The Ignorant Schulmeister and his Armchair Revolution

This essay is a preliminary examination of the artistic pedagogy of Josef Albers mainly using his encounter with Constancio Bernardo, his student at Yale School of Art in the 1950s, as a case study. After being mentored by Albers, Bernardo made the earliest examples of modern abstract painting in Southeast Asia. Drawing from Jacques Ranciere’s… Continue reading The Ignorant Schulmeister and his Armchair Revolution

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Playbill for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 1984. https://nmaahc.si.edu/LGBTQ/ma-rainey Covering subjects outside the mainstream of early twentieth century swing and jazz music, the blues point to more than one kind of voice involved in the act of telling. Angela Davis suggests a multiplicity and fluidity prohibited by the homogenizing structuring of narration and community in mainstream music.[1] Through… Continue reading Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Manifest Domesticity

Pretty Manila debutante Consuelo Madrigal, primping for a party, Manila, Philippines, October 1949Photo: Jack Birns for Life Magazine. © Time Inc. Collection: John Tewell Amy Kaplan posits that the domestic space exists as a malleable third realm between the nation and the foreign.[1] Among the variables that shape the “domestic” are the modes of domestication,… Continue reading Manifest Domesticity

“Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Jennifer Lopez, Photo: Getty Images Frances Negrón-Muntaner talks about the way both Selena’s and Jennifer Lopez’s rear ends are viewed by fellow audiences under circumstances that feared the racialized body before popular culture decided that a massive gluteus was cinematically desirable.[1] Latin-American teenagers perceived the uncanny doubling of Selena and Jennifer Lopez as tethered to… Continue reading “Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

The trouble with digitizing archives

Home occupied by General Lawton during his official residence in the islands: Malate, Manila—1899, Philippine Photographs Digital Archive, Special Collections Research Center, University of Michigan. There are several methods to organize documents. One of them asks what a document means; whether it is true, authentic or forged; whether it can be understood as a trace… Continue reading The trouble with digitizing archives

Professor Salamanca and the prospect of American Studies in the Philippines

Bonifacio Salamanca's profile in American Studies International. One of the articles I unearthed while researching for my literature review last semester was Professor Bonifacio Salamanca’s article on the attempt to institute a Department of American Studies at the University of the Philippines. Salamanca received his Ph.D. in American Studies in the early 1950s from Yale… Continue reading Professor Salamanca and the prospect of American Studies in the Philippines

Keywords: Visual and Archive

Taylor, John R. M. (Rodgers Meigs), Compilation of Philippine insurgent records by United States. Bureau of Insular Affairs (Washington: US Gov't Print off, 1903). In her book “Artful Science,” Barbara Maria Stafford, Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, examines entertainment and educational materials to see how the visual component changed in the… Continue reading Keywords: Visual and Archive

Bauhaus in the Boondocks: Ideas for an Epilogue

Albers teaching a class at Yale in 1956 Or stuff that won't make the cut in my MFA Research Project at the School of Visual Arts in NYC I intend to follow some leads from Jacques Rancière’s Politics and Aesthetics (Verso, 2003) and his more specifically art critical Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of… Continue reading Bauhaus in the Boondocks: Ideas for an Epilogue

Resistant Spectatorship

Eva Noblezada as Kim, a 17-year old Vietnamese orphan, sings a wedding song for Chris, an American G.I. played by Alistair Brammer in the 2014 recording of the West end production Miss Saigon. Manthia Diawara’s critique of black characters in D.W. Griffin’s Birth of a Nation and Eddie Murphy’s cop movies serves as a template… Continue reading Resistant Spectatorship