Law, Literature, and Narrative Poetics

Collaborator Evaluations

You can find the form for evaluating your peers on their performance regarding and contributions to the Collaborative Portfolio Project in our class folder on Dropbox. These forms are due by tomorrow, Friday, April 27th at 11:59 pm.

rswharton April 26, 2012 Filed in Collaborative Portfolio Project, Uncategorized No Responses

Leah’s Recap Blog Draft

On the first day of class we learned that this class would be a course examining the relationship between legal and literary discourse. We learned that law and literature have a major commonality, and that is narrative: legal opinions, like novels and film, tell narratives and stories about the law, where the people, places and things become aspects of the storyworld. It was that day that we discovered how law and literature can have a mutual understanding and sharing of narratology, the systematic study of narrative forms, helping us understand how law can be considered the “poetics” of justice. From there, we were set off on a journey to construct the concept of “justice” within the world of law and literature, and how the two interact socially and culturally.

Many of us without any experience in the readings of legal opinions, this class served as a challenge for us students who are more used to the “classical” conventions of what makes a narrative. We were asked to come up with a list of elements that make up prose narrative and came up with the following:

  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Plot
    • Rising Action → Climax → Falling Action → Resolution
  • Imagery
  • Tone/Mood
  • Perspective or Point of View
  • Progression/Sequence/Time/Movement
    • Cause and Effect

It didn’t take long for us to quickly see the translation in the legal writing world, for every single aspect of what our previous conventions where had their place in legal discourse:

  • Setting: courtroom; where the event occurred; time period
  • Characters: defendant; plaintiff (state/prosecution); jury; audience; witnesses; attorneys; judges; investigators; victim
  • Plot: facts; police report; litigation; procedural history
    • Motive → Crime or Catalyzing Event → Falling Action → Resolution
  • Imagery: evidenc
  • Perspective or Point of View: 1st person; 3rd person omniscient

This original exercise kickstarted our semester into an understanding that legal writing is not just strictly for fact sharing, but law is, in itself, narrative.

While we learned a lot as legal neophytes about the discourse of legal writing as far as case studies were concerned in the studying of United States ex rel. Standing Bear v. Crook, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and Citizens United v. FEC, we also saw how law could influence fiction through the reading of Never Let Me Go and The City and the City. These novels taught us how to translate those aspects of narratology that we had previously limited to the fictional storyworld to a world of law and narrative as it functions within our society. These themes were further driven home by our film studies of Moon and District 9; the legal undertones of both movies just proved that the law is everywhere. Justice is just as much a part of narrative and poetics as it is legal writing; it’s just how it is presented that makes you see it in a certain light.

Going back to that first day of class, we were told that the course was designed to provide us with new critical thinking strategies that can help us think through and deal with contemporary issues. As the class comes to a close this week, I can say with confidence that we have certainly learned to do just that. We have not only learned about the role storytelling plays in creating, sustaining, and transforming our understanding of right and wrong, justice and injustice, truth and falsehood, but we have certainly come to a new understanding of how the “way” we tell a story can influence what the story actually “means.” Through our readings and projects, we have successfully gained a new perspective on both law and narrative, as well as a new way to think critically about the world around us, real or fiction.

leahwinter April 25, 2012 Filed in Uncategorized 1 Response

Emma Fried’s Audio Remediation Project

I was excited to work on the audio remediation project because of what I was not able to do in the visual remediation project. In the visual remediation project I wanted to include audio from news reports both during and after the morning of 911. As we all know, no audio was allowed in the project and I looked forward to doing something similar in the third and final project. The audio that I collected to represent the angle I was looking for is not emotionally charged like the audio that I found to represent the morning of 911 but I was still interested in the project. The purpose of the audio from 911 was to add emotion and contrast to my project. The purpose of the audio I chose from the Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld case was educational.

My initial idea for the project was to have a type of “old time-y” detective case. I wanted to create a story where a detective was snooping around to prove that Hamdan was not a terrorist plotting to take over America (and the world for dramatic effect). I immediately ran into problems when beginning to produce the audio. I preferred/needed a males voice for the voice of the detective, the story line/angle was vague, and it was taking far too long to write a script that made sense. My next thought was to make a story on the behalf of the lawyer. This angle was still difficult when it came to writing a script and finding a guy who was willing to have his voice recorded.

I enjoyed the idea of telling a story of  the lawyer who represented Hamdan. I felt that it was an interesting angle considering that an American was defending a possible terrorist. I was not exactly sure what route I was going to go with the project or what angle to take so I began browsing Youtube. I started to find videos of interviews with Charles Swift. The interviews were centered around his controversial defending of Hamdan as well as his release from the military after being passed up for promotion. I thought it was interesting that after challenging the Executive Branch that he was released from the military. The timing seemed non-coincidental and it was interesting that just before being let go, Swift was named one of the top 100 lawyers in America. After I compiled a large amount of audio and text I decided that it would be interesting to look at the case through Swift’s dedication to the law. Throughout all of his interviews Swift defends his actions and holds no resentment towards being passed up for promotion. I put the audio in chronological order beginning with an interview after wining the case and finishing with audio describing his plans after his career in the military. I think that the most intriguing part of the overall project is that blatant “spirit” that Swift has for the law. Recently in class we discussed the spirit of the law in regards to District 9. In the case of Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, Swift sticks with his beliefs even though most of America frowned upon him defending a “terrorist”. In an unfamiliar situation with only a few predeceasing cases, Swift followed the laws of the justice system thus upholding the spirit of the law.


emma April 20, 2012 Filed in Audio Remediation Project, Uncategorized 1 Response

Dj’s Recap Blog 4/9- 4/13

Week objectives:

  • Create a working sitemap for the Collaborative Portfolio Project
  • Agree on a path that will best satisfy the completion of our group project
  • Discuss Jane Bennett’s excerpt “Vibrant Matter”(analyze key takeaways)

Tuesdays Class

In class Tuesday we submitted stage one of the Collaborative Portfolio Project. This assignment consisted of our personal thoughts/ideas on how the final project should be completed. Tuesdays class, focused on how we could merge our ideas together to create a rough draft as a group. Dr. Wharton allowed us to critique each students stage 1 blog post and evaluate pros and cons in order to structure a class sitemap.  As we formulated ideas for the site, Dr. Wharton typed them and assisted with direction and this is what we came up with:

-Name of the class?
-Tagline or description
-Artwork (images of artifacts, word cloud/links to vocabulary (, picture of the class)
-Project basis of the class

Content areas:
-About page (overview of class, individual bios
-Artifacts (with reflections)
-Resources/Colophon/Tools page

About page:
-Class description
-Bios (name, image, brief description, maybe links to reflections/artifacts/etc.)

-Organization? (Text, theme, project, etc.)
-What’s included?
-How many reflections? Each artifact? Each contributor?
-Organizational method should be clear — maybe obvious but may require introduction or explanation
-Artifacts home page




Navigation from homepage?

Navigation within content areas?

-Avoid scrolling
-Homepage accessible from every page
-Ideally path to every page from every other page
-Easy navigation among content areas (menu, or internal links like wiki)
-Clean not cluttered
-Balance of text, whitespace, images

As a group, we decided that our website should be “Home” accessible at all times. Key objective is to create a clean site and capture the attention of the audience, also orchestrate a detailed website that will illustrate the remediations of the chosen artifacts. Vett posses, “thinking about how the text connects to the artifact & communicates that connection in reflections/ artist/statement?” This question derives from the need to deliver a revised artifact that gives a better understanding of the case and complements our Collaborative Portfolio.

Class questions for Tuesday:

How to represent the literary texts given they’re not the subject of remediation?

How to/whether to include background reading/theory?

Thursday’s Class

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett was the primary focus for Thursday’s class. Through a political mixed style of writing Jane Bennett is able to take her audience on an experiential journey through narrative. Bennett presents a subject vs. object relationship in her writing in order to separate the audiences mind from its prior understanding of what “life” means.  She is not talking about life vs. things that are not living, she is speaking about vitality ( ability to do things in the world).  This meaning that all objects in the world are actants and have an effect on the atmosphere. Dr. Wharton used an example about a piece of trash, once you throw the trash away is the life of that piece of trash done? On one level the piece of trash is dead in your mind but that trash continues a decomposition process which will also have a role in the world we live in whether it be from a biological perspective or political. Throwing trash away seems to mean things have lost existence but they are very complex examples of things that can act in the world.

As we continue in our daily materialistic patterns, how will we become consumed in our creations?  How do we as a society come to an agreement that all things created live a “life” and just because we considered that thing dead, realize it still has a life? How do we come to terms that things we create build a world full of clutter that have the capability to affect us in the future? These questions were addressed in class Thursday and used for the bases of our discussion. Personally, I had a mind altering experience in class because I never looked at life or subject vs. object relationships this way. Reading and discussing the excerpt from Jane Bennett’s, Vibrant Matter , has given me a new outlook on consumption and  a respect for things I once considered dead.

Click Below to watch a presentation from Jane Bennett about her book Vibrant Matter:

Jane Bennett Presentation On Vibrant Matter

Class Questions for Thursday:

Why is it important to think about this from a philosophical, biological and political level?

How does creation of material things in the world affect us in the world?

With technological advancements in society how do we become enslaved to our creations?


Concluding the week

The rough draft for our class collaborative portfolio project has given us a foundation to continue forward with our efforts to create our portfolio. This week in class we assessed different ideas and have become familiar with each others thoughts about the direction of our portfolio. With our project in the early stages of creation, it is safe to say that in class this week we have worked diligently together to create a plan for the execution of the portfolio. This weeks class has also illustrated that their is a relationship between subject v. object. Jane Bennett’s, Vibrant Matter, helps to inform us about the power of an object from a biological and political perspective. Personally, this was the most thought provoking pieces of literature that i have read. I think I was blown away at how Bennett breaks down life to a molecular level and makes all things equal, also how life for objects continue though they may be dead in your mind.With the ground we gained on our projects Tuesday and the mind blowing excerpt we discussed Thursday,its safe to say, class this week was a success.


Dj80 April 14, 2012 Filed in Uncategorized 1 Response

Emma Fried Recap Blog 4/3 & 4/5

This week in class we covered two very important topics. Each topic is very different but they both have an important underlying similarity. The collaborative portfolio and the discussion of District 9 represent the semester as a whole. The portfolio showcases our work throughout the semester and District 9 embodies the “spirit of the law”. While not directly touched upon until this week, the “spirit of  the law” has been with us the entire semester. It is the underlying factor that has fueled the cases, stories, and discussions throughout history and in this class.

On Tuesday the class was presented with the opportunity to discuss the Collaborative Portfolio. The goal of the discussion was to explore which “style” or “type” of portfolio was preferred by the class. There were two options that were covered.

Informal/Class progression: This style of portfolio would have a more informal look and feel. It could include projects in chronological order (maybe even a few rough drafts). It could include goals coming into class, things learned, and skills gained.

Professional: A professional style portfolio would be something that could possibly be used in an interview. The organization and content would resemble a resume. List skills and tools used during the semester.

While there was freedom in deciding what type of portfolio to create there was a list of non-negotiables to be considered.

  • There needs to present at least one artifact (does not have to be your own)
  • There needs to be an artifact presented from each student
  • Everyone needs to reflect on at least one artifact

Keeping in mind the freedoms and the constraints of the portfolio, our class came up with content that we would like for it to have.

  • Cover letter (i.e. an intro/about. Explains what the class is)
  • Table of contents
  • Statement of purpose
  • Group (includes artifacts and reflections. Each artifact including an introduction)
  • A list of tools and skills that were needed/used
  • Summaries of texts
  • Terminology/Glossary (hyperlinks)

The class seemed to want to have a mix between the two. The next step in the project is the stage 1 draft. Each student will create an individual proposal (i.e. how site should be organized etc) and post it to the blog as a comment on Tuesday April 10th.

With the remaining time left in the class we began examining District 9



Thursday we continued the discussion on District 9. On Tuesday it was noted that the dvd menu initially gave the option for human or alien (you are to chose theoretically depending on if you are a human or an alien). We were only able to see the human option on Tuesday and we observed the following things…

  • There were video clips of Wikus and other humans throughout the movie
  • The background was tan and map like
  • There were some video clips of humans interacting with the aliens

There were not a lot of conclusions to be drawn by the human dvd interface without the comparison of the alien interface. On Thursday when we were able to view the alien interface and comparisons could be made.

  • The alien interface was blue and mechanical (it was as if you were inside the robot suit looking out)
  • The video clips depicted violent battle scenes. There were shots of explosions and shooting
  • The theme is warlike and strategic, representing the aliens wanting and working to leave earth

Next we selected a scene that showed a man stating that the eviction of the aliens was a white wash. This sparked THE BIG QUESTION which lead to THE BIG DISCUSSION!

Why is the eviction of the aliens a white wash? It is technically legal so what is the big deal?

Possible evidence supporting a “white wash”                                                                                                    The aliens do not understand the term eviction. While they have picked up a good bit of the human language, the word eviction in not in their vocabulary. It is hard to say that something is fair when a person (or in this case an alien) is forced to do something that they don’t know the meaning of. Other reasons include the lack of options and level of degradation. There is no other place for them to go. The aliens have zero options, they must go to the new alien site. It is as if the South Africans are sending them to a concentration camp. The eviction is dehumanizing as it symbolizes that the aliens are not worthy of living in the same place.

If the eviction is ethically wrong then why are they doing it?                                                                                 The biggest problem with the treatment of the aliens is that fact that there is no precedent for dealing with this type of situation. Never in human history has the treatment of aliens been an issue. Do we as humans need to treat aliens with the same rights as we give to ourselves? How should we make the laws and what should the procedures be? Something needs to be done… but what? Let’s ask ourselves a few questions.                                                                                

Q: Why are the aliens contained to District 9 in the first place?                                                                               A: They were derailing trains, robbing people, etc.

Q: Is the previous question Habeaus Corpus?                                                                                                       A: ?

Q: Do we have the legal responsibility to save them?                                                                                         A: No we do not.

Q: What if another space ship comes? Should we save them as well?                                                                   A: ?

Since we do not know the answer to half of the above questions, why do we think we need to have laws or be fair in this situation in the first place? How have others made laws when there has been no precedent to their issue? Why do laws continue to be made? It is the SPIRIT and not the FORM of the law that keeps it alive.

This poster from the movie is a great example of the spirit of the law. People are promoting something that they believe is right. It isn’t the law (yet or maybe it never will be) but people are speaking up in what they believe in.


Next the discussion shifted towards the narrative of the story and how the aliens/ humans were represented visually. In the beginning of the film the viewer sees the alien from far away. The aliens are very scary and grotesque looking.

Winkus serving eviction papers to the aliens.

Then the viewers are presented with a more personal scene. The public/documentary type of filming transitions into a more familiar type of filming where the viewer sees something on the “inside”.  The viewer is literally inside of an alien hunt watching a sort of experiment. We are exposed to the personalities of the aliens and gaining visual close ups of them.

In the second picture we see eyes of the aliens. They are big and round like that of human eyes. The closer we get the aliens the more sympathy we gain towards them. In addition, Christopher Johnson wears clothes throughout the movie. This is another human characteristic that makes us feel compassion towards the aliens. By the end of the movie we are rooting for a man/machine/alien over a human.

REFLECTION: The spirit of the law is an interesting thing. I think by reflecting on District 9 and the prior cases and stories it is possible to see that the spirit is driving by ethics. Not ethics as a field of study per say but by individual people’s morals and beliefs. All of the works we have examined this semester are driven by people doing/arguing for what they think is “the right thing to do”. The spirit of the law can never die because people will always fight for what they are passionate about and believe in. The law is not about the actual rules, its about making sure that actions are fare and just for the greatest amount of people.

Abstract thinking: In both Moon and District 9 we have seen the main characters experience bodily breakdown. This breakdown occurs when the characters gain more and more knowledge about their situations.

  • What does this mean or represent?
  • Is ignorance bliss?

Sam discovering the clones.

Winkus transforming into and alien









Something else to think about:

  • Does the spirit of the law argue in favor of humans being inherently good or inherently evil?



emma April 7, 2012 Filed in Uncategorized No Responses

Leah’s Audio Remediation Author’s Statement


For my audio project, I decided to remediate the Standing Bear v. Crook case into a play off of the Native American storytelling tradition mixed with the international tradition of fables. The story is a retelling of the case in the form of a children’s bedtime story.

The Case

The Standing Bear v. Crook case played a huge role in the progress of accepting all races as people with rights. Because of the Ponca tribe’s unfair holding at Fort Omaha, the case was dismissed due to a writ of habeas corpus against Crook and those at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In the end, the judge ruled in favor of the Ponca tribe and Standing Bear, arguing that an indian is a person.

The Genres

A fable is a fictional story that illustrates a moral lesson. The moral that “an indian is a person” was the lesson attributed most to the Standing Bear v. Crook case, so it naturally lent itself to the form of a fable. In addition to the fable genre, the tradition of storytelling in the Native American culture also lent Standing Bear v. Crook to the theme of a Native American legend. Because of this combination of Native American storytelling and fable genre, I decided to do an audio mash up of a fable being read like a children’s story, with the recognizable chanting and music involved in Native American culture.

The Remediation

A traditional fable generally only has a couple of characters. Because of the name of the case, I decided to model the story on the two characters that serve as the face of the case: Standing Bear and General George Crook. The story begins with the two meeting, where Crook is telling the Standing Bear and his tribe (Ponca) to leave the reservation and go to the Indian Territory. As the story progresses, you see the unfairness that Standing Bear is treated with, and the story’s moral starts to shine through in the end. The story is narrated by a heterodiegetic narrator, meaning a third person omniscient narrator who is separate from the story world. The voices, however, are all the same because the story is supposed to be modeled after fables and storytelling, which is generally done by only one voice/narrator. If the voices changed, it would be transferred in to the category of drama or play, but because of its limited narration, the story has more of a semblance of a bedtime story.

Why it Works

As stated before, the nature of the Standing Bear v. Crook case lends itself to a fable kind of story based off of it’s emphasis on a final moral lesson. The culture of the case gave the inspiration to the music and way the story was told in a sort of Native American legend kind of way. In the end, we were left with a mashup of two genres, resulting in a Native American-themed children’s fable intended to share the importance of the case as it relates to morality and culture.

leahwinter April 4, 2012 Filed in Audio Remediation Project, Uncategorized 1 Response

Dj’s Audio Remediation Project

Return Of Standing Bear

I started the audio remediation project by debating which case I wanted to cover. I chose to attack the Standing Bear V. Crook case again because I do not feel that I successfully delivered my point in the visual remediation project. I also researched clips from the case in order to gain further insight about the case, but I was unsuccessful in my efforts. The only outside information that I could find was textual and it was from the Omaha Daily Herald, which was a news paper that was on the Omaha reservation during the time of the incarceration of Standing Bear. The lack audio data about the case is what provoked me to create a key synopsis of the case. Because there are only quotes from the case that illustrates Standing Bear’s existence, I created an audio file that connects the audience with Standing Bear on a more personal level.  Allowing Standing Bear to talk about the case after the verdict not only allows the audience to feel compassion for Standing Bear it also helps create a since of identity and displays emotions from Standing Bear. By creating a radio style of audio one can hear the transitions between radio host, judge, reporter, and Standing Bear which also illustrates major information events in the case.

In the creation of the audio file I knew I wanted to merge two tracks and create a beat that I considered relevant to the case. The first track is called Seneca Indians and it is a tribal song that has a chant in the background. This track was merged with a pop instrumental called Altered Carbon. These two tracks represent Standing Bears internal fight when he left his reservation and was illegally detained. After the tracks were successfully mixed I lowered the volume of them to not only show that the internal struggle Standing Bear faced was smaller issue but to bring focus to the words of the case and of Standing Bears emotion/identity.  The words of the case basically prove that justice was served and Standing Bear wanted to speak out about the case and what this means for him and his people. I added the judge in the audio because the voice of the judge solidifies the final verdict and further supports the case in its entirety. The reason I set out to illustrate scenes from the case and a personal interview, is because I believe Standing Bear’s Identity or his ties to his heritage, cannot be denied when hearing him speak.

Click Below For MP3:

Return Of Standing Bear


Dj80 April 2, 2012 Filed in Audio Remediation Project, Uncategorized 1 Response

Recap Blog: Thursday, 3/8

After spending Tuesday discussing The City and the City in class, we learned some key aspects about the story’s theme and the metaphors that it represents. We found that The City and the City could be considered both a sort of “film-noir” detective novel, as well as a “weird fiction” science fiction novel, and we defined the major differences between the two cities created in the novel, such as aesthetics, law, politics, economics, infrastructure, transportation. By putting it into a specific genre and determining the main aspects that define each city, we were able to contextualize the setting and mood of the novel. We defined Besźel as the less modernized city of the two; the one with the more traditional and older buildings, along with lower income and educational quality. On the other hand, we defined Ul Qoma as the more modern and advanced city, with a rich, clean and educated atmosphere.

The Campus and the Campus

On Thursday, we took those key concepts from The City and the City, and applied them to our daily setting: Georgia Tech’s campus. First, we had to come up with a way to divide campus in a similar way that Besźel and Ul Qoma are differentiated in the novel. We came up with a few major divisions on Georgia Tech’s campus; here are some examples:

1. Geography: East Campus vs. West Campus
2. Modernity: New Buildings vs. Old Buildings
3. Extracurriculars: Greeks vs. Independents; Athletes vs. Academics
4. Population: Students vs. Professors; Graduates vs. Undergraduates

Each of these divisions coincide with certain population differences, much like the population differences between Besźel and Ul Qoma.  They don’t all fit the analogy exactly, but they gave us different perspectives in which to look at how locations can be divided by lifestyles, architecture, population, etc.  The differences we found in East and West campus were similar to the differences found in The City and the City, for East campus is known for a lot of it’s new and modern buildings, whereas West is a bit more run down and old.  This moved us into the argument of modernity and architecture dividing the campus.  Aside from the aesthetic point of  view, we considered lifestyle and extracurricular populations as another way to link this divide to that of The City and the City.  Taking all of these differences into consideration, we decided to walk around campus and define what would be Besźel on campus and what would be Ul Qoma by marking on the map of campus for specific areas. In addition to these obvious divides, we marked areas of “crosshatch,” or areas of overlap that served as transitions between the two areas.

Divide and Conquer

The areas highlighted in pink represent Ul Qoma; those places are the more modernized and new buildings frequented by students on campus, such as the CULC, Tech Square, North Avenue, and the CRC. Areas highlighted in green represent Beszel, the older and less modern buildings and areas on campus, such as some of the housing buildings (both east and west campus), the IC, the Engineering building on Cherry Street, parts of Architecture, Howey, and other run down lecture halls. Finally, the areas of crosshatch are labeled with yellow highlighter, representing the areas where people of both cities overlap, with qualities of both Bezel and Ul Qoma. These areas are places like Skiles, the Student Center, athletic facilities, and the Ferst Center. We found, however, that the Student Center served not only as a part of our “crosshatch,” but that it represented a bigger place in the novel: Copula Hall. Since the student center is more of a “transport” place for students of both “campuses,” or cities, it accurately represents how Copula Hall was a sort of “border” for people to use to transfer between the two cities.

What We Learned

By contextualizing The City and the City into a world that we are all familiar with, we were able to see how these two cities were able to interact, and even overlap, to the point where it may have been impossible at times to notice a difference between inhabitants and even “breachers.” It is sometimes hard with novels like this to be able to visualize how the narrator wants you to see the story world, so we must take the facts that we know about the story and apply them to previously existing schemas that we have. After doing this exercise, the class had a better understanding of the two cities and how we are supposed to feel as both the readers and the narratees.

leahwinter March 29, 2012 Filed in Recap Blogging Project, Uncategorized No Responses

Leah’s Visual Remediation Author Statement

After creating an analog remediation artifact, I was excited to create something digital for the visual remediation project. In my graphic design classes, we have talked a lot about kinetic typography and its use in advertising and information communication. I’ve always found it to be incredibly memorizing and entertaining, as it is both textual and visual. That is why I decided to remediate the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case into a visual representation of kinetic typography. In order to create this kinetic typography, I decided to use Prezi, an online presentation builder that allows users to work on a blank slate to create unique and interesting presentations through images, text, and paths.

Prezi was perfect for this visual assignment, for it gave me the opportunity to create an image through text. The image I created was a set of handcuffs and a key, linked by a Prezi path to move across the image word by word. Not only did this technique give me the opportunity to give a summary of the case, but it allowed me to use the summary to point out the most important aspect of the case: habeas corpus. By placing the words in the shape of handcuffs, I represented the side of the case where Hamdan was held at Guantanamo Bay, however, as the case summary progressed, the handcuffs begin to unlock. The final verdict of the case was written in the shape of a key that unlocked the cuffs, symbolizing that Hamdan was granted his writ of habeas corpus and set free.

I decided to focus on the part of the case that talked about habeas corpus, because I found that aspect the most interesting and most compelling. Because of his filing for a writ of habeas corpus, Hamdan was granted freedom and his original conviction was deemed unconstitutional. Although it is the main point of the case, I think the idea that an entire situation can change if a person is held unlawfully, no matter the situation. Because the attacks on September 11th were so emotionally charged, everyone was eager to point fingers and capture whomever was responsible for such a horrible act. While the Bush administration had plenty of reason to believe that Hamdan had plotted in favor of that attack, it was against military law to hold him for being an enemy combatant without sufficient evidence. It is from this that I learned that no matter the emotions or motives behind the capture of an “enemy,” it is important to understand the rights and privileges necessary to be sure that a writ of habeas corpus won’t end up voiding the conviction altogether.

leahwinter March 9, 2012 Filed in Uncategorized, Visual Remediation Project 3 Responses

2/28-3/1 Dj’s Blog

What we covered in class this week?

1. Second Drafts of the Visual Remediation Projects

2. First Self- Assessment of Class Participation

3. Continuation of key point on Moon- Focalization

Working Drafts of Visual Remediation Project

This Tuesday in class we presented the second draft of our Visual Remediation Project. Dr. Wharton split us into two groups in order to receive dual feedback and allow the presenter a chance to see what their classmates could contribute to the finalizations of the projects. Vett’s Visual Remediation Project discussed Hamden and Rumsfield and how she wanted to incorporate smaller images about the case to create a larger portrait of Hamdan and Rumsfield. Emma had a great visual which used quotes about 911 from the case and put them with videos to show the contrast of actual day and how it is portrayed in the case.


Vett’s Unfinished Collage

First –Self Assessment of Class Participation

At the end of Tuesdays class we had 45 minutes to do our First Self-Assessment which allowed us to discuss our contributions to the class thus far.

Here is our class writing prompt that Dr. Wharton Posted during the week that gave the guidelines for the First-Self Assessment:

Writing Prompt

Think of this first self-evaluation as a kind of progress report. How do you think you are doing with regard to your class participation up to this point? What substantive contributions have you made? What are you doing well? What could you improve?

Your essay should demonstrate a clear awareness of the various ways to earn class participation credit outlined in the syllabus. It should identify the extent and quality of your various contributions in and out of class, offering specific examples in support of its claims, and it should have a clear thesis.

During the course of completing this first self-evaluation, you may realize that you are less than satisfied with your class participation so far. In that case, you should be honest in your evaluation and outline a concrete plan for how you intend to improve


As you can see this assignment allowed us to focus on the positives and negatives of our contributions to the class. I think this was very helpful because it allowed me and my fellow classmates to improve weaknesses and discover ways to help one another for the duration of the class.

Pros and Cons about First Self Assessment


  • Allowed the class to focus on weakness and positives
  • Create an internal opinion about how you are perceived in the class room setting
  • Gives a person a chance to reflect on certain material that has been beneficial in the class thus far


  • Dependent upon how much a student has contributed one could get settled with their level of contribution

Thursday in class we enjoyed a beautiful spring day outside where we continued our discussion about Moon. Though I was not present the class said they enjoyed the lecture outdoors and believed that the change of scenery was like a stimulant when discussing Moon. In order for me to discuss Thursdays class, we first need to discuss focalization. Focalization refers to the perspective of which the narration is being delivered from. From the movie one can see how the external focalization can sometimes affect the internal focalization, for example in the movie when the Sam that was in space called his daughter who had grown up and he could hear himself in the background say “who wants to know about your mother”. This represents the affect of external and internal focaliztion on one another. Thursdays class pretty much wrapped up our discussion on moon and created the transition to our new novel “The City and the City”.

During our outdoor class period we discussed moon and compared it to our cases and novels that we have been reading. Here is a link to the directors orgin of thinking behind the making of moon He explains his train of thought behind the making of the movie and how they were able to pull it off.

In this Photo Which Sam is the focalizer? The one in the back or front, or it could possibly be Gerty. I like to think it’s the Sam in the front because of his posture and the fact that he could be talking to both of them with his back turned. Which also makes me think about the Sam in the back being the focalizer because in the photo he sees both Gerty and the Sam in the front.

Questions For Class:

When looking at the photo above who do you think is the focalizer? Why

When taking your First Self-Assessment did you get the feeling that you haven’t contributed enough?If so why?

How has your knowledge about focalization changed and how can you implement this knowledge toward other pieces that we have read?

Dj80 March 8, 2012 Filed in Recap Blogging Project, Uncategorized No Responses