Mini-portfolio Interdisciplinary Research & Inquiry
May 24, 2017
As an integrated arts student, I use interdisciplinary research more than one would suspect. For each single visual or written piece is hours of research and analysis of other artists work to learn techniques, what makes a piece successful and to find inspiration for my own work. By familiarizing myself with famous works and studying their arguments I could draw my own conclusions and apply it to my own world view. I had to learn how to use outside sources to inform and substantiate the claims I was making both in oral conversations and written academic works. At UWB I was presented with endless opportunities to workshop and review my work with the help of student peers and faculties members to articulate my arguments, solidify my sources and clarify my claims. The first artifact I chose to include in this mini-portfolio as fulfilling the requirements of the Interdisciplinary research & inquiry learning objective is a brochure for natural spaces walks on campus. I mentioned this artifact before under the collaboration and shared leadership as it was a group project for my ecology class. My group worked with the on-campus organization, Outdoor Activity, and Wellness, to design a walk around campus that highlighted the natural spaces as well as an accompanying brochure. Working with campus staff to find information on all of the natural spaces we compiled an informative brochure that informed the reader on the history and ecological significance of each area. We also provided a page on Forest Bathing which is the health benefits associated with walking in nature. All of the information was backed up by either first-hand information from faculty members or reputable academic journal articles. We used other work to inform our decision-making process and then to support the claims we were making. The second artifact I chose to include in this mini-portfolio is a poetry analysis I did for an independent study on ecopoetry. As part of my independent study, I had to turn in three poetry analysis based on the poems I was reading each work and analyze the content, structure and literary techniques utilized in each poem. I did this in order to learn from the authors and apply what made their work successful in their work into my own. I chose to include my paper, Japanese Poetry’s Long History with Eco-Poetry, because it was the most heavily research out of all my responses. I wanted to study the cultural and historical contexts surrounding each of the works to gain deeper insight into a country I didn't know much about. I then applied this knowledge to works themselves and was able to piece together deeper meanings than I was before when I was any size purely the language and poetic structure of the works. In my response paper, I often referred back to the academic sources I had used to inform my understanding of Japanese poetry and give validity to my argument. I doubt I will be writing any essays once I graduate since all the masters degree I am looking at are all in the fine arts and portfolio based. Despite that interdisciplinary research & inquiry is still a vital skill to have moving forward in my life. I learned out to create a concentrated research question that would yield results the most relevant to my intended topic and apply the information to the claims I was making. I also learned how to analyze scientific and political arguments in the news to gauge the competence of the writer and how true the article is. As an artist I research other artists work constantly and learning how to discuss and write about those works will benefit me as an artist while writing personal statements or interviews. This learning objective may be deceptively academic but in actually is a priceless skill for life after college.