Big Ideas 3/20

  1. Visual knowing is a knowing in relationship—relationships of movement. The eyes constantly move, discerning depth. Marks across a surface create contours and define relationships of interiority and exteriority and of impressions between marks, viewers, situations. These impressions are a seeing, but a seeing this is always a seeing like that. We see from vantage points that can vary, but are always creating gaps even as they create new relationships (Sousanis, p. 72-74, 150). [TP]

Big Ideas: 3/20

We understand new concepts by drawing on what we already know, so this new knowledge is constructed by bringing together the similar and dissimilar. This visual process allows us to draw connections through many different, subjective views. Therefore, we constantly create perception, which is invaluable to thought. These multiple thoughts and perceptions provide us with multidimensional sight; thus, a good seer is a good thinker (Sousanis 81-82). [HD]

Stop-Write 2/13

Dillard describes her failing drawing compared to her family’s successful portrayals as a lack of being able to see the “artificial obvious.”  She explains that “The point is that I just don’t know what the lover knows; I just can’t see the artificial obvious that those in the know construct” (Dillard 3). Her family seems to understand the artificial obvious, whereas she was unable to identify it while drawing her “lame” horse.
What is the artificial obvious? How does one recognize or construct it on a daily basis?

Bibliography 2/13

Anderson, J. (2015). Understanding cultural geography: places and traces. New York, NY: Routledge.

While searching Google Scholar for citations of Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I found Anderson’s book, Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces. Anderson’s work discusses the intersections of place, identity, culture, and power. The book examines how individuals experience and understand space through their cultural identities. [LW]

Casebeer, D. (2016). Border Crossings and (Re) crossings: The Post-representational Turn in Social Cartography (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

I found this dissertation while searching Google Scholar for those books and articles that cite Drucker. In his dissertation, Casebeer discusses the implications of mapping places and space. He examines the culture of cartography and discusses new methods of cartography pedagogy that teach the ways in which societies create knowledge in relation to space. [LW]

Eisner, E. (2008). Art and knowledge. Handbook of the arts in qualitative research, 3-12. Retrieved from

I found Eisner’s chapter while searching Google Scholar for citations of Dillard’s book. In this chapter, Eisner examines individual and cultural perceptions and the ways in which such perceptions influence knowledge. Eisner also explores ideas of familiarity and strangeness, and how these ideas influence knowledge construction. [LW]

Jackson, P. W. (2000). John Dewey and the lessons of art. Yale University Press.

I found Jackson’s book, John Dewey and the Lessons of Art, when searching for citations of Dillard’s book in Google Scholar. Jackson examines human experience, particularly, the ways in which humans experience art. In his book, Jackson examines an influential work from the 1930s, and studies the contemporary examination of culture, experience, art, and nature. [LW]


Murphy, P. D. (2009). Ecocritical Explorations in Literary and Cultural Studies: Fences, Boundaries, and Fields. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books.

I also found this book while searching Google Scholar for those books and articles that cite Dillard. Murphy’s collection discusses the ethical implications of cultural definitions of place. Murphy examines the ways in which place and space is represented in literature, and troubles these usages in his discussion. [LW]


Big Ideas (2/13)

Perception is something we come to individually, but we need to be mindful as we progress through life. Though what we expect and/or wish to see might not always be accurate, we still need to look, perceive, and explore reality’s potential. Annie Dillard discusses several examples of the perception of newly sighted people and the struggles they face when tasked with seeing for the first time. Some of the participants chose self-imposed blindness over actually seeing. As such, perception doesn’t easily change in our society, but if we spend time in the mindful, our abstractions can become somewhat clearer. [MAP]