Keys to the House

Samuel Pittman : Interdisciplinary Studies Field Program, Creative Writing and Disability Studies (minor)

Mentor: Professor Hertha Sweet Wong, English

In recent decades, artists and writers have created self-narrations that deliberately thwart the conventions of autobiography and question even the most contemporary conceptions of the self and self-representation. Inspired by these works, as his ISF honors thesis Sam will create an autobiographical installation entitled “Parthenogenesis,” a term meaning ‘asexual reproduction,’ which refers here to effectively creating oneself due to the difficulty of remembering one’s past in light of both having very few photographic mnemonics, as well as having faced numerous hardships during childhood which may have caused memory-blocks. In his ‘visual autobiography,’ Sam will write poems and short prose pieces, and will present these with childhood photographs, poems he wrote as a child, and current posed photographs to explore the divisions between image and text, poetry and prose, memory and fantasy.