Student Journal

STORGE Homely and Heroic Love in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right

By Kathryn McFadden, Cohort '09
Spring 2013

Antigone (441 BCE), the ancient Greek tragic play about filial piety and family devotion, illustrates the quintessential dutiful daughter. Written by Sophocles, it is the tale of Antigone, one of four children born of the incestuous relationship between King Oedipus and his mother Jocasta. Oedipus does not realize until after the fact that his queen-wife is actually his mother, he blinds himself in remorse and exiles himself from his kingdom. 

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Dead Indian

By Arlinda Henderson, Cohort '10
Spring 2013

In this critique I will address ethics as they relate to the way in which Native [1] Americans are depicted in Western modernity, and will argue that proximity, in space and time, is vital when considering ethics of the Other. [2] I will focus mainly on ethics as they relate to space, and particularly the profound effect of the daw (gap; space) [3] that is between subjects; the proximity of the other. It is the proximity of the other where we, not only understand and appreciate differences, but also where conflict seems inevitable. 

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TOWARDS A HUSSERLIAN AESTHETIC A Transcendental Phenomenological Orientation to Kandinsky's Creative Process

By Bob Carroll, Cohort '09
Spring 2013

Employing a Husserlian phenomenological methodology, this paper argues that that two interwoven and interdependent components form the aesthetic and spiritual animus driving Wassily Kandinsky’s creative process, merging in the midst of that process into a single impetus that eventually yielded the artist’s nonobjective abstraction. 

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The Human Genome, Cleve Jones, the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, & the 1980s

By Heather E. Dunn, 2014 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

AIDS, human genome research, and shifting cultural notions of the family (influenced in part by new medical technologies) are three distinct elements that became part of the sociocultural fabric of the 1980s.  More than two decades later, this time period is remembered as a patchwork of changing political, social, and cultural views.  

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The Locus of Thought: Places as a Focus for Thinking

By Gregory Blair, 2015 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

Throughout her reading of the Socratic dialogues, Hannah Arendt frequently returns to the notions of thinking and doing. In many ways, her reading can be considered a re-reading, one that is directed at the core of Socratic philosophy, and that leaves aside the intermediary rhetoric of his student, Plato. In the context of her own meditations on collective responsibility and the existence of a moral imperative, Arendt uses Socrates’s ideas as a philosophical threshing tool, separating the “wheat” of ethics and thought from the “chaff” of doing. 

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To Tell a Riddle: Metaphysics, Aesthetics and Ethics in the Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein

By Michael R. Smith, 2013 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

There are probably few philosophers who were more endowed with such a keen aesthetic sense of the poeticpossibility of philosophical language as Wittgenstein was.  Perhaps only Nietzsche exceeds him in this respect.  Regardless of whether such an assertion can be substantiated or not, I should very much like to take seriously the claim that we cannot entirely understand the better part of what Wittgenstein has to say unless we read him as approaching the philosophical discourse first and foremost as a form of poetic composition.

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The Domestic Sublime

By Sara Christensen Blair, Cohort '08
Spring 2012

This dissertation explores the notion of what I call the domestic sublime. The impetus of this investigation is the artwork of Tara Donovan and Liza Lou.  These artists create artwork that evokes a sublimity rooted in domesticity. ‘Domesticity’ commonly refers to any labor, activity or material related to, in or around the home.  The additional moniker of domestic to the sublime reflects the combination of constant, unending repetition of materials and labor. These materials, such as toothpicks, beads and Styrofoam cups are banal and seemingly infinite in our capitalist market. What could possibly be sublime about an aesthetic expression that utilizes millions of toothpicks, beads, or stacks of plastic cups? They are sublime because of the laden excess and presentation of infinity manifested in the process, materials and form. Immanuel Kant writes that the sublime “by its presence provokes, a representation of limitlessness.” [1] The “limitlessness” in the case of the domestic sublime resides in the presentation of excess labor, materials and potential.

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Mourning the Ever Present Past: Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Kristeva on Art and Being

By Christopher Lonegan, 2013 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

The oxygen machine punctuates our conversation, as its tubing dislodges a hearing aid, and she fusses with impatience at the inconvenience of breathing, the betrayals of the body, the persistence of the will. I take her hand, feeling the hard pressure of mortality beneath her skin, thrusting with clandestine insistence towards the surface, signaling an inevitable end…Silently, I name the bones of her hand; carpals, metacarpals, phalanges…I list muscles and tendons; adductors, flexors, abductors…I describe to myself their function and form. I draw them; only art can portray being.

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