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
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
– for community arts announcements
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.
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