November 14

Forums Homework 9: November 14 November 14

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    • #1472 Reply
      Sheila Gallagher
      For your presentations please plan to have a written outline that will address the following:
      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?
      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      3- What sources you are using for the project?
      You should post these three points on the website under the discussion section, as well as bring a hard copy to class on Wednesday.
      Please keep in mind that the written project should be no more that 5 pages, (1250 words) carefully written and presented with sources cited in endnotes or footnotes
    • #1477 Reply
      James Cacciola

      I chose the topic of Vietnam because I think the war can be seen as a turning point in how people viewed the role of the United States in the world. Even today, decades after the end of the war, it seems that the Vietnam War has captured our attention in a way most other conflicts haven’t and is frequently used as a cautionary tale.
      At home, the war had the strong effect of further increasing distrust of the government and its intentions. Abroad, it made countries wary of the United States and its power. For many, America was no longer seen mainly as a force for order and stability, and more people began to view it as a source of chaos and destruction.

      I want to focus on two questions. What was it about the war that had such a radicalizing effect on the population and how did it change the perceived role of the U.S. government at home and abroad?

      To show what made the war unique I want to use Apocalypse Now, “Hell Sucks”, Greenway’s book, and the Burns / Novak documentary. To show the effect on the public, I will use the sources I already listed as well as the articles “Aquarius Rising” and “the Whole World is Watching.”

    • #1478 Reply
      Benjamin Twohig

      1. In the discussions on music that took place in class a lot of the artists brought up were the namesakes of the period (Hendrix, Dylan, The Beatles, etc). One of the things I thought was interesting was that, particularly when discussing Black Power, there no mention of Motown Records, the only major black owned label of the time. I wanted to examine as the music and artists under the label changes stylistically as a result of the events and movements coming out of 1968. In particular, I want to focus on Marvin Gaye, whose music changed greatly as a direct response to events that occurred in this period, and the lasting impression he made on soul and protest music.

      2. Questions to Answer: How did the music of Motown change in response to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements? In particular, what factors influenced the change of style in the music of Marvin Gaye from 1968 to 1971? What lasting impact did the music of Marvin Gaye from this period have on other musicians?

      3. I plan on incorporating a biography of Marvin Gaye written by Michael Eric Dyson, a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. Additionally, I plan on drawing from the Michael Herr Hell Sucks piece, and sources provided by Professor Littlejohn. Finally, I plan on drawing from the writings of Angela Davis and Martin Luther King.

    • #1479 Reply
      Joan E Kennedy

      With my project, I hope to question the influence of media, commercialism, words, and images on the human psyche by applying the sentiments of some of the philosophers we have read this semester onto common commercial items.
      I was inspired by the pop art movement, especially Sister Carita’s transformation of text and images to create bigger storylines and Warhol’s Soup Cans. I started with the idea that it would be cool to do modern day Warhol cans with things that are super relevant to people my age, but wanted to incorporate philosophy somehow—so I came up with this plan. I want to do a series of little images, but I haven’t decided what medium to use since I am not sure how to do art. But, I was struck with the idea that Warhol used the means of production to create his art—I want these images to literally look exactly like the things they portray but with the text switched.
      I will be using The Medium is the Massage, This is Not a Pipe, Essay on Liberation, The Second Sex, and Death of An Author. These are the readings that I already have ideas of what I want to do with them visually, but I am open to suggestions as to more authors to include. I will bring sketches to class!

    • #1480 Reply
      Evan Kielmeyer

      1) Why did you decide to choose this topic?
      For my final project, I will be writing about the accuracy and longevity of Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Massage.” I choose this topic because of the impact it had on me after initially reading excerpts in class. The accuracy of McLuhan’s writing is shocking. While his writing is primarily focused around the introduction of television, it still remains relevant when compared to the current issues surrounding new media like the internet. However, his writing is not perfect. Part of my paper will be to address where McLuhan was inaccurate and attempt to rectify these inaccuracies with my own ideas and research.
      2) What questions are you looking to ask and answer?
      How accurate is “The Medium is the Massage” 50 years after its release?
      How much of McLuhan’s writing still applies to the 21st century?
      What parts of his writing are inaccurate today?
      Is it fair to hold McLuhan’s writing to contemporary standards?
      3) What sources you are using for the project?
      “The Medium is the Massage”

    • #1481 Reply
      Andrew Mettias

      I chose this topic because I was really fascinated by the Michael Pollan readings as well as the discussion on Psychedelics. According to what I’ve seen, psychedelia has great (and perhaps currently untapped) potential to be a powerful revolutionary tool as it was in the 1960’s. Though I personally have never tried it, I think that psychedelia is a very interesting topic and worth looking more into– perhaps the psychedelic era was a bright star that died too soon.

      The main question will be how psychedelics influenced the various areas/subjects of the time period such as music, art, literature and social relations. Towards the end I would like to probe the idea if psychedelics could be used again today as a powerful/effective revolutionary tool for the current political climate.. A sort of “rebirth” of the counterculture movement.

      I wrote about 2 paragraphs so far using “Wake of the Imagination” by Foucault and Pollan’s “How to Change your Mind”, but I plan to use all my sources from the website resources page. Perhaps the most important source will be Pollan’s book. I also plan to include other sources such as music, images of protest posters, etc..

    • #1482 Reply
      Nolan Constantine

      Topic: For my paper, I am hoping to analyze the change in soldiers’ experiences and personal attitudes as they spent more and more time fighting in Vietnam–they seemingly develop somewhat of an apocalyptic view of the war and their own lives–and explore how that relates to the apocalyptic postmodern philosophy of Barthes.

      Why you decided to choose this topic?
      The Vietnam War is something that has always really intrigued me, and I’ve tried to learn more about it by reading books and taking classes like this one and the one with Professor Jacobs. We have had a few Vietnam Veterans come in as guest speakers for Prof Jacobs’s class, and I noticed somewhat of a common theme between their stories and the readings for this class and other Vietnam War books. It seems to me like a lot of soldiers when they first arrive in Vietnam still have a somewhat mystified vision of the war and are amazed while taking in the extraordinary sights and sounds of the war, even some disturbing sights. However, as they spend more time in Vietnam and demystify the war, they develop an apocalyptic vision of the war and start to question their purposes. This attitude shift reminded me of the shift from modernism to postmodernism, so I am planning to write about the shift in soldiers’ attitudes and relate it to the shift in philosophical thinking.

      What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      How did soldiers’ attitudes and experiences change as they spent more and more time in Vietnam?
      How does this change in attitude relate to the shift from modernism to postmodernism?
      Are the soldiers merely players on the stage of the war? (Death of the Author compared to Death of the Soldier?)

      What sources you are using for the project?
      Still figuring out the scope of the paper, but most likely Hell Sucks, Foreign Correspondent, Apocalypse Now, maybe some guest speakers, Barthes, the Wake of Imagination, and maybe Sartre.

    • #1483 Reply
      Jacob Hermann

      1. Why did you decide to choose this topic?
      My topic is about the different cultural and philosophical identities of 1968 and 2018 as seen through the lens of music at the time. 1968 was a year of individual expression and passion, an existence of responsibility and attempting to achieve more in life. On the other hand, 2018 is a year of apathy, a contentment to stay comfortable within societal constraints, as opposed to going outside the box and doing more with one’s life. I picked this topic because of the lack of individuality and unique ideas and creativity today is something that is very frustrating to myself. I have noticed that youth culture today has a stigma against those going outside the box, wanting others to join them on the path to mediocrity.
      2. What questions are you looking to ask and answer?
      I am looking to explain how these themes manifest themselves in the music of the different eras. And also pose the question of how this cultural and philosophical shift occurs and where we are headed? Figuring out the cause of this change might provide insight into how to bring passion back into our lives.
      3. What sources you are using for the project?
      Existentialism is a Humanism – Sartre
      Jean-Paul Sartre: More Relevant Today than Ever – The Guardian
      1968: Power to the Imagination

      1968: Power to the Imagination

      Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind Lyrics

      Blowin’ In The Wind

      Jimi Hendrix – Machine Gun Lyrics
      Marvin Gaye – What’s Goin’ On Lyrics
      Chainsmokers – Closer Lyrics
      Post Malone – Came Up Lyrics

    • #1484 Reply
      Stavros Piperis

      Paper Topic: Art According to Sister Corita

      1) I chose this topic not so much because of Sister Corita’s artwork itself, but because of what she said about art in general. She had a very particular set of beliefs and practices regarding art and the process of making it. Different things she publicly said point to a fascinating and illuminating overall philosophy of art. I want to study these remarks and paint the wider portrait of her general attitude towards the nature and purpose of artistic work.
      2) I am putting the question to myself, what are the implications of Sister Corita’s words and rules regarding art? What did she believe that art is, and why did she say and do these things?
      3) I will be using the essay Power Up: Sister Corita and Donald Moffett, the documentary Become Microscope by Aaron Rose, and various other interview clips.

    • #1485 Reply
      Victoria Trinh

      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?
      My topic is centered around the use of imagination during the Black Arts Movement. I decided to choose this topic given the oppression and adversities that black individuals face from the past to present. The situation that they are in a gruesome and I believe that imagination and faith were necessary variables to continue the fight. I believe that more needs to be done to counter black stereotypes and display the strength of the people.

      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      -Where did the imagination at the time stem from? Influences?
      -Was the power of imagination enough during this time?
      -How could imagination be used for the better or worse in regards to this situation?
      -How does imagination extend to characteristic of strength?

      3- What sources you are using for the project?
      -The Wake of Imagination
      -Power to Imagination
      -If they come in the morning–Angela Davis
      -Black Journal: Black Woman directed by Stan Lathan

    • #1486 Reply
      Natalie Spindler

      1- For my paper, I intend to explore how the Vietnam War affected those involved in the war (soldiers, reporters, draftees). Particularly, I want to look into how it affected their attitudes towards the war and United States’ involvement in the war and the emotional and mental toll it took on them. I chose this topic, because I have always found the Vietnam War extremely interesting in how polarizing it was for the nation. I want to focus on the effect on those involved in the war, because I find it extremely interesting to think how being involved in the war in one way or the other has completely affected people whole lives. I particularly want to focus on how those involved attitudes’ changed as the war continued on and how their views of the war differed in many aspects from those who were in power and in leadership positions.

      2- Questions to answer: How did the attitudes of the soldiers and reporters towards the war and the United States’ involvement in the war change as it continued on? Did the introduction of draftees into the war shift attitudes towards the war? Why did the views of the war and the success the United States was having in the war differ so greatly between those in power and those actually fighting the war?

      3- I plan on using the Burns/Novak documentary, Greenway’s book, the music written in response to the war (particularly music played at Woodstock), and Apocalypse Now to demonstrate the shift in attitudes and the mental and emotional toll the war took on those fighting and those present in Vietnam.

    • #1487 Reply
      Josh Elbaz

      The topic of my art project was sort of an extension of what I had done for my protest poster. I was inspired by the readings on Levinas and our reading with Professor Bourg, and the important conversation of ethics in revolutions. Levinas talks about the experience of seeing the face of the Other and the recognition of ethical responsibility, and how in the midst of revolution it is critical that this kind of aesthetic and moral education is internalized to prevent revolution from devolving into moral collapse as Schiller, Levinas’ inspiration, witnessed during the French Revolution. For a revolution to succeed ethically requires the aesthetic education of its proponents — every individual needs to integrate their moral and physical sensibilities to produce responsible, ethical change.

      Bourg identifies this kind of ethical turn post 1968 when people were questioning their responsibility to other human beings, and there are still vestiges of this ethical turn today. The sensitivities we have to morally contentious events, speeches, people, acts are exposed and retaliated against for what they are by the many. En masse, we have used voices amplified by technology through media and social networks to raise alarms to ethical issues. But are we really ethically engaged today? Are our moral sensibilities truly more integrated today than they were before? Going back to Levinas, we see faces now more than we ever have, but do we see them the way he describes, or in the way Bourg intimates in the years surrounding 1968?

      My feeling is that the remnants of this ethical turn today have lost this aesthetic core; not universally, but still at least in part. I started exploring this idea when I asked myself for the protest poster why it is that we can’t have political conversations anymore. Why do families, friends, employers, colleagues, anonymous others turn against and reject one another in protest of who they voted for? When did your ballot decision become the definitive characteristic of your moral character? And are we able to identify a face, a human dignity, a restoration, a possibility, beyond that?

      My hypothesis is that the way we see faces today is through a kind of post-modern vision — a face as signs and symbols pointing to presumptions and estimations that are themselves characterized by images and texts. When I wrote the name Mitch McConnell in Google Images, it suggested related images based on keywords — turtle, blobfish, confederate, senator, etc. — but in a way these images are already tied to his identity when we personally see his face or read his name off text. I’m sure if I asked what words come to mind when you hear Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, these secondary images would come immediately to mind, I have a sense that most of us have them. I’ve never met Mitch McConnell, I’ve never heard him speak or remember reading any specific quote of his, only secondary sources of his. I dont actually know him at all, yet somehow his identity is already so clearly defined to me without ever experiencing the man myself in person or video. This is the mystery, and I think the core problem of the ethical turn today. Complete identities are being processed through images and text, but these analogs are not real and, by extension, we struggle to see the human dignity inherent to them. We dont see an image of a person in the same way we see the person in real life because we dont have the same experience of the Other as another consciousness in our presence, a moment where I realize I am being seen, and that I can be seen.

      In the same way that highly identifiable political figures carry with them a constellation of secondary identities, so do anonymous people who intimate any connection to a political party. Voting democrat or aligning with anything “liberal” automatically obscures that persons face today, and we have difficulty seeing precisely that human being endowed with an imagination, a history, a conscious and unconscious mind. This is where the problem of the ethical turn becomes widespread and commonplace, where our ballot decision changes entirely our responsibility and engagement with one another.

      I wanted to use my art project to express this hypothesis and challenge the viewer to break from it. I took a portrait of a girl and I serialized, caricatured, and manipulated her image to see if we can still see her Face.

    • #1488 Reply
      John Bruggeman

      Topic: Is psychadelia (psychedelic music) just about the music? If it’s not then what does it represent?
      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?
      Music festivals have become commercial events, places for people to build their own brands. In the 1960’s we had seminal events like TripsFest and Woodstock that fundamentally altered the way people interacted with each and indulged in music and the arts but based in psychadelia or psychedelic music. Is it possible that style of music is available today and what does it mean to go beyond the music.
      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      Why is psychadelia ambiguous to define?
      Why has psychedelic music changed over time?
      What social factors caused a change in the style of music over time? In the style of community?
      Does psychadelia exist today?
      How do you decide what is and is not psychadelia?
      How can we evaluate psychadelia today in the context of our society?
      3- What sources you are using for the project?
      Michael pollan: ‘How to Change Your Mind’
      ‘Coda’ –HW reading from week of Nov. 7

    • #1489 Reply
      Hyun Ji Yim

      I wanted to write about the black feminist movement shown by the ICA exhibit– “We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965 to 1985” because these artists voice intersectional issues unnoted by their peers in previous movements. As a minority, female student living in the modern world, issues of gender, race, and class continue to become more complex and interlinked. As a result, these movements are exemplary as they creatively voice several interlocking issues in diverse mediums. They create a new, open space for protest alongside other movements while accepting the different experiences their activists grew from.

      Questions- How did the black feminist movement form. What issues were they trying to address and what are a few other groups within this movement. What is the general timeline for this movement? How did the activist’s experiences, particularly the artists, shape how they voiced and created their artwork?

      I will be using online sources and lectures detailing the feminist movement.
      Dr. Woodward’s lecture
      Angela Davis article
      Black Power Website

      I will also be analyzing the exhibit by the ICA through reviews and the curator’s book.
      We wanted a revolution: Black radical women, 1965-85: New perspectives (book)

    • #1490 Reply
      Ningkun Dai

      Can we say that art before Foucault’s madness kind of art, is mostly Hegelian? Since when we are trying to think about a painting, the thing first come into our mind is a painting which depicts exactly what it refers to. (Just like what Hegel would say “Art reveals the absolute in a sensory form” Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics)
      After finish reading Foucault’s perspective on art, I found a really interesting relationship between Foucault and Hegel. If I didn’t interpret Hegel’s aesthetic theory incorrectly, then in Hegel’s aesthetic theory, a quality art piece should be able to reveal the absolute as much as possible. However, for Foucault, sarcasm and madness are the most important elements of the art. Art should be nothing like reality. And what Foucault represents is the essence of the post-modern art.
      As a result, is it wrong for me to say that art before Foucault is everything about reality, and art after Foucault should be anything but reality?

      The death of the author, the birth of reader.
      Also, can I say that Foucault is somehow influenced by Nietzsche? Because for Nietzsche, he envisions Greek art as emerging from Apollonian-Dionysian roots. These two factors represent for him the realms of dreams and intoxication respectively, the generators of art. And both realms are representing a form of illusion. So does Foucault.
      Illusion is also the foundation of Nietzsche’s aesthetics. Art creates an aura of unreality; it generates an ‘unworldly’ state.(It’s not a pipe)
      Although one does not confuse this dream state with the real world. “Despite the high intensity with which these dream realities exist for us,” comments Nietzsche, “ we still have a residual sensation that they are illusions…” We crave such revery and delight in it. Art is a panacea to our suffering life. Just like Foucault, Nietzsche sees the necessity of some consolation, some distraction of this world’s severities, which does not detract primacy from material existence. “… there is but one world, and it is false, cruel, contradictory, seductive, and without sense,” Nietzsche discloses. Man, in order to endure life, would need a marvelous illusion to cover it with a veil of beauty.” Art functions then as a momentary obliteration of reality but not to reveal or sustain it.
      Also, if Foucault is somehow related to Nietzsche, what is the major difference between both of them?

    • #1491 Reply
      Patrick Fitzgerald

      Why did you decide to choose this topic?

      For my topic, I will be look to several pieces including Marcuse’s An Essay on Liberation, The World Outside Our Head by Matthew Crawford and Heidegger’s Discourse on Thinking- specifically his Memorial Address.

      The purpose of this piece is to find pick out from those pieces admirable themes, values and practices from existing or potential systems of commerce that might facilitate a better and more healthy relationship between humans and technology and science whereby we do not lose sight of preserving the dignity of all in all-consuming pursuit of profit.

      Until recently, I have in most cases seen Capitalism as a positive force for good-it always seemed like a win-win for- a process by which you start with empathy and compassion for the needs of the consumer, build on that by creatively iterating on possible solutions (a process that personally really ignites my passions) and then serving the end consumer with a final product.

      However, I have disillusioned by a variety of instances, especially in the technology sector, whereby the producer of a good manufactures the need for it by understanding how the human brain can be manipulated to crave the consumption of that product as opposed to serving an existing and organically discovered need- facebook

      I don’t want to be part of a system of psychological manipulation, but I have found it hard to find an alternative whereby widely- adopted, profitable, useful technology and releasement towards such technology can coexist; an understanding of the psychological basis behind why someone might need something seems to be a necessary ingredient for success.

      What questions are you looking to answer?

      What are the things within the aesthetic dimensions, which have an affinity with freedom not only in its cultural form, but also in its existential form as a
      means of production? –

      Is there a hope for a de-commercialization of nature? – bring in the ethics of attention- Is there a more ethical way to do business at scale for which the consumer’s valuable time isn’t such a commodity to be traded- commercials, notifications on our phone, billboards, even down the trays at an airport are small pieces of our attention which can and have been monetized to bring the consumer into a funnel from awareness to purchase. Is there a way to reverse this trend of overbearing exploitation of our most precious resource?

      Using Heidegger’s Discourse on Thinking- how might we create this cultural change of values in business and the relationship we have to business and technology, one in which we are designing technology so that people might have a relationship of releasement and detachment towards produced goods and one in which our relation to such technology is a meaningful and not meaningless- more importantly one in which the producers have that goal in mind. Heideggar would say the solution is to think more- moving from calculative thinking regarding the doing and moving to meditative thinking to gain a better understanding of the implications of that thing. Is that catalyst for change- meditative thought as Heidegger argues, or maybe even psychedelics if not used as a sort of silicon valley PED?

      Finally, if my research directs me this way, I want to look at technology trends of crypto and decentralization could potentially represent movements that give “power to the people” and cut out exploitative middle-men.

      What sources are you using for this project?

      Marcuse’s essay on liberation

      The World Behind Your Head- Matthew Crawford

      Heideggar’s Discourse on Thinking- Memorial Address

    • #1492 Reply
      Daniel Young

      Paper Topic: The Beatles’ White Album: a 50 year Retrospective

      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?
      The Beatles’ self named ninth album, most commonly known as the “White Album”, is widely regarded as one of the most influential works of art in the 20th century. Its 30 tracks explored a wide range of musical styles, and reflected the changing artistry of the the Beatles throughout the late 60s. The album materialized not just in the midst of a growing rift within the band but also in a period of political and social revolutions. In recognition of the album’s 50th anniversary later this month, I hope to take a look at how the events and culture of ’68 impacted the creation of the White Album.

      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      How did political and cultural revolutions impact the creation of the album?
      How did the philosophy of ’68 impact the songwriting and musical choices of the Beatles?
      Did the White Album signify a significant or unique reinvention of popular music?

      3- What sources you are using for the project?
      Album: The Beatles (1968)
      Rolling Stone Magazine
      The New Yorker Magazine
      Other contemporary music critic articles
      writings of Sartre, Marcuse

    • #1493 Reply
      Rose Kuo

      For the final project – I will be doing an art historical research on the land art movement that started in the late 60s, and then lead to the discussion of the more recent environmental and ecoArt movements/artworks regarding the issues with global warming and the destruction of natural habitats.

      1. I decided to choose this topic because I care a lot about the environment, and has always been unsettled by the waste and disregard/disrespect our society has toward the planet. I think art is an interesting approach to address this issue, so that’s why I’m conducting this art historical project.

      2. I will ask questions such as – in what ways have the artists chosen to represent their perspectives on the environment and what are their effects? How has the role of an activist been played out and where do these artworks lead us to? What’s their purpose and meanings to the viewers?

    • #1494 Reply
      Ziyang Xiang

      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?
      I choose to do a series of protest posters, inspired by many topics we talked about in class. The protest itself was an icon of 1968, and the spirit of protesting against power was crucial. I was fascinated by those movements and I want to produce my own protest posters. Moreover, the topics that young people were protesting against also inspire me, the protests against consumerism, materialism and the pursuit of love and peace, as well as the freedom of mind and body.

      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      I want to explore the question of what kind of protest posters can be made nowadays. And I will try to answer it with my work.

      3- What sources you are using for the project?
      I will use posters throughout the semester, the posters in 1968, posters during the Vietnam War, posters about Beatles, Bob Dylan, etc.

    • #1495 Reply
      Daniel Garzon-Maldonado

      I want to analyze the erotic gay drawings of Tom of Finland using a philosophical perspective. Tom of Finland was active as an artist since the 50s to his dead in 1991. I intend to analyze his art using the concept of practices of the self of Michel Foucault.

      My main area of interest for my doctoral dissertation is the ethical theory of Foucault and this final paper will allow me to develop some of the problems that I am currently thinking about. My main questions are: Can art be a form of practices of the self? How that kind of practices of the self works? If we understand Tom of Finland’s art as a practice of the self, would it put a stronger ethical emphasis on life or on subjectivity? Which are some ethical and political risks of that practice?

      My main sources would be the following books:
      Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, vol. II and III. London: Penguin Books, 1992
      Hanson, Dian. Tom of Finland Complete Works. Berlin: Taschen, 2001
      Hooven, Valentine. Tom of Finland: His Life and Times. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993
      Hooven, Valentine. Tom of Finland: Life and Work of a Gay Hero. Berlin: Bruno Gmünder Verlag, 2012

    • #1496 Reply
      Chris Zhang

      1: Initially I wanted to do something on Sartre, but as I reflect more and more, I’ve decided to do a work of art demonstrating the struggle of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the third world – perhaps (and most likely) Vietnam, and showcasing the country personified as a person just being split apart by external/internal conflict in maybe sort of a political comic structure.

      2: I’m mainly looking to demonstrate the anguish of the third world, which is often forgotten from the academic lens of a first world viewer; I’m looking to really show the horror of war on those who never truly ask for it.

      3: Ken Burns, Apocalypse Now (+other films like Full Metal Jacket), The Guardian readings etc., – effectively anything from the course relating to the Vietnam War in Vietnam specifically.

    • #1497 Reply
      Terence O’Brien

      1. I chose the Vietnam War for a few reasons. For one, I think it serves as the needle that broke the camel’s back. The counterculture and augmentation of revolution ultimately stemmed from this grossly unpopular and immoral war. We examined plenty of sources on the Vietnam War, and I plan to interweave them into an essay. I think Ken Burns, David Greenway, and Michael Herr all write in conversation with one another. I want to put the four concepts Greenway outlined in his lecture (corruption, nationalism, American-exceptionalism, and self-deception) at the forefront of this essay. Burns and Herr both, in my opinion, offer us accounts from the war that reinforce and corroborate Greenway’s claims. These factors were so pervasive that they became hard to ignore. I think these sources show us that the counterculture was imperative. The war was a catastrophe, but one we’ve learned plenty from. The revolution represented everything that the war shunned: questioning status quo operations,establishing autonomous individuality, encouraging creativity, and fostering a willingness to accept difference.

      2. I’m looking to use this war as a lesson, and thus I’ll be trying to answer the question “what did we learn from Vietnam?” “How have we grown from this experience” and potentially “What things have we still failed to recognize that Vietnam should have taught us?”

      3. I’ll be using Herr’s “Hell Sucks” passages, Exerpts from Greenway’s “Foreign Correspondent”, Greenway’s lecture, and clips from the Ken Burns documentary.

    • #1499 Reply
      Stephanie Liu

      1- Simone de Beauvoir has always been a strong figure in feminism. Her ideas were especially influential in 1968 and feminism movements that sprouted from and after that time.
      2- I want to learn more about de Beauvoir’s theories and how that contributed to the feminist movements in 1968 and post-1968.
      3- I’m using “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir

    • #1500 Reply
      Amy Gately

      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?

      I have been inspired by much of the protest art that we have looked at this semester and the power of protest. I also care very deeply about the rampant gun violence in America and think that we do not pay enough attention to the underlying systemic issues underlying gun violence, instead focusing on individual atrocities.

      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?

      I am hoping to reflect the attitude and energy of 1968 regarding political awareness and interest but within the context of a modern issue to show the importance of that spirit today. Specifically, I am looking to ask how much gun violence effects Americans and why we allow so much violence to occur without making changes. I am hoping to present my second question by answering the first, accentuating the sheer numbers of gun deaths and hopefully provoking thoughtfulness.

      3- What sources you are using for the project?

      I plan to get information regarding the statistics I will use from a variety of sources including the NRA as well as independent studies conducted by Harvard and other similar institutions. I am also being inspired by other protest art, especially done by Kendall Geers. I also will utilize elements of pop art as is exemplified by Sister Corita.

    • #1504 Reply
      Emily Mrenna

      A philosophical question; what is madness (and, the implicit counterpart, what is sanity?)
      Also a sociopolitical question; should we ban certain chemicals that can induce temporary states of madness (psychedelics)?
      Madness is a philosophical idea, but it’s also a socially determined idea
      The social assumption we make when we say that there is madness and sanity is that there are phenomena that can exist in the biological functioning of the human mind which would threaten the well-being of the human individual, and since we want humans to be “well”, we take people who are mad and we give them medical treatment so that they will be “well” again.
      Foucault in “The History of Madness” talks about the specific way that this happened as a sociopolitical process in western Europe, since because of colonialism and imperialism, this idea about madness ended up being applied politically in large parts of the globe (definitely not everywhere). And he questions whether the treatment of madness really makes anyone “well”.
      This paper is not going to make a definitive decision over whether or not Foucault’s analysis of “madness” is philosophically sound, it’s going to investigate whether his suggestions about madness might teach us something about the potentially wrongful judgement made in most western European countries to completely illegalize psychedelic drug use
      Psychedelic experiences are a form of madness, but they don’t necessarily threaten the well-being of the individual. They do clearly suspend our sense of sanity. You are a good sane neurotic subject, you take a small pill and suddenly you are immersed in fantastic visions that rival Judge Schreber’s. Moreover, the readings about psychedelics suggest that this madness might have positive effects on our mental health (helping in the treatment of depression, PTSD, and drug addiction).
      But as a society we chose instead to ban these pills and to treat those medical issues with pills that preserve the patients sanity, even though we know that these pills have certain medical downsides and unwanted side-effects that psychedelics might avoid. This social decision has a philosophical basis in a distinction between sanity/madness. I think we should interrogate our received ideas about madness and sanity in particular detail, treating it sociologically, as a socially constructed set of relational concepts and associations that are always divided by power (yes, I know I sounded terribly like a “postmodernist” there, but bear with me).
      Such an interrogation would not have to take the same paths taken by thinkers of the past, like Deleuze and Guattari or Foucault, but this paper will try to argue for the social good such an examination could have. In at least this particular issue, we could relax our stringent rejection of madness, and explore the potential benefits that a wilfull loss of sanity in a safe environment could have. Shouldn’t we at least take the time to figure out if such benefits outweigh the downsides?

    • #1512 Reply
      Luis Fialho

      1) I chose this topic because I feel that today we are currently suffering under own selfishness, and that a reminder of our capacity for compassion will provide a possible start to change
      2) I hope to answer the question of what was different in 68 that allowed for such a fervor of protest and universal connected reform
      3) Ill be using sources from philosophy in the class, music we listened to, media we watched, and the 4th Annual Climate Assessment for info on Global Warming
      OUTLINE (per slide):
      1) Title Page
      2) RoadMap of Ideas
      3) Background on Adam Smith + Selfishness
      4) View on how media served as a unifying force, focus on Cronkite
      5) Same view, focus on Vietnam and immersion into war
      6) Same view, focused on Whole Earth Catalog and Medium is the Massage
      7) View on how ideology of the time served as a unifying force, focus on Sartre/Mao
      8) Same view, focus on material concrete ideology in books and posters
      9) Same view, focus on group gatherings and strangers talking
      10) View on how music served as a unifying force, focus on the Beatles
      11) Same view, focus on revolutionary lyrics and calls for action
      12) Same view, focus on flower power and sensations of unification
      13) How psychedelics created sense of unity
      14) Poetry that emphasizes this
      15) Mind Body Connection is removed in LSD experience
      16) Touch relates us to the other
      17) Summary
      18) NOW: No cohesion. No compassion. No physicality.
      19) Pseudo-connections via technology; neglects physical element of compassion
      20) Global Warming = Really Really Bad

    • #1518 Reply
      Peter Klapes

      Thus (after introduction of ‘theory’ on desire) my questions (in addition to presentation of theory in proposed paper) are as follows:
      o 1. What is the relation of the autopoetic essence of desire (the desire for desire) to the ‘event’ of 68?
       Herein, I’ll plan to look at Guattari’s institution, La Borde and the anti-psychiatry movement in general.
       The “official register”, as Deleuze calls the psychiatric institution, produces the neuroses that it attempts to record.
      o 2. Is there a way it could be the case that 68 actually asks us to be passive? Isn’t the concept of forbidding forbidding a call to be passive? Surely 68 didn’t call for us to be determinate.
       There’s a little riddle I like: if passive is the opposite of active, then passion is the opposite of action. (Isn’t passion passive?)
      o 3. A question re. the motives of 68 (and all other movements and political acts and whatnot):
       Did things (our state of affairs, etc.) really fall into place in a way that change was and is really necessary? Or do we try to change things because, again, of this desire for desire? When will we stop ‘changing’ things? We’ve been at it for so many years.
       All of these ‘goals’ or concepts that aren’t tangible (justice, love, etc.) speak to our desire for desire. We desire that which is intangible.

    • #1547 Reply
      Abyan M Mohamed

      I chose the topic of the Black Power movement because I found the lectures on Amiri Baraka and the black arts movement a really moving perspective and an important part of the 1968 theme of revolution that saw widespread rejections of the status quo.

      My essay will be examining the influence of the Black Power movement on popular culture, art, and music. The Black Power movement’s validation of blackness and black aesthetics, what this meant, reflected a new consciousness of self-love and racial pride that continues to shape the present which I will explore.

      The sources I will be using are a couple of video pieces, one being ‘The revolution will not be televised’ by Gil Scott Heron, one of Kathleen Cleaver talking about a redefining beauty, and what it means to be beautiful and black, and music from Nina Simone and others, and comparing it to art and protest today in the form of Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and Colin Kapernick among others.

    • #1558 Reply
      Alicia Clow

      For your presentations please plan to have a written outline that will address the following:
      1- Why you decided to choose this topic?
      I want to see how protest looks today compared to 1968 because a lot of our class discussion revolved around how our generation does not protest anymore. I think Kaepernick’s case is powerful because, like the peaceful protests in 1968, although they were not violence-inducing, they were powerful. Furthermore, Kaepernick and the 1968 Olympians, Smith and Carlos, were protesting similar things, police brutality and the oppression of the Black community.
      2- What questions you looking to ask and answer?
      How has protest changed? What factors contributed to that change?
      3- What sources you are using for the project?
      News papers, academic journals,
      You should post these three points on the website under the discussion section, as well as bring a hard copy to class on Wednesday.
      Please keep in mind that the written project should be no more that 5 pages, (1250 words) carefully written and presented with sources cited in endnotes or footnotes

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