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Masters Degrees (Art History)

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    Just drawing: a case study of Visual Arts as a subject in an urban northern KwaZulu-Natal state high school.
    (2022) Pepu, Lindelwa.; Arbuckle, Katherine Elizabeth.
    This qualitative study investigated a well-established urban public high school that offers Visual Arts at Further Education and Training level. This was based on the aim of understanding the role and status of Visual Arts as a subject within the school curriculum. There are perceptions that Visual Arts is treated as less important than other School subjects like Maths and Science. The research addressed the main question: What is the role of Visual Arts as a school subject, and what do the perceptions and practices of stakeholders at School X reveal about the status of Visual Arts as a learning area? This investigation was a case study with the subject of Visual Arts in School X as the unit of analysis. The research instruments were documentary analysis, questionnaires, and observational evidence. This allowed triangulation of evidence by gathering data from different sources. The participants were a stratified sample including learners, educators, parents and school management. The research revealed that the perceptions and practices of stakeholders are not clearly stipulated with regards to promoting, encouraging, and informing learners and parents about Visual Arts. The school-based participants, that were the Visual Arts teacher, nonvisual arts teachers and school management, did not give clear directives about the role of this subject in the school. The study found that knowledge about the subject of Visual Arts needs to be promoted among stakeholders so that it can grow and be better resourced.
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    The confessional novel in South Africa : a study of J.M. Coetzee's Age of iron (1990) and Menan du Plessis' A state of fear (1983).
    (1992) Robinson, Duane Angela.; Jacobs, Johan U.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Blackness and beyond : black consciousness and the antinomies of identity negotiation in South Africa.
    (1996) Dell, Sharon.; Attwell, David.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Decolonising the mind : the challenge of Mtutuzeli Matshoba's texts.
    (1991) Williams, Jenny.; Chapman, Michael James Faulds.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Oral tradition, recent and contemporary black South African poetry in English: towards a relevant aesthetic.
    (1996) Ndaba, Sandile Charles.; Gardner, Colin Oxenham.
    Abstract available in the PDF.
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    Beyond Sumi-e: A practice-led investigation into the influences of an ancient art form on contemporary artists,with reference to the artworks of Hiroshi Senju and Yoshio Ikezaki.
    (2019) Adams, Denise Ingrid.; Arbuckle, Katherine Elizabeth.; Hall, Louise Gillian.
    This study investigates the influence of traditional ink painting from Japan, Sumi-e, on the artworks of two contemporary artists, Yoshio Ikezaki and Hiroshi Senju. It also examines the impact of these influences on my own artmaking. This research included the identification and description of the key elements, characteristics and philosophy forming the basis of Sumi-e, as a framework of reference. The philosophy and aesthetics associated with traditional Sumi-e reflect Zen Buddhism as well as traditional Japanese culture. There is very limited literature available in English on Sumi-e. It has strict principles, one of which is ‘learn the rules and break the rules’. This principle has been a point of departure for my own art practice, and I explore the influence of this principle on the art practices of Senju and Ikezaki. This study used practice-related research methodology with a case study approach. These combined methods offered subjective flexibility through using personal experience of learning, teaching and practicing Sumi-e. In addition to a literature review, data was collected through questionnaires conducted with the two artists, and the analysis of their artworks. My own practice is captured visually in my workbooks where I have recorded and photographed my practice, together with swatches of materials. These ten workbooks form the link between my research and my art practice, and viewing these enhances the interpretation of both bodies of work. The case studies of the artists revealed that while Senju was not explicitly influenced by Sumi-e, elements of this aesthetic resonated in his work. The influence of Sumi-e on Ikezaki was more pronounced because his initial traditional Japanese artistic training included Sumi-e. Both artists expanded beyond these boundaries. New insights challenged my assumptions about Japanese culture and art practices. Breaking the rules of traditional Sumi-e and a nexus of other influences catalysed my artmaking, manifesting in the materiality of the works. Theories of materiality expand on the role of materials and material thinking in artmaking. Investigations of sites and contexts of display result in a shift beyond conventional modernist display of two-dimensional artworks hung vertically on gallery walls. Results vi included an installation of my artworks in a forest, and the evolvements of three-dimensional forms. The forest atmosphere enhanced and intensified the materiality through the movement of air, light and shadow. The final gallery exhibition titled “Beyond” recreated the ambience of the forest installation, using limited lighting, shadows, a breeze, the sounds of the forest, and film footage projected over the artworks. Key words: Sumi-e, natural materials, Japanese art, practice-related research, material thinking, materiality, holistic art practice.
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    Journey through the past: analysing performance in museums to promote multivocality in historical narratives through a self-devised piece, our footprints, in Bergtheil museum, Durban.
    (2018) Jenkins, Stephanie.; Meskin, Tamar.
    This dissertation explores the role performance in museums might play through encouraging multivocality in the depiction and exploration of historical narratives in post-apartheid South Africa. The research is situated within the discipline of drama and performance studies, and focuses specifically on performing history in museums. In conducting this research, a case study approach has been adopted to examine the process of creating museum theatre. The main focus is on the self-devised, Performance-as-Research project, Our Footprints, performed in the Bergtheil Museum in Durban. Three other examples of museum theatre are considered, namely Brett Bailey‟s Exhibits A and B (2012 & 2013), This Accursed Thing (Jackson & Kidd, 2007) and the Triangle presentation (Talbot & Andrews, 2008). These examples are used to explore how performance can be employed alongside the traditional archive to bring history „to life‟ in museums. The theoretical component of this dissertation examines the manner in which performance and historical narratives are framed – using Erving Goffman‟s (1975) frame analysis. In addition, it considers how multiple perspectives can be promoted in museums through performance – using aspects of Mikhail Bakhtin‟s (1981/1994) theory of heteroglossia. The pre-existing case studies noted above offer different approaches and techniques for making museum theatre which link to these theoretical ideas. Similar concepts are then explored in Our Footprints. Museum theatre uses performance in sites that deal with historical narratives and artefacts torecreate‟ the past through action. This study explores how offering the audience the opportunity „physically‟ to experience the past through „participating‟ in performance, and connecting history to their personal lives and memories, creates possibilities for learning about, experiencing and remembering the past. Through this study I contribute to the body of knowledge in drama and performance studies and museum studies by exploring the potential of museum theatre in post-apartheid South Africa to bring different – and, sometimes dissenting – historical narratives, into contact with one another, thus promoting dialogue through performance. Our Footprints is an original production in a new area of drama that investigates performance‟s role in exploring the past in the present.
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    Black feminism: A critique of the stereotypical representations of Black women in African-American Comedy Films: A case study of selected Tyler Perry films.
    (2018) Bvuma, Mercy Pheladi.; Wade, Jean-Philippe.
    The media has a potential to raise consciousness, and to educate audiences. It also has a responsibility to shape public opinions and attitudes, but film critics have found that the media, specifically television and films are often doing the exact opposite. Culture, gender, media and film scholars such as Young (1996) argue that the production of arts and culture still raises critical issues of sexism, racism, discrimination, domination and subordination. Black women have often been depicted negatively particularly in films. From the 1960s, particularly in the USA, Black women formed civil and human rights groups to challenge their White counterparts because of the racism, sexism and economic oppression they suffered in the hands of White men, Black men and White women. It was only then that Black feminists and film critics such as hooks, Hill-Collins and Gordon critically emphasized the issues surrounding the representation of Black women in films. The study reveals that Tyler Perry, a top Black American filmmaker, portrays Black women in a negative stereotypical manner in all three of his films selected for analysis. These films convey a message that Black women are weak, dishonored and uneducated, thus perpetuating the already existing stereotypes about Black people and Black women.
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    Reflections on self-realisation in art-based community development: exploring the impact of Caversham Centre and its outreach programs from 2008 to 2010.
    (2019) Nyide, Witty Nonhlanhla.; Leeb-du Toit, Juliette Cecile.
    This study critically reflects on the impact of selected community-based interventions activated through Caversham Centre between 2008 and 2010, particularly focusing on how two project leaders who head programmes located in Mtubatuba and Harding perceive the role of these initiatives within lived contexts. Drawing upon critical feminist pedagogy as a framework for intersectional self-reflexivity and using an interpretive qualitative approach, I consider how the people-centred elements of the initiatives engage some of the crucial psychosocial imperatives towards self-reliance. Against the widely documented inequalities reproduced in post-1994 South Africa, I consider the potential of art-based community development, particularly within the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector, to not only address patterns in which historically marginalised people are regarded as perpetual ‘beneficiaries’ but their potential to offer decolonising methodologies. The retrospective focus of this project necessitated a combination of documentary analysis and unstructured field observations as primary research methods. The findings indicate that the practical application of the mission statement ‘self-belief through self-expression’, in which Caversham Centre’s community-based initiatives were framed, contributes to the activation of a liberatory pedagogy and foregrounds the plurality of tacit dimensions of knowledge. Elements of these contributions begin to challenge the devaluing modes in which human lives, particularly those of underclass women based in rural contexts, tend to occupy the South African psychosocial space. In this, market-based scopes of human development criteria dominating post-1994 neo-liberal policies are de-centred.
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    The introduction of British formalism to the Fine Arts Department at the University of Natal from 1936-1969.
    (2015) Bucknall, Amanda Edwina Tracey.; Calder, Ian Meredith Shepstone.
    Abstract available in PDF file.