Saturday, March 31, 2012

On taking Art Studies 202

On taking Art Studies 202
by BRT Baylas

The only reason I took Art Studies 202 (Perspectives in Art Studies in the Philippines) was to make up for failing Art Studies 2 back when I was an undergraduate. It was not the grade I was after, but the feeling of finishing something the way it was supposed to be finished.

I put in a lot of effort in Art Stud 2: reports, exams, projects, and other requirements because the subject was something I am interested in and I really liked the way it was handled; fun and engaging. It was just, at that time, I was also engaged with my organization’s activities that I failed to attend to my classes. The professor, being consistently firm and strict, gave me a grade of 5. I failed not because I was not good but because I was too lazy. It was depressing.

So, during the pre-enlistment, when I saw a similar subject handled by the same professor and offered at a convenient time, I thought it was a sign. I immediately grabbed the opportunity to redeem myself.

When I enrolled in the subject, I never thought how unrelated it was to the path I am trying to pursue until it was discussed on the first day of the class that the cognates we are taking should in a way support our planned thesis topics. 

I am currently working on information systems, databases, and technology-related researches. On the side, I deal with laws on information: copyright, intellectual property, freedom of information, and other legal researches. How can Art Studies be useful in my planned thesis topic?

I pondered about the question for a few days, but I buried it deep inside my mind when I started writing my papers in AS202. I chose topics that I enjoyed and somewhat relate to. I wrote about the dance I used to perform when I was younger (Elena Rivera Mirano’s Subli: Isang Sayaw sa Apat na Tinig), about the place where my relatives live (Brenda V. Fajardo’s Ang Inukit na Kaalamang Bayan ng Paete), and about the Muslim culture (Abraham P. Sakili’s Space and identity: expressions in the culture, arts, and society of the Muslims in the Philippines), without analyzing how they could support my planned thesis topic. I did not realize I would be encountering the same question again as I write my final paper. I had to look back and examine my whole semester and try to relate everything I learned in Art Studies 202 to my researches.


In class, as we talk about art, culture, history, and society, we also get to learn about the different approaches and frameworks in writing the research: thick description, structuralism, post-colonialism, feminism, etc. These are the frameworks that I could definitely use when I start writing my own thesis.

With the topics presented in class, I was inspired to write about the different topics related to libraries, and the information profession. I could write about museums and its relevance and effects in our culture. I could look into the children’s literature written and published about the Philippines and written by Filipinos and how it taught and molded the Filipino identity to the children. I could also examine the culture of libraries and how it affects the stereotypical view of people about librarians. 

I may not probably be able to connect this subject in my future researches but through the different literature presented in class, I was able to come up with topics I could research on and write about in the future.

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