PhD Oral Exam - Pohanna Pyne Feinberg, Art Education
Insights into the Pedagogical Force of Walking from the Perspectives of Artists who Walk as an Aspect of Their Practice
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Generated by research-creation grounded in feminist epistemologies and attuned walking, this dissertation is a response to the researcher’s desire to hone her practice as an artist-educator and, more specifically, to develop her ability to offer meaningful, caring, and inspiring walking-based art-making workshops. To consider the complexities of walking-based art and pedagogy, the researcher interviewed twelve artists with the following guiding questions in mind: How might artists’ insights about how walking influences their practice inform, problematize and inspire pedagogical approaches to walking in art education? More specifically, how will insights from these artists, who are women and walk in the same region as the researcher, inspire the researcher’s approach as an artist-educator? And what format/context would be best suited to convey and circulate the findings so that others may also benefit from similar reflections? Audio recordings and digital photographs were gathered during the interviews and then transformed into audio-visual portraits to convey the artist’s insights. These portraits are now presented on www.walkingwith.ca, which is offered as an invitation to listen, reflect, and walk with the artists and the researcher. The dissertation text is a contextualization of the website through an autoethnographic account of the research-creation process. The researcher intentionally invited contributions from artists who are women to help infuse the international walking art discourse with a plurality of perspectives. As a localized study of contemporary artists who have all walked with the region of Tiohtiá:ke–Mooniyang–Montréal and work with various expressive forms, Walking With reveals a range of motivations and ruminations.