Thoughts on Bias in Discipline Part 2: The Arts; Should an Artist’s Contribution To Their Art Be Separated From Themselves?

All disciplines share fault in the use of bias in their study—this is especially true when it comes to figures that have provided substantial movement to the discipline; typically, these are the individuals whose work we tend to study when we take a course. There may be omissions to several of the defining factors of an event or person, or there may simply not be a lot of coverage on the flaws and faults of the event or person. The purpose in the use of bias is to communicate selective values and positive moral judgments; this will maintain the discipline’s positive standing and prevent any discouragement from people who wish to study the discipline.

In an attempt to maintain the public integrity of a discipline and continue the study of a discipline, the dominant and influential figures that have provided substantial contributions to the development of the discipline are often depicted as unrealistic perfect beings—in my opinion, it should be a priority to properly teach about the figures that hold such weight without any omission to their biography; unfortunately, this is not the case. The bias toward individuals and events in history branches across several disciplines including: English literature, Western Music, and Western Art. The leading figures in these disciplines are often celebrated and solely recognized for their contribution, which creates the sensation that these individuals are flawless and perfect—interestingly, this image can be quite intimidating for disciples, which sort of works in contrast with the attempt to maintain more disciples with the bias towards the figures.


If you continue reading this post, I encourage you to ponder. Should things in a discipline be taught truthfully? Is there any validity in this approach to teaching? Should we still learn about these individuals? Is it alright to neglect these individuals and their large contributions to the progression of a discipline?
Warwick also had a fairly interesting question to ponder on, which was referenced in Joe Moran’s book Interdisciplinarity: “Is it not sufficiently attractive to ensure a voluntary attention to it”?

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The Real-Life Application of “Reapers”

Admittedly, I have trouble going back and revising my writing. Growing up, I always kind of had a chip on my shoulder when it came to this. I was always allowed to submit essays without any real necessary needs for extensive revisions. Even recently, I submitted an essay early in my History of Theatre class, and managed an A the first time around, meaning I saved myself a lot of trouble in the upcoming weeks. However, when it came to my “Essay 1” submission for intertextuality, I cringed as I found myself deleting all but 400 words of my formerly 1600-word essay for revisions.

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Zulus and Biology

After going over Zulus in class today, it was fascinating to learn briefly about Percival Everett’s background. It was interesting that despite being a philosophy major in his undergraduate work, he was still well-read on other topics, such as but not limited to the sciences and biology. However this was not surprising to me, as philosophy literally translates to “love of wisdom”.

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The Bedford: “Abecedarian”, Arbitrary or Extraordinary?

On November 2nd 2016, we participated in a class experiment dealing with alphabetical or an “abecedarian” approach to organization. It was interesting to really think about this, as it has always seemed just widely accepted that this is typically how archives and books such as the Bedford Glossary are organized.

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How Literature Has Shaped History

History and literature have always been greatly distinguished both in high school and in college courses. History courses tend to rely on rote memorization of major events with a grasp of specific concepts and chronology. Whereas literature courses I’ve taken have always relied on being able to read into and decipher allegory, themes, foreshadowing, and other literary elements.

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Alice’s Adventures Underground at the British Library

Alice UndergroundThe British Library holds the manuscript of Charles Dodgson’s Alice’s Adventures Underground (1864), the forerunner to his Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which he published in 1865 under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. On the library’s website, you can leaf through the 90-page book and view Dodgson’s 37 illustrations. How does the experience of reading the story in this format differ from the experience of reading it in a typeset edition on paper, or as plain or formatted text on a screen?

In class, we discussed the 1903 silent film version of Alice. You can find that at the Internet Archive.