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Week 1- CATS

8 May
Today we have looked at this semesters assignment, which is to evaluate and compare two texts or images from a psychoanalytical, formalist, feminist and marxist perspective. We have been given a booklet which explains what each perspective is, and to put it into context  Andy Warhol’s pop art piece of Marilyn Monroe is reviewed using the named theoretical viewpoints.
I have an initial idea of using an art piece as the subject, I think it could be interesting and I like exploring art from a theoretical point of view and investigating the different connatations which the paintings convey.

Critical perspective- Walter Sickert’s La Hollandaise

30 Apr

La hollandaise by impressionist artist Walter Sickert, exaggerates the female body and reduces the protagonist down to nothing more than a possession.

I will now examine the work within content to feminist, marxist, psychoanalytical and formalist theory.

  1. feminism  Sickert is reinforcing sexism which is inherent in art history to choose to paint the protagonist in a crude and seedy environment. The initial interpretation of the painting is that it is of a prostitute who he waiting for her next client. This is further reinforced by the name La Hollandaise which translates as dutch girl which makes a reference to the legal prostitution in Amsterdam.
  2. psychoanalytical  The artist painted La Hollandaise and the rest of his Camden Town collection around the time of the murders in the area by Jack The Ripper. Sickert had a studio in Camden at the time and was fascinated by the murders and based his collection of paintings on prostitutes, murder and violence. This led some people to speculate that he was Jack The Ripper.
  3. Marxist By using a prostitute as the subject of the art piece Sickert is making something that is seedy and turning it into high-end art. By doing so Sickert provides himself with an inexhaustible subject matter with which to saturate the art world.
  4. formalist The use of colour is important in this piece as the dark colours reinstate the seedy and gloomy atmosphere that is present in the painting.

Evaluation of CATS module

30 Apr

During this years module, we have learnt about different theology including: feminism, Marxism and psychoanalysis. We have discussed these topics and looked at various subjects including photos of soldiers to the Madonna super bowl half time show and reflected on them using these topics. We have done this to expand out theoretical perspectives on subjects and to prepare us to write our comparison essay. I found that examining varies media pieces using these perspectives helped me greatly when it came to writing my essay as I was able to look at something and think about what you see but what certain things could represent or convey to the audience. Having looked at different topics from a feminism perspective It has shown me that you can view anything from a feminism view-point which has particularly helped me complete my essay. For my essay, I chose to look at two differing at pieces from a feminism perspective and I think the work we did during the class really helped me compile my essay well. I had some help from Dave during the class about how to produce a good essay and this helped me a lot.

From my last semester I noticed that a weakness of mine was that although I took notes I always forgot to put them on my blog/logbook so when It came to deadline time I had a lot of work I had to copy onto my blog which took me  a lot of time to do so. I have tried to overcome this by putting my notes onto my blog after every CATS lesson, I have found this to be particularly useful to me and stopped me rushing my work. I have tried to be more organised this year and I think Its going well so far, I completed my essay a few weeks before hand in date and I put all my reflections and notes onto my blog. I think the biggest learning problem during this module was time management. As I have a lot of work for other modules to do and some are more urgent than perhaps some of my CATS work I always delayed completed certain work for this module. However, this year I have tried to do my work straight after my lesson so that I don’t forget later on.

I had a lot of problems with Harvard referencing and after having a tutorial with Dave, he advised me on how to Harvard reference properly which I have found very useful when It came to writing the bibliography for my essay. Also I have read many texts on how to reference properly. overall I have liked this module and have found it very useful when it came to completing my essay. I have built upon my earlier knowledge of theory and hopefully this has been shown in my work. Although the subjects we discussed during the class was all different, you could view any of them from any theoretical perspective and produce a valid argument.

Lord Jack Ashley

26 Apr

To compile my log book I was tasked with researching Lord Jack Ashley and his work as a BBC Reporter and his work for the disadvantaged. The URL link below is a short film I watched which severed as a tribute to the late Lord Jack Ashley. It includes interviews and shows him fighting for the disadvantaged. I liked this film as it briefly explains the work he as done throughout his life as a campaigner.

Who was he?

Lord Ashley was a deaf parliamentarian and campaigner for disabled and disadvantaged people. He voted against his own Labour government when he felt disabled people were being unfairly treated. Ashley transformed campaigns into crusades and was the scourge of those who cause disability and unnecessary deaths. Drug companies (relating to the thalidomide tragedy, for instance), the armed forces (bullying and nuclear testing), hospital and prison authorities (“filthy” kitchens) and legal eminences (battered wives) felt the searing impact of Lord Ashley’s relentless zeal to put right what he considered to be injustice.

Hartlepool 1963 documentary

The link above hows the documentary made about the shocking unemployment rate in Hartlepool in 1963. The film details the story about how Hartlepool came from a once prosperous town to having mass unemployment.The mass unemployment in the town mostly affects the labour workers who used to be ship builders. It shows a man who lost his job and now his wife is the sole bread-winner and it shows hat the man doesn’t like this role reversal and neither does his wife. This has connotations about the role of women and stereotypes women as housewives. It shows how unemployment affects not only the unemployed but also business and people working.

Reporting style

I think the reporter sometimes puts words in the interviewees mouth and uses persuasive and leading questions to get the answers that he wants. The reporting style is unethical and I don’t think it would be allowed in modern-day journalism.

General thoughts

Before I researched Lord Jack I didn’t know who he was. After conducting my research I was very impressed by his work for the disadvantaged and the disabled. As a reporter I don’t think he was very good. In my opinion he was unethical and asked misleading questions to get the answers that he wanted.

CATS- Week 5: study skills, research and essay structure

22 Apr

In week 5’s CATS lesson we discussed how our comparison essay should be structured e.g, maximum word count, how much each section should have in refernece to the word count etc. We did this so that we know how to structure our essay properly so that each sections was explored accordingly. We looked at the study skills reuired to produce essay such as being bale to research and reference properly. Also the Hull College librarian visited my class and showed us how to use the hull college library website effectively. He showed us how to find and reserve books online and explained the various sections of the study skills website [available at]

Also we had a discussion about what work we got upto during reading week. During this time I chose my two comparison pieces and mostly finished my comparison essay (I did about 1500 words)

General thoughts

I found this lesson usefull as I learnt how much content should be written in reference to what section of essay. I also was taught how to use the study skills website effectively which is something I have put into practise when producing my essay. I thik I used mtime during reading week effectively by writing the esssay.

CATS- 16th of April

16 Apr

Photo shown of Samantha Brick. From a feminist perception what did I think?

  • Smartly dressed – shows power and money.
  • white background connotes innocence and purity.
  • she’s in the centre of the shot which shows that she is the most important in the frame.
  • It looks like it could be set in a home- signifies the ‘homely’ role that women are supposed to have.
  • She is sitting in an open and inviting position.  Almost like she is inviting the viewer to sit next to her.

45 min long audio shown- Radio 3, Nightwaves


  1. interview with a women who has had cosmetic surgery. Classes herself as a feminist.
  2. Model of the concerned crusader has outlived its time.
  3. Two feminist philosophers are giving interviews.
  4. What is the philosophy of feminism?
  5. Original philosophy of feminism is outdated and relies more on individualism.
  6. The best feminism shows that we are sensitive to the needs of others.
  7. Everyone should have a social conscience.
  8. Modern day feminism is more about capitalism and promoted by university elites.
  9. Not promoted by the average women.
  10. Anti-cuts feminism people impacted by the cuts.
  11. We all agree that everyone deserves to grow up in a world not full of violence and persecution.

Research Barbara Ellen- The observer columnist.

Samantha Brick article ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful’

Available at

What are my thoughts on the article?

I thought that this was a very contradictory article as initially she sounded very proud of her looks then towards the end she went for the sympathy vote and was trying to get the female audience on her side. I thought the article was controversal yet interesting and Its obvious why it caused such an uproar when the audience read it.

How does this effect feminism?

Samantha article bout how women hate her for being pretty effects feminism in a wider context as it deems to judge women as a sexual object. If she produces articles like this it will only further allow men to do the same and judge women according their beauty and sexuality. I don’t think this article is correct about how women view other women and she is only lowering the worth of her own sex by writing such an article. Her article juxtaposes the ideals of feminism and does not convey or represent any connotations of such theology. Her article reinforces ideals of the male gaze as she is judging herself and women according to their beauty.

Unfinished first draft of the comparison essay

22 Mar

Comparison essay- CATS