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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Tangled Skein: On Re-reading Heresies: Moira Roth

Sajith Cyriac

Roll No: 1124104

Thesis statement: What Heresies clearly needs, as do all organization and structures after a certain length of time, is reassessment.

Paragraph 1:

Topic Sentence: Although the authors of this editorial for the Heresies issue on women activities are tracing the political, intellectual, and emotional ups and downs they experienced editing that issue, their account also aptly describes my own impressions after recently re-reading all of the Heresies volumes published since it first appeared in January 1977.

Keyword: Re-reading

Focal Points: Past issues of the Heresies as tangled skein ― Re-reading the past issues ― Attempt to identity the feminist concerns.

Paragraph 2:

Topic Sentence: After an intense re-reading of each issue and much thinking about Heresies’ historical context and collective structure, my mind is on the present and the future.

Keyword: Present and the future

Focal Points: The writer was a regular reader of Heresies ― Examination of the publication’s past ― From the perspective of an outsider ― Challenges to the present and future

Paragraph 3:

Topic sentence: The changes and structure of Heresies over the decade have provoked many thoughts about changes in circumstances and attitudes toward feminism between 1977 and today.

Keyword: Change

Focal Points: Heresies’ development as part of feminist commitment ― Need for change of attitude toward feminism ― Need for present and future change

Paragraph 4:

Topic sentence: The years 1976-77 saw several landmark events in the history of writing and feminist art, and a general shift in mood and concerns in feminist art circles.

Keyword: ‘Renewed theoretical activity’

Focal Points: Revitalizing the women’s movement ― Emergence of others publications ― Atmosphere of ‘renewed theoretical activity’ ― Birth of Heresies in New York

Paragraph 5:

Topic Sentence: It is clear that the concept of a feminist publication slowly emerged in New York City in 1975-76.

Keyword: Feminist publication

Focal Points: Need for new sort of action ― Periodical meetings for discussion ― Formation of feminist school and feminist art publication ― Decision to decode the private thoughts into a public print medium

Paragraph 6:

Topic sentence: As ideas for Heresies were thrashed out, there were arguments over its title and the format.

Keyword: Title and format

Focal Points: They was free expression of ideas ― Analysis of the discussion ― Collective structure and planning

Pragraph 7:

Topic sentence: In January 1977 the first issue appeared with the title Heresies boldly printed in black across the plain red background; the subtitle A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics was handwritten alongside.

Keyword: Feminist theory

Focal Points: The release of the first edition ― Its aim was development of feminist theory ― Invitation to Involve the feminist community

Paragraph 8:

Topic sentence: In 1977 the first Heresies began with a statement from the mother collective; it called for “an idea-oriented journal devoted to the examination of art and politics from a feminist perspective...”

Keyword: Feminist perspective

Focal Points: A journal from feminist perspective ― Broadening the definition and function of art ― Heresies celebrates diversity ― Commitment to the Individual and collective voices

Paragraph 9:

Topic sentence: The diversity of opinion and debate in Heresies is expressed in a range of voices – passionate, cool, angry, jubilant, despairing, dogmatic, weak, strong, and subtle.

Keyword: Diverse

Focal Points: Discussion on diverse topics ― Diverse channels of communication

Paragraph 10:

Topic sentence: There are various reasons for the consistent lack of resolution within the individual pages of an issue, as well as in the collected volumes of a decade.

Keyword: Human error

Focal Points: Expression of ambiguous ideas ― The unfocused text and images ― Disagreement on ideological and aesthetic issues ― Trying to respond to multitude of voices

Paragraph 11:

Topic sentence: In the original mother collective of 1977 there were no women of colour, moreover; this group of white women represented a definite bias towards heterosexuality.

Keyword: Lesbian art

Focal Points: Protests from lesbians ― Making a definitive lesbian art issue ― Greater emphasis to the white and educated ― Reaction of black lesbians ― Response of white lesbians as apology

Paragraph 12:

Topic sentence: In Heresies 8, “Third World Women: The Politics of Being Other,” editorial collective confronted head on the question of the lack of women of colour in the main Heresies collective.

Keyword: Lack of balanced representation

Focal Points: Imbalanced representation of women of colour ― Preference given to white women

Paragraph 13:

Topic sentence: Frequently, editorials refer to confusion over initial purposes, to arguments over direction, and to inequalities of workloads.

Keyword: Problems within

Focal Points: Emergence of new problems ― Problems in working together ― Uneven in its quality

Paragraph 14:

Topic sentence: Generally, Heresies does not, seem to have the radical edge it once possessed.

Keyword: Lack of Radical edge

Focal Points: Attack on sexism and racism in the art world ― Failure to attract younger women ― Lack of powerful writers

Paragraph 15:

Topic sentence: What Heresies clearly needs, as do all organization and structures after a certain length of time, is reassessment.

Keyword: Reassessment

Focal Points: Existence of perennial problems ― Need for realistic evaluations ― Reversal of content and format

Paragraph 16:

Topic sentence: Admittedly the collectives process is a difficult one, and it has become increasingly so in the latter half of the 1980s.

Keyword: Re-evaluation

Focal Points: Differences in mother collective and individual collectives ― Rethinking of collective structure ― Introducing new models

Paragraph 17:

Topic sentence: One of the appeals of Heresies in the past has obviously been the range of its single-topic issues, but I wonder if the time has not come to re-examine this structure and perhaps consider radical new ideas of format and design.

Keyword: Reconceptualiation

Focal Points: Reconceptualising the issues and themes ― Introducing contemporary concerns

Paragraph 18:

Topic sentence: Heresies is clearly at a crossroads in its development.

Keyword: New Conditions

Focal Points: Need to respond to the new conditions for survival ― Capable of survival and thriving ― Capable of change and growth

Paragraph 19:

Topic sentence: I hope my comments will be read in the spirit in which they were written: that of my strong commitment not only to the past splendour of Heresies, but also to its successful future.

Keyword: Gratitude

Focal Points: Writer’s admiration for the publication―How Heresies shaped her feminist consciousness ― Writer’s gratitude is expressed

Paragraph 20:

Topic sentence: Above all, in my recent re-reading of heresies, I have heard a multitude of women’s voices.

Keyword: Women’s voices

Focal Points: Different voices from different perspectives ― The experience of being exposed to these voices ― Future of Heresies is to crate feminist heresies

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