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Fine Arts Cultural Studies
FACS 1900
Robert Gill

FACS 1900 C Arts and Ideas Instructor: Robert Gill Room: ACW 206 for lecture, ACE 006 for tutorial Time: Friday 11:30 to 1:30 PM for lecture, 2:30 to 3:30 for tutorial March 13, 2009 Announcement Community arts practice: A joint certificate at York • Creative artistic skills • Social analysis • Community based cultural productions in fourth year • Placements with local cultural agencies and community organizations • International internships in Mexico, Paraguay, Argentina • Three core credits Alberto Guevara [email protected] [email protected] Deborah Barndt [email protected] – for community arts announcements Lecture So far from the tests that I have read we can move forward, many of us have the skills to do what they need to do to get there. Today I will outline what we will be doing this term, give you some significant dates, then I will post the course outline to WebCT over the weekend. Today I will give you an overview of practical things we will do and of the course topics. The logic of what the second term will look like. The highlights of what the course will be about today. Have a look at WebCT on Sunday, the information will be up by Sunday afternoon. Make a practice of watching WebCT, things will be posted there, assignment descriptions, things like that. Next week we’ll hand out and discuss the guidelines for doing Part Two of the creativity research project. It will focus on what you learned about creativity in Part One. Go back to Part One and start taking it apart, think about how you might want to develop that in the second version of the essay. It will be an essay that will focus on your own practice as 1 you currently understand it. Getting you to understand something that is very hard to think and write about, your own creative practice. That gives you a rough idea, at minimum go back to Part One, have a look at the comments you received, the kinds of things your TA was pointing out. If you’ve thrown it out, you lost the comments, that’s trouble. Building up on what you’ve done so far and learning how to learn are very important. April 17 is the due date for assignment 2. When you get the handout next time that gives you three weeks to prepare the assignment. In terms of things coming back next week, you will get your tests back in tutorials next week. When you get the test back you will not receive lots of comments on it. You will receive some commentary from your TAs about general issues they saw in the tests. What received an A, a B, what they were looking for, problems they encountered in the tests. An important tutorial to attend. You get the test back and also an opportunity to learn something from having written the test. The process that you go through next week, you will receive the test back, have a look over it, then if you have questions about what’s there after having thought it through, then you can sit down with your TA and talk about it. Tell them why you believe that what you presented is not a C+ but a B. A process of self evaluation. Why did I get this grade, then a civilized, respectful discussion with your TA. There are 300 of you, people are coming from different places, I don’t want any disrespect or aggressiveness towards your TAs. Don’t approach people with aggressiveness, they’re doing their job, 99.9% of the time they hit it right. It’s all about respect. If after that you still have questions, you can come to me. I can sit down with you and go through it. Your TA will have signed off that they spoke to you. I am in my office at 10:30 on Friday morning and on Wednesdays at 2:00. On March 27 I will be doing a presentation in class on how to do the group presentation, what it will be all about. An important event to think about and to be here for. I will give you a bit of heads up today how this will look like. April 24, the presentations start. You will have individually completed two assignments on creativity by then. In the first part you will have consulted an article from what’s out there. Some of you looked at articles by psychologists, art historians, anthropologists, etc. There is an incredible diversity of perspectives on what creativity is. An enormous range of opinions on what creativity is. Creativity is not simply one thing, people see it in different ways, understand it in different ways. The truth is by no means one thing. People have different ideas about what it is. At the end of this course you will come together with other people from your tutorial and you will talk about this diversity of opinions about creativity. Coming up with a strategy to talk about that diversity to the tutorial in form of a presentation. Each of you has 2 minutes to talk about an angle on creativity. You will report to the tutorial. 2 Pace yourself, be prepared. You facilitate a discussion in the tutorial about creativity that other people will respond to. You are going to become teachers in this environment. The responsibility is on you to continue to learn about the process of creativity. It involves commitment, focus and respect. Part of the way we will ensure that the process does work is that you will have to describe the process you have gone through and to do an analysis of the process. You will also meet after you do the presentation as a group and discuss the process as a process. What happened when you did the presentation, what it was like, what you can do next time to do a better facilitation of the process. You may not have all of the facts right but you can do an interesting process as a group facilitating a discussion about creativity in the group. The group will receive one grade. There is a makeup class because we’re not here on Good Friday on April 10. May 21 will be the makeup class. It is a Thursday. It will be in this room. Then you have to write a scheduled exam for this course that will be posted some time down the road. It could be any day of the scheduled exam period, don’t book a trip back home until you know. th May 21, same time, same place for our final class. Last day of classes is the 20 , it won’t interfere with your other scheduled courses, it will be a makeup day for Friday. At the beginning of the winter term we’re going to bridge back to where we left off in the first term by looking at the concept of discourse, a different idea than the straightforward linguistic notion of language. We will do that by looking at the Hall reading. Now you read the bound version of Hall, in your course kit. Read the remainder of the Hall reading, pages 1 to 63. Come prepared having taken a shot at reading this entire reading. It’s pretty thick, challenging, but we will be supporting this material starting today for the rest of the term. It’s a very important reading, you need to jump into this now. Working with this reading will allow us to get back in the swing of things. We will look at the work of Michel Foucault in some depth. Our goal here is to understand something that social scientists call social construction. You are going to hear it a lot for the next three years of your education. Last term I mentioned that my YMCA has an archway with writing in Roman font that says Boys’ entrance. It seems innocuous enough but as a moment of social construction, we begin to think that when you create a boys’ entrance you also create something called a boy. People aren’t anything necessarily a certain way given their biological makeup. We become who we are. Simone de Beauvoir said one is not born a woman, one is made a woman. When a body passes through a space called boys’ entrance, this constructs an experience of being a boy socially. How gender gets constructed, gets perpetuated. The idea that there is something so inherently different about a boy and his behavior that you make them go into a building through a special door that even has a stone writing above 3 it. Not all societies have this totalitarian ideas about gender differences. At the core of this course in the second term we will think a lot about gender and how gender is constructed in a variety of institutions and how it is challenged by various art
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