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7 Realistic Expectations: South Dakota’s Experience with the Voting Rights Act

Daniel McCool Indiana University Press ePub

For thirteen years, from 1989 through 2002, I served as the election supervisor for the state of South Dakota. In 2002 I was elected secretary of state in a three-way race with 56 percent of the vote. In 2006 I was unopposed for re-election, which was the first time in the history of South Dakota that a candidate for secretary of state was unopposed. My involvement in election administration ended in 2011 when term limits prevented me from running for re-election. I mention these facts only to establish with the reader my long-term and respected involvement in administering elections in South Dakota.

Native Americans are the largest minority population in South Dakota. The 2010 census reported that 8.8 percent of our population was American Indian. Of South Dakota’s 814,180 residents, 71,817 reported being full American Indian. An additional 10,229 residents report some American Indian racial background.1

Approximately one-third of the time I spent on election-related responsibilities as secretary of state was devoted to Native American voter needs. Some of that time involved compliance with the temporary provisions of the Voting Rights Act such as Section 5 (preclearance) and Section 203 (minority-language provisions). Significant amounts of time were involved defending the state in ACLU-inspired lawsuits involving Native American voting issues.

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17. “We had Better let him Alone”

Brian K. Burton Indiana University Press ePub

“We Had Better Let Him Alone”

JULY 1 FOUND THE ARMY of the Potomac for the most part consolidated on Malvern Hill. Samuel Heintzelman reached Malvern Hill at about 1:30 in the morning. McClellan told him to consult with John Barnard and Fitz John Porter regarding his position, but there was no reason to try to point it out in the dark, so they waited until daylight. At that point, McClellan came onto the plateau. After riding the length of the line with Heintzelman, Little Mac left a couple of staff officers to post the men. Phil Kearny, the first to arrive, took his place along the eastern crest of the hill. Joe Hooker's division, the last of the Union units to reach the hill, settled in south of Kearny. One man wrote of the scene he encountered, “I could hardly conceive any power that could overwhelm us.” Edwin Sumner's corps trudged past George Morell's line to rest near the southern end of Malvern Hill and the Malvern house. Some could see the James, “‘our glittering goal,’ ‘our haven of rest’” in the distance. George McCall's shattered division, now commanded by Truman Seymour, stopped near the same house. Henry Naglee, with his “wearied mortals,” joined Henry Wessells's men to reunite John Peck's division near Haxall's Landing. Henry Slocum's men found “the long-looked-for River” and halted on Peck's left, and Baldy Smith stopped on Slocum's left.

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1. Darwin and Feminism: Preliminary Investigations for a Possible Alliance

Stacy Alaimo Indiana University Press ePub

Elizabeth Grosz

[Darwin has] not succeeded in explaining living beings, but in constituting them as witnesses to a history, in understanding them as recounting a history whose interest lies in the fact that one does not know a priori what history it is a question of.

—Isabelle Stengers, Power and Invention

There has traditionally been a strong resistance on the part of feminists to any recourse to the question of nature. Within feminist scholarship and politics, nature has been regarded primarily as a kind of obstacle against which we need to struggle, as that which remains inert, given, unchanging, and resistant to historical, social, and cultural transformations.1 The suspicion with which biological accounts of human and social life are treated by feminists, especially feminists not trained in the biological sciences, is to some extent understandable. “Biology” not only designates the study of life but also refers to the body, to organic processes or activities that are the objects of that study. Feminists may have had good reasons to object to the ways in which the study, the representations and techniques used to understand bodies and their processes and activities, have been undertaken—there is clearly much that is problematic about many of the assumptions, methods, and criteria used in some cases of biological analysis, which have been actively if unconsciously used by those with various paternalistic, patriarchal, racist, and class commitments to rationalize their various positions. But there is a certain absurdity in objecting to the notion of nature or biology itself if this is (even in part) what we are and will always be. If we are our biologies, then we need a complex and subtle account of that biology if it is to be able to more adequately explain the rich variability of social, cultural, and political life. How does biology, the bodily existence of individuals (whether human or nonhuman), provide the conditions for culture and for history, those terms to which it is traditionally opposed? What are the virtualities, the potentialities, within biological existence that enable cultural, social, and historical forces to work with and actively transform that existence? How does biology—the structure and organization of living systems—facilitate and make possible cultural existence and social change?

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2 The Event of Truth

Donatella Di Cesare Indiana University Press ePub

 

 

 

2 The Event of Truth

What the tool of method does not achieve must—and really can—be achieved by a discipline of questioning and inquiring, a discipline that guarantees truth. (TM 491/GW1 494)

 

1. Against Method?

What does Truth and Method mean? The significance of the conjunction “and” has almost turned this title into an enigma. If “method” has a negative value in the title, then the “and” does not connect, but rather represents an alternative. The title could be revised accordingly as Truth or Method.1 In an even more radical version, one could think of the formulation: Truth against Method.2 If “method” is taken as a model and metaphor for the natural sciences, then truth occurs outside method. Thus it is possible to speak of “extramethodical” experiences of truth.

Yet it is necessary to address a misinterpretation. Certainly Gadamer no longer understands hermeneutics in a traditional sense as a doctrine of interpretation, and thus he aims to free it from the burden of methodology. But he does not want to put method as such into question altogether. The title implicitly contains a tension between “method” and “truth.” When he considers this tension later in greater detail, Gadamer admits that he had sharpened it in a polemical sense (RHT 317/GW2 238). This was indispensable to show the limits of science to an age in which the faith in science borders on superstition. In the “Afterword to the Third Edition” of Truth and Method, Gadamer writes: “Ultimately, as Descartes himself realized, it belongs to the special structure of straightening something crooked that it needs to be bent in the opposite direction. But what was crooked in this case was not so much the methodology of the sciences as their reflexive self-consciousness” (TM 555/GW2 453). If philosophical hermeneutics highlights the tension between truth and method, its aim is not to enter into conflict with science and its method, but to offer an occasion for critical reflection on the truth implied by science. The “and” in the title points to this critical reflection. Hence the epistemological relevance of hermeneutics, according to Gadamer, should be seen as an attempt “to mediate between philosophy and the sciences” (TM 552/GW2 450).3 The polemical tension in the title should be read neither as an antithesis nor as a hiatus: “It was, of course, a flat misunderstanding when people accused the expression ‘truth and method’ of failing to recognize the methodical rigor of modern science” (TM 551/GW2 449). It is not that hermeneutics disallows or dismisses method. It would be absurd not to recognize the need for a method when, for example, a mathematical problem is being solved, a skyscraper is being built or a vaccination against a disease must be found. Yet hermeneutics does not allow the imposition of a method—because of its fascinating and enormous results—in a mechanical way everywhere. A method presupposes that the object can be definable and the subject can define it objectively with a scientific demonstration; it proceeds from an instrumental conception of knowledge in which the subject is confident that it can dispose of the object. But if the method is adequate for scientific projects it cannot be for all others; on the contrary, it may bring a reduction or even a distortion of the experience of truth.

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Introduction: Anne Frank, the Phenomenon

Barbara KirshenblattGimblett Indiana University Press ePub

The list is daunting. Dozens of musical compositions, ranging from oratorio to indie rock. A dramatization given hundreds of productions annually. Thousands of YouTube videos. A museum visited by millions. To these, add a growing number of works of fine art, biography, fiction, poetry, and dance, as well as films, radio and television broadcasts, and websites. Plus tributes in the form of commemorative coins, stamps, and other collectibles, memorial sites and organizations around the world, eponymous streets, schools, and institutions, to say nothing of a “day, a week, a rose, a tulip, countless trees, a whole forest, . . . and a village.”1 All inspired by a book that has been translated into scores of languages, published in hundreds of editions, printed in tens of millions of copies, and ranked as one of the most widely read books on the planet.

These wide-ranging engagements with Anne Frank’s life and work are a phenomenon of interest in its own right and exceptional in several ways. To begin with, few public figures have inspired connections that are as extensive and as diverse, ranging from veneration to sacrilege. The expression of these connections can be playfully creative or can conform to well-established convention, and they are often deeply personal at the same time that they validate their subject’s iconic stature. Among the handful of people who have inspired this extraordinary kind of engagement—Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley—Anne Frank never participated, even indirectly, in her renown. The widespread interest in her rests largely on a single effort—her wartime diary—which no one else had read and few even knew existed during her brief life.

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