Friday, April 3, 2009

Week13/Historiographies: Vitanza is categorical!!!

Just for a lark, Vitanza is categorical, therefore enjoy.

History is ideological, but then again, is there anything that is not ideological? According to Vitanza, history is the interpretation of events (social construction) based on ideological mis/assputions. Often readers/writers may not question the ideology or dismiss it as superficial, but the stronger question is that of “whose ideology?” But then again, there are several layers/types of histories based on the approach towards the author/s ideological standpoint. Vitanza’s layers are:

Traditional: Traditional histories are foundationalist/positivist (p. 73). It homogenizes and rests within a covering-law model. For the traditional author, the object of study rests within a binary lens; fact or fiction. Also, history is turned into a causal/narrative with events. Time is a major component, present in the order that it happened and artifacts are created by the culture for study (p. 85). The second subset of “no time/man” is less defined, but still can contain histories that are unselfconscious or positivistic.

Revisionary: Full disclosure-to add or correct a previous historical event or viewpoint. Adding artifact or artifacts were misinterpreted. Essentially this is just another traditional history that strikes against the established or existing ideology within a branch of history. Still, full disclosure revisionary lack self criticism towards the author’s ideology, hence Vitanza’s overlap criticsm (p. 95). In some cases, this form is just a recollection/addition of artifacts and sources within an existing/counter ideology, such as a feministic or ethnic framework.
Self-conscious critical is revisionary, but the author explains or is aware of the ideology behind the historians’ viewpoints. This is essentially the historical approach that I was instructed within as an undergrad history major. The major break with this sub/revisionary approach is that the author offers an interpretation of a history. Self-critical rejects a positivistic “THE interpretation” in preference to “one of many interpretation” approaches. Artifacts are constructed.

Sub/versive (Vitanza): Sub/versive messes with the head. This layer/author is aware of the ideology and is anti-foundational. For this category the author/reader/alien (oops) must always question the framework. All history is a fiction, creative non-fiction and there is no escaping ideology. Cynicism is not sub/versive. You might as well play with it. I would assume since Vitanza creates a new category he would assume that his work belongs there as well. Therefore, Vitanza is Sub/versive. However, I feel that the logic still brings the work back to self-conscious critical. Plus there is a love with using excessive slash “/” marks. It must be a part of the sub/versive style of messing/playing with the reader. Therefore, in the Vitanza style I will/use the slash at any moment. (Also, this work reminds me of Nietzsche… not to descend from the mountain and eventually carry a corpse of a tightrope walker… ahhh the odd metaphors)

Corbett is traditional. Overall, it seems to be a piece to a larger work, an introduction or a paper that frames further discussion. I guess that must be what the “3” is on the cover pages as noting the chapter. In any case, the traditional label particularly stems from p. 66. In particular, Corbett states, “communication has its own rhetorical system” and this system is the model that is assumed in the “fact/true” and potentially causal. Corbett even generalizes on p. 71 with “it is safe to say that the neatness and correctness of the text is more crucial in business and professional writing than in any other kind of writing”. Although it was a lot of reading to discover that Corbett does not address ideology, it is clear that he has unwittingly approached teaching/business/professional writing within a traditional framework.

Zappen is self-conscious critical. Upfront and straightforward, Zappen makes it clear on page 74 and 75 (the first two pages) that he is aware of both his own ideology as well as a multitude of many different interpretations. Zappen states that he “conclude[s] that each of these interpretations, including my own, reflects a different ideology. Now, the only other question is where Zappen is sub/versive or not. In this case, I conclude that he is not. Not only does he continue with his own ideological approach to history, but is does not take the multiple fictions approach and does assume some relative truth/interpretation.

Howard is full disclosure revisionary. In this article, Howard questions the purpose/origins of copyright. In particular, the difference or challenges that digital/electronic texts provide based on an early modern printing press approach. The full disclosure revisionist approach presses that the copyright process stole the natural right of the individuals thought/writings and turned it into a privilege by the state. However, after reading the full text, it was appeared that the author/article does not explain the assumed ideology. In this case, the revisionary label can be applied because but it has traditional overlaps as well. The overlap is that there is a causal element stating of copyright/state privilege and ownership/reproduction of ideas/knowledge and ownership.