The Gaze of the Other (or something)

Here are the three ideas I had for my project.

1. An essay (with supplemental photos?) about the ethics of museums’ cultural collections and institutional representations of these collections to the museum visitor (think exhibits like “Early Americas”, or “The Philippines”).  A follow-up case study to identify problematic practices and a proposal for an educational intervention for museum staff and visitors.

2. An essay on niche culture and to what degree devices such as the television and internet plays a part in the growth and demise of secret or otherwise intentionally under-represented groups.  I’m envisioning a historical perspective when considering these groups (the Masons to our very own Michigauma).

3. And for lack of a better third idea, a short/long story about an intentionally botched spy mission, Sandinistas, and what happened twenty years later.  Assault rifles, dead bodies, and love in the time of marriage.

 

So we’ll scrap the third idea, yeah?  The other two ideas (and actually possibly the third) seem to fit together in that they’re concerned with this idea of the “other” and how these fringe/minority/underrepresented groups are seen by those in control of the main narrative.  I’m not sure what spin to give to this sentiment for each idea – when I put it in terms of “fringe groups” and “main narrative”, it sounds a bit dry and well, “been-there-done-that”.

2 thoughts to “The Gaze of the Other (or something)”

  1. Something that strikes me as relatively unexplored re. the first two is a biographical focus on those individuals who enabled these practices (those of group representation, broadly understood) initially. I can only assume that some of these people did and do think of themselves as performing a good for the very communities that justifiably object to these practices. What might their apologias suggest about the inherent trials of representation of any kind?

  2. Very fascinating ideas. Can you explain to me a bit more what you have in mind for your second idea? I’m familiar with Michiguama/Order of Angell, and my sister’s boyfriend talked with me about his involvement with the Free Masons. I’m interested in secret societies–they seem to do a lot of good for certain communities but also have the ability to conduct shady business since they’re not public groups. What are you thinking about exploring? You mention television and the internet; I’m curious to hear what you’re planning to do there. Overall, I’d love to talk through some of your ideas. Good stuff, Hannah!

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