Thursday, July 23, 2009

thesis takeoff, let's go!

right after graduation, i enrolled in my master's course in anthropology. i made a goal: to finish my MA within four years at the most, continue with my doctorate, and be the youngest Ph.D. holder in the history of my (undergraduate) alma mater. i wanted to 'beat' this popular 'armchair doctor' (someone who theorizes/makes theses sitting down/not going out to the field) from a different discipline, heheh. now that i think about it, it was very immature of me. anyway, it seemed possible enough since i was studying full-time then. work came along and the dream poofed, and now people have been asking how i'm doing, am i finished yet, am i teaching now, et cetera. i always say, "thesis na lang," and it's true, really, only the word lang shouldn't really be there. ha ha ha.

during my independent studies class (preparation for thesis writing) my topic had something to do with the indigenous (aeta) youth and their interest in contemporary hiphop and rap music and the lifestyle that goes with it. i was doing well with the conceptualization, finding similar studies done abroad, until i realized one little thing that might be a problem: i'm female. now, in the urban setting that's not much of an issue. but out in the field area, it could be--i can be with the aeta girls and they could warm up to me instantly, but the boys are another matter. they can be extremely shy around females, even the "older sister" figure that i am in the area. for them to be able to 'accept' me and let me in their lives, i have to be a regular in the area, i have to spend a lot of time with them. now that i couldn't really commit to. and perhaps my interest waned too because i'm not really into that kind of music anyway. i might end up ignoring some very important aspects because i'm biased. har har. so, change topic.

my next venture was into art and art spaces. my interest in art started to re-manifest itself last year, with the help and encouragement of my friends. i started to observe art spaces, and slowly began to develop a topic. very generally i'll be looking into how spaces, depending upon how these are used, are transformed into places of meaning. erm, i'll be narrowing these down to art-related areas--galleries, outdoor performance areas, graffiti walls, art spaces, what have you. but oh no please don't make me define art. it's still pretty broad, but i'm fixing it. so i'll be doing a lot of poking at urban aesthetics and visual anthropology. i'll find a way to integrate media and globalization, my electives, somewhere. hehe. wish me luck!

to get myself started on the big t, i've been collecting online articles (the 'free' ones so far), reviewing my anthropology, and thinking critically about the art spaces i go to. it's been a while since i attended any classes or read anything 'academic' (to supplement my 'field trips'), so i'll be hitting the books again. my mother has been so kind as to let me order stuff from amazon, yay! so what's my self-imposed reading assignment? lookie at these titles!
  • Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method by John, Jr. Collier, et al

  • The Politics of Public Space by Setha Low and Neil Smith (eds.)

  • The Anthropology of Space and Place: Locating Culture (Blackwell Readers in Anthropology) by Setha M. Low and Denise Lawrence-Zunigais (eds.)
whatchathink? the first book on the list i've already lent to a student doing his undergraduate thesis in sociology, haha i'm so kind. it's an old book really; when it was written (back in the eighties) digital cameras weren't around yet. it's a very informative book that explains the philosophy, ethics, and techniques behind photography in research. i've read a few random pages before i lent it to the student, and i could already say it's a winner. :) photography, of course, is a most-loved hobby, and yes i am still accepting film donations. :)

except for browsing through the table of contents, i haven't opened the other two books--after getting them i just wrapped them up with plastic cover. ooh they're so nice and clean! but you have to read them, i told myself, and so today i brought The Politics of Public Space with me to the office, for some in-between-phone calls, waiting-for-the-page-to-load reading. the last book's too thick. hehehe.

okay then. here we go.

1 comment:

Retro Manila said...

There's goes the lovely photo. :)