and his students were not able to follow this discussion. Whereupon I saved all the posts into a consecutive text file and sent to Cuba, and Abdel promised he would get back to us.
Then, thinking of Rustom's crypt and a recent interview with Snowden in Russia, where he urges professionals to encrypt all "client communications" - I suggest to Abdel he better encrypt his letter to us.

warm regards
Johannes Birringer

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