Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tutorial Relapse

I was sorting through my papers from last term, trying to get organized for my next academic adventure (which, naturally, started yesterday - no rest for the wicked, I suppose), and realized that I hadn't yet done a summary of my tutorial topics from Trinity term. I had so much fun with both my tutorials this spring, and even though they were both a huge amount of work I really felt like I learned a lot and became a better scholar in the process of grappling with them. So, like I did for Hilary term, here is a summary of the topics I covered over my seven weeks of term, with the question/title and then a slightly summarized version of my response:


1. How Useful is the Term 'Post-Impressionism'?

(As useful as you want to make it, bitches)

2. How Does Seurat Paint Modern Life?

(Like a scientist, an anarchist, and a democrat. Those all go together, right?)

3. To What Extent is Gauguin's Art 'Primitive'?

(Not much - it's hard to a) time travel and b) fully immerse oneself in a 'primitive' culture when one is in fact the epitome of the forces that are destroying that society. Sorry Paul.)

4. What are the Main Preoccupations of Symbolism and how does this Emerge in their Painting?

(Religious Revolución!)

5. 'Art is the Property of Everyone:'
Democracy in the Vienna Secession

(It's hard to be truly egalitarian when you not only come from a privileged class, associate only with other members of the privileged class, and sell your paintings to folks of an ever higher class. Nice try though.)

6. How does the Post-Impressionist Treatment of the Nude Address the 'Crisis of Painting'?

(Up the scandal, keep painting alive. Unless you're a woman, in which case your paintings are obviously lesbian fantasies, no questions asked. Obviously.)

7. Divergence:
An examination of the extent to which the writing of Roger Fry and Clive Bell shaped the course of British Modernist painting

(Keep dreaming boys, your movement will come eventually)



1. The Allied Invasion of Normandy

(Way to get lucky when it counts, Allies)

2. Was the Allied Bombing Campaign in France an Operational Success?

(Sure, if the 'operation' was to kill innocent civilians for relatively little strategic gain)

3. Failure Holland:
Operation Market-Garden

(Putting the cart ahead of the horse a bit, aren't we Monty??)

4. Unhappy Legacies:
Norway 1940

(Note: when performing an invasion of an arctic country in winter, skies, jackets, and maps are usually a plus to bring along. Maybe thoughts for next time.)

5. Window of Opportunity:
The Possibility of a Japanese Victory at Midway

(Again, way to pull it out where it counts, Allies)

6. A Reevaluation of the Japanese Capture of Singapore

(Brits, Get. Your shit. Together.)

7. On War and World War II:
A Series of Vignettes

(Some things never change)

It was certainly a quarter to remember. Now I'm currently sitting on the commuter rail, heading into the city for my next adventure: a summer of intensive German.

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