Thursday, 8 January 2015

Assignment 4 Critical Review - Title fixing and research

For some time (4weeks) I have been working on an idea for the essay, in conjunction with my tutor. Good practice suggests that you choose a subject that you are interested in, but in this instance I have chosen a subject that I am curious about rather than intrinsically interested in. Postmodernism or PoMo as it seems to be refereed to in some quarters (although you will be a long way into a Google search before it comes up) is a term often used but I guess seldom fully understood, simply because it defies understanding in a way we like to understand things. My lack of in depth knowledge came to light in the exercise on the Liz Wells essay when asked the question "To what extent does the writer rely upon Postmodernist doctrine?". Doctrine seemed a strange word to use and perhaps as I have had pointed out to me is just semantics and could equally be taken as belief, concept or tradition. With this in mind I have researched Modernisn and Postmodernism enough (?) to suggest to myself a few titles. The title may seem less than important but in fact that is untrue. Once the argument has been established and fixed in the introduction, it is then my responsibility to argue or defend than statement. 

  1. Postmodernism - Doctrine or Theory ?
  2. Postmodernism is a Theory not a Doctrine.
  3. Is Postmodernism a Doctrine or a Theory ?
  4. Postmodernism - Doctrine v Theory
  5. Within contemporary photography is Postmodernism a Theory or a Doctrine ?
  6. Is Postmodernism only a Theory ?
  7. Postmodernism is not a Theory

They are all similar but I am cautious about having to prove it is not a Doctrine because I am sure there are those who think it is and if my research doesn't cover them I will be marked down. In addition there is a limit of 2000 words and to cover more than one aspect of the subject this will not be enough. It is more likely that I can provide enough cogent argument to argue that it is a theory with considerable weight and suggest it may have a doctrinal following, but not within the main stream.

I will pick one during the next few days.

My reading list to date for the essay includes or the whole or parts of the following.

Butler, C., 2002. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction.(Kindle Edition) Oxford University Press.

Belsey, C.,2002. Poststructuralism: A very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

Wells, L., 2003. The Photography Reader. Routledge.

Bate, D., 2009. Photography - The Key Concepts. Bloomsbury.

Clarke, C,. 1997. The Photograph. Oxford University Press.

plus various You Tube videos and reference to Wikipedia for secondary sources.

To illustrate the essay (2000 words without something to look at on a subject which is abstract could be boring) I will use some images that will act as visual statements.
In particular I am thinking of Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall.

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