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Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology

A Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez

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Kryssi Staikidis

To expand the possibilities of “doing arts thinking” from a non-Eurocentric view, Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology: A Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez is grounded in Indigenous perspectives on arts practice, arts research, and art education. Mentored in painting for eighteen years by two Guatemalan Maya artists, Kryssi Staikidis, a North American painter and art education professor, uses both Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, which involve respectful collaboration, and continuously reexamines her positions as student, artist, and ethnographer searching to redefine and transform the roles of the artist as mentor, historian/activist, ethnographer, and teacher.

The primary purpose of the book is to illuminate the Maya artists as mentors, the collaborative and holistic processes underlying their painting, and the teaching and insights from their studios. These include Imagined Realism, a process excluding rendering from observation, and the fusion of pedagogy and curriculum into a holistic paradigm of decentralized teaching, negotiated curriculum, personal and cultural narrative as thematic content, and the surrounding visual culture and community as text.

The Maya artist as cultural historian creates paintings as platforms of protest and vehicles of cultural transmission, for example, genocide witnessed in paintings as historical evidence. The mentored artist as ethnographer cedes the traditional ethnographic authority of the colonizing stance to the Indigenous expert as partner and mentor, and under this mentorship analyzes its possibilities as decolonizing arts-based qualitative inquiry. For the teacher, Maya world views broaden and integrate arts practice and arts research, inaugurating possibilities to transform arts education.

Arts-Based Education

China and Its Intersection with the World

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Edited by Tatiana Chemi, Lihong Wang and Xiangyun Du

Core texts addressing creativity in a number of contexts show that creativity as a scientific subject has received principally the attention of Western scholars. Is this due to the fact that Western cultures are more creative or sensitive to creativity than the Eastern cultures? The editors strongly believe that this is more due to the differences in understanding and practising creativity in the West and East than to an Eastern indifference to creativity.

Arts-Based Education: China and Its Intersection with the World investigates the field of arts-based educational practices and research. It argues that reflections on these themes must necessarily be reframed and re-read beyond the limits of colonialist oppositions and suggests a constructive and reflexive approach to theory and methodology, which takes into account intercultural and critical perspectives in these studies.

This volume is the tangible product of the acknowledgement that China and Chinese culture deserves a more systematic and up-to-date dissemination through recent studies that bring together the arts, learning and creativity. It is clustered around two themes: (1) China and its communication with the world through arts-based education in international contexts, and (2) the development of arts education in China.

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Douglas R. Underwood

In (Re)using Ruins, Douglas Underwood presents a new account of the use and reuse of Roman urban public monuments in a crucial period of transition, A.D. 300-600. Commonly seen as a period of uniform decline for public building, especially in the western half of the Mediterranean, (Re)using Ruins shows a vibrant, yet variable, history for these structures.
Douglas Underwood establishes a broad catalogue of archaeological evidence (supplemented with epigraphic and literary testimony) for the construction, maintenance, abandonment and reuses of baths, aqueducts, theatres, amphitheatres and circuses in Italy, southern Gaul, Spain, and North Africa, demonstrating that the driving force behind the changes to public buildings was largely a combined shift in urban ideologies and euergetistic practices in Late Antique cities.

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Jo Stoner

In this study, Jo Stoner investigates the role of domestic material culture in Late Antiquity. Using archaeological, visual and textual evidence from across the Roman Empire, the personal meanings of late antique possessions are revealed through reference to theoretical approaches including object biography. Heirlooms, souvenirs, and gift objects are discussed in terms of sentimental value, before the book culminates in a case study reassessing baskets as an artefact type. This volume succeeds in demonstrating personal scales of value for artefacts, moving away from the focus on economic and social status that dominate studies in this field. It thus represents a new interpretation of domestic material culture from Late Antiquity, revealing how objects transformed houses into homes during this period.

The Five Continents of Theatre

Facts and Legends about the Material Culture of the Actor

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Eugenio Barba and Nicola Savarese

The Five Continents of Theatre undertakes the exploration of the material culture of the actor, which involves the actors’ pragmatic relations and technical functionality, their behaviour, the norms and conventions that interact with those of the audience and the society in which actors and spectators equally take part.

The material culture of the actor is organised around body-mind techniques (see A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology by the same authors) and auxiliary techniques whose variety concern:

■ the diverse circumstances that generate theatre performances: festive or civil occasions, celebrations of power, popular feasts such as carnival, calendar recurrences such as New Year, spring and summer festivals; ■ the financial and organisational aspects: costs, contracts, salaries, impresarios, tickets, subscriptions, tours; ■ the information to be provided to the public: announcements, posters, advertising, parades; ■ the spaces for the performance and those for the spectators: performing spaces in every possible sense of the term; ■ sets, lighting, sound, makeup, costumes, props; ■ the relations established between actor and spectator; ■ the means of transport adopted by actors and even by spectators.

Auxiliary techniques repeat themselves not only throughout different historical periods, but also across all theatrical traditions. Interacting dialectically in the stratification of practices, they respond to basic needs that are common to all traditions when a performance has to be created and staged. A comparative overview of auxiliary techniques shows that the material culture of the actor, with its diverse processes, forms and styles, stems from the way in which actors respond to those same practical needs. The authors’ research for this aspect of theatre anthropology was based on examination of practices, texts and of 1400 images, chosen as exemplars.

Fashion and Contemporaneity

Realms of the Visible

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Edited by Laura Petican

This book represents the voices of scholars, fashion designers, bloggers and artists, who speak to the pervasive nature of fashion in matters of politics, history, economics, sociology, religion, culture, art and identity. Dialogically open, the volume offers a broad apprehension of visual matter in the global contemporary context with fashion at its core, exploring its metamorphosing, media-oriented and ‘disordered’ modes of being in the early twenty-first century. The book’s contributors consider topics of universal import stemming from the realm of fashion, its dissemination and impact, from institutional, corporate, collective and individual perspectives, reflecting on the morphing, interchanging and revolutionary quality of the visual realm as the basis for continued research in fashion studies. Contributors are Shari Tamar Akal, Jess Berry, Naomi Braithwaite, Claire Eldred, Sarah Heaton, Hilde Heim, Demetra Kolakis, Sarah Mole, Lynn S. Neal, Laura Petican, Cecilia Winterhalter, Manrutt Wongkaew.

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Edited by Peter Duffy, Christine Hatton and Richard Sallis

At a time when universities demand immediate and quantifiable impacts of scholarship, the voices of research participants become secondary to impact factors and the volume of research produced. Moreover, what counts as research within the academy constrains practices and methods that may more authentically articulate the phenomena being studied. When external forces limit methodological practices, research innovation slows and homogenizes.

This book aims to address the methodological, interpretive, ethical/procedural challenges and tensions within theatre-based research with a goal of elevating our field’s research practice and inquiry. Each chapter embraces various methodologies, positionalities and examples of mediation by inviting two or more leading researchers to interrogated each other’s work and, in so doing, highlighted current debates and practices in theatre-based research. Topics include: ethics, method, audience, purpose, mediation, form, aesthetics, voice, data generation, and research participants. Each chapter frames a critical dialogue between researchers that take multiple forms (dialogic interlude, research conversation, dramatic narrative, duologue, poetic exchange, etc.).

They’re Called the “Throwaways”

Children in Special Education Using Artmaking for Social Change

Edited by Christa Boske

School communities identified these children as the “throwaways”-children who often experienced bullying, abuse, foster care, juvenile detention, and special education services. In this book, children with learning differences engage in artmaking as sensemaking to deepen their understanding of what it means to live on the margins in U.S. public K-12 schools. Their artmaking calls upon educators, school leaders, and policymakers to actively engage in addressing the injustices many of the children faced in school. This book is revolutionary. For the first time, children with learning differences, teachers, staff, and school leaders come together and share how they understand the role artmaking as sensemaking plays in empowering disenfranchised populations. Together, they encourage school community members to examine pedagogical practices, eliminate exclusive policies, and promote social justice-oriented work in schools. Their artmaking inspires new ways of knowing and responding to the lived experiences of children with learning differences. They hope their work encourages school communities to make authentic connections to improve their learning, capacity to love others, and of most importantly, to value oneself. Authors’ first-tellings capture the human experience of navigating through oppressive educational systems. Authors urge us to consider what it means to be empathic and to engage in the lives of those we serve. Their truths remind us to that standing still should never be an option.

Why Look at Plants?

The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art

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Edited by Giovanni Aloi

Why Look at Plants? proposes a thought-provoking and fascinating look into the emerging cultural politics of plant-presence in contemporary art. Through the original contributions of artists, scholars, and curators who have creatively engaged with the ultimate otherness of plants in their work, this volume maps and problematizes new intra-active, agential interconnectedness involving human-non-human biosystems central to artistic and philosophical discourses of the Anthropocene.

Plant’s fixity, perceived passivity, and resilient silence have relegated the vegetal world to the cultural background of human civilization. However, the recent emergence of plants in the gallery space constitutes a wake-up-call to reappraise this relationship at a time of deep ecological and ontological crisis. Why Look at Plants? challenges readers’ pre-established notions through a diverse gathering of insights, stories, experiences, perspectives, and arguments encompassing multiple disciplines, media, and methodologies.

Engaging with Fashion

Perspectives on Communication, Education and Business

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Edited by Federica Carlotto and Natalie McCreesh

This book is a modern exploration of how we engage with fashion today. Through a series of articles this book shows the ‘ways’ through which we can approach fashion. The articles are organized around the following six sections: marketing, consuming, educating, communicating, embodying and positioning - each with a mix of research approaches and strategies. From sustainability and consumerism to street-style and street-food. From how fashion is taught across the globe to how fashion is communicated through photography and the media. We invite the readers to be curators themselves, and to create their own ‘augmented knowledge’ of fashion, by reading the varied themes in this book. Contributors are Claire Allen, Deidra Arrington, Naomi Braithwaite, Jill Carey, Federica Carlotto, Karen Dennis, Doris Domoszlai, Linsday E. Feeny, Nádia Fernandes, Jacque Lynn Foltyn, Alessia Grassi, Chris Jones, Lan Lan, Peng Liu, Mario Matos Ribeiro, Natalie C. McCreesh, Alex McIntosh, Alice Morin, Nolly Moyssi, Maria Patsalosavvi, Laura Petican, Jennifer Richards, Susanne Schulz, Ines Simoes, Helen Storey, Steve Swindells, Stephen Wigley, Gaye Wilson and Cecilia Winterhalter.