My name is Jake Tolan. I’m a senior in the college majoring in Philosophy. In particular, I’m pursuing queer philosophy with emphasis on philosophy of language and philosophy of art. What that translates to is a lot of work on labels within the queer community and queer aesthetics. I have a thing for live art, and so I’ve done a lot of work looking at queered theatre productions and the different and effects and implications of those choices, but film presents different issues because it’s usually considered a once and done art form that has some amount of independence from the effects of time. Well, part of my work has been denying the concept of atemporal artwork, but regardless, that’s the perception.
If you can’t guess, the queer aspect of this class is super important to me. I am the former vice-chair of political affairs for the Lambda Alliance here at Penn. I’ve also just finished applying to grad schools in order to pursue queer philosophy, and basically want to make a career out of tackling queer issues analytically, and then writing about that, and then telling college kids what I wrote. Because I study philosophy of art and how it pertains to queerness, being able to study the arts themselves, especially under a queer lens and by people who do nothing but think about that particular medium all day, erryday can be super beneficial to my understanding of the mediums and how queerness has affected them.
Beyond that, though, I’m basically a hasbian and I want to have a good time. I’m a second semester senior who has already completed all of his major and sectional requirements. None of the classes I’m taking this semester are vitally important to me, so I want to take classes that I want to take. This class in particular, is an excuse to continue studying queerness, which I love, and watch a bunch of movies, which I also love. Seems like a win-win to me.
So, I guess what I want to learn from the class is two-fold. The first is a more explicit dive into queering cinema, in both the sense that classic movies will be viewed under a feminist or queer lens and in the sense that new movies will be created with the intent of being queer or feminist from the get-go. I think that the social aspect of movies is often something that I don’t think about, as well. It’s not usually considered significant to the genre, I believe, so the emphasis by comparison on that could prove interesting.
That’s basically where I’m at then. Look forward to the class. 🙂