Beyond What I Knew

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Imagine this: you are working on a complex jigsaw puzzle, placing piece after piece at ease, when you suddenly realize you have absolutely no idea what goes where next. I felt this initial shock when I first reached the third paragraph of a Judith Butler article I was reading for the Telluride Association Summer Program. What on earth is the language of discursive construction? I thought. What does Butler mean by creating a body “ex nihilo from the resources of discourse”?

But as much as I analyzed and diagrammed, there was still some gaping hole in the puzzle that prevented me from seeing the larger picture of Butler’s argument. I could go no further alone. Pulling myself out of my seat, I began wandering the halls of the Telluride House for inspiration, when I ran into fellow TASPer Yichao Hao and asked him, “Did you understand this reading?” We sat down, and I handed him my marked-up book.

His eyes swiftly roamed over the pages and his lips parted to say, “Yes… she’s describing how language actually acts on a body.”

“But what does that actually mean?” I pursued, stuck in my preconceptions. “Is she referring to a physical transformation?”

“Sometimes. See, you’re assuming that all actions have to be physical. But really, one...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1039 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8013 literature essays, 2248 sample college application essays, 348 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in