UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of dress through artistic inquiry : provoking understandings of artist, researcher, and teacher identities Barney, Daniel T.


What understandings are provoked by concepts of dress when related to artist, researcher, and teacher identities? An artist/researcher/teacher recruited a public secondary school art teacher and her students to join this participatory study. Participants were invited to investigate concepts of dress while inquiring through artistic processes. The written rendering of this dissertation is a mashup inquiry—a nondeterministic bricolage or ludic play—of images, text, and diverse theories, which gives rise to understandings of artist, researcher, and teacher identities. A key understanding from this study is the redescription of artist, researcher, teacher, and student identities. For example, redescribing a teacher as one who occasions learning rather than solely transmits fixed bodies of knowledge generates new understandings. Teaching and learning co-exist as neither fully separate roles within the identities of teacher and student nor as perfectly balanced and equal; they are processes that are relational, shifting, and shared. Likewise, as inquiry and research are redescribed alongside artist, teacher, and student identities, spaces of the possible or as-yet-unimagined emerge. The qualitative arts-based research methodology a/r/tography, which is utilized as the primary methodology in this study, is also conceptualized here, as a pedagogical strategy where the teacher becomes teacher-researcher and students become student-researchers. This places inquiry at the center of the curriculum. Participants in this approach to education work as independent and capable a/r/tographers moving toward an emancipatory form of artistic creation and inquiry. This study investigates how a secondary art course centered in inquiry can open perception to new possibilities as opposed to viewing a teaching/learning relationship as simply shaping perception to existing frames. Anti-oppressive forms of pedagogy may surface when the classroom is decentralized and the inquiry is nonlinear and outcomes are not pre-determined. A graphic version of this dissertation was also created and can be found at http://m1.cust.educ.ubc.ca/Artography/phd.php. The juxtaposition of the standardized format alongside this graphic version highlights how knowledge and communication are managed and maintained. Form and structure, like dress and the format of this dissertation, are explored within this study as both potentially liberating and potentially oppressive.

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