It is the Easter Holidays, and since I've had two weeks off doing nothing I'm now back to the grind stone preparing for the new term.
So far this has meant lots of reading for my course, "Gender and Society in France since 1789". Modern history, (yes anything after 1750 is considered modern in the world of academia) is not my favourite area of studying, having become an ancient historian during my time at uni. I find that there is too much material in modern history, so much is being written, that there is little room for my two pence worth.
However, one must find something that is of interest in any topic. Without that spark, its is nigh on impossible to write anything of worth or value to the marker. I have to engage with the topic so to speak. Anyway, I have found my niche and again it is in the abstracts of art, symbolism and feminism. The work title so far is, and brace yourself:
"The masculine universalism of French politics and its feminine manifestations in the visual arts."
Basically, the default position for most French political thought is masculine, (one could aslo argue, masculine and white), for example, the The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, not the declaration of the rights of people or human beings. However, the images of the French nation are predominately female, whether propagated by the republicans or royalists. Consider Marianne, Joan of Arc, the Goddesses of Liberty, les Petroleuses. I want to explore why women are chosen to represent a nation in which they do not recieve sufferage until 1945.
I think I just wrote the bare bones of my introduction there. I'm actually sat writing this in Worthing, using Chris' mum's new MacBook. It is very nice. We have come for the Easter weekend and I am finally going to see Chris play his violin at church on Sunday. Chris' mum is Catholic, so it is going to be interesting to observe a Catholic service. I've never been to one before. I hope the music is good. I love church music.
We had a lovely train ride down. Along the south coast the view alternates from marinas and rivers to industrial parks to voyeuristic snippets of people's back gardens when the traintracks run through a town. We're hopefully off to Brighton tomorrow.
Finally some pictures.
Me all of five minutes ago.
A picture I've started in oil pastels of my Uncles and cousins. Comissions taken !