August 26, 2020
Same Story, Three Ways: A Culinary and Epicurean Exploration
by Kat Stevenson
Open the Box
by Nikki Gordon
The Commercialization of Emotions
by Katherine Mavridou-Hernandez
Fear is Contagious: Is AIDS?
by Rachel Yoakum
Editors’ Introduction to Issue 10.1
Please click below to listen to the Editors’ Introduction, and scroll down to read a transcript.
Reflection on Accessibility and Cultural Differences within the Editors’ Intro
We always intended to compose this editors’ introduction to issue 10.1 using audio, and we initially asked each member of the editorial staff to contribute a clip of the recorded speech. However, we began to realize the limitations of this approach as we worked with editor Manako Yabe, who is Deaf. We discussed several options, one of which included composing a video where Manako might sign along with captions. Eventually, all editors agreed that Trenton would vocalize the introduction on behalf of the entire staff. We learned about some of the limitations of audio-only forms of expression from this experience, and we will approach future work with these issues in mind.
Furthermore, we realized that we were dealing with more than simple “accessibility” issues. Most of us grew up in the hearing culture, the spoken language world, and the hearing community uses audio-based communication to “listen through ears.” Manako grew up in the Deaf culture, the sign language world, and the Deaf community uses visual-based communication to “read through eyes.” When these two different cultures/communities were faced with the cultural conflict described above, Manako offered an option to create audio/caption/video recordings to integrate the hearing and Deaf cultures. Due to time constraints, though, and the fact that the introduction was originally developed and scripted by Trenton, we agreed that Trenton (with a bit of help from Crystal and Alison) would speak the intro for those who “listen through ears,” and we offer the transcript below for others to use to “read through eyes.”
Transcript of Editors’ Introduction:
Crystal: Hello friends of the JUMP+, this is Crystal VanKooten, JUMP+ Co-Managing Editor, and I’m so excited to welcome you to Issue 10.1.
I’d like to introduce you all to Trenton Petersen, who will be walking you through the fantastic content in this issue. Trenton is a graduating senior at Oakland University majoring in Writing and Rhetoric, and our summer intern here at the JUMP+. Trenton is a great writer, and as you can hear and see, he’s also a skilled digital media composer. So take it away Trent, tell us what we have in this issue.
Trenton: Hello, viewers and fans of the JUMP+. As you’ve probably already noticed, this issue’s introduction is a bit different than the previous few we’ve done. This time, it’s an audio recording. From our perspective, we decided to incorporate some multimodality into the introduction to better line up with the JUMP+’s mission statement. That’s what we hope that others will think when they look at it from their perspective, anyway. Perspective, dear readers, is the theme of this issue. The following four pieces deal with the way events, ideas, and objects are interpreted by certain people based on their perspectives.
Our first piece is titled “Same Story, Three Ways: A Culinary and Epicurean Exploration.” It is a narrative by Kat Stevenson that explores the author’s relationship with food.
She begins with her and her brother’s very plain experience with the kitchen growing up.
Kat: “Ours was a home kitchen of bare necessity.”
Trenton: Then, her perspective then shifts later on in life with world traveling and with the way her in-laws experience the kitchen as a family affair.
Kat: “One of the people who teaches me now is someone who grew up with a very different experience of food and family.”
Trenton: This change is highlighted in a multitude of ways, with the author effortlessly switching between audio, video, and interactive text to curate a captivating culinary capstone.
The second story , “Open the Box”, by Nikki Gordon is a “visual op-ed” in the form of an interactive powerpoint presentaion. In it, the reader clicks their way through the entering and escaping of an abusive relationship. Gordon has used the concept of perspective in a couple of poignant ways; first and most jarring is the use of the unusual second person point-of-view that the story is told from. Time and time again, “you” are being put into uncomfortable situations where only “you” can progress through the act of clicking your mo use.
The concept of perspective is also touched on in the way the author reflects in the beginning and end of the piece, with the author commenting on how different the relationship looks from the outside now that she can look at it as an artifact of the past.
Shifting to pieces that speak to broader social perspectives, “The Commercialization of Emotions” is a scrolling webpage written by Katherine Mavridou-Hernandez that examines the famous “V-J Day in Times Square” photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt. It examines the way its values come from its different interpretations. While the most traditional perspective on the photograph is one of joy, of the victory in war, and one of celebration, the author smartly offers modern recontextualizations.
She points out how it has been looked at critically through the #MeToo movement that points to the non-consensual nature of the kiss. Our author even looks at a capitalist perspective of the photo, with companies using the iconic photo to sell products. “The Commercialization of Emotions” is a smart title for this piece, and one that should be in the back of any student’s mind as they interpret art in their own time.
And now for Alison Witte, one of the other wonderful editors for the JUMP+, to introduce our final selection.
Alison: Our final piece, “Fear is Contagious: is AIDS?”, is a video essay from Rachel Yoakum that shows the changing narrative in public opinion of the AIDS virus from the 1980’s to today. It begins with the way the disease was first interpreted: an unstoppable force that could get you simply by giving a victim a hug.
Speaker from Yoakum’s video: “I remember when people said you could get if you were touching someone, if there was perspiration on their arm, you could get it from breathing air-
Second speaker from Yoakum’s video: “-hugging someone, casual contact, all compl-, even though the overwhelming evidence indicated that it was not the case.”
Alison: The essay uses news reports and interviews to show the overwhelming paranoia the public had. However, our author shows us the way that this perception slowly changed. AIDS is no longer a boogie man but a manageable phenomenon. By recognizing that the way we approach topics is through the way we view them, this video essay offers an emotionally heavy but ultimately positive narrative.
Trenton: This issue would not be possible without the work of our editorial staff, as well as the excellent instructors that bring these assignments to life. For Kat’s piece we have Micheal Neal and Shawn Stowe, with an instructor reflection from Crystal VanKooten. Nikki Gordan’s presentation has been responded to by Kyle Stedman and Glen Southergill with Elizabeth Chamberlain providing an instructor reflection. Katherine Mavridou-Hernandez’s examination of “V-J In Times Square” is responded to by Ben Bennett-Carpenter and Thomas Burkdall, with her instructor Jason Crider reflecting on the assignment. Finally, we have Trenton Petersen and Joshua Abboud responding to Rachel’s video with Justin Hodgson providing instructor feedback.
As a final note, this issue has a much larger focus on additional accessibility materials than our previous editions. While we’ve always strove to be as accommodating as we can, this is the first time we’ve had a dedicated accessibility scholar on our team. As such, we’d like to give a special thanks to Sean Zdenek and Manako Yabe for working with us and our authors to bring the most accessible printing of the JUMP+ yet!
Thank you all for tuning in for this edition of the JUMP+. We hope you find it engaging, informative, and enjoyable.