Gene’s comments on Dahlia’s and Lamar’s posts, 4/14/19

4/14/19 Gene’s comments on Dahlia’s and Lamar’s posts for this week.

Hello all:

Robert Shreefter emailed me a few days ago to tell me that, due to a family emergency, he had to cancel his visit to our class tomorrow. I am, obviously, saddened by the news. There is a chance Robert may be able to join us before the semester ends, but at this point the chances are, at best, 50-50. There is much to talk about, however, in relationship to the articles that Robert suggested we read (as Dahlia’s post makes abundantly clear). Additionally, Noor – who couldn’t be with us last week because she was at AERA – has agreed to talk about her project. I’m also hoping Gregory, who didn’t get much time to talk about his project last week, can talk a bit more about where he’s at with his project – I’m particularly interested in how his subjects want their work to be shown and what they say about it.

I thought Dahlia’s comments and reservations about the articles that Robert suggested we read were sharp and poignant. I think they bring up many theoretical concerns, and that it is time, now that we only have a few sessions left, to think about how theory frames our own work and goals. We may not have talked about this enough in our class. When you write, Dahlia, about how the children’s art was used not to “just document experience” but to “help process and construct the understandings the kids had of themselves and their surroundings” is that a comment about art as a visual methodology with a specific purpose or intention? How does that relate to arts-based research? Thinking about the article by Wang et al that we read a while ago, are the children’s drawings and collages featured by Robert and some of the other authors for this week an example of “art as research” or “art in research?” And what did you all think about the relationship between the artists and the children in Robert’s articles and the others (that weren’t on the syllabus but available on our Common’s site). I also am curious about Dahlia’s comments of collage as a “stance,” and hope to hear more about it tomorrow.

Putting aside for the moment Lamar’s startling and joyful comment about preparing for his “grandchild,” – something I definitely want to hear more about – I am excited about the progress he is making with his project. Are you moving from “documentation” to “a process of “constructing understanding” (using Dahlia’s phrase) and how do the collective collages and interviews fit into that process? Unfortunately, the link Lamar provided hasn’t yet worked for me, but I know we will all hear the interviews before the semester is over. I also wondered, Lamar, if your Black male students decided, after all, to join the collage-making and how the felt about their drawings after speaking with you.

I need to apologize for this late and brief set of comments. I had an odd day today and am just now getting the time to review the posts.

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