Kelsey Timmerman’s Where Am I Eating?

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Kelsey Timmerman’s Where Am I Eating?




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Presentations text content in Kelsey Timmerman’s Where Am I Eating?

Slide1

Kelsey Timmerman’s Where Am I Eating?

HMXP 102

Dr. Fike

Slide2

Homework

What errors did you identify in

Kelsey’s book?

Slide3

Kamkwamba’s Message of Hope

2013-2014 Common

Book: William

Kamkwamba’s

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

.

73

: “‘When you go to see the lake, you also see the hippos.’”

269: “‘I try, and I made it!’”

275: “‘Whatever you want to do, if you do it with all your heart, it will happen.’” Moral of the story.

280: “I went to sleep dreaming of Malawi, and all the things made possible when your dreams are powered by your heart.”

8 in the back matter: “‘Trust yourself and believe,’ I told them. ‘And whatever happens, don’t give up.’”

Slide4

Timmerman, Eating

See page 76 in Kelsey’s book for famine in Malawi.

See page 164 in Kelsey’s book:

“‘Dis

is our life. We cannot change it . . . because the control we have is just very little . . . dis isn’t possible.’”

Pessimism versus

Kamkwamba’s

optimism.

Slide5

2012-2013 Common Book

Kelsey Timmerman’s

Where Am I Wearing?

:

Epigraph from MLK: “We are caught in an inescapable network of

mutuality

, tied in a single

garment

of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” (emphases added).

Slide6

Kelsey’s Elaboration

Wearing

265: “Basically, Dr. King is saying that what happens in our community happens to the rest of the world. And what happens to the rest of the world happens to us. The global is local. The local is global.” (In

Where Am I Wearing?

, Kelsey uses the word “

glocal

”: he wants us to think globally and act locally.)

Wearing

255: “When we recognize that the people who make our stuff have hopes, dreams, and personalities, we can’t help [caring] about whether their job pays them a living wage and allows them to reach those dreams.”

Eating

46: “Weaving plays an important part in

Arhuacan

culture,” etc. It is a metaphor in Columbia, but it is also a metaphor for the overall message that Kelsey wants us to understand. The whole world is woven together, as MLK says.

Slide7

The Theme of Mutuality in Wearing

(with emphases added)

Kelsey is making basically the same point in

Eating

as he does in

Wearing

. From

Wearing

:

xi:

global

financial crisis

7:

chain

from workers to consumers (“chain” reappears in

Eating

98)

8: “the fabric of

global

trade” (see “weaving” in

Eating

46)

17: connecting workers

worldwide

50: stages in the production of cloth

178: “‘

fellow

human beings, our brothers and sisters’”

179:

solidarity

180: “

web

of economic relationships”

191: “brother”

255: “

iPhone

girl”; workers’ hopes and dreams

267: how

connected

we are

Slide8

Context

What does knowing the

Wearing

epigraph’s context add to your interpretation? Does anyone recognize it from high school, WRIT 101, or some other class?

Slide9

The Epigraph

“Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to

justice

everywhere.

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds” (emphases added).

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Slide10

Connection

Besides mutuality, MLK is talking about peace and justice.

See

Eating

144 (bottom) for these concepts.

Slide11

MLK in Eating

In

Eating

, there is no MLK epigraph; in fact, there is no epigraph at all; however, MLK is quoted on page 263.

POINT: Connectedness (mutuality in

Wearing

) is an important theme that runs throughout the book. See the chart on the next slide.

Slide12

The Theme of Connectedness

Ask those in

row 3

to share these passages with the whole class.

12

52

141

152

241

263

266

Slide13

The Theme of Connectedness (with emphases added)

12: “These men’s, women’s, and children’s (yes, children) livelihoods and our lives are

inextricably linked

.”

52:

Connections to nature

in the par. that begins, “The

mamu

explains.”

141: “

We are one

: earth, animals, plants, and people.”

152: “There’s just something about sweating alongside people in the fields that

bonds

you to them and the land.”

241: “Decisions we make in our

home

impact the

world

.”

263

: “a world of

interconnectedness

”; MLK: “

the interrelated structure of all reality

266: “

shared

humanity”

Slide14

A Failure to Connect Early in Wearing

There is a disconnection between the MLK epigraph and Kelsey’s failure to engage properly in Honduras with

Amilcar

, the garment worker with whom he only spent 10 minutes. Note the disconnections between intentions and behavior. (The good we would do we do not do, as St. Paul says.)

Wearing

5: “I went to the factory and met a worker, but I wasn’t comfortable learning about his life and chose to abandon the quest. . . . I tried to forget about Honduras, the worker I [had] met, and my pile of clothes and their MADE IN labels, but I couldn’t.”

Wearing

15: “Part of me wants to know about

Amilcar

, but the other part is content

not

knowing—and maybe even a little scared about what I would learn.”

Eating

250: “‘Did you ever feel sorry for the animals?’ I ask, as my inner struggle with

carnivorism

[carnivorousness] revealing itself. I’ll step away from my cheeseburger dinner to take a spider outside instead of squashing it.”

Slide15

Kelsey to WU Faculty, Fall 2012

Re.

Wearing

: He was scared to death of going solo to foreign countries. (In his new book, he easily meets a guy

named

Solo.)

In

Wearing

, he would go out of his comfort zone and then draw back. That is why the first book’s opening chapters are so tentative. In

Eating

, he immerses himself much more confidently.

Slide16

Kelsey’s Growth as a “Glocal”

Wearing

: Kelsey’s earlier book gets off to a slow start, and he has the kind of inner conflict a well-off American would naturally have when first meeting the people who make his clothing. In other words, he is aware that to meet people in the third world is to indict oneself as an American.

Eating

: His current book unfolds more smoothly (he has his act down); however, he still has an inner conflict regarding American affluence and third-world poverty. (Partly out of guilt, he vows at one point to plant a garden—and does, albeit a tiny one.)

Slide17

Question

What is the relationship between connectedness/ mutuality and globalization? What IS globalization? Let’s start with the following statement:

Wearing

180: “But we share little with the people who make our clothes nowadays. We’re divided by oceans, politics, language, culture, and a complex web of

economic relationships

. It doesn’t affect our daily lives if they are overworked and underpaid as it did during the turn of the twentieth century” (emphasis added).

Slide18

Globalization

Kelsey defines it as finding cheap labor overseas to meet “tight margins” (

Wearing

8; cf.

Eating

151: “tight margins”).

So it is

an economic web

that not only connects Us and Them but also simultaneously empowers, impoverishes, and isolates.

Consequently, we are unaware of where our clothes are made (or food products are grown) and believe that they come from the store. So we shop at a supermarket without realizing that a Nigerian slave harvested our coffee or that a Nicaraguan diver died to bring our lobster to the surface.

Globalization

is “the development of an increasingly integrated

global

economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets”

(

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/globalization

)

Slide19

Summary of Concepts Thus Far

If we realize humanity’s mutuality/ connectedness and act “

glocally

,” then optimism/hope + justice and peace can overcome despair, injustice, and violence.

Globalization does not have to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Slide20

Another Concept: Story

KT to WU faculty, fall 2012: “Start with a story.”

Starting with stories helps readers get engaged.

Note: Kelsey was an anthropology major in college. His love of stories relates to this academic background.

Slide21

Story Provides the Links between Us and Them

From

Wearing

(with emphases added):

xii: sharing

stories

19: each tag has a

story

behind it

179: “quirky little

stories

about faraway places”

255: “the

story

of their stuff” vs. believing that “clothes come from the store”

Slide22

More on Story from Eating

(with emphases added)

38: “But I’ve traveled for over 10 years now, and I always take. I take

stories

. I take photos.”

65: “Gail shows us pictures of farmers. They are nameless and

storyless

and happy and proud.”

187: “My

tale

had won me widespread acceptance at the dock.”

258: “So more than just buy certified products. Learn the

stories

of those products. Something with a story always tastes better. . . .”

276: “ . . . I’m dedicated to addressing global issues through

storytelling

.”

Slide23

The Point

There are references to storytelling within a book that is itself a collection of travel stories.

In fact,

Wearing

and

Eating

are

autoethnographies

. Auto = self; ethnography = a description of a specific culture, especially a foreign one. So an

autoethnography

explores a foreign culture within the framework of one person’s personal journey.

Story

is a powerful tool for changing people’s attitudes, beliefs, paradigms, etc. Kelsey himself thinks that his experiences have dissolved the notion of the Other

. That is, he no longer has a sense of Us vs. Them. People are just folks.

He hopes that reading his book will have the same effect on you that visiting various cultures had on him

.

Slide24

CRTW 201

Let us now use some of the tools from the course that follows HMXP 102.

Slide25

Q@I and Purpose in Wearing

Questions at issue

: Where am I wearing?

Something more fundamental in

Wearing

9: “What are we as consumers to do [about global inequities such as those in the garment industry]?”

Purpose

: To help overcome the “producer-consumer divide” (256)—that is, to illustrate the MLK epigraph’s point about mutuality and to motivate readers to take action—by telling the stories of 7 garment workers in Honduras (

Amilcar

), Bangladesh (

Arifa

), Cambodia (

Nari

and Ai), China (

Dewan

and Zhu Chun), and the US (Debbie).

Slide26

In Other Words

Producer---------Kelsey’s book---------consumers

3

rd

world a bridge us

Slide27

Q@I and Purpose in Eating

The most basic Q@I: “Where am I eating?” (7). But more fundamentally, “What

are we as consumers to do [about global inequities such as those in the

agricultural

industry]?”

Page 12 is a key page: Turn to it

.

Q@I

:

Eating

will try to answer the questions at the top.

Purpose and point of view

: To explore “the global food economy through my own out-of-touch consumer eyes and from theirs as boots-on-the ground producers.”

Concepts

: outsourcing, importation, sustainability, national food security.

Assumption

: Our lives and the workers’ “are inextricably linked.”

Implication/consequence

: “We eat food that maims, kills, and enslaves other human beings.”

Conclusion

: “The globalization of our diets is an issue of global health an of national security.”

Slide28

Kelsey’s Further Purposes

To indict Americans: See the middle of page 52.

To underscore the idea that we mess with Mother Nature at our peril:

52: “‘We really believe that anything we do to harm the Earth comes back . . like Hurricane Katrina,’ the

mamu

says. . . .”

74: “‘We tease Mother Earth, and eventually she swats us into oblivion.”

53: While the

Arhuaco

believe we are changing the earth, we do less to reverse the change—and more to out-engineer our impact

.” (He is critical of technological solutions that address symptoms rather than causes.)

To motivate us to think globally and act locally. Be a “

glocal

.”

Slide29

So His Purpose Is Also To Get Us To Raise Our Level of Awareness Regarding Our Food

Conclusion (answers Q@I: What should we do?):

193: “Companies and people are recognizing that a food’s origin

matters

.” This statement encapsulates the “moral of the story.”

194: “Consumers need to ask, ‘Where am I eating?’ at the grocery store and at restaurants in order to make responsible eating decisions.”

Slide30

Important Implication

238: “I realized that every bite of food is an act of conformity or rebellion. Every

bite

of food is a political statement

.”

Slide31

Conclusions in Wearing

What are Kelsey’s further conclusions?

In other words, how does he answer the following question on page 9 in

Wearing

? “What are we as consumers to do [about global inequities such as those in the garment industry]?”

The answers are important because they apply as well to

Eating

.

Slide32

Kelsey’s Conclusions in Wearing

9: Be engaged consumers.

54: Recognize that sweatshops are a better alternative than abject poverty.

221: Producers and consumers should work together and accomplish great things.

259: Workers should be better paid.

260: “ . . . suffering human wrongs should not be a rite of passage.” (See

Eating

112: “rite of passage.”)

Slide33

In Other Words

Think globally, act locally. Be a

glocal

(

row 4

). How?

For example, we can go to the websites that Kelsey mentions throughout the book but especially in Appendix A.

When we buy things, we should be aware of their origin and think about the human consequences of supporting companies whose practices may be unjust.

Strategic buying (the power of the purse) can effect positive change. Pay special attention to labels and only buy Fair Trade products.

Slide34

More on Story: You Have To Put Things Together

It is not just that

Where Am I Eating?

tells Kelsey’s story (his trips to foreign countries, the friends he made there, etc.). In addition, the concepts that he uses tell the story of economic globalization.

What “story” emerged from your work on the concepts? What

negatives

does he identify? This was

row 1

’s

job last time.

Slide35

What about Changing the System

Here is the question as it was framed in your worksheet:

If Kelsey could adjust the global food system, what would it look like? In other words, which items from the list in step one would receive greater emphasis or be more prevalent

? What does Kelsey think SHOUD be the case with global agriculture?

What did

row 2

come up with last time? (Discuss this before going on to the next slide.)

Slide36

Education and Environmentalism

What does Kelsey suggest about the relationship between these two fundamental and powerful concepts? (

rows 3 and 4

)

Slide37

Next Concept: Types of Freedom

Wearing

188: “I suppose not being hungry and not being impoverished are the most important types of freedoms—the freedom to survive. But there are other freedoms that the 1.3 billion Chinese don’t have.”

What are these other freedoms? Think about the human values that we mentioned when we discussed Marx’s texts.

Slide38

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Self-actualization

: pursue inner talent, creativity, self-fulfillment, growth, potential

Higher-order

needs (the most internal): clearly a matter of education, which is mentioned in

Eating

on

58, 99, 119, 128, 135, 140, 142, 227 (

row 2

group)

Self-esteem

: achievement, mastery, recognition, self-respect, autonomy

Internal

Belonging-love

(social stuff): friendship, family, affection

External and internal

Safety

: security, stability, protection, freedom from fears

External more than internal

Physiological needs

: food, water, shelter, warmth

Lower-order needs (external)

Slide39

Analogy

There is an analogy to be made to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Where do Felipe (coffee in Columbia), Solo (chocolate in Nigeria), Juan (bananas in Costa Rica),

Evanor

(lobster in Nicaragua), and Daryl (apples in Michigan) fall on Maslow’s scale?

Where do YOU fall?

How does the hierarchy enable us to critique agriculture in foreign countries?

Slide40

Connections to Our Anthology

How does

Eating

story

relate to

statements in our HMXP anthology?

Slide41

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Par. 6: “Then, again, do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong. There is a class of persons to whom by all spiritual affinity I am bought and sold; for them I will go to prison, if need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at college of fools; the building of meeting-houses to the vain end to which many now stand; alms to sots; and the

thousandfold

Relief Societies;—though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar which by and by I shall have the manhood to withhold.”

What do you think about this passage now that you have read

Kelsey’s

book?

Slide42

Daniel Quinn

Par. 62: “‘You’re really not thinking, I’m afraid. You’ve recited a story you’ve heard a thousand times, and now you’re listening to Mother Culture as she murmurs in your ear: ‘There, there, my child, there’s nothing to think about, nothing to worry about, don’t get excited, don’t listen to the nasty animal, this is no myth, nothing I tell you is a myth, so there’s nothing to think about, nothing to worry about, just listen to my voice and go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep. . . .’”

“‘I should have gotten you when you were seventeen.’”

Does

Kelsey

listen to Mother Culture or not? Why do you think so?

Slide43

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

23.3: Everyone who works has the right to just and

favourable

remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

25.1: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

How do those whom Kelsey meets measure up to these articles?

Slide44

Friedman and Timmerman

Kelsey Timmerman and Milton Friedman: Do they agree or disagree? See quotations on the next slide for

suggested answers.

Slide45

A Contrast

Friedman, par. 9: “Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions.”

Wearing

189: “I worry that the China Fantasy—economic prosperity yields democrat freedoms—won’t become a reality.”

Eating

75: “We tell them that a free market is the way to prosperity even though it wasn’t our way to prosperity.”

Slide46

Peggy McIntosh

She writes about white people’s unearned privileges. An extension of her point is as follows:

Whites:blacks

in the U.S.::U.S. and the

West:Africa

and other places in

Eating

.

In other words, we as Americans believe that we are entitled to things that

persons in third-world countries

do not even have access to. Agree? Disagree?

Slide47

WU’s Global Learning Iniative

By enhancing global education for our students with the full support and participation of the University’s faculty, staff, and administrators, we intend for Winthrop to become a school of distinction for preparing our students to be educated and involved global citizens, to understand their place in global society and their responsibilities to human society at large, and to take great joy at celebrating the very rich cultures of their communities, their states, their regions, their nations, and their world.”

(

http://www2.winthrop.edu/gli/

)

By reading and discussing

Kelsey’s

book, you are participating in the GLI.

Slide48

Like WU’s GLI

“Declaration,” par. 49, article 25.2: “Education . . . Shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups. . . .”

Martha Nussbaum, page 189, par. 9: One’s education must stress cosmopolitanism over nationalism.

Cosmopolitan education

: you “are above all citizens of a world of human beings,” which you “have to

share .

. . with the citizens of other countries.” Kelsey Timmerman would heartily agree with this statement.

END


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