Rachel writes: Interdisciplinary approach: academic mashup?

I am contemplating how, as an art history/visual arts concentrator, I will incorporate this area into a research paper for the literature course I am now participating in as an elective.

Though I love literature as an academic discipline, one of the things I thoroughly enjoyed in my last course, an art-history seminar on world fairs, was the chance to connect the literary events of the era with those concurrent events in the visual arts. And before that, in a course on gothic fiction, I researched a painter who had written a gothic novel himself and painted scenes from others.

As I progress through the the weekly reading and writing of my course, at this point, I have almost no idea what particular subject I will end up researching in depth, for a paper which will be due at the semester’s end. When those ideas begin to jell, I wonder if I will spend more time in Widener or in the Fine Arts Library?

Ideas for research usually spring up in the course of reading . . . though I have talked with people who say they start out in a course already knowing exactly what they want to research in depth. I wonder what is a typical such process, or if there actually is a “typical” among students in general.

In any case, I do wonder what paracosm mashup I will be immersed in, a few weeks from today.

One Comment

  1. Theresa Nolan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for your blog! I love reading all of them to feel in touch!
    Having taken Women’s Studies at UMich, I have often written papers on how women have impacted a particular movement or helped to spawn an industry. I typically find myself getting encaptured in the stories of what barriers women have faced in pursuing their dreams and find it quite inspiring! (No kidding, like going to Harvard?):-)Maybe you could use this type of approach for your paper?
    Let us know how it goes!
    Best Wishes, Theresa Nolan

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