Thursday, December 22, 2005

Next Steps

I have completed the first phase of my fieldwork and am now looking forward to reflecting on the semester and preparing for the next one.

I will be teaching two sections of art appreciation next semester. This will be an opportunity to practice my pedagogy, put some theories into play, and hopefully develop some new ones from my experiences, or at least new insights. I will be working on how to incorporate art history, art making, visual culture and principles and elements into one course. this is a hefty amount of material to squeeze in but I am looking forward to the challenge and new experience.

I am going to continue bloggin for my own reflections on what happens in that class and hopefully getting feedback on what was effective and how to incorporate this all into my thesis.

Exciting times...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What I Got Away From

I received some questions from a fellow classmate who thankfully reminded me of something I said at the very beginning of the formulation of this project. I have gotten away from it and would like to bring it back but am truly unsure how to do this.

In my last post and previously to blogging I had defined patriarchal historical record as history defined by wars and political victories. I imagine a kind of celebratory history, one written by the victors and only includes those who follow or fit onto a specific timeline of events.

I really look a lot to Howard Zinn and his efforts to relate history in a different way. His method of revisionism seems to center around including voices that were previously left out as well as defining history as a series of actions and reactions by those marginalized and fighting for social justice. While I admire Zinn's methods I feel that many people are still excluded from this type of history. Social justice is simply not at the center of all cultures in the past and present.

Then how do I organize history? Or, how do I code what events/experiences are necessary to present in my art history pedagogy?

Moments that display the human spirit
That was my answer. Hearing it again from my classmate brought back a lot of thoughts and ideas that I have been trying to resurrect and somehow felt I could not.
This is not meant to romanticize history or to make this art history something like the Oprah show where we all come together to celebrate this ambiguously but oddly Christian notion of spirit.
It is true that my background and current beliefs in Christianity led me to this notion of history defined by moments of the human spirit but it is in no way to suggest that this is the only context human spirit can exist in. Many people from many cultures are spiritual in a multiplicity of ways. How do we see this play out in history? In my personal work...
How does the human spirit and experience of the human spirit play out in an art historical context?
I do not have an answer to this nor do I even really know where to begin this type of research but I do know that I am grateful to be asking this question again.
As I prepare my art appreciation courses for next semester I will be working this idea out on paper and attempting to make it more clear and apparent in my writing and work.