During the Fall of 2021, I conducted seven structured interviews with Barnard College students to explore patterns of reception of selections of the work of Adrian Piper, Kara Walker, Elia Alba, and Ana Mendieta. This paper analyzes how the comments made by participants expanded, limited, or did not impact the “imagination” of boundaries of identification. The work of Pierre Bourdieu and David Halle and their perspectives on reception as a means for understanding the production of culture is relevant to my findings. While developing this study and my analysis, the work of Bettina Love, Sarah Lawerence-Lightfoot, and bell hooks has been particularly inspiring. Ultimately my conclusion is that the method and findings serve as grounds for arguing that “isolation, identification and imagination” could serve as a pedagogical tool for teaching and working through the “social” nature of systems of power and oppression that exist in the USA with youth of various ages and backgrounds.
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