Guidance Committee

Student’s guidance committee consists of two advisors, one studio and one research. Students make a meeting time with their advisors for a three way meeting at the beginning of the academic year to discuss their project proposals. Note: initial guidance committee is not necessary for first year students who take the “Practice Enrichment” seminar.

Anyone in the group may suggest changes to the proposal. Students can make changes to their proposals up to the end of the first semester with the approval of their guidance committee. Each advisor will complete an approval form according to the calendar. Approved changes to the proposal must appear in the student’s Moodle blog.

 

First year students

This meeting is an opportunity to introduce your advisors to each other so that both are familiar with both aspects of the project and thus ensure that the research is relevant and informative to the studio project. The meetings can simply be a chance to touch base. This way if any issues come up along the way you are already acquainted as a group. Anyone has the option to call a meeting as the semester progresses.

At the beginning of the spring semester the meeting process is repeated. The purpose of this meeting is to confirm that the studio project is on track and to begin a discussion of the thesis proposal which will contain both a practical and written element. The research advisor will guide the student through the proposal with input from the studio advisor.

Please note: Students work with research advisors only in the second semester.

 

Second year students

This meeting is an opportunity to introduce your advisors to each other so that both are familiar with both aspects of the project and thus ensure that the written and practical elements of the project are cohesive. The meetings can simply be a chance to touch base. This way if any issues come up along the way you are already acquainted as a group. Anyone has the option to call a meeting as the semester progresses. At the beginning of the spring semester the meeting process is repeated.

Please note: Students work with research advisors only in the second semester.

 

Advisors

Please sent a brief email to the student. Copy admin@transartinstitute.org and the other advisor in your guidance committee approving the project with or without changes or explaining why you cannot approve the proposal, summarizing the main points and adding references as needed.

 

EXAMPLE 1

Dear NN,

It was very good to speak with you again! I look forward to working together this year.

I’ll try to summarize some of the main points of the guidance committee meeting here. We talked about your concept of the body as a site beyond gender distinction, and yet containing both genders, and thus moving beyond any gender-constructs. We discussed your focus on the inherent tension in this site, and your wish to investigate that tension through your research, writing, and studio project. We touched on the idea that this tension is what constitutes the new site that will be the focus of your work.

I think it an interesting focus, moreover I have confidence in your ability to investigate and bring forth some of the many nuances and that this tension and its particular/potential forms of knowledge suggest. It is rich with complicated and fascinating implications.

As I understand it, you would like to write in the form of a cautionary tale (while undermining the form itself in an interesting twist). However, you will conduct academic research as preparation for the writing, thus you intend to submit  a “hybrid” academic/creative paper supported by references to theory, mythology, anthropology, etc. We discussed how you would manifest the research through the writing and you were clear about using quotations and other forms of citation and including a bibliography as well. We checked with Admin about this proposal and NN confirmed that you may proceed.

I requested that you deeply consider the form of the cautionary tale and work closey with both the tradition and ways to undermine this tradition (i.e., taboo, narrative, fate = conformity). I also asked you to review and contemplate the Greek mythological figure of Tiresias — and the knowledge and wisdom from both genders (after consuming the “other”) that this historic figure represents. I also suggested that you consider the following texts (please try to read as much as you can of the first two authors, then just try to familiarize yourself with the others):

Luce Irigary, The Sex which is not one AND The Ethics of Sexual Difference

Hélène Cixous, Writing the Feminine AND The Laugh of the Medusa

Foucault, The History of Sexuality

Jung — on collective identity

I’d like to further ask you to think about how sexual constructs create sexual difference, and how that constructed difference is then relegated and problematized. Here are two additional resources on this topic:

Bernice Hausman, “Recent Transgender Theory”

Journal Feminist Studies, vol. 27 summer 2001

Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud

 

I look forward to seeing how your interesting project unfolds, NN! Until then, all the best, NN

 

EXAMPLE 2

Dear NN,

It was very good to speak with you and NN! I have the impression you are well-organized, thoughtful about the upcoming work, and poised for a very good start into the semester.

I’ll try to summarize some of the main points of the guidance committee meeting here. We talked about your research question as it’s posited on your proposal and agreed that it will be necessary to limit your scope to something more manageable. You suggested that you’d like to refine the focus to address the idea of the cut in relationship to rupture, with a potential focus on surgical techniques (and the implications therein). I think this a fine way to direct your investigation.

We thus discussed at length the concept of rupture and the multiple psychological/social/political/cultural/personal implications inherent in this single word/concept. I asked you to focus on investigating what rupture suggests beyond the “initial cut.” That is, for example, if you place the concept in a sociopolitical framework, what are the results? Etc. And, also to spend some time ruminating on this densely metaphorical terrain. You already had many ideas about how to pursue this investigation including metaphorical acts of cutting, which I think very interesting, and also suggested that you engage synonyms for cutting, too (reduction, wound, insult, etc.). We also talked at some length about cutting as editing and the implied ruptures within. An exciting adventure!

We agreed that your writing would focus on this investigation, that is: your questions regarding the cut/rupture and your hypotheses in response to the questions (relating back to your work).

I suggested some additional resources:

“Six Memos for the Next Millennium”, Italo Calvino

Hélène Cixous, Writing the Feminine (focus on the cutting and grafting of words in these texts vis a vis the woman)

Familiarize yourself with the notion of “epistemological rupture”; Gaston Bachelard / Alain Badiou / Deleuze / etc. (just read in wiki or google the authors to get a feel for the concepts)

 

Artists’ books and the altered book in particular; Johanna Drucker The Century of Artist’s Books (chapter on altered books)

The work of Brian Dettmer

http://centripetalnotion.com/2007/09/13/13:26:26/

http://briandettmer.com/

The work of artist Emilio Isgro

Marina Abramovic — the cut/rupture as a place of ecstatic endurance/repetition

I look forward to working together this year, NN! All the best, meanwhile in Peru. NN