Researching Creatively to Generate New Ideas
A successful thesis is dependent on finding good material to use, then organizing, and communicating that material for your project.
Please look carefully at the example below to see how the research process itself can be used to help generate ideas and focus your topic.
Example: (identity OR self-consciousness) AND (art OR artists )
(more on Boolean syntax)
When using many of the Otis subscription databases, you will automatically be offered a list of related, narrowing topics to choose from such as:
- Identity in art
- Blacks / Race identity
- Gender identity in art
- Identity in art / Exhibitions
- Gender identity in art / Exhibitions
- Self in art
If none of those seem to fit with your interests, the next step is to find an article that IS interesting to you and carefully examine it.
Try to discove other terms or related topics which could be good alternative keywords for your project on identity or consciousness. Notice especially which terms are used in the subject fields. The following citations were found in Wilson Omni.
Running List of Ideas
(interesting possible keywords and concepts to investigate further)
|Subverting Assumptions of Female Beauty: An Interview with Ann-Sofie Back||
construction of beauty
|SOURCE:||Fashion Theory v. 11 no. 4 (December 2007) p. 391-401|
|ABSTRACT:||An interview with the Swedish-born, London-trained designer Ann-Sofie Back. Back's intellectual approach to fashion places the construction of beauty, glamor, and femininity center-stage. Her designs focus on the irony and artificiality of fashion, and its ability to confound and complicate fixed identities. Referencing both the fashion system and her own life-experience, Back's work is simultaneously conceptually driven and very personal. Her work shows an understanding of the importance of fashion both as an artistic expression and as a commercial product that is ultimately meant to be worn. Topics discussed include ideas of identity in Back's work, her interest in transvestism, her choice of materials, her ideas regarding the commercial reality of fashion, and the relationship of her work to notions of female beauty. The interview concludes with a discussion of the relationship between Back's work and conventional notions of Swedish design.|
Gender identity and fashion
Fashion and art
|TITLE:||Kathleen Browne: Specimens of Reflexivity||
|SOURCE:||Metalsmith v. 26 no. 3 (Fall 2006) p. 20-7|
|ABSTRACT:||The work of metalsmith Kathleen Browne is discussed. Looking at the artist's work generally means to be conscious of one's role as subject in the act of observing and therefore in the formation of looking as an object. Encouragement of this circularity stems from her embrace of the phenomenon of reflexivity inherent in the dynamic between observer and observed--the inescapable condition in which reality and identity reflect one another, which she has confronted largely through historical analyses. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of her work is the overt subjectivity in what otherwise presents itself as analysis, for it exemplifies instead of just commenting on the self-consciousness of contemporary enquiry. The writer examines Brown's series Sensum/Sensorum, Daily Confidential, and her most recent enamelware works addressing aspects of virtual reality.|
|TITLE:||Yoshua Okon: Crying Wolf||
|SOURCE:||Flash Art (International Edition) v. 37 (January/February 2004) p. 96-9|
|ABSTRACT:||Video artist Yoshua Okon poses exciting new questions to the relation between performance and video, set and location, voyeurism and participation. The most marked effect of Okon's work is an almost uncanny triangulation between comedy, critique, and satire. Almost everything that he has done effortlessly adjudicates the cultural, aesthetic, and subjective dimensions in play between these notions in such a way that social commentary is laced with humor, irony mediated by self-reflexivity, and improvised action tangled up in webs of class and identity. An overview of Okon's work is presented.|
Video art / Psychological aspects
Helpful Research Facts
You may want to review the guides and tutorials found through the Information Literacy link on every library webpage. A very good Art History Writing Guide is available from University of NC at Chapel Hill.
Using the Otis Online Databases
The Library subscribes to many full-text databases that will lead you to good sources that you can use for you project. For this project, the Librarian recommends Art Full-Text, EBSCO OmniFile, eLibrary, and ProQuest.
Assistance Is Readily Available
The librarians and the library staff are your friends. Ask for reference or computer troubleshooting any time. The SRC also has tutors available to assist you with the writing of papers. Start early so that you will have time to avail yourself of these services. We all want to support your learning experience.