Event and elevation


  • David Ritchie PNCA/ Willamette University


event, elevation, making a stand, standing with


What is it like, the event in which we become ourselves? What is its relationship to other kinds of event? And where might the event happen? When people say today that they “stand with” or that they are “allies,” they are challenging hierarchical notions about how change happens, ones that derive from agreements about elevation. When someone says all men are created equal they could be saying, all men stand together on a flat plain. “Standing with” suggests the tactics of non-violent protest, people gathering in large numbers in a flat area and hoping that the sight of those large numbers will persuade someone somewhere to change what needs changing. When we climb onto a podium or write a thesis statement, we conjure inherited, one might say ghostly geometry: one person up, others watching, listening, reacting below. Other forms of address, made possible by technology, may require cultural adjustments.

Author Biography

David Ritchie, PNCA/ Willamette University

David Ritchie, Professor of History, writes plays, prose, fiction and poetry. He also paints. He is developing thoughts through exploratory essays. “Consider the Midden” was the first; the one in this issue follows. The current projection is for three more, collected in a book.


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