@ OP, here's some classic SSD good cards. You're bound to run into them:
Ann Marie Baldonado, Fall 1996 http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Representation.html, accessed 3/23/01
This questioning is particularly important when the representation of the subaltern is involved. The problem does not rest solely with the fact that often marginalized groups do not hold the 'power over representation' (Shohat 170); it rests also in the fact that representations of these groups are both flawed and few in numbers. Shohat asserts that dominant groups need not preoccupy themselves too much with being adequately represented. There are so many different representations of dominant groups that negative images are seen as only part of the "natural diversity" of people. However, "representation of an underrepresented group is necessarily within the hermeneutics of domination, overcharged with allegorical significance." (170) The mass media tends to take representations of the subaltern as allegorical, meaning that since representations of the marginalized are few, the few available are thought to be representative of all marginalized peoples. The few images are thought to be typical, sometimes not only of members of a particular minority group, but of all minorities in general. It is assumed that subalterns can stand in for other subalterns. A prime example of this is the fact that actors of particular ethnic backgrounds were often casted as any ethnic "other". (Some examples include Carmen Miranda HYPERLINK "http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/carmen.gif" in The Gang's All Here (1943), Ricardo Mantalban in Sayonara (1957), and Rudolph Valentino in The Son of the Sheik ). This collapsing of the image of the subaltern reflects not only ignorance but a lack of respect for the diversity within marginalized communities. Shohat also suggests that representations in one sphere--the sphere of popular culture--effects the other spheres of representation, particularly the political one: The denial of aesthetic representation to the subaltern has historically formed a corollary to the literal denial of economic, legal, and political representation. The struggle to 'speak for oneself' cannot be separated from a history of being spoken for, from the struggle to speak and be heard. (173) It cannot be ignored that representations effect the ways in which actual individuals are perceived. Although many see representations as harmless likenesses, they do have a real effect on the world. They are meant to relay a message and as the definition shows, 'influence opinion and action'. We must ask what ideological work these representations accomplish. Representations or the 'images or ideas formed in the mind' have vast implications for real people in real contexts. Both the scarcity and the importance of minority representations yield what many have called " the burden of representation". Since there are so few images, negative ones can have devastating affects on the real lives of marginalized people. We must also ask, if there are so few, who will produce them? Who will be the supposed voice of the subaltern? Given the allegorical character of these representations, even subaltern writers, artists, and scholars are asking who can really speak for whom? When a spokesperson or a certain image is read as metonymic, representation becomes more difficult and dangerous. Solutions for this conundrum are difficult to theorize. We can call for increased "self representation" or the inclusion of more individuals from 'marginalized' groups in 'the act of representing', yet this is easier said then done. Also, the inclusion of more minorities in representation will not necessarily alter the structural or institutional barriers that prevent equal participation for all in representation. Focusing on whether or not images are negative or positive, leaves in tact a reliance on the "realness' of images, a "realness" that is false to begin with. Finally, I again turn to Spivak and her question, 'Can the Subaltern Speak'. In this seminal essay, Spivak emphasizes the fact that representation is a sort of speech act, with a speaker and a listener. Often, the subaltern makes an attempt at self-representation, perhaps a representation that falls outside the 'the lines laid down by the official institutional structures of representation' (306). Yet, this act of representation is not heard. It is not recognized by the listener, perhaps because it does not fit in with what is expected of the representation. Therefore, representation by subaltern individuals seems nearly impossible. Despite the fact that Spivak's formulation is quite accurate, there must still be an effort to try and challenge status quo representation and the ideological work it does. The work of various 'Third world' and minority writers, artists, and filmmakers attest to the possibilities of counter-hegemonic, anti-colonial subversion. It is obvious that representations are much more than plain 'likenesses'. They are in a sense ideological tools that can serve to reinforce systems of inequality and subordination; they can help sustain colonialist or neocolonialist projects. A great amount of effort is needed to dislodge dominant modes of representation. Efforts will continue to be made to challenge the hegemonic force of representation, and of course, this force is not completely pervasive, and subversions are often possible. 'Self representation' may not be a complete possibility, yet is still an important goal.
N. Kirk Evans, two time NDT first-round and graduate student at U Chicago, [eDebate] We Other Debaters, Feb 27, 2002, http://www.ndtceda.com/archives/200202/0747.html, accessed February 27, 2002
Although critics of debate (e.g., Kevin Sanchez) appropriate Foucauldian language such as describing debate as “the pedagogy devoted to scholarship and training in good conduct,” I can’t help but wonder if there is a little “repressive hypothesis” discourse going on here. “For a long time, the story goes, we supported a repressive/calculating/veritas-seeking/flogocentric/docile body producing regime, and we continue to be dominated by it even today. The image of the stratego-spewtron is emblazoned on our restrained, (un)mute, and hypocrtical debating.” I don’t like certain aspects of debate as it is currently practiced. Some of my objections are political (e.g., under-representation of minorities, propensity of elite schools to dominate). Some are aesthetic (e.g., lack of clarity among most debaters). My problem with criticisms such as Kevin S’s or William S’s or Jack S’s is that they lump something together called “debate” and criticize it from afar (if that isn’t rendering something standing reserve and then surveying it with an enlightened imperial gaze, I don’t know what is). Somehow the sentiment seems to be lurking about that we’d all be free, uninhibited, and unrepressed beings if the debate-machine hadn’t turned us into assembly-line products of technostrategic thinking. Ummm repressive hypothesis. The reality is that proto-debaters enter high school with 8-9 years of educational training to be docile subjects and liberal humanists. If debate still maintains vestiges of these systems of thought, I think it has more to do with what people bring to the “institution” of debate than what debate teaches them. Debaters are taught to question authorit(ies), and there is certainly a higher degrees of activism (both liberal and conservative) among debaters than among their non-debate counterparts.