Friday, February 29, 2008

Book Review & Make Up

The book I'm reviewing here is A Communion of Friendship by Beth Daniell. I’m going to give away the ending now. Daniell writes:

A Communion of Friendship is like [the 6-year-old, dress-tugging] Karen’s [saying] “Look, mommy, a cat.” The truth I [Daniell] tell [you my reader] depends on whether the community I write for [including you] sees the cat or at least takes my observations into account in discussions about the existence or nature of the cat.

I didn’t say I was going to spoil the ending because Daniell has written so much more than that up to those final words of the book. You’re just going to have to read it for yourself to really get it. That’s not to say it’s a difficult book to get at all. It isn’t. But it is to say, I’m tired and just gave a long-winded explanation of something else. And 2) Daniell is very right to leave you some things at the end. Her book is an ethnography, and it's subtitled Literacy, Spiritual Practice, and Women in Recovery. She’s researching women in recovery, as you can imagine. She’s listening to their "little narratives." Little narratives are, for Daniell, not the metanarrative that postmodernists say modernists tell. Modernists don’t need recovery. The women Daniell hears and speaks with do. Daniell is most curious about the ways the women use literacy and spirituality in their recovery. Let me just offer a hint here. Just as Jacqueline Jones Royster is not the cold objective historian in her Traces of A Stream but is also part of the traces of the stream she writes about, so Daniell has such subjectivities. But there’s a little difference. Daniell hides her subjectivities until the end of her book. I think she has to. I think you’re not ready to hear who she really is while writing such a book. Let's let her be anonymous until you join in with her.

Which turns me to something else I heard at a recent rhetoric symposium. A feminist scholar was researching AA and presenting it at the rhetoric conference. Her claim is that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is sexist because there are more personal testimonies by men than by women. So I asked her whether she saw the process of “recovery” and of story telling in recovery and of collaboration in recovery and of anonymous safety in recovery as feminist discourse. I asked her if she’d read Daniell’s book. She said No to both questions. She elaborated that Step Two invokes a higher power, and concluded quite tersely that that is masculinist. End of story. I wanted to ask her if she thought Step Nine (which calls for making direct amends to people) was in any way related to Step Two, but she’d been asked enough questions, some less polite than mine. This then ends my review of Daniell’s A Communion of Friendship except to add that it reads like a parable and may get you reflecting on your own communion of friendship while you read about theirs.

I’ve been reflecting on my own communion of friendship. Through email there’s been some direct amends. Publicly here I just want to add that I was wrong to disparage friends in a blogpost when I had the opportunity and the responsibility to make sure first that they could respond without simply having to use the comments. I want to make up, as my siblings and I had to do when we mistreated each other when I was around 6-years-old. Forty years older or so now, I ask for forgiveness and pledge to be more considerate in the future. I’m also most grateful for their personal candor, and friendship. (And to all of you who prefer to make anonymous comments on this blog, or any comments of any kind, please be assured that you also are welcomed and that we will be friendly).


This particular post is not for my non-feminist friends in the same way Carly Simon’s hit “You’re So Vain” was not for James Taylor. Truth be told, I detest targeting an audience.

So put this post in the genre of the little self help books you find in an airport bookstore on the way to a feminism(s) and rhetoric(s) conference, the sort of book, you know, with an intriguing title like “YUP.” “NOPE.” “MAYBE.” A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO GETTING MORE OUT OF THE LANGUAGE OF A MAN, which hits you like a dart in the bullseye in a dark bar somewhere even though you’re a man (and not the target audience) as you think to yourself (anyway) that the two collaborating authors whose front-matter acknowledgments of others compare their writing process to collaborative pregnancy and to the life changing developments of childbirth, using words like “baffling and humbling” and “translating” and “manspeak”—even though they’re men writing about very different language than they’re writing with—may have something for you (a man and not their target) to hear, although you find you haven’t been able to help yourself with much of anything lately, especially not resisting the buying of such paperback poor sellers on the 50% off discount rack which saves you nearly $6.47.5, minus the sales tax of a city and a state government, not your own, of course.
One of my non-feminist friends has wondered whether I’m not humble. And whether I won’t explain to him more clearly the far-out afrafeminist methods in translation.
When I talk about feminist methodologies, immediately the subject of “positions” comes into play. Yes, I know; Jacques Derrida was the original author of Positions (which is the same word in French if with different meanings in English, depending on whether you are Jacques or, a woman, such as, Hélène Cixous). But when I use the English word positions, I’m intending to mean something from or in Greek. But that original Greek is a translation of Aramaic. And who knows for sure, if it’s not Robert Funk and his group of experts knowing, whether the Aramaic is either original or authored in the first place? So I’m talking about the positions that a certain few learner writer translators find themselves in as they try to put in words a parable spoken by their Rav/Reb/Rabbi (i.e., “Teacher”). It’s a rhetorical feminist parable in the Greek. The men learning, especially the one repositioned by the Reb as “Rock,” want to get their Rabbi in the position of explaining more clearly, off to the side, what the meaning is of the far-out story with multiple meanings. The Rav explains: “What do you think you’re asking? If you are in not in a position to hear this story, what makes you think I’ll be able to explain with singular clarity to you any of the other stories? How are you going to get, for yourself – any one of you, the Greek translation of my first word μετανοετε (rethink everything between your ears and behind your eyes!), if you won’t reposition your ears to hear and your eyes to see? How are you going to translate what I have to hear (and learn) from that mixed-breed Greek (Syro-Phonecian) Woman about her man-possessed and Greek deity-possessed little Girl? How are you going to translate what that loose mixed-breed (Samaritan) Woman says to the men about me in their village long before Billy Graham arrives on the scene? How are you going to translate what all those Women (some half-breeds, familiar with males and with Greek deities) say to you after they’ve poured their best perfumes all over my hair and then my body and have washed me from head to foot until they have some living cause to become my first Apostles? Yes, I know you want that position. How are you going to get that much of what you have to hear and learn from Women and me too is How?”
Proposition: Some Fell By The Wayside
A first position for a translator is not feminist at all. The aim of this position is proposition. Plato and Aristotle found this position most useful, which is why they didn’t find the slippery-slick sophists and the plurally-playful poets very useful at all. Which is why Plato said that a word is a shadow but it’s meaning is light. Which is also why Aristotle taught his students to use good Greek, which is not to be translated into the babble of the barbarians (and not to be taught to feeble females either—and so, of course, Aristotle really wouldn’t have cared for such aliteration). Anyway, the text and the original and the author and his logic and his nature are most important. This λόγος is in danger of falling by the wayside.
Imposition: Some Fell on Stony Ground
A second position for a translator is not feminist at all. The aim of this position is imposition. Alexander the Great, one of Aristotle’s disciples, was an imposer. He took Greek culture and language in a dominant way to all the known world (and the only time that fellow cried was when, he thought, there was no one else to conquer). Here, the focus is still on the originally authored text, but the concern is the audience who must be forced to get the text. Now since the conquerer has to target an audience with text, then translation equivalence is most important. He can rename a great city after himself (i.e., Alexandria) and start translating and teaching every text possible in Greek. Barbarian words can be shadows of deep enlightened meanings. The targeted “hoi polloi” (i.e., the masses) will get real prototypical meaningful Greek. The danger here, of course, is that the λόγος forced in so quickly will prematurely wither (stunted by Roman rock and by Judeo-Christian sunshine).
Transposition: Some Fell among Thorns
A third position for a translator is closer to feminist positioning. The aim of this position is transposition. Apostle Paul became a transposer: a cultural relativist and a theological pluralist, all things to all, to win some to Christ. Here’s Paul/Saul: a Roman citizen, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee inquisitioner blinded for sight, a member of the “true” circumcision who require a half-Greek man to undergo male Jewish circumcision for his other half (“the Jew first, and the Greek”), an instructor of women to be silent when in Greece (though himself silent to the women in Rome where the law kept them silent), a rhetorical opponent of Greek deities in Athens (while a radical proponent of a trinitarian God in Jerusalem), a scholar in Hebrew and presumably Latin who reads and writes copiously in Greek, a prisoner who would ransom and free the slave in the cell with him. The danger with transposition is . . . ; the dangers of transposition are observed by C. S. Lewis in his sermon “Transposition,” about which he writes that “A different version of ‘Transposition,’ written expressly for that purpose and then translated into Italian, has appeared in the Rivista of Milan” and in which he advises us his readers “Let us construct a fable. Let us picture a woman thrown into a dungeon.” The dangers is that a λόγος may miss out on some ἀγάπη because it mixes unrecognizably and inaudibly with such thorns and weeds as these: καὶ πάντες λαλῶσιν γλώσσαις εἰσέλθωσιν δὲ ἰδιῶται ἢ ἄπιστοι οὐκ ἐροῦσιν ὅτι μαίνεσθε.
Yep. Yep. Here’s a statement for you all,
ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν
Should a grain of wheat not fall into the ground to die, it stays single.
ἐὰν μὁ κόκκος τοῦ σίτου πεσὼν εἰς τὴν γῆν ἀποθάνῃ αὐτὸς μόνος μένει
Should it fall to die, it delivers many children and many cornucopias.
ἐὰν δἀποθάνῃ πολὺν καρπὸν φέρει
A fourth position for a translator is afrafeminist. The means and the aims of this position are a(p)position. It’s a lowly position, an uncertain one, with ambiguities. An apposition in English is “A placing side by side or next to each other.” A similar Greek word we transliterate into English as parable: my own subjective story is drawn out by another’s story alongside mine. An a-position is death. End of story.
In English, we can read an x-rated novel by Gayl Jones, an African American, a woman. But much is silent, like the untranslatable “white spaces” Anne Carson speaks of as she translates the fragments of Sappho.
If we’re a white male English scholar, such as Casey Clabough is, reviewing Jones’ book for tenure, then we may astutely observe how other scholars have already had “a whole range of critical reactions” which “constitute a diverse body of critical readings” that have spoken of the “unique sexual episodes and memorable gender characterizations through conscious and specialized political lenses,” which may make us want to focus more specifically on Jones’ own “theoretical standard, the ambitious ‘all-inclusive structure’” by which to judge “various applications of the specific components—psychology, eroticism, history, linguistic play, [and] music.” But if we’re Toni Morrison, we’re likely to say something more like this (which is something Morrison really has said about the text Jones wrote): “What was uppermost in my mind while I read her manuscript was that no novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this. This girl had changed the terms, the definitions of the whole enterprise.” Now, to be sure, Morrison has written more novels about black women, but no one is the same. Not the readers, and not the writers. There is something side by side, there is death, there is life like it’s never been known before. As explicit and as illicit as Jones’ erotic language is, her novel Corregidora must hide the secret of a woman (or several women, or black women in general) while it whispers the secret, the unspeakable. The novel is a story beside your own, whoever you are with eyes to see and ears to hear. If it’s a hiding and a revealing, then it’s also a renewing, and a very personal one.
The reader knows that Corregidora is the male protagonist, the slave owner, and the reader knows this by virtue of his being revealed. Here’s Erica Baumeister’s synopsis of the book: “When Ursa Corregidora is five years old and questions the truth of her great-grandmother's stories, her great-grandmother tells her, ‘I'm leaving evidence. And you got to leave evidence too. And your children got to leave evidence. And when it come time to hold up the evidence, we got to have evidence to hold up. That's why they burned all the papers, so there wouldn't be no evidence to hold up against them.’ Ursa's great-grandmother was raped and then used as a whore by her white slave owner, Corregidora, as was her daughter after her. Ursa had a black father, but her skin more closely resembles the color of Corregidora, the man who is both her grandfather and great-grandfather. Ostracized by darker-skinned women who resent the added value her light skin gives her among black men, and unable to trust any man, black or white, because of the stories she was raised on, Ursa Corregidora sings the blues and fights both the past and the present to maintain mental and physical autonomy. Internal monologues, dreams and remembered stories intermingle with present-day reality until it becomes difficult for the reader or Ursa to draw the lines between them, a task made doubly difficult when black men echo the proprietary attitudes (and sometimes words) of dead slave owners.” Such stories must die. They must end.
But Jones keeps, as if whispered secrets, all the backstory of the Portuguese and Spanish “corrigedore” (masculine gendered form) and “corrigedora” (and feminine gendered form). If it's not part of your grandmother’s story, you don’t get it. Black women (not only the characters but also Jones herself) possess “her” secret and tell it. It’s part of the story of translation that writer historian Jim Tuck tells us: “The term ‘corregidor’ is normally associated with an island in the Philippines that witnessed one of the most dramatic and tragic episodes of the Second World War -- when a starving, outgunned, and outnumbered band of American and Filipino soldiers finally surrendered to a Japanese invasion force after heroic but futile resistance. But how did it come to acquire such a name, which -- quite literally -- means ‘corrector’ in Spanish? The term, it should be noted, referred less to someone who teaches wayward people to cultivate the paths of rectitude than it did to a magistrate in colonial Spain. . . Corregidores were scattered throughout the Spanish domains including, of course, Mexico. One such official was Miguel Domínguez, who exercised that function in Querétaro. But the focus here is not on the corregidor but on his wife, who bore the title of corregidora. As we shall see, this was truly a case where a wife not only wore the pants in the family but where her determination, resourcefulness and drive were able to change history.”
Jones may not know any of this history as told so much more loudly and objectively. Somehow the words have come to her through the passages of stories passed down from mother to mother in hush tones. “. . . to leave evidence . . .” In Portuguese and Spanish languages, corregidor(e/a), is a pun: (1) “corrector” and (2) “corridor.” Jones has heard and has us hear both meanings. The titular male character is given the name in the feminine (not masculine gender) form. First, there is a theme of correction: (a) the titular character needs to be chastised (for the brutal ways he corrects the women around him), and (b) he seeks to have the women correct his ailments, and (c) the women in the book intend to correct their plight of having the historical record destroyed. Second, instead of “making generations” to correct the erasure of the record, the female protagonist Ursa sings improvised blues songs about types of corridors: songs “[a]bout this train going in the tunnel” and “about this bird woman, whose eyes were deep wells” (147). So alongside Jones’ character’s stories are our own (in hush tones, the unspeakable need for transformation).
For afrafeminist translators, the positions are not simply of word proposed, or word imposed, or even word transposed. A word touches the touched body. It doesn’t have to be a spoken word or literary word. Afrafeminist historian Jacqueline Jones Royster knows from experience how a good theory of literacy, even a translation “theory begins with the notion that a community’s material conditions greatly define the range of what [any] group does with the written word, and to a significant degree, even how they do it. . . [as] an expression of self, of society, and of self in society” (page 5, Traces of a Stream). Royster carefully reviews the history of words, and notes: “In the context of these definitions, the space to envision African American women writers emerges. . . African American women have acquired and mastered variously a new tool for a new day. We have done so with an apparently ageless set of tasks, all of which seem to pivot on notions of belief, identity, and social responsibility” (pages 105-07).
So when it comes to Bible translation, a particular interest of the friend I’m writing for here, the word a(p)posed is the afrafeminist method. Why can’t a man use such “an apparently ageless set of tasks, all of which seem to pivot on notions of belief, identity, and social responsibility”? Why can’t Anglo-American women? Why can’t Karen H. Jobes, for instance, insist on two very different texts of the Greek Septuagint Esther, presented side-by-side “where the Greek verb προστίθημι expresses the Hebrew idea ‘to do again’ or ‘keep on going’” ambiguously in one of the texts. And why can’t she translate that one Greek word, also ambiguously, by her English as in “Then she spoke again to the king. . .” (italics added)? And why can’t she then leave the untranslatable white space of the other variant text, and leave that absent word untranslated as against the other—a kind of death, so that there is a differently renewed tone: “Then Esther said to the king on the next day, ‘Allow me to punish my enemies with bloodshed.’ So Queen Esther appealed to the king also against Haman’s children, that they too should die with their father”? And why can’t Suzanne McCarthy question the single and masculine meaning imposed on ἄνθρωπος when it’s been translated to Greek already also as ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ. . . αὐτούς? Any why can’t Carolyn Custis James translate various Hebrew words as having more meanings than those men have given them, so that we all can hear our own stories alongside the one in which the man Boas hears and learns from the woman Ruth, an act of translation itself? Won't that kind of explanation (of λόγος) change us?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Texan Fixin to Translate Theory

Ah’m fixin’ ta do some fence mendin’ cuz Ah mighta slapped a man or two while they was chewin’ tobacco. (For us Texans, that’s the English translation equivalent to “Soon I need to write a post of apology to some friends.”) The spaghetti sauce one of em was waiting for is in need of a little stirrin first. And another one of ‘em emailed me to doublecheck the recipe. That’s all Ah’m intendin’ here. For now anyways

--J. K. Gayle

What should we Anglo-centric people do when we’re accused of being, . . . , well, when we’re accused of being “anglo-centric”? I’ve said that Karen H. Jobes says that “the evangelical debates” over two differerent sorts of Bible translation have been “Anglo-centric.” And Steven J. Willett has said that Lawrence Venuti says “that Anglo-American translation theory has been dominated since the seventeenth century by the conviction that the translator should so efface himself, so conceal the labor of transference from source to target language, that the translated text reads as if it had been originally written in the target language.”

Jobes and Willett want us to go beyond the debates and beyond the domination. So do I. Given the presumption that something Anglo(-American) is the cause, can we speculate what that something might be? I hope so.

Jobes offers up “simultaneous interpretation of a bilingual quotation” as a kind of metaphor for a different methodology for Bible translation (without sacrificing any of the noble aims of either “dynamic equivalence” or “formal equivalence”). Willett suggests “foreignizing” as another metaphor, in order “to prevent the translation from supplanting the original, something a highly transparent version can easily do in a monolingual society like the United States.” Both Jobes and Willett are professional translators, and professors, so we expect them to practice what they profess. But there are others.

Vicente L. Rafael uses another metaphor for translation, the metaphor of “war.” Yes, you guessed it. That’s not good. The bad, says Rafael, is when translation serves “as an instrument of domination under colonial rule,” which “tends to promote linguistic hierarchy.” The absolutely horrible, says Rafael, is when the translator is a “terp,” an interpreter in a war, who must move “between languages and societies” while being “exiled from both” as “neither native nor foreign, but both at the same time,” with an “uncanny identity” that “triggers recurring crisis among all sides,” so that “it is a power that also constitutes their profound vulnerability.” Now, just as Jobes and Willett are not simply theorizing, neither is Rafael. No, he’s looking back at the ugly histories of the Anglo colonizers and in the news briefs of the current American government.

President Bush, for example, has asked the U.S. government to sponsor the training and recruitment of translators. Speaking to a gathering of university presidents at a conference sponsored by the State Department, to promote the $114 National Security Language Initiative, the President says: “In order to convince people we care about them, we’ve got to understand their culture and show them we care about their culture. You know, when somebody comes to me and speaks Texan, I know they appreciate Texas culture. When somebody takes time to figure out how to speak Arabic, it means they’re interested in somebody else’s culture.”

Rafael explicates.

Unlike the “somebody” who sets aside his or her first language in order to speak “Texan,” and so shows appreciation for Texans, this other somebody, for example, “intelligence officers,” learns Arabic or Farsi because he or she is interested only in the content of the other’s speech, listening for that “something” that could be anything, but might also be just the thing from which “we,” as non-Arabic and non-Farsi speakers need to be protected. In this case, translation occurs not in order to welcome and care but precisely to ensure us that the other stays where it belongs. . .

[T]ranslation is also a medium for hearing as well as overhearing what others say even if they did not mean to say it. It is in this sense a kind of instrument of surveillance with which to track and magnify the alienness of alien speech, decoding dangers, containing threats, and planning for interventions. Rather than dwell in the hospitality of the other, translation in this latter sense is unfaithful to the original, seeking to put the other in its putative place, apart from the self. Bush’s view on the learning of foreign languages, however crudely phrased, reflects a certain idea about translation that has a long history. Since the Spanish conquest and religious conversion of the native peoples of the New World and the Pacific, various projects of translation have always accompanied, enabled, and at certain moments disabled the spread of empire. As with the Spanish empire, so with the United States.

Of course, Rafael could have brought up the Roman empire, or Alexander the Great’s global domination. He’s talking, however, to English speakers, to the Anglo-Ameri-centric. This Texan hears him.

Can translation be better? Jobes and Willett work for that. And Rafael also says, Yes:

[When learning to translate in better ways,] one is required to recognize the singularity of each idiom, for example,Texan or Arabic, that makes one distinct from and irreducible to the other. It is for this very reason that speaking the other’s language necessarily means deferring to it, giving it primacy, and thereby keeping one’s own out of mind. . . It opens up a passage to the other in all its otherness, drawing near what at the same time will always remain far. Faithful to the original, it thus allows for the appreciation of and care for the foreigner whose very foreignness becomes an element of oneself.

Rafael is imagining what is realized. Lydia H. Liu, for instance, has studied the Chinese appropriations of the Anglo-Ameri-Euro-centric world as carefully as anyone has. She observes that “one does not translate between equivalents; rather, one creates tropes of equivalence in the middle zone of translation between the host and guest languages. This middle zone of hypothetical equivalence, which is occupied by neologistic imagination, becomes the very ground for change.”

That reminds me how an anonymous translator of sorts has helped out those of us who have picked up George A. Kennedy’s anglo-centric Comparative Rhetoric from the library here at Texas Christian University. In the margins of page 143 are penciled two Simplified Chinese characters to compare with the American author’s English (and his transcribed pinyin) for a couple of terms. But by page 162, the comparative scrawlings have stalled. How in Chinese writing is one to do justice to Kennedy’s English and Western perspectives here (on the topic of Chinese rhetoric). The Anglo-centric author writes: “The . . . author of a Chinese work that most approximates a rhetorical handbook was Han Fei-tzu, probably born about 280BCE, ‘the Machiavelli of ancient China’”? Well then. How does our Chinese translator translate that, if using penciled in marginalia, ephemeral simplified Chinese characters? There's stunning silence, of course. For might not a Chinese comparative rhetorician (because our anglo author won't) have to venture, rather, that Niccolo Machiavelli might have been the Han Fei-tzu of Italy?

And didn’t Machiavelli learn from Marco Polo who learned from the Chinese how to cook spaghetti? Ah’m still dealin’ right here in other folks’ translation theory. A friend wants me more cogently to illustrate (afra)feminist translation and how different it is. It aint much different from Jobes’s or Willett’s or Rafael’s (peaceful), or Liu’s theories and practices in translation. Then if Ah’m still too poor to paint the fences, Ah wont be too proud to whitewash ‘em.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Here's a First

"Dr. Serene Jones has been selected to become the 16th and first woman president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. . .

Jones, the Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, will come to Union after 17 years on the Yale faculty. At present she also serves as chair and faculty member of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. Jones has held faculty appointments at Yale Law School and in the Department of African American Studies and Religious Studies. . .

Jones is a prolific and popular scholar in the fields of religion and gender studies. In addition to publishing 37 articles and book chapters since 1991, she has delivered a long list of professional papers and public lectures across the United States and around the world. She is the author of Feminist Theory and Theology: Cartographies of Grace (2000) and Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety (1995). She co-edited Feminist and Womanist Essays in Reformed Dogmatics (2006), Constructive Theology: A Contemporary Engagement with Classical Themes (2005), Liberating Eschatology: Essays in Honor of Letty Russell (1999), and Setting the Table: Women in Theological Conversation (1995).

Jones earned her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (1985) as well as her Ph.D. in theology from Yale University (1991). She holds a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma (1981) and is an ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.

Jones is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. She has received grants from the Pew Scholars and the Louisville Institute and is currently co-principal investigator on the "Women, Religion, and Globalization Grant" for the Henry T. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs."

Read more.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Plato's Possessions

Many claims stated as absolute desiderata

in the Bible translation debates among evangelicals

would not make sense

if the target language were other than English. . . .,

which shows how Anglo-centric the evangelical debates have been. . .

Surely evangelicals must not mandate

a translation philosophy on theological grounds

that would exclude, even inadvertently,

many of the world’s languages.

--Karen H. Jobes

The theological grounding of the translation philosophy of some evangelicals is a certain foundation. But the linguistic grounding of the translation philosophy of other evangelicals is the same certain foundation. And the anglo-centrism of the evangelical debates over translation has a more focused and equally-shared center. That is, whether the evangelical argues more for formal equivalence or more for dynamic (or “translation”) equivalence, the anglo-centric theology and the anglo-centric linguistics are centered in ancient Greek logic. Such grounds are the same sand; and such a center is, to use a Greek word, σκότος.

So when Wayne Leman at Better Bibles Blog writes his latest installment on “translation equivalence,” he’s escaped neither the methodological philosophy of the ancient Greeks nor the results of their logic. That’s not to say that Leman fails to do anything good. As a matter of fact, he’s friendly, uses personable examples, and invites other people to participate out of their own subjectivities. But we pause to read a linguistic concept as benign as “possession.” Let me just say that after twenty-one years of being paid to teach English as a second language to adults in the U.S. Academy, “possessives” as an English thing is something I’m not unfamiliar with; and we teach it in all its glorious complexities. How would we get around the concept? And why would we? Now, while those are both very interesting questions (I’m so glad you asked), they’re queries really beside the point.

The issue for translators such as Leman is whether there is some universal transcendent category which all languages share (at least English and Greek, and English and Hebrew). If so, then there’s also “translation equivalence.” Do you catch the logic? Desideratum 1: “possession” is a phenomenon of all languages. Desideratum 2: English and Greek and Hebrew are languages. Desideratum 3: English and Greek and Hebrew possess “possession.” And in front and behind all of those Desiderata is this one Desideratum X: If you can come up with the syllogism Desiderata 1 through 3, then X = the ideal we can call “translation equivalence.” (Now, lest you’ve not been paying attention to the series, “translation equivalence” is equivalent to “dynamic equivalence.” But “translation equivalence” is not equal to “literal translation”; for “literal translation” is the translation equivalence of “formal equivalence”; and, therefore, “translation equivalence” is the top dog in the hierarchy.) For the logic junkies, this is both deduction and induction. And for those looking for logical fallacies, you may be hard pressed except to note that we were taught in kindergarten not to mix metaphors, even metaphors we live by, such as both deduction with induction.

I’m being a little silly here. It’s my way of trying to be friendly. Kind of like nervous laughter when playing with dynamite so no one gets any body parts blown off. Okay then, we remember Plato played with shadows. Powerful things that would prove the light. The linguistic desideratum we call in English “possessives” is such a shadow. We really want it to be the real deal. We know our ancestors, for instance, dealt with slavery (the possession of some human beings by others); and that our great great great grandfathers dealt with spousal abuse (thank God that’s over now: the husband possessing his wife, or in the case of many of our biblical patriarchy, his wives). When it comes to language, English and Greek and Hebrew, then, how could we do without “possession”? Which, again, is a really good question. It’s kind of like Kenneth Pike’s questions about those (yes exceptional) languages that do not have many numbers (with which to do logical math, the kind of logic, Pike says people really are over, even when translating). But, for now, that’s just not the question we’re asking. We’re asking How we could even imagine a language that doesn’t have “possession”? Our question is not about “the text”; it’s about us. How could we imagine? Why would we? Are we trying to come up with little obscure counter-examples to enter the debate of the evangelicals on the side of the formal people? Well, no. The formal and the dynamic are stuck on Greek logic which is the translational equivalence of Anglo-centrism. What we’re trying to do is to come down from our high horse for a minute. Or, if we put that in Trojan, we’d say (with our hands over our mouths): “There’s no one hiding inside the gift horse—Please don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!!” Plato fell for that, of course, because he hated the hidden meanings of ambiguous epic poetry, and because he wanted to keep his slaves and have his wives too. Plato never listened to Lydia H. Liu, who refused his proposal for marriage, and who went on to publish these audacious words in English: one does not translate between equivalents; rather, one creates tropes of equivalence in the middle zone of translation between the host and guest languages. This middle zone of hypothetical equivalence, which is occupied by neologistic imagination, becomes the very ground for change.” Oh yeah, I almost forget, Plato didn’t want to change either. His student Aristotle didn’t either, and so he set out (with new logic—the old stuff evangelical Bible translators use) to teach little Alexander to become Great and to teach the world Greek.

Only, Plato and Aristotle never counted on Matthew translating into Greek, hosting another’s Aramaic, and all the while listening very carefully to this very different teacher who actually wanted his students to change their thinking and the way they thought about his words and the ways by which they had to change those words of his by their translation. The strange irony of that is evangelical Bible translators never counted on that either. Matthew gives his sympathies. It’s hard to humble yourself when you’ve got English and logic on your side. It’s hard to change darkness for light, sand for bedrock.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pregnant Chickens

Aristotle wrote a few things on the uterus, on eggs, on abortion, and on chickens. We can read this in Greek or in translation. Below are a few snippets in or around translation that other people are posting. (I’ll just say, beware of the pregnant chickens and other funny stuff.)

Kellie asks us, “Was Aristotle a knitter? Because he might have wanted to look into this great new toy pattern from Craft: magazine.” And she concludes, “You're never too young to form opinions on Ancient Greek philosophers and translations. Especially when they can be backed up by super cute toys!”

Sean tells us,

In the famous question "What came first; the chicken or the egg?", Plato answers that the "idea" chicken came before the egg and the chicken. Aristotle though[t] Plato had it upside down. He agreed with his mentor that the horse doesn't change or "flow" and that all horses are imperfect and mortal, and he agreed that the basic form of the horse is eternal. But he argued that the "idea" horse is just a concept that humans had come up with after seeing a lot of horses. Aristotle said that the "idea" or, as he liked to put it, the "form" horse was made up of the horse's characteristics, which we call the species. In modern science, we have discovered deoxyribonucleic acid (or DNA), which we have found, controls the characteristics of every living plant and animal. This is the "form" horse that Aristotle was explaining.

David cites for us a “recent study of ornithlogy” that “exposes the tenacity of certain unfortunate Aristotelian attitudes toward the female body, sometimes manifested in scientists’ simple yet profound inattention to female biology.” He goes on:

Whereas the zygote is a product of its mother and father (barring parthenogenesis), the egg in which it ill develop is a product of its mother alone (underscored by the fact that if you want to go into the egg business, chickens are a necessity, whereas roosters are optional). Ironically, it is Aristotle who correctly points out that

"In its initial stage the embryo develops from part of the egg, and the rest serves as nourishment for the creature while it is forming." [Historia Anomalium, 489b]

To call any egg a chicken on account of its embryonic passenger is like calling the mother’s uterus a chicken uterus on account of its delivering a chicken. Aristotle turns out to be right again when he says

"In the case of the animals that are produced oviparously, we should think of them as having the same relationship to the yolk as the vivparously formed embryos have to the mother. . . for since the nourishment of the oviparously formed embyros is not completed within the mother, when they leave her they take a part of her out with them." [Generation of Animals, 754a]

Revert2saved startles us with flippancy:

I was flipping through my copy of The Politics the other day (yes, this is the sort of thing I do with my spare time) and I came across this passage:

If contrary to these arrangements copulation does take place and a child is conceived, abortion should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation; the presence of life and sensation will be the mark of division between right and wrong here.

Our modern knowledge of fetal development tells us that brain waves can be recorded and the embryo responds to touch by around the 6th week of pregnancy, so applying Aristotle's "life and sensation" standard would at minimum restrict abortion to the 1st half of the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

Why is this interesting? First, because Aristotle's views cannot be said to derive in any way from Christian revelation or Catholic dogma, but purely from reason and natural law. Second, because I found it not in his works on metaphysics or ethics but specifically in his work on politics. Clearly Aristotle did not consider abortion a matter of private religious or ethical opinion, he simply assumed it was a proper subject of public policy.

This once again refutes the claim that the pro-life position is inherently theological or a matter of Christians "imposing their religion" on others. Of course abortion is and must be a political issue.

James reminds of us Aristotle's and other ancient Greek men's objective attention to the scientific facts about women:

Although Aristotle believed that pregnancy resulted when semen and menstrual blood mixed in the womb, he downplayed the woman’s role to little but a secure environment in which the fetus could grow. Most other Greek writers believed in a more equal contribution by the father and mother, but they were unaware of the ovaries and therefore could speak only in philosophic terms.

Women who are too fat will have difficulty conceiving because the fat will block the entrance to the womb. Their only hope for pregnancy is to lose weight.

A pregnant woman with good color will deliver a male baby; if the mother's color is bad the child will be a girl.

Wayne insists that “Objective attention to the linguistic facts of the biblical languages and equal attention to the linguistic facts of a target language determine accuracy and naturalness.” When it comes to Greek turned into English, the Bible now can “find her to be pregnant” more naturally than it can “find the child in her.”

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rethinking Jobes: Translator Fears and Freedom

The anglo-centric Bible translators are afraid. They’re not afraid, as Koran translators in certain democratic states must be, of going to prison. No, the Bible translators are afraid of certain methods of translation.

The Bible translators are afraid of humility and ambiguity. Hmm, that sounds like Muhammed who sounds like Aristotle. (Thankfully, neither Ayaan Hirsi Ali nor Cheryl Glenn sounds like either one of them or is in jail because of them; but we digress, a little).

Let’s do this. First, let’s listen to some of the fears. Second, let’s rethink (with) Karen H. Jobes. Third, let’s muster the courage to translate a sacred anglo-centric text and see if we can still bravely declare our liberty.

1. Some Anglo-Centric Bible-Translator Fears

Listen to the fear of the concerns that might squander accuracy:

. . . what’s lacking in English translations, there isn’t a respect for the text as primary. Every translation is colored by concerns of political correctness or theological correctness, concern for audience (aimed at xth grade), and/or continuity of a translational tradition.

Why can’t we just have a straight up translation concerned with accuracy first? Something that hits the English speaker’s ear the way the original hit the Greek and Hebrew speaker’s ear.

--Richard A. Rhodes

I Totally agree, Myself being in the translation online translation business (see profile @ Language123)this is pretty common. The involvement of new ideas changing the meaning of the original text should not be acceptable, the text should remain intact regardless of the language pairs.

--Silvia (a professional translator endorsing the anglo-centric fears)

Now listen to the fear that the first Bible translators played modern or postmodern but not professional accuracy games:

I find beauty in realistic and impressionistic art. I do not find beauty in modern art, because I do not understand it. . . We are trying to ask too much of general audiences if we think they can be served by essentially literal translations. Professional translators are not allowed to obscure meaning by translating figures of speech literally from one language to another. Why should we not hold Bible translators to the same standard of accuracy and excellence in translation?

. . . as we do Bible translation into English or any other language we should not follow the practices of the authors of the N.T. or translators of the LXX when they translated. I realize that this may sound like heresy, but I really do have a high view of scripture and I really do believe that the Holy Spirit was involved when the authors wrote the N.T. But that does *not* mean that the Holy Spirit caused the LXX translators or N.T. authors to follow the best translation techniques. . . . we don't have to learn from the N.T. authors or LXX translators how we should translate accurate and naturally today. We are not creating *new* inspired texts. We are simply translating texts that are already written.

--Wayne Leman

I accept that in the original Hebrew there was very likely a deliberate word play . . . This word play has been recognised by modern, or perhaps post-modern, contemporary commentators. My scepticism is about whether the LXX translators or the thinker Paul, pre-modern people . . . would have recognised this word play and . . . translated . . . with an entirely different word in order to preserve the word play.

--Peter Kirk

2. μετανοετε (rethink everything!), says Karen H. Jobes

Okay, that’s being a little inaccurate. Jobes didn’t say that. But neither did Jesus. (It was Matthew translating with a flair for modern art and with a knack for simultaneous interpretation).

But Jobes is calling on anglo-centric Bible translators to rethink everything. She’s going before the U.N. (And, to avoid ambiguities, Matthew really was before the U.N.). She’s calling on any with ears to hear and with eyes to see.

Look! Listen! She’s saying this:

You have heard that it was said:

“Either Formal Equivalence or Dynamic Equivalence.”

But I say to you:

“Just about every Bible translation has stirred hot controversy ever since the first one, the Septuagint, was produced”


“the apostles of Jesus Christ apparently did not hesitate to preserve the Lord’s teachings in Greek translation or to use the Greek translation of the Old Testament authoritatively in their writings that became the New Testament. Therefore, the example of the divinely inspired New Testament writers themselves provides the warrant for the translation of Scripture into other languages.”


an anglo-centric Bible translator is not greater than his or her master. In great humility, with great ambiguity, “the translator must so identify his or her translation with the speaker being translated that the translator must use the first-person when speaking in the target language on behalf of the speaker, much as the Bible translator must seek to be invisible to the Bible reader. More importantly, Bible translation is not just the translation of ancient texts but, like simultaneous translation, it is a living act of communication”

To be clear, Jobes wants accuracy (and so does Matthew). But she doesn’t DO what Muhammed and Aristotle do, taking the original “talent” of some objective, accurate, unambigous text they’ve been given and hiding it away in the dirt, later to whine like one wicked and slothful servant: “I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed.”

And she doesn’t DO what anglo-centric Bible translators do either, making Xerox copies of the originals to drop like fully-inspired accurate and unambiguous leaflets from the heavens.

No, Jobes does DO what Joshua does. (And by Joshua, I mean Yeshua, or “Jesus” as he’s less accurately translated). Her method is to see that the living original is planted and dies in the ground so that it can multiply as originals now alive and anew and a-plenty. She’s not afraid. She scatters subjective humility and vague ambiguity.

3. The Certain Soiling Inaccuracies (Be not afraid—there’s good potential):

Let’s turn from the fear of mishandling sacred texts such as the Organon, the Koran, and the Bible. That’s not necessarily taking Leman’s turn today: his turn to “everyday examples of translation equivalence and then [his] turn to equivalence in Bible translation.” Even in his “everyday” examples he’s afraid of a “literal translation” which anglo-centric Bible translators do not hold as equal to the “translation equivalent” which is another name for the debated “dynamic equivalence” which is simply finding “an expression that means the same in each language.”

(Tomorrow, Leman will re-“introduce” the anglo-centered fear of “inaccuracy-by-literal translation,” and much more prescriptively. He will mandate with some misquoted authority [to which I'll add some italics and bolded font]: “To translate properly, we need to match equivalent form-meaning composites, as the late tagmemicist, Ken Pike, would have said. The meanings of the forms must match for there to be translation equivalence.” And then we'll remember, in stark contrast, that Pike’s only prescriptions for his monolingual demonstration were these: 1] the interpersonal interaction was likely to fail [but not either for fear of “literal translation” or for any trepidation about some mis-match between unequal form-meaning composites]; 2] the other person's language “should” be the one they use; 3] he and the other person “should” be friendly; and 4] Pike would wrap up with a poem [with all its ambiguities and with his audience-focused humility]. Now, lest you're missing the fear Leman’s introducing, he’s promised to keep on re-introducing it until we have the fears down. Here's what he'll say on the third day: “translation equivalents between languages where literal translation isn't proper”; and Leman will use "pregnancy" in TNIV as more "proper"--to which I'll have to reply in a comment that Willis Barnstone is more accurate when more literal. Stay tuned.)

No, let’s return to something more comfortable. I’m talking about our own subjectivities, and our abilities plurally. The kind of thing that allows us to declare: “We hold these truths. . .” Sure I’m talking about an extant text in our possession: the original, the autographed, the Declaration of Independence with certain knowledge, even, of what’s on the back of it.

Let’s just take a snippet, and be aware all the time of whether we’re insiders and outsiders. The comfort zone changes depending on which side of the Atlantic (on which side of the Occident, on which side of the American canal) we find ourselves. For example, French speakers Elise Marienstras and Naomi Wulf have confessed to being on the outside of this text:

It is thus quite difficult for French readers of the American Declaration of Independence to understand the perennial and sacred character of a document that still remains, with its original wording, a moral and political guide -- the first part of a “secular American bible” whose second part would be the Constitution.

Don’t be afraid whoever and whereever you are when you hear that word “bible.” We’re going back in the direction of Jobes: in which we turn from equivalence in Bible translation and turn to everyday examples of translation, but not necessarily of “equivalence” as towards invariable “accuracy.” We’re turning in our ambiguous humble subjectivities to this seed of a text:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights;”

Where have we scattered (in translation)? You might want to skip to the good stuff.

some fell by the way side

We hold these truths to be [sacred and undeniable] selfevident, that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent and inalienables,”

--one real original, a seed draft that fell by the wayside, 28 June 1776.

Cherokee Elias Boudinot in the 1830s did NOT translate the “American Declaration of Independence.” Could it be because the text unmercilessly refers to his nation as “the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions”? Boudinot did translate the Cherokee Nation Constitution into English, and he did translate the Bible, texts that gave more equal treatment.

Here's Fukuzawa Yukichi's Japanese translation of 1866 (and where's "their Creator"?)

some fell on stony ground

“As a result, we reaffirm the following to be self evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,”

--A Modern American Declaration of Liberty, 1999

“We think that all people are created the same and that God wants every one of us to be free and happy.”

--The Declaration of Independence Translated for Kids, 2000

“Everyone can see that the following things are true: That all men are created equal; All people are created with equal rights; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; God made them with rights that cannot be taken away;”

--The NEW MILLENNIUM Declaration of Independence Line by Line Mr. Peel’s 7th Grade Social Studies Class, 2003

We think it’s pretty obvious that God created every person equal, and he gave each person specific unchanging rights which should never be trampled upon. . .”

--The Declaration of Independence for Dummies, Part I, 2003

some fell among thorns

“All we got to say on this proposition is this: first, you and me is as good as anybody else, and maybe a damn sight better; second, nobody ain’t got no right to take away none of our rights; third, every man has got a right to live, to come and go as he pleases, and to have a good time however he likes, so long as he don’t interfere with nobody else.”

--H. L. Mencken’s “The Declaration of Independence in American,” 1921

“He is always the same Jew. That so obvious a fact is not recognized by the average head-clerk in a German government department, or by an officer in the police administration, is also a self-evident and natural fact.”

--James Murphy’s translation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, 1942

“Hỡi đồng bào cả nước, Tất cả mọi người đều sinh ra có quyền bình đẳng. Tạo hoá cho họ những quyền không ai có thể xâm phạm được; . . . Suy rộng ra, câu ấy có nghĩa là: tất cả các dân tộc trên thế giới đều sinh ra bình đẳng, dân tộc nào cũng có quyền sống, quyền sung sướng và quyền tự do.”

--Hồ Chí Minh’s Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1945

other fell on good ground,
and did yield fruit that sprang up
and increased;
and brought forth,
some thirty, and some sixty,
and some an hundred

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights;”

--Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s and colleagues’ Declaration of Sentiments, 1848

“. . . a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men [black and white] are created equal.”

--Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” 1863

And Thomas Jefferson: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men [of any color] are created equal . . .’ So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.”

--Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” 1863

“Nous tenons pour évidentes pour elles-mêmes les vérités suivantes : tous les hommes sont créés égaux ; ils sont doués par le Créateur de certains droits inaliénables;”

--French (contemporary)

“Wir halten diese Wahrheiten für ausgemacht, daß alle Menschen gleich erschaffen worden, daß sie von ihrem Schöpfer mit gewissen unveräusserlichen Rechten begabt worden,”

--German 1776

“Folgende Wahrheiten erachten wir als selbstverständlich: daß alle Menschen gleich geschaffen sind; daß sie von ihrem Schöpfer mit gewissen unveräußerlichen Rechten ausgestattet sind;”

--German 1950

“Noi consideriamo come verità evidenti in se medesime che tutti gli uomini sono stati creati uguali; che han ricevuti dal loro Creatore certi diritti inalienabili;”

--Italian 1776

“Noi riteniamo che le seguenti verità siano di per sé stesse evidenti, che tutti gli uomini sono stati creati uguali, che essi sono stati dotati dal loro Creatore di alcuni Diritti inalienabili,”

--Italian 1961

Noi riteniamo che le seguenti verità siano di per se stesse evidenti; che tutti gli uomini sono stati creati uguali, che essi sono dotati dal loro creatore di alcuni Diritti inalienabili,”

--Italian (contemporary)

“Kita berpegang kepada kebenaran yang nyata ini, bahawa semua manusia diciptakan sama tarafnya, bahawa mereka dikurniakan oleh Pencipta mereka hak-hak tertentu yang tidak boleh dipisahkan;”

--Malaysian, 2002

“Nós sustentamos estas verdades como auto evidentes: que todos os homens nascem iguais e que são dotados pelo Criador de certos direitos inalienáveis,”

--Portugese (contemporary)

“Nosotros creemos ser evidente en sí mismo, que todos los hombres nacen iguales y dotados por su Criador de ciertos derechos inagenables:”

-- Spanish 1821

“Sostenemos como evidentes estas verdades: que todos los hombres son creados iguales; que son dotados por su Creador de ciertos derechos inalienables;”

-- Spanish (contemporary)

and here's more good, more Japanese and Hebrew and Polish and Russian. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Are We Ready for a Woman President?

Professor Karlyn Kohrs Campbell (scholar in presidential rhetorics and in women’s rhetorics in the U.S.) gets us remembering. Kohrs Campbell, asking if we're ready, has identified several women who have made the world readier for an American woman president:

*Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 1848. Reads the “Declaration of Sentiments” co-written by her and several women, and modelled after Jefferson’s Declaration, for the first national woman’s rights convention. Charlotte Woodward, a 19-year-old, participates. (Frederick Douglass and other African Americans and other male first-wave feminists or feminist allies are also participants).

Victoria Claflin Woodhull. 1872. Runs for U.S. President (and is the first woman to do so). Woodhull’s choice for running mate in her Equal Rights Party was Frederick Douglass, making him the first African American candidate for Vice President. Woodhull and her sister, Tennesee, were the first stock brokers who were women; they gave professional advice to Cornelius Vanderbuilt.

Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood. 1884 and 1888. Runs for U.S. President on the Equal Rights Party ticket. In her first run, she’s the first woman to get votes—149; her second run gains her more than 4,000 votes. Lockwood is also the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. She represented indigineous Americans in Cherokee Nation v. United States, and won for the native Americans, the Eastern and Emigrant Cherokees nearly $5 million in settlements. Lockwood said, "We shall never have equal rights until we take them, nor respect until we command it."

*Charlotte Woodward. 1920. Casts her vote as one of the first women legally to do so in the United States. At age 81, she is the only participant from the first national woman’s rights convention of 1848 still alive.

Margaret Chase Smith. 1940 and 1964. Is elected Senator as the first woman to the U.S. Congress in 1940. Senator Smith showed political courage by criticizing the antics of communist witch hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy, in her speech “Declaration of Consicence.” Although she’s passed over as the Republican nominee for Vice President in 1954, Senator Smith makes a run for the presidency in 1964. Senator Smith is the first woman nominated by either major party. Her votes in the primaries carry her all the way to the Republican National Convention.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm. 1968 and 1972. Is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first African American woman to be included in the U.S. Congress, in 1968. In 1972, Chisolm runs for the U.S. Presidency, the first black woman to do so. She received 151 delegate votes.

Frances “Sissy” Tarlton Farenthold. 1972. Becomes the first woman to be nominated and voted on for U.S. Vice President. Farenthold was one of three women of a class of 800 to graduate from the University of Texas Law School in 1968. With Barbara Jordan, she was the only other woman to serve on the Texas State Legislature in 1968; and with Jordan, Farenthold was one of the “dirty thirty” Members of the Texas State House of Representatives who called for the ouster of the allegedly corrupt Speaker at the time.

Sonia Johnson. 1984. Becomes the first woman to be nominated for U.S. President by two different political parties (the U.S. Citizens Party and the Peace and Freedom Party). In 1977, Johnson co-founded Mormons for the ERA with three other women . She testified in 1978 to the U.S. Senate’s Constitutional Rights Subcommittee, and the next year delivered the speech “Patriarchal Panic: Sexual Politics in the Mormon Church” to the American Psychological Association, moves which had her excommunicated from the Mormon church. (Campbell wonders why 2008 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has been publicly silent on Johnson.)

Geraldine Anne Ferraro. 1984. Becomes the the first woman to represent one of the two major political parties as a candidate for Vice President. Polls showed that she was more popular among American voters that her running mate, presidential candidate Walter Mondale.

Patricia Nell Scott Schroeder. 1988. Becomes the first woman Presidential candidate whose tears in public get attention. In 1972, she’s become the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado in that state’s 79-year history. And in her first term, she’s become the first woman appointed to the House Armed Services Committee, where she literally shares one single chair in the committee room with Ron Dellums, whose become the first African American on the Committee. The Committee chair remarks: “That girl and that black are each worth about half. I'll give them one chair.”

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. 2008. Becomes the first woman Presidential candidate who has resided in the White House.

Professor Karlyn Kohrs Campbell reflects that the world has already had to be ready for a Texas gun-slinger cowboy type for President the last eight years. Yes, he's not the only model for a president, for a male president anyway. Kohrs Campbell asks whether we’re ready not just to look at Hillary Clinton as a viable Presidential candidate, but also at how we ourselves look at her. Is the anti-Hillary rhetoric we speak or hear or tolerate or speak against, is it actually against a woman because she’s a woman running for president? Who can our mothers, and sisters, and daughters—aspiring to be President—look to? What models are there? Do we even have good models in our own heads, or any ideals at all, for a “womanly” President? If not, then we may look to Margaret Chase Smith and to “Sissy” Farenthold with June Jordan, who’ve called us not to tolerate lapses in judgement; we may look to Francis Perkins, President FDR’s secretary of labor, the first woman in the cabinet of a President, and the only person to stay in FDR’s cabinet during his twelve years in office. And there are others, many others, we can look to as exemplary: Jean Duane Jordan Kirkpatrick, the first woman U.S. Ambassor to the United Nations; Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson, whose 1964 Whistle Stop campaign tour caused Max Freedman to write: “Lady Bird’s no passive partner. . . Perhaps this marks the emergence of women as central figures in a national contest instead of being on the edges of a campaign”; Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius, the second woman to be Governor of the state of Kansas, and the first woman to give a political party’s response to the President’s State of the Union Address; *Leticia R. San Miguel Van de Putte, Texas Senator, the first woman to give a political party’s response to the President’s State of the Union Address in Spanish.
*Kohrs Campbell did not identify Cady Stanton or Woodward or Van de Putte in the particular speech I heard her give. And the other recollections above are from my quick notes as she talked (and from subsequent research). Those who brought Professor Kohrs Campbell to Texas Woman’s University to make the address have said they hope to make it public some day. I figure we can correct all my mistakes here then. (And trickydame at FCW Society gives a very similar history when asking if we're ready).

Update: Girl with Pen