Dissertation Proposal Reflection

When thinking about what I wanted to write for my dissertation I was stumped. I fined reading and writing extremely difficult and even with help from the uni I still find it nearly impossible to read academic text as to me the use of language and confusing often unheard of words makes little to no sense to me.

I stared off looking at the idea of the body being replusive and grotesque to our modern day views (naked in public, menstruation and other bodily functions and fluids that are normally to every other human being be we decide to ignore and make them taboo) and also why this then works so well in fine art and art practice, this lead me onto the theories of abjection. Looking at Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection i have learnt a lot about the way we view the body and about the difference between the subjectivity and objectivity of it.

From this thought I fought that I am also very interested in the sexualisation of the body. Mainly to do with things like the controversy of breastfeeding in public but the willingness to used breasts to advertise (and using the ideas of sex sells) but also the idea of women suppression and the male fear of the female form. For research into this I started looking at things like R. Betterton’s work An Intimate Distance: Women, Artists and the Body which looks at the difference between the social body and the psychal body.

I feel like the work on the abject body is way too advanced reading for my ability and even thought I have tried to include it in my dissertation proposal I understand very little of it and therefore my dissertation proposal is lacking and probably wont make a pass grade. Therefore I am going to see if there is a way I can avoid the abject body but still talk about the sexualised body and the reason we are so replaced by our own bodies and bodily functions. I feel like struggling with the theories of the abject body had shown me my love for the debate around how women’s bodies are used and observed and how this has been created though decades of suppression and how it is slowly being changed by feminism and feminist movents.

I also haven’t done a lot of research into why this works so well in art which I was wanting to include as a large part of my dissertation. I have read lots on this topic but wasn’t too sure of how to include the type of information I have read into my proposal. (books on many artists where they describe the work and not why the grotesque or shocking bodily functions make the art work well’

My fear of reading academic texts means that I have not done enough research into what has previously been written and this means that even though I know I can get help with my writing (that wasn’t needed that this point) I need to look into some form of help with the reading and ‘decoding’ of academic texts. I am looking forward to the dissertation as at some point though my persistence I will find something that I can sink my teeth into and proceed with writing something that I am proud of and represents my true ability that the dissertation proposal dose not as I didn’t put as much research and effort into it as I should have.


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