This is kind of fun. Jared Moore recently ranked Faith on View in the top 250 Christian Blogs. I just barely squeaked in at #249 but still it is nice to make the list. I wish I could say that people are flocking to my wonderful insights on art, philosophy, and faith but the reality is that the vast majority of my traffic comes from the Faith on View Christian College Rankings. Thank you Mr. Moore for the recognition.
If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series please take a look.
When I started to think about my aesthetic system, it was in large part inspired by my belief that there is an overlap between the beautiful and the sublime. I still think that is an important part of my system. However, the part that is more innovative (time will tell if it is good innovation) is the addition of Pretty to the system. So, a good deal of my thinking over the last week has been dedicated to trying to think through the implications and problems of this system.
The relationship of Beauty, Sublime, Pretty, and Ugly.
In real life, I have been doing exactly what I have been doing with this blog and on social media. I have been testing out my ideas to both specialists and non-specialists. When I was teaching my 2-D Design class at William Jessup University, I asked my students what the difference between pretty and beautiful was to them. This particular class only has one male and he was absent that day. So essentially I was asking a group of college aged women the difference between pretty and beautiful. In many ways their answer was exactly what I articulated in the last post. But, what really struck me was when the conversation turned to how these women felt about men calling them pretty or beautiful. This was a revelation to me. These young women expressed that they felt it was presumptuous for a guy they did not know well to call them beautiful. For them, the term pretty had to do with their exterior but beauty was also about something on the inside. The argument went that if a guy, who they did not know well, called them beautiful he was presuming to know something about them that he could not know just by looking at them. This is fascinating to me and to a certain extent echoes my own thinking on the terms. Continue reading
Last semester I used my blog as a platform to think through a project I was working on entitled Five Evangelical Christs. It was a six part series which allowed me to think through ideas that turned into a more developed paper. I really enjoyed the process and got some great feedback, though more of that feedback was written on Facebook than showed up directly on this blog.
I think I will do something this semester in connection with my Philosophical Aesthetics class. I’ve decided that my big paper will be a systematic look at the concepts of the Beautiful and the Sublime. But, as I’ve been thinking this through, I believe I need to include two additional concepts: the Pretty and the Ugly.
The relationship of Beauty, Sublime, Pretty, and Ugly.
Beauty and Sublime both have a long history. Typically, they are set in opposition to each other. I, on the other hand, have a slightly different conception. The basis of my idea isn’t without historical precedent, but that is for another blog post…maybe. My conception has overlapping areas as illustrated with the above Venn diagram. In some ways the diagram is misleading. For example, I don’t believe that the majority of beauty is free of the pretty, sublime, and ugly. But, this is the best way I have, so far, been able to visualize my concept. Please feel free to make suggestions on this. Continue reading
After a year away from teaching, I am back in the classroom. I have to admit it feels good. Though I have been ruminating about the differences in starting teaching at a new University as opposed to when I first started teaching on the college level.
William Jessup University
When I first started teaching at Louisiana College I was 34 and one year removed from finishing my graduate work. I was brought in the head a small art department at a school that had undergone significant changes in the previous years. I was excited to teach and was looking forward to being the “young, cool” professor for a little while. That din’t last long. During my first week of teaching, one of my students managed to figure out how old I was. I came to class and she informed me, “You’re the same age as my Mom!” Ouch! okay I guess all chances at being young and cool left at that point. I spent four years at that college and really enjoyed the students. I was happy to see one freshman class all the way (almost) through their college education. I did teach one more year at a state school when I was in Louisiana but I knew several of the faculty and one of my previous students was doing her graduate work at that university so it didn’t at all feel like a fresh start. Continue reading
Here is this weeks Link Dump.
“My 10 year old asked, ‘What’s the difference between Catholics and us.’ To which I responded, ‘We are both wrong about different things.’” – Rondall Reynoso (there is nothing quote like quoting yourself)
“It’s unprofessional to confuse loyalty with integrity.” -Anonymous
“Unacceptable” at Louisiana College. David by Michelangelo, 1501-04
Louisiana Colleges president promptly responded to my letter sent to his faculty this morning. I believe his response is very telling in both what he addresses and what he does not. (See his full response at the end of this post)
First what he doesn’t address:
Dr. Aguillard fails to address his blatant violation of copyright law in his reproducing and showing an image which he does not have permission to reproduce or show. He illegally confiscated the painting from the student who painted it in 2011. When the student and her mother attempted to get the painting back, he refused to return the painting until he could have the painting photographed by his lawyer for ‘legal purposes’. Apparently, those legal purposes include disparaging former faculty in faculty meetings.
(ETA: I’ve been informed that Dr. Aguillard is taking this illegal full size reproduction to show to preachers around the state. He does not have authorization from the copyright holder to do this. Unfortunately, the only recourse against this behavior is a restraining order and Dr. Aguillard has shown a willingness to throw the budget of Louisiana College behind his legal defense. A poor young college graduate does not have the financial resources to fight such illegal and unethical behavior on the part of a college president.)
“Unacceptable” at Louisiana College. Discobolous by Myron 460-450 BC
He also fails to address that Dr. Scott Culpepper had no link to the painting. The attempt to tie him to the painting was pure unadulterated maliciousness. Dr. Culpepper’s “sin” is merely that he is a friend of mine who also believes Dr. Aguillard’s presidency is filled with ethical and educational failings. He had no part with the painting. Dr. Aguillard connecting him to the painting is a pure attempt at slander.
He did not address that when I interviewed at LC. I was clear that I wanted to bring nude figure studies to LC with the same controls as are used at the respected evangelical institution, Gordon College. I should add that I also included some nude work in my image portfolio when I applied and included nude work in my lecture during the interview. There was ample opportunity for Dr. Aguillard to inform me of his position during the interview process. Instead, the only time he stood against students making such work (he did stand against displaying it in the gallery) was after I wrote a letter notifying the college constituency of moral failings at the school. It makes one wonder.
Now for what he did address: Continue reading
Human Drapery 1 by Jordan Wade
I received notification this week that Dr. Aguillard, President of Louisiana College, saw fit to attack both Dr. Scott Culpepper and me for continuing to write, on this blog, about the ethical and academic issues at Louisiana College. It seems that Dr. Aguillard addressed the college faculty and staff saying how it was sad we were not able to move on and then showed a life size reproduction the controversial painting by Jordan Wade (reproduced on this blog with permission of the artist). Reports indicated that Dr. Aguillard said something to the effect of “When you think of Reynoso and Culpepper think of this painting.”
While I have written much less on issues at LC over the last few months this sort of direct attack from Dr. Aguillard requires a response. It saddens me that Dr. Aguillard continues to drag Jordan through the mud in order to attack me. The reality is that Dr. Aguillard has nothing with which to go after me other than this painting by my student so he continues to harm the student to get at me. Further, he has absolutely nothing with which to go after Dr. Culpepper so he tries to associate him with my perceived ‘evils’. This sort of ad hominem tactic is unbecoming of any Christian much less the President of a Christian college. The fact remains that the ethical and academic deficiencies which Dr. Culpepper and I have pointed out on this blog and which others have addressed both on blogs and in traditional media are true. Change needs to come to LC.
Below is the letter which I sent to the Faculty and Staff of Louisiana College. Continue reading
Student Selectivity is the final of the four categories that are calculated as a part of the overall Faith on View Christian College Rankings. Prestige, Student Satisfaction & Success, and Faculty Resources were previously published. Below is the methodological description of this category for most selective Christian colleges in the U.S. . For other aspects of the full study please consult the methodology page.
Student selectivity is an important part of ranking a college. But, student selectivity should be broadly understood. The pedagogical concern in this section is how bright, motivated, and prepared students are to pursue college level work not how many students are not admitted. As a result while the acceptance rate is a part of the calculation here, more important are standardized test scores and student success in high school.
There are five institutions that rank in the top 20 of all four categories: Continue reading
“Confessions of a Sociopath”
Let me start off this post by saying the obvious. I am not a mental health professional. I have no training to diagnose a Sociopath or a Narcissist. My interest is completely personal. Over the last couple of years, I have been in a few situations where terms like sociopath and NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) have been tossed around. A couple of weeks ago, I ran across an article in Psychology Today written by a self described Sociopath, “Confessions of a Sociopath.” There was so much in that article that reminded me of a few situations. But, in one of those situations I had heard the person described (not cynically) as NPD. So, I began to wonder what the difference was. But as with so many things my mind moved on. That is until now.
I ran across an article, “How to Spot a Narcissist,” from Psych Central. Just as when I read the other article so much of this resonated with my experiences. This was especially true when I read, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms” from the same site. Both the Narcissist and the Sociopath seemed so similar. And, it in some way seems to e important that we understand these issues because according to the Narcissist article as many as 1 in 100 people have NPD. But, according to the Sociopath article as many as one in 25 people are sociopaths. I don’t know if these numbers are correct and after finishing my reading it seems likely that there are more Narcissists than Sociopaths. But, either way it seems we will all at some point have to deal with both of them and for some of use we will deal with them in significant roles in our lives. Continue reading
I came up with the idea last year to do a weekly “Link Dump” on Faith on View. The basic idea was that there are so many cool and interesting things that get shared on Facebook (which I keep private) that I really wanted to be able to share here. So I decided to once a week share the links, images, videos, etc. that I shared on Facebook on this blog. So, I did it once then let the idea drop. But, I still like the idea and want to try and revive the practice. One problem with this project is that links change. So if you look at my Link Dump from February 2012, there are a lot of broken links. That said I think sharing the links is worth the problems. Below is the most recent edition of “Link Dump.” Continue reading