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James Scarborough
Discreet but eager, well-placed if not well-heeled, awash with syntax but void of irony, he attends to Matters Esthetica that abound in the House of Culture
Recent Activity
Christopher Astley’s “Terrain,” opened at Martos Gallery on February 15. It marks a pivotal moment in the artist’s career. Known for his intricate blend of abstract and representational forms, Astley’s work explores the essence of landscape painting, challenging and expanding its traditional confines. This exhibition, which also features select pieces from his “Seven Years Below” series, offers an exploration of the interplay between human cognition and the environment, presenting landscapes that exist at the intersection... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at What the Butler Saw
“This is not a chair”, opening on February 2nd at the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, examines the intricate, sometimes blurred relationship between art and functionality. Inspired by Rene Magritte’s thought-provoking painting, “The Treachery of Images (“Ceci n’est pas une pipe”),” the show questions the essence of what constitutes a chair. It's an exhibition of chairs or objects for sitting as well as a storytelling medium, a tool for social engagement and a work of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2024 at What the Butler Saw
Nancy Nieto is a distinguished artist renowned for her vibrant fusion of Mexican folklore, realism, and American pop art. Born into a culturally rich Mexican American family, she was deeply influenced by her grandmother’s tales, which ignited her passion for art and culture. Initially pursuing modeling and acting, Nieto transitioned to painting, where she found her true calling. Her unique artistic style is characterized by a bold use of color and a blend of cultural... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2024 at What the Butler Saw
Background artist/illustrator Mira Prajapati would tell you that two- and three-dimensional animation revolves around a story. A story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. With relatable characters, an engaging setting, and a challenge to overcome. You need technique, of course. (I call it visual poetry.) An understanding of structures (bodies; the natural world). Of weight and volume, balance and composition. Of the 12 Principles of Animation (including Anticipation, Squash and Stretch, and Staging).... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2022 at What the Butler Saw
Guest-curated by Inass Yassin, the Palestinian Museum’s exhibition, A People by the Sea: Narratives of the Palestinian Coast, documents the history of the Palestinian coast. The exhibition spans two hundred years, from the mid-eighteenth century to 1948. It features archival images, videos, historical artifacts from Palestinians’ daily life, interactive stations, maps, oral history testimonies, historical documents, and works of art. Artists include Manar Zuabi, Bashar Khalaf, Dima Srouji, Shareef Sarhan, Essa Grayeb, Amir Zuabi, and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2021 at What the Butler Saw
We begin to wind down our class. At the start, I didn't know what to expect. I wasn’t nervous as much as I was skeptical. I wasn’t afraid to change gears if I had to. I did wonder, though, Did my bike have more than one gear? Turns out it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
I have a broad arts background. Adjunct professor. Museum educator, curator, and director. Art historian and critic. Educational designer. And there's for-profit, too. Yahoo! Analyst. Tech Writer. Script Analyst. Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor. I've run a law firm. A fiduciary firm. And a public relations firm. These experiences inform the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
Last night I watched an Al Jazeera documentary about the Japanese condition of hikikomori. It made me think of bell hooks and Terry Eagleton. Hikikomori turns adolescents and young adults into modern day hermits. Its central feature is a desire to remain confined to their home. These digital hermits spend... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
I now see the value of first reading Teaching to Transgress before we came to An Urgency of Teachers. bell hooks’ journey is a private one (noted here). Her book reads as a memoir of her coming to theory as she made her way in the world of academia and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
Critical pedagogy is as a philosophy and education approach slippery enough to find its way into almost every conversation. And so this book includes tangents towards digital humanities, education technology, digital writing, social justice, plagiarism and academic integrity, instructional design, and more. It is in the slipperiness of critical digital... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
bell hooks cites Terry Eagleton’s observation that children make the best theorists. Her citation warranted a visit to Eagleton’s essay, The Significance of Theory. I like this essay for four reasons. 1. Eagleton writes that children take nothing for granted. Consider all their Why this and not that? questions. Brecht... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
At the height of capitalist consumerism, American imperialism and the Civil Rights movement, it was becoming more and more difficult to conceal the fact that those areas of disinterested human enquiry known as academic institutions were in fact locked directly into the structures of technological dominance, military violence and ideological... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
This past summer, I worked on the educational design of New Student Orientation. Our sudden veer to a 100% digital environment in the middle of Spring term challenged us. Remotely, we created a remote experience. It was a triumph of technology. Forced to work from home, everyone and everything came... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
What lies at the heart of these literacies also forms the primary concern of critical digital pedagogy: that is, agency The agency to know, understand, and thereby be able to act upon, create, or resist one’s reality. For the student, this can mean anything from knowing how and why to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
I had several expectations when I took this class. I wanted to revisit theory. I wanted to apply it to critical pedagogy. I wanted to share experiences with a like-minded community. And I wanted to revise my teaching philosophy statement. So far, the class fulfilled my expectations. I worked through... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time." —from Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot bell hooks warns how computers could become more important than people. In my post You Say... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
At a summer arts program in Skowhegan, bell hooks reflected on her journey as a teacher. Her journey echoes and reinforces my own. She talks about her teachers. Teachers who nurtured and guided her. Who taught her how to experience joy in learning. How to conceive of the classroom as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
"My models were the people who stepped outside of the conventional mind and who could actually stop my mind and completely open it up and free it, even for a moment, from a conventional, habitual way of looking at things...If you are really preparing for groundlessness, preparing for the reality... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
In prior posts, I discussed the stagecraft of bell hooks’ Engaged Pedagogy. The way a professor leaves the podium. Moves around the classroom. Engages students on a physical as well as an intellectual level. This takes the professor off her throne. It shows she’s not a dictator intent on domination... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
I liked this chapter because it gave me words to express bell hooks’ pedagogical endgame. She embraces the democratic ideal of education for everyone. But it’s the solution - Coming to voice - that resonates with me. It encompasses everything she proposes, in this chapter and throughout the book. She... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
"Only by coming to terms with my own past, my own background, and seeing that in the context of the world at large, have I begun to find my true voice and to understand that, since it is my own voice, that no pre-cut niche exists for it; that part... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
hooks wrote this essay inspired by Adrienne Rich’s poem, The Burning of Paper Instead of Children. Rich describes her frustration with language that can’t describe oppression. It broaches a discussion on the imperialist nature of Standard English. This is a powerful and poetic rumination. It shows how Standard English dominated... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
I was in danger of verbalizing my moral impulses out of existence. --Daniel Berrigan, on trial in Baltimore 1. My neighbor, a scientist and art-collector, telephones me in a state of violent emotion. He tells me that my son and his, aged eleven and twelve, have on the last day... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy
I appreciate bells hooks’ monumental mission to reconceptualize engaged pedagogy. I understand what she wants to do and how she plans to do it. I wonder, though, are these ideas practical? Her colleague Ron Scapp doubts it. As he writes, the institution will exhaust us simply because there is no... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at Critical Digital Pedagogy