Imaginative Freedom in Literature

While reviewing my notes I revisited the introduction of Fredrick Douglass’ text and found the statement that black literary art is a reminder of “imaginative freedom that we can claim within a painful history.” Looking back at the course texts and attempting to unify them in my mind, perhaps I can consider them each an act of imaginative freedom. Certainly authors like Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, and Octavia Butler use their imagination freely to express any number of ideas. The statement is more complicated on the back end though, with the reminder of “painful history.” If we read all black literary art within the context of “painful history,” we are limiting African American authors. Continue reading “Imaginative Freedom in Literature”

Cookbook: Part 2

I don’t plan on this blog post being very long or interesting. I just desire, and probably need, a space to reflect on my overall experience with this course. A couple of blog posts ago I detailed how I have been having trouble putting the ingredients together all semester long. In her comments on that post, Dr. McCoy politely inquired why I didn’t ask for help sooner and referenced Mary Rutigliano’s epigraph from the syllabus. Little did she know that I was working on a whole blog post attempting to address this matter that was based on Mary’s quote.

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Combining Communities

During one class this semester, we were given directions to ask each other about a term or a concept on which we would like some clarification. Within my small group, I asked about the term “both/and” since I feel like I hear it in class all the time, but it is said in so many different contexts that I hadn’t been able to pin down the meaning. Claire Corbeaux and Brittney Bennett helped me get some clarification on this term, telling me that it is generally used to describe something that can be labeled as either/or as well as both. While this definition initially seemed a bit too similar to the word itself, I used it to venture a guess that almost anything can be seen as a both/and because almost anything can be seen in any context. Continue reading “Combining Communities”

Bear a Responsibility

As I was scrolling through the syllabus, seeing what assignments we have left for the semester, I came across the section where Professor McCoy included the “often-invisible responsibilities” that make up the job of a professor. These responsibilities include 50 percent teaching, 35 percent research and creative activity, and 15 percent service. I think a lot of the time we do not acknowledge the work that professors put in because a lot of it is done behind the scenes. Reading this part of the syllabus, reminded me of when we visited the heating plant. I was clueless about how much work goes into distributing heat around campus and making sure that the places on campus, remain at a certain temperature at all times. The visit was very informative and I learned a lot. I had no idea that they use two turbines to deliver the heat and there are workers there 24 hours a day to keep everything in check. When I went back to my suite, I told my roommates about our visit and similar to me, they had no idea that the heating plant even existed. The workers hard work is often overlooked and I am glad I got this opportunity to give a token of my appreciation. Continue reading “Bear a Responsibility”

Fly on a Wall

Fly on a Wall film making refers to a style of shooting in which the camera crew is as unobtrusive as possible. The people who are filmed are real people, not actors, and the situations they are put in are also real. As a huge fan of the reality show Survivor, I immediately associated this technique with the show, and as we researched this in class I found I was not alone. Among Survivor were other reality shows like Big Brother, Deadliest Catch, etc. All of these were referred to as using the fly on the wall technique.

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This is NOT the End

Hi! I am back again with another blog post! I’ll admit, I have been putting off writing my last few posts but it was only for the sole reason that I was out of ideas on what I could write about. I usually pick the topics I wish to explore in my posts beforehand and then at some point actually write said posts. The problem? I ran out of topics. But naturally, all writers block comes to an end. And now I have come to explain to you why this is not the end. Or at least not for me. As I have begun to write my final reflection about the INTD 288 course two things have come to my attention. One is that I really loved taking this class even though I usually felt more confused than anything. Two, I realized how this class introduced me to so many topics that I wish to explore more in the future. My second realization I feel is more important because as a student in the INTD 288 course, I am always pushed to dig deeper to find more knowledge and understanding of any given topic. Continue reading “This is NOT the End”

The Permanent Collection

A few months ago, our class had the pleasure of visiting Dr. Cynthia Hawkins-Owen in the Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery where she was able to give us a more comprehensive description and deeper understanding of everything that goes into running a gallery. I would venture that quite a few of us, including myself, were surprised at how much Dr. Hawkins-Owen does on a daily basis to bring together new and exciting exhibits!

In addition to teaching college classes, I believe Dr. Hawkins-Owen said that her job entails five primary responsibilities (each with a vast subset of other tasks), just a few of which are administration, curation, and maintaining the permanent collection. Getting out announcements, making and distributing posters, maintaining public relations, and keeping up with the online representations of the gallery and everything to do with it are all part of her administrative duties. In terms of curating, Dr. Hawkins-Owen must look for unique art and artists whose work she would like to display, she must communicate with the artists to gauge which of their pieces they actually want to show, attend meetings with the artists, their representatives, and others, help move art to and from the Gallery, go through each piece and record any damage or lack thereof, install each piece and take them down at the end of the exhibit, etc. The list goes on! I was simply shocked listening to Dr. Hawkins-Owen speak of the work she does, because so little of it is visible to us, the viewers, when we attend a gallery opening or go to admire these works. Continue reading “The Permanent Collection”

W.E.B Du Bois, Double Consciousness, Double Standards

         This semester, one of our required course texts was W.E.B Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk. In the text, we were introduced to the term “double consciousness,” although perhaps some of us were already familiar with the term. However, for those who might not be familiarized with the concept, the term “double consciousness” works as a tool to express the complexities of the black experience. It delves into the assertion that as a person of color, one will always have a multi-faceted identity due to the injustices penetrated in the United States. Du Bois’ best describes this as the following:

“The sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn’t bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face (Du Bois).” Continue reading “W.E.B Du Bois, Double Consciousness, Double Standards”