The Role of Privilege and Power in Creative Expression

The Role of Privilege and Power in Creative Expression

The Role of Privilege and Power in Creative Expression

The Role of Privilege and Power in Creative Expression The life and work of poet Phillis Wheatley, who was sold into slavery as a child of seven and educated by the Wheatleys who bought her, provides a poignant example of an important concept in feminist theory today—intersectionality. The concept of intersectionality can be defined as the ways that interconnected social categories such as race, class, and gender interact to form experience and identity, especially as related to power. Although the power structures are different from contemporary society, the dynamics of power and privilege are evident in the life and work of Phillis Wheatley. The young Wheatley, named after the slave ship (Phillis) and the slave-owners who bought her, ironically lived with limited privilege but still enjoyed some advantages for a black woman of her time. A slave by virtue of her race, she was privileged within the Wheatley’s home to become an educated woman. Although she flourished with the support of her wealthy owners, after she was freed, she died penniless. A common criticism of Wheatley’s work is her lack of race consciousness and that she did not empathize with the average slave or protest against it in her poetry while other critiques have found that assessment unfair (Hull, 1975). The essential point here, however, is the way the complex identities of her life impacted her work. For this journal assignment, select one of the key creative women from Week 2, and in three to four pages, analyze how the dynamics of privilege and power play a part in the woman’s creative expression. In your discussion of power and privilege, address at least one of the following categories in addition to gender: race, class, or ethnicity. In addition, as you reflect on this question, consider some of the following relevant questions: Did the creative woman benefit from family support or professional networks or was she excluded from them? Was training and education available to her? If she did challenge existing power structures (for example, religion, social custom, laws, etc.), how successful was she in doing so? Be sure to provide examples of her work (poems, paintings, sculpture, excerpts from larger writings, etc.) to support your discussion. Required Resources Multimedia García, P. (Director), Álvarez, E, O’Donnell, C., & Domínguez, F. (Producers). (2008). Influential mestiza writer: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Series segment]. In C. Scherer (Executive producer), Conquest and colony. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=35414&wID=100753&loid=49420&plt=FOD&w=420&h=315&fWidth=440&fHeight=365 • This segment of a larger video on Mexico, features the first and most important woman poet of the Americas, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. With an overview of her support by the court and the convent, this segment will help students analyze how support (or lack of support) impacted women’s creative process. This video has closed captioning. Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Jacobs, R. (Writer), & Mansfield, S. (Director). (1995). Phyllis Wheatley (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Series segment]. In Rae-Mansfield, J., Women first & foremost. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=44852&wID=100753&loid=171219&plt=FOD&w=420&h=315&fWidth=440&fHeight=365 • This segment of a larger video on women’s contributions in all fields features Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American woman poet who began her life in America as a slave. Showing the education and encouragement of Wheatley by her owners, this segment will help students analyze how support (or lack of support) impacted women’s creative process. This video has closed captioning. Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Vickery, A. (Writer), & Hodgson, J. (Director & Producer). (2014). The story of women and art: Episode 2 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Episode in series]. In R. Wilson & L. Hartford (Executive producers), The story of women and art. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=86589&wID=100753&plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=360&fWidth=660&fHeight=410 • The complete series (Episodes 1 through 3) follows Professor Amanda Vickery’s journeys from Renaissance Italy to the Dutch Republic to discover a hidden world of female artistry. This video will assist you with your discussions and journal assignment this week. This video has closed captioning. Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Web Pages Academy of American Poets. (n.d.). Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/sor-juana-in%C3%A9s-de-la-cruz • This website introduces students to the first and most important woman poet of the Americas and gives us the poems, biography, and bibliography for this 17th century Mexican poet. Students will analyze how ethnicity and support (or lack of support) impact women’s creative process. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Royal Collection Trust. (n.d.). Self-Portrait as the allegory of painting (La Pittura) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/405551/self-portrait-as-the-allegory-of-painting-la-pittura • This website analyzes this important self-portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi. Through visuals and analysis, students will learn more about Gentileschi’s effort to challenge power structures with her paintings. Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. The Art History Archive. (n.d.). Atremisia Gentileschi (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/baroque/Artemisia-Gentileschi.html • This web page gives us biography, paintings, and commentary on the important Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi. Content is important to discussions, journals, and the Final Paper. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy does not exist. Recommended Resources Multimedia Triana, I. [Israel Triana]. (2011, October, 23). Yo, la peor de todas. Peli, completa (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/PTI7H1ohD2M • This full-length feature film is based on the life of Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz whose creativity was supported for a while by the court and then the convent with tragic results. The film has no transcript but is Spanish with English subtitles.

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