Worlds In Collision In Collision In Collision…

So I mentioned in an earlier post that Rico Reyes and I are co-teaching Worlds In Collision: Filipino American Art History at USF. It’s been pretty great: our students are super-open and engaged, and it’s been going well. I’m a little stunned that it’s already midterm break, though (at least, at USF: spring break at Berkeley is two weeks from now).


USF students working on their first project

The class is a nice mix of Filipino-American and non-Filipino-American students. Some are art/design majors, some are Filipino Studies minors, some are just curious to know more about what Filipino American art history might look like, given that it’s not been documented too well. As far as I know, when Carlos Villa started this course a few years back, it was the first Fil-Am art history class ever.

Rico and I got a great deal of support from Paula Birnbaum and Jay Gonzalez at USF, and submitted a syllabus for the class that garnered us “CORE” status in a couple of departments. The course is 1/2 seminar (with guest artists, field trips, discussion, written work) and 1/2 studio (with 4 projects over the semester).


USF student Erick Perez, studio project 1

As I got the memo pretty late on this whole “blog” phenomenon, it seems that I’m making up for lost time, and am now afflicted with beginners’-enthusiasm. Hence, Worlds In Collision has its own course blog now, where much of our work is being posted. Given the real lack of conventional historical resources around Filipino American art, and the immediacy of the web, it just seemed like an interesting way to make our process public, for anyone who might be interested.

Carlos and Rico put a great deal of effort into getting the original Worlds In Collision website launched a couple of years ago, which we’re still using in our course. This site had its own blog function, but it was a little cumbersome, so we started our new one on Vox. Vox’s banner ads are truly annoying, but outweighed by a lot of the other user-friendly niceties of their service.

One of the things I’ve found in my years of teaching is that while a great deal of any deep learning process is private and interior, certain kinds of learning really thrives when it’s made public, and truly shared and celebrated. I’m beginning to realize, slowly, that this can happily occur in both traditional (class presentations, exhibitions, or community events) and non-traditional ways. My hope is that by the end of the semester, our USF students will have really grasped the significance of the work they’re seeing, the work that they’re doing, and its place in the world at large.

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