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I say “another” because the most powerful use of research that I’ve encountered is proof of the national sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Rigorous scholarship now aims to re-interpret the Islamic Haddith.

EUROPA – Education and Training on Multiculturalism, offers a report of a Group of Intellectuals for Intercultural Dialogue.

In a Europe which will always be multilingual, learning languages opens doors. For individuals, it can open the door to a better career, to the chance to live, study or work abroad, even to more enjoyable holidays. For companies, multilingual staff can open the door to European and global markets.
But there is more than this. The language a person speaks is part of their identity and their culture. So learning languages means understanding other people and their way of thinking. It means opposing racism, xenophobia and intolerance.
The Commission’s Eurobarometer survey in November-December 2005 showed that in some European countries, nearly everyone speaks at least two languages. This proves that everybody can be multilingual. Language learning is not just for an élite.

Language learning obviously trumps the other option. (Is there another option?!) Must everyone become “cosmopolitan”?

initiatives in line with the objectives of the Lifelong Learning Programme including activities to make language learning more attractive to learners through the mass media and/or marketing, publicity and information campaigns, as well as conferences, studies and statistical indicators in the field of language learning and linguistic diversity (‘Accompanying Measures’)

2001 was the European Year of Languages, which was/is to be sustained by the 2003 Action Plan to fulfill European Parliament Resolution B5-0770, 0811, 0812, 0814 and 0815/2001 (final text) “on regional and lesser-used European languages.” The entire resolution omits (?), avoids (?) the use of “interpretation,” but does not hesitate to promote “translation software:”

F. whereas languages must be used in order to stay alive; this includes their use in new technologies and the development of new technologies such as translation software,

Note: the resolution references six previous resolutions.
Motion (10 December 2001): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B5-2001-0770&language=EN
Motion (11 December 2001): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B5-2001-0811&language=EN
Motion (11 December 2001): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B5-2001-0812&language=EN
Motion (11 December 2001): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B5-2001-0814&language=EN
Motion (11 December 2001): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B5-2001-0815&language=EN
Official languages of the EU – twenty-three as of today.
A resolution for ending retour of Finnish.
AIIC’s webzine.

Not a surprise:

Dutch decline
English has overtaken Dutch as the city’s second language, according to a study published by the Free University of Brussels in January. Some 35% of city residents claimed to know English, but just 28% knew Dutch. When the survey was first conducted in 2000, Dutch had the edge. The number of Arabic-, Turkish- and German-speakers has also declined, whereas Italian- and Spanish-speakers have increased. The study’s publication coincided with news that Zaventem, a Flemish suburb of Brussels, had introduced a law letting only Dutch speakers buy or sell property there. Officials claim the new rules will preserve the area’s “Flemish character”.

from The Economist’s Brussels Briefing
It is 12:06 a.m. Thursday in Brussels, 48

Gosh – those eastern Europeans are just getting in everywhere!
Romania and Bulgaria celebrate EU membership
This adds a new wrinkle to potential research I might get to do there . . . again . . . someday . . . perhaps . . . one hopes! I’ll raise my glass, and also hope language is one of the factors that keeps uniformity at bay.

I’m not satisfied with the presentation; it was too shallow. The one question I received basically asked, What’s the point? Specifically (paraphrased), “what is the connection between the media artifacts analyzed by your multinational, multilingual team and the reflexive summary of group process?” I had thought (albeit vaguely) that I was enacting “polycentricity” by folding two presentations (two “centers”) into one, tacking back and forth between both. The question confirmed my ‘read’ of the energy in the room. The ‘depth’ of meaningfulness I perceived while brainstorming with my colleagues and constructing the powerpoint slides was not translated into full potential by my delivery.
Dang.
This situation is an example of me doing my best to ‘fly by the seat of my pants’, with less than optimal results. However the experience itself is doublesided (at least). On the one hand, I’m embarrassed to have let down my colleagues by not appearing at my best on our behalf. :-( On the other hand, I’ve stretched myself into an extended zone of being, reaching for something I cannot quite yet grasp. In this act of seeking, I understood better what it was I attempted to do. I actively resisted the monocentric desire of theoretical academic discourse by refusing to provide only a definitive description of an abstract ‘external’ object (the interaction that we constructed among four accounts of the Israeli military’s forcible removal of settlers from Neve Dekalim, a town in the Gaza Strip surrendered in August 2005 to Palestine). To the extent that I did provide selected details of our media analysis, I enacted polycentricity by ‘bouncing’ among the layered and diverse “centers” evident in the intersection of
a) a sociopolitical event,
b) media texts (four) about this event,
c) subjectivities (four) engaging in mutual knowledge construction about the event and its associated media,
d) within a particular epistemology (critical discourse analysis),
e) comparing and contrasting written text in four languages,
f) combining online textual interaction (online versions of the four newspaper articles, a socialtext webspace, email, skype)
g) with face-to-face verbal interaction using a lingua franca (English).
In other words, (and this came clear to me while listening/watching Simon Faulkner present “Re-viewing Occupation: Art, Photojournalism and Israel”), I attempted to perform a work of discursive art within (under) the occupation of the form of academic discourse – “conference paper presentation” – whose “proper” focus is theory, not practice; abstract analysis not application.
Ironically, I had intuited the (potential) performance quality of this presentation last week. I had not, however, clarified its purpose. Or, even more precisely, even as I articulated certain purposes &emdash; negotiating parameters with my colleagues, confirming understandings, and coordinating intentions &emdash; I still did not comprehend the meaning of what we set out to do.
Taking the best possible interpretation of outcome, I wonder if a learning might be that the enactment of polycentricity is a state-of-being of just this kind of uncertainty? What I found myself doing throughout this presentation (and the entire process with my colleagues) is continually turning Bakhtin’s notions of centrifugality against centripetality and centripetality against centrifugality in counter-movements to those expected from sheer momentum (tradition, expectation, dialectics). If I can become more conscious and deliberate regarding when to flag this for audiences and interlocutors, and when to let such turnings be what they are, perhaps I can enhance the performance of this art in everyday dialogue. Ultimately (!), such practices may lead to more theoretical clarity, bringing “the point” of Decentering Conflictual Discourse into focus.

Proposal:
Utilizing critical discourse analysis, this paper examines the discourse of transaction in headline stories in four different languages &emdash; Finnish, Swedish, Persian (Iran) and US English &emdash; regarding the 2005 Israeli pullout from Neve Dekalim in which Jewish settlers resisted relocation. A textual analysis yields themes (indexes and icons) that are intertextual.
Intertextuality, as conceptualized by Fairclough and Foucault, refers to the way that statements always reactualize other statements. Each newspaper account generates its centering effect (Threadgold) in both horizontal and vertical ways (Bahktin) along the dimensions of time, space, place, and motion. For instance, aggression is attributed to different actors and along opposing trajectories in the Persian text than among the three western versions &emdash; which also have some significant distinctions from each other. The stories reported in these four online newspapers thus work interdiscursively to replicate and perpetuate a global, monocentric discourse of perpetual conflict. According to Irvine, interdiscursivity is “a specific semiotic effect [that] must be created in practice” (2005, p. 72). Most interesting, the examination of these media accounts reproduced similar interlinguistic dynamics among the four researchers, whose national identities align with the languages and newspapers chosen.
Such social metonymy highlights the challenge of decentering dominant discourses: the same referents can be treated differently in various national and/or media discourses yet still work to generate an overarching monocentric discourse. We argue that simultaneous attention to the workings of ideology at all levels – including our microsocial interactions with each other – enables the recognition of polycentricity and the interruption of interdiscursively monocentric repetitions. Such analyses and the linguistic options they support can contribute to the decentering of present discursive hegemonies of conflict and occupation.
I’ll (attempt ! to) present on behalf of Ehya, Jussi, and Karin, of Dexus Nexus 3.0 (August 2005), on Wednesday Nov 8 at 3 pm in the “transaction” thread of Dialogue Under Occupation: The Discourse of Enactment, Transaction, Reaction, and Resolution, hosted by Northeastern Illinois University.

According to Erdem, it is a Turkish custom to put a slice of bread under your pillow the first night that you spend in a new place. Supposedly there is a relationship between the bread and the dreams you have: a message about the future in the new place.
I awoke disoriented to the alarm yesterday morning, thinking I was home but knowing it wasn’t so. When the confusion settled I knew where I was and felt good about it: I am comfortable here, this next new place will be “home” for some time. I didn’t recall any dreams, my sleep was deep and restful. There were some other thoughts right when I awoke: as if I had been somewhere else but was yanked away too fast for memory to function.
Turkey – as a place I was in memory – already seems long ago: life here in the US occurs at such a fast pace in comparison. The stories I have told most since returning have to do with the people I met and the quality of the interactions we had. I was asked how I knew so many people there…the thing is, I didn’t! I met people, or – people met me. “I can just imagine Steph on the street going up to strangers, “Hi, I’m Steph!” Some clown-friend of mine concocted this fantasy. :-) In fact, I was approached much more often than I approached others. I think, in part, that I connected with so many people because I was open to being connected with, but there is a deeper cultural element as well. It has something to do with collectivity ~ perhaps this is a characteristic of the “Asianness” of Turkey?
My temporary roommate bachelor buddies quizzed me about this as something distinctive from the US. Their initial experience and continuing observations as international students from India regard the loneliness of US culture. Lee and Donna also commented on this based on their own travels, that one just wouldn’t be taken in by Americans like I was by so many Turks. Such openness and reaching out, making sure a stranger is ok, doesn’t often happen here (certainly not to the same extent, and not on such a personal level).
The last three weeks of the visit was amazing. I established a home base at the World House Cafe, a hostel I highly recommend. (Tip: providing cookies for the staff is a surefire way into their hearts.) The view of the Galata Tower is amazing:

world house view of Galata Tower.jpg

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It was Gizem’s dad who recommended Patrick Kinross’ biography of Atatürk to me. I found it compelling, even though this critique by David Fromkin describes “Rebirth of a Nation” as “an uncritical “official” account.” There’s plenty to dislike about Atatürk the man. Such is discussed in a new biography by Andrew Mango (2000), as described in the aforementioned critique: “It reveals the long suppressed darker aspects of its subject, showing us a far more complex personality than we had seen before. Curiously, however, the main lines of Kemal’s policy and accomplishments emerge as having been much the same as we had believed them to be in the past.”

family tree.JPG.jpg

I did not meet a single Turk who had anything bad to say about him, despite the tricks he pulled on them to drag them away from a religious to a secular government. (Granted, I only spent significant time with one devoutly Muslim family, who described themselves – passionately! – as “moderates” who hate Hezbullah, asserting that their version of Islam is “based on lies.”)

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“It’s the longest Sunday,” June observed, after Deb commented on my whipping out the camera to record the spread at Lee and Ralph’s last night: “You’re still on vacation!”
Yes. :-)
Once again I had no idea how the day would unfold. Lee had offered that I could stay in Long Beach for a few days upon my return and I looked forward to a day or so of rest and adjustment from jetlag. Ambiguity was immediately introduced, however, as other company had arrived. I was chauffered to June’s instead.

3 sunflowers.JPG.jpg

I hardly hesitated to make myself at home – how could I, when she’d already drawn a bath in the jacuzzi for me?!!! I slept deep and well, waking up early yesterday to begin in earnest the task of being back. I commandeered the dining room table for a few hours of work, then meandered through the day. Before leaving the house, I met June’s turtles (among the rest of the menagerie, which includes a cat named Bob). Lee collected me and I resumed mediterranean mode, tagging along wherever, whenever: a tagsale (or was it a yardsale?), a jaunt on the boardwalk (15 minute massage for $10!), a visit to Deborah and Steven’s which turned into lunch with Raki.
Next up? Shopping. Oooo, my favorite! (not) I was aimless for awhile. After a few hours though (!), what could one do but join in the spirit? “That was a frivolous day,” said Lee, when we finally pulled out of the TJ Maxx parking lot, dispelling my perception that she lives this way all the time. ;-)
I have already learned many things this day: about hosting, giving gifts, taking care to be sure no one feels the least bit extraneous. I adjusted to shifts in conversation – from intensive, animated political discussion with Deb to general care and concern for issues and persons in each other’s lives. In the past these would have caused me some angst but today was merely the way of the flow. All this was, it seems in retrospect, prelude to the deep and sweet stuff to come.
When I entered Deb’s living room I felt almost assaulted by the large canvas leaned up against one wall. My reaction was gut, visceral; I had no words. As we drove away at the end of the evening, June told me about teasing Deborah about “a lot of red” and asking, “Where’s the crime scene?”
Yes, my first reaction was to the implicit violence. I wondered about the insides of this woman: what sources inspire such production?
I almost cried in her studio, standing on the toilet (!), taking in the full visual presence of #40 after her description of its material, theoretical, and spiritual elements. I showed her my tattoo. “That’s a lot like my work!” she exclaimed. :-) Yes, our canvasses differ, but the stuff of our work – genetics (dialectics) and dialogue (creation) run parallel.
From there we went to dinner, eventually dubbed my welcome home party. (I only grinned from ear-to-ear for most – not all – of the evening.) ;-) Lee brought out Sam’s last bottle of wine. June finally found us and we toasted the spirit of Sam, the day, new and old friends, good food, and memories.
Ralph manipulated the musical environment masterfully as we chomped and chatted our way through several courses, including a dessert to die for – the best canoli and chocolate-covered blueberries!
dessert by Lee.JPG.jpg
Can you believe all that was followed by tiramisu? Stop already! (No, don’t!) ;-) Not long thereafter I hit the wall. Deb and June noticed immediately – poof, within ten minutes we were on the road.
Chance moves on.
Goodbye for now.

sculpture by Jacinto Benavente (Madrid).JPG.jpg

Well, it was more like a few hours in Madrid (!) – a perfect interregnum between my month in Istanbul and the upcoming academic year in the States. It was hard to tear myself away from World House International but time pressure facilitated.
The first culture shock occurred immediately after Taoufik (driving for the hotel I booked on spot at the airport) collected me. Some congestion of busses and minivans prevented forward movement. Nothing happened. No honking. No swearing. No maneuvering onto the sidewalk to pass whatever fool had blocked the road. I’m not in Turkey anymore!
We sat in silence for a few minutes. Eventually we begin talking and I realize here is a man who has stepped outside of the (dialectical) trend of colonialism. He’s from Morrocco, speaks Arabic and French, yet came to Spain.
After a sound sleep, a quick blogpost, a brief ‘good morning’ chat with Taou, and a delicious breakfast I set out for the Real Jardin Botanico. In reality, I have one to one and a half hours of quality “tourist time”. My chosen destination is 30 or so minutes on the metro plus 15 minutes walk. A brief wait between #5 and #2 allows me time for a journal entry. I debark at Ventas and several sights greet me, including the Puerto de Alcala.
Puerto de Alcala (Madrid).JPG.jpg
The bliss of this interlude of a day is the time it allows my mind to drift over recent memories and interactions, consider particular comments, and process the emotional mix of departure (so final-seeming) and impending arrival (with its own anxieties). Fatih had commented the other day on my writing about a lucky feather. At the time, I just said I like feathers….but today I wondered what makes a feather lucky? It seems to me that of all the things I will remember about Turkey, the most important one regards a marked improvement in my skill at reading signs.
So here I am, walking rather briskly but alertly down Calle de Alfonso XII, keeping my eyes more-or-less fixed on the architecture, including woodwork, grillwork, and urban views to my right, reserving the Parque del Retiro on my left for the return. I’m thinking about signs and codes – what is it that brings a particular sound or view into focus? I’ve already tipped a couple of musicians playing happy jazzy music in an underpass at the beginning of the walk. I chose to hear their tune as prelude. Beauty abounds and distant views entice. I’m resolute – I picked the botanical gardens because I imagined that there I will be able to hear birds.
The indeterminate future worries me somewhat, yet its unknown qualities no longer weigh me down. I am pleased with the evidence of self-healing. A tower catches my eye and I stop for a photo.
sign of the tower (Madrid).JPG.jpg

I notice the tree in front of it, then the tree layered next. Three layers, coming into consciousness from the top-down, most distant to closest. Hmm. I start to continue walking but … perhaps I should note this location – what about these three layers? Start on again, but now I notice an intersection ahead, at an odd angle….it doesn’t seem to conform to the map but why hasn’t the Garden hove into view?
Ah. I need to turn here. Was the tower a sign? It visually interrupted my thinking. I had shifted into automatic pilot; it took three “signals” to break me out of it, to draw me back into the immediacy of the moment, here, now, where I am. How far might I have gone before realizing the error? Perhaps not so far, who knows? As it was, I lost a minute only instead of ten, and it was hardly a loss as it illustrated phenomenologically, in its unfolding, precisely the puzzle I was working in my mind. What causes one thing rather than another to be imbued with importance?
I believe it is a combination (for me) of timing, location, object, and thought. These things must converge in a pattern that has relevance for me, whose individual symbolisms can be perceived or interpreted in a cohesive whole. So the feathers are “lucky” – more precisely, significant symbolically – because, for instance, they come into view precisely when I am thinking of someone or something special. Another comment that has remained in mind was when Umit said he knew my age (but wouldn’t guess, smile), adding something about “the game” I was playing with it. Maybe it’s time to stop coming out about my advanced years? :-)
Anyway. It turned out I was right next to the Jardin but didn’t know it. :-) I strolled down around the corner, seeking entry, and discovered the Feria de Libros where I located the current Economist, several postcards, and a used photobook of the city. FINALLY I found the entry to the Jardin. :-)
Tagetes Patula (Madrid).JPG.jpg
Lagerstroemia Indica 1 (Madrid).JPG.jpg

lucky feather 3 (Madrid).JPG.jpg

Time progressed; I headed for the Parque.
funky trees (Madrid).JPG.jpg
The central pond stirred a memory of my brother losing his glasses one summer day, right over the edge of a paddleboat in Denver. I remember lunging for them as they began to slide . . .
fountain (Madrid).jpg

Details of this fountain are terrific: frogs alternate with turtles and children ride sea creatures (I imagine fanciful dolphins). :-)
I would dally but Taoufik “That’s how I am” awaits. We go for a fantastic Spanish meal of morcilla and tabla de quesos washed down with clara, beer with lemon.
At one point Tauo said, “Wait.” Can you imagine why? ;-)
wait (Tauofik).JPG.jpg

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