Toward a Theory of Witness
A theory is “something suggested as a reasonable explanation for facts, a condition, or an event, esp. a systematic or scientific explanation.”
After reading Horace Engdahl and Li Rui carefully and actively, please be prepared with a free-write of @2 pages that addresses their main arguments and lists as many ideas that could provide a “theory” (explanation; “rules”) of witness literature as possible. You can use any form you like, as for most all assignments in this course: writing, powerpoint, prezi, video, voice recording, etc.
As an example, Engdahl claims that "One does not become a witness only by observing an event with one’s own eyes. A witness is a person who speaks out and says, “I was there, I saw it, I can tell people!"
This generates a theory about witnessing that asserts a witness not only sees, but acts in some way based on what they have seen.
Put your thinking caps on with this rich set of articles reflecting on literature as witness. We will spend class time piecing together our working theory that will guide the rest of our study on witness. Please also bring any and all questions about the reading itself.
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