Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Re: Carl Upchurch
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0438  Friday, 23 February 2001

[1]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 22 Feb 2001 17:43:35 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet and Oedipus, and Carl Upchurch

[2]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 22 Feb 2001 20:46:33 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0434 Carl Upchurch

[3]     From:   Christine Gilmore <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 23 Feb 2001 00:16:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0434 Carl Upchurch


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 22 Feb 2001 17:43:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.0433 Re: Hamlet and Oedipus, and Carl Upchurch
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0433 Re: Hamlet and Oedipus, and Carl Upchurch

I read Alex Houck's posting on Carl UpChurch.  Next, I read Stephanie
Hughes's posting on history and heroes, on the "Hamlet and Oedipus"
thread.  I was going to respond immediately to Alex's post, but I'm glad
I waited until I read this as they speak to each other.

Ms. Hughes writes:

> I'm concerned because I see a generation of children
> growing to
> adulthood without heroes.

That's fine.  I'm glad she's concerned.  I would offer the comment,
however, that perhaps each generation does find its own heroes.  We may
not always recognize the heroes of a younger group because they may not
be the same as the heroes we were taught to adulate.  And sometimes we
may believe that a younger person has made a hero of, say, a pop culture
figure like Eminem, when in fact heroics has nothing to do with it.
They may simply enjoy his music.  By assuming that younger people who
enjoy Eminem's music also embrace his views or values (for example, his
now well-known disrespect for gay people), we may be gravely
underestimating the intelligence and discernment of those younger
people.

Witness Mr. Houck's brilliant, impassioned and moving message regarding
Carl Upchurch's discovery of Shakespeare, and subsequent reclamation of
his life as a result of that discovery.  Shakespeare was a hero to Mr.
Upchurch.  In turn, Carl Upchurch becomes a hero for a new group of
people in need of such leadership.  And Mr. Houck (who, if I recall
correctly, is on the youngish side...early 20s?  Correct me if I'm
wrong) has done something heroic in drawing our attention to this
dynamic in such a compelling manner.  I perceive no shortage of heroes
here.

Ms. Hughes also wrote:

> This is a terribly grim and
> desolate attitude and
> not good if we wish to raise hopeful, energetic,
> eager young people.

Do we, in fact, wish to raise "hopeful, energetic, eager young people"?
First, I would question Ms.  Hughes's use of the word "raise."  This
term bothers me a bit when parents use it of their own children, and
bothers me a great deal when it is applied to a society's acculturation
of its youth.  Young people are not seedlings.  What we can do to
"raise" them is severely limited at best.  What we can do, if we're
smart, is provide conditions and information and environments in which
they can RISE on their own.

This may mean sharing with them our passion for Shakespeare, and hoping
that our passion inspires them to explore the plays and poems
themselves.  And when they do, not getting huffy if they find something
different in Shakespeare than what we have found.  It also means
encouraging them to ask hard questions (especially of those in
authority, and especially of their teachers), encouraging them to
challenge illogic and inconsistency, and -- yes -- encouraging them not
to believe too easily, or too quickly.

For my part, I prefer leaving the planet (and academia, and Shakespeare
studies, for that matter) in the minds and hands of analytical,
questioning, realistic, yet still passionate, young people -- like our
own Mr. Houck, for example.  I feel extremely uneasy at the prospect of
leaving the future to a group of "hopeful, energetic, eager young
people" who joyfully embrace the heroes they are told to embrace, and
believe what they are told to believe.  In fact, if such happens, I hope
I am not alive to see it.

There is much more in Ms. Hughes's letter which I had intended to
address, but the prospect now seems unbearably "grim and desolate," not
to mention futile.  Instead, I shall reread Alex Houck's letter and
refuel my optimism.

Cheers,
Karen E. Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 22 Feb 2001 20:46:33 EST
Subject: 12.0434 Carl Upchurch
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0434 Carl Upchurch

Re. Shakespeare beyond academe and stage. Only the latest of thousands
of examples: On Feb 21 a PBS television series about Abraham and Mary
Lincoln included the observation that Lincoln read Shakespeare's
tragedies during the Civil War, presumably for guidance and comfort.

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Gilmore <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 23 Feb 2001 00:16:15 -0500
Subject: 12.0434 Carl Upchurch
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0434 Carl Upchurch

Alex Houck wrote:

> He is an advocate
> for urban youth, the niggerized, who is best known for his Gang
> Conference of 1993 and his book CONVICTED IN THE WOMB.

May I ask what "niggerized" means? Could the writer please explain this
term and perhaps how we are supposed to read it?

Thank you.

Christine Gilmore, MFA, MA, PhD
Renaissance Literature
Department of English
University of Toledo

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.