First of all I should apologize that it has taken me this long to update this blog and write about what all has been going on in my thesis process. It looks like I have not written anything on here since October, so as you can imagine a LOT has changed in my process; in fact, the process actually has a polished outcome! So since the last post I really spent a lot of time going through the research I had done and connecting it back to everything I had read to really develop a nuanced understanding of masculine identities and even suggest a way of talking about these topics with some shiny new terms. The second and final year of grad school was like a whirlwind of things going on. I finished my first year with some ambivalence to my topic and to be quite honest some uncertainty as I went out exploring artist and athletic environments because I knew that I was searching, but not what I was searching for. Sure, I had tossed around the ideas of masculinity, spaces, and performance but was still unsure how it would all connect and just how I could create a solid and well articulated perspective on what compelled me to investigate. After taking my trips I was left with more questions than answers and grew fearful that this project would culminate into one gigantic thesis monster that climbed buildings and stomped on civilians. I was determined to include everything I wanted to talk about because very much like my childhood of collecting potential art materials, everything looked important and necessary.
It’s funny that I spent so much of my first year of grad school concerned that somehow I had been accepted into this program on some sort of fluke. I was an athlete that majored in Health Sciences, interned at a hospital, and worked on art stuff as a passion project. I didn’t know the language of grad school let alone art school. So much of my first year I felt as though I had to work hard to catch up and do everything I could to stay on top of my classes while I watched so many people slough off work. Sure, SAIC doesn’t give grades, but why should that mean that the work was optional? Long story short I realized in my second year that my unusual background that caused me so much fear of inadequacy is the thing that actually put me ahead of everyone else. Not that it was a competition…who am I kidding, everything is a competition. I put so many hours and work into this thesis that to this day I think I am still the unusual one because I’m proud of it. Months after it’s been bound in the library I still keep an extra copy that I “accidentally” leave out during parties in case someone wants to thumb through it. I’m still going over my presentations from my symposium and my thesis defense talks. I am considering uploading some sort of audio or video to the blog just so my work is accessible in a different way. I think it’s fun and interesting to be transparent in this process. Anyways, here is my thesis. Read it, love it, and hate it. This is my thesis brainchild that I spent so much time on and with.