Gould Center for Humanistic Studies

About Gould Center for Humanistic Studies

The Gould Center for Humanistic Studies enhances CMC's mission to educate leading minds by providing opportunities for research, study, and experience in art, literature, history, philosophy and other fields as a means to understand and develop the power and use of the imagination.


Gould Creative Works Fellow

May 2019 - September 2019 Jakarta, Indonesia
“I embarked on my CWF project with the thought to compare and contrast the differences between the “East” and “West,” in terms of their attitudes on life, love, and identity. The questions I initially thought to answer revolved around this framework: why is there such a dichotomy between these “worlds”? What to do when we are “caught in the middle” of these two influences? After a few weeks of reading some contemporary literature, a little history, and several museum visits, I started believing that there were more similarities than differences between the two “spheres.” Drawing on my personal experiences to kick-start the reflection journey, I realized that there were quite a number of similar themes that I found throughout my inquiry. Reflecting on topics of social pressures and standards, family dynamics and expectations, I started recognizing that these challenges come in different forms in different cultures. Ultimately, however, they exist. At the end, I suppose the overarching question I was trying to answer through my project was “what is the universality in the human experience”? In thinking about this question, I had to be careful to not overgeneralize and make broad sweeping statements. It took a bit for me to better refine the specific topic areas and questions to guide the project. Since I began my reflections primarily based on personal experience, I had to consistently ask myself which parts of these experiences were more “universal” and tease out the broader ideas that I was trying to explore. After deciding on the topic, I had to further distill the essence of what I am trying to say about those specific topics, and what is it that I want to convey through text and which parts of the nuances can I leave for the art to communicate.”
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