Looking forward to seeing everyone again next week, here are a couple notes on each presentation.


Really cool topic, “Asian masculinity in the Western gaze”, and your intonation during the presentation was so emotive that it both showed your own personal engagement with the topic while also encouraging me to do likewise. One question I had, just because I don’t think I got it clearly in the presentation, was about the difference between masculinity and the hyper-masculinity that is presented in traditional filmography, and outlining the differences between the two would help me understand more about what made Bruce Lee so ground-breaking. However, your analysis of race as well as gender showed his uniqueness enough without having to go into this gender question too specifically. The graphs were also really fun and visually engaging, so they worked well as springboard into other discussions on the topic. I also appreciated the focus on multiple forms of art, rather than being an essay on films you brought in video games and other media.


A very clinical and clear presentation, I am left in no doubt as to what you aim to achieve with your project. One thing I was slightly confused about was the choice of photos in each slide, while I think you explained them well in each case this usually came midway through the slide’s narration and so I was left questioning why an ant was on the screen for a few seconds. Another point, if using oral history, which clearly works well for this investigation, I think giving a rough time period as to when you believe the historical change under investigation took place would help us understand how useful oral history can be to this case. Overall, just a very cool project with fantastic political implications for the survival of cultural traditions.


I really liked how the secondary sources were organised by their political angles, really showing the emotive significance and political potential of any investigation on this topic. Equally, I enjoyed your exploration of each type of primary source that you will be using and your analysis as to each of their utilities. One question I was left with, simply because I am left interested by your presentation, is why this has to be a transnational history? Do ART practices differ on the transnational scale to the domestic scale? Is the difference one of national exploitation? You sold me on the topic and so that is why I am curious about such questions.


The first few introductory slides were really effective, leaving us in no doubt as to the layout of the presentation. Your narration was flawless, and I only wish I could present as calmly and as communicatively digestible as you did here (I feel I’m rather too manic to be able to do this). Since you raise the political implications of the issue throughout your piece (that portrayals can’t be neutral; that there is a need for ethically informed decision-making; that we need to reorient the debate away from Europe), will your piece take any specific political positions? I also want to ask as to what extent art analysis will play a role in informing your project, considering you do it so convincingly throughout the presentation? I also enjoyed the multimedia aspect of the presentation. Finally, on discussing the creation of “the refugee”, I’m not sure whose construction of the identity you are trying to analyse, is it the construction of it by hegemonic media, by other people, by the artists critiquing this, or by the refugees themselves? Just not sure who the object for analysis is in this piece.


Really cool topic. One question I had, if there was a Welsh sub-altern that was highlighted in the 18th Century, when did this sub-altern cease to exist or change? I feel your comparative model, which shows great sensitivity to the issue of likening two differing sub-altern communities, offers a good methodological base to analyse this and allows you to bring in plenty of historiography which you may have otherwise been lacking had you focused purely on the Welsh sub-altern. I like how you define the Welsh sub-altern and I really look forward to hearing more on the topic. I wonder whether there is potential for the identification and revival of cultural traditions in this investigation?


I enjoyed how clearly the introduction laid out the progression of the presentation, and your clear and calm narration throughout made each point more effective. I think you present the transnational nature of the topic convincingly, that these ideas offered connections to varying communities who interpreted them differently based upon their unique historical context. I also really like your methodological choice of focusing on lesser-known pieces, and I hope this will help you pinpoint precisely which discursive events proved the most significant in driving the actions surrounding these revolutions. Just to pedantically quibble on methodology though, while the choice of sources is identified, I’m not sure I quite picked up the aim, the final goal, of this analysis and I’m unsure whether to liken this method to Foucault or to the Cambridge School or to something else.


You present really interesting questions, ones similar to those raised by Clare Anderson’s piece on Jim Crow across the Anglophonic world which we read earlier in the term, and I think you present a really cool nuanced point on how these play adaptations offer a reflexivity in the master/servant dialectic which these plays are performed within. Your diffusionist methodology looks like it can effectively deconstruct Eurocentric perspectives on Shakespeare and diversify the narrative, showing that there are many different authentic interpretations of Shakespeare that exist outside of its original form; these being the recontextualisations to specific cultural coordinates. The in-depth analysis of the Omkara vs. Suzman’s Othello was brilliant, and I love the role which art plays in informing your analysis.


I like the “home and away” aspect of the piece, connecting two completely different communities which exist across the globe from one another, and how a specific market force can have such similar, and dissimilar, effects on each of them. It’s a well laid out piece with clearly spoken narration. The statistics are absolutely fascinating and shocking, and the role of migration is interesting because I wonder what transversal exchanges occurred as new rural migrants entering the city encountered the existing inhabitants, and similarly with different Indian communities coalescing in Bengal. Ultimately, I think your method and choice of primary sources can show us how these two global cities of Empire were created by the working people who lived hard lives around them. It would be interesting to hear some more about the secondary source historiographical discussions surrounding the lives of these people.


I enjoy the refreshing focus on transcultural meetings without state borders and the look at the power of the state. It’s obviously an interesting subject, hence why you have so many questions surrounding it, but by narrowing the questions you wish to focus on we can get a lot more from each of these questions individually. You effectively narrated what you wanted to achieve with this piece, however, visual cues accompanying the slides discussing sources and a more explicitly laid out methodology and analysis of sources would make the presentation more interesting.


I enjoyed your analysis of the use of the term “feminism”, and I enjoy how you complicate and create a postcolonial account of the hegemonic British bourgeois notion of women’s liberation. By outlining that these liberation movements began on a national level before the transnational scope existed, you justify your analysis. The analysis of sources surrounding feminism and caste was great and I would have enjoyed hearing your analysis of some more secondary sources if there was more time in the presentation. I thought your critique of the methodology was great, however I would have liked to have heard more about what you will be applying as the methodological foundation of your piece more because of this. One final point, I thought the presentation was great and I think as a general project its really cool, but I wasn’t quite sure as to what your specific question for investigation was.

There we have it. I really enjoyed everyone’s piece because they’re all so interesting and everyone is clearly very engaged in what they’re writing about. The awkwardness of facing everyone after giving feedback definitely eases the sadness that comes with this being the final week of term!

Presentation Responses

2 thoughts on “Presentation Responses

  • April 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Rory! Thank you for your comment, and it is great to hear that my topic has peaked your interest. It has to be transnational history due to the inherently transnational scope of the project and the topic at hand. My project looks specifically at people (mostly from Western countries) who travel to other countries (usually non-western) to take advantage of ART’s to which they have restricted access to in their home countries. This can be due to a variety of reasons including high costs, discriminatory policies (such as not allowing non-straight or single people to use these technologies), and cultural/religious norms (which frown upon using ART’s). Specifically looking at gestational commercial surrogacy necessitates a transnational lense because this process involves foreign people traveling abroad to procure foreign surrogates, gametes (sperm and egg), and helpfully at the end of the process a newborn baby. ART practices do differ on the domestic versus the transnational scale, and I am looking specifically at the use of ART’s transnationally, meaning when they are employed in a process which involves people who reside in at least two different countries. An example of this might be a male gay couple from Israel who travel to Nepal to use an Australian egg donors eggs (who has also travelled to Nepal) along with their sperm, which are then implanted in an Indian surrogate who resides in Nepal for the duration of the pregnancy, at the end of the process the Israeli couple returns to Nepal for the birth and then obtains citizenship/adoption papers for their child before being able to return to Israel. So yes there are policy and cultural differences among countries which result in different degrees of exploitation (of surrogates mostly). I hope this helps clarify the transnational aspect a bit, thanks again for your thoughtful comment.

  • April 22, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Rory, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a constructive comment, and ask some challenging questions! I really appreciate it, and it’s so valuable to the development of my project. I’m trying to avoid overt political bias on my own behalf, but realistically, that’s not entirely possible. I won’t, for example, come down on the side that says refugees have no place in our countries, nor the one that turns away those in need. There is, however, no clear black and white answer – and the ethical solution doesn’t fit into one political position. I just want human beings to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve; doing so to enhance their voice and agency, rather than squash it.

    In terms of art analysis, I’m not sure how much it will be present in a formal manner (as it’s not something I’m familiar with), but it’s perhaps something I need to look into further. I don’t want to limit myself to merely written sources, especially as I’m including the “role of images” in the project, and I think the project benefits from the multimedia aspect of my research.

    Your final point – on the question of “whose construction” – I guess my answer would be, “all of the above”. I’m hoping to discover how these different actors have individually created an identity, and where they intersect and inform, as well as differ. Given the more recent nature of being able to understand the refugees’ own identity, it is more likely, therefore, to have been derived from the pre-existing construct. That said, those differences are really crucial to have in mind, so thank you for bringing them to the forefront.

    Thanks again for your insightful comment, and all the best with the next few weeks of research, and I hope you get to listen to ample Black Metal in the interim!

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