Terms of Art

Master's Thesis


My work comes from the intersection between my identity as both a practicing Artist and as the United States’ only traditional bell maker. Campanology has, and continues to be, a subject that exists between various disciplines. It has never been fully independent, but subject to multiple perspectives and methods of study. This creates a vast and interconnected network of seemingly different historical objects, icons, ideas, and technologies together. I seek to position these things in certain ways to expose the conditions and political nuances that shape how certain forms of national identity have — or may be — constructed, changed, destroyed, or are otherwise affected. At the same time, this collection of work also renders these objects within the scope of human social activity, and situates these concerns against enlightenment era philosophies as a critique of the west-o-centric Humanist tradition.

Through addressing these relationships, it becomes clear that a sense of one’s national identity is certainly constructed and not congenital. These formative practices act to differentiate people and things according to a variety of cultural and political factors. Moreover, because there is no singular conception of a specific form of national identity, the zones where differing perspectives intersect become multi-layered, plural, and often discordant.

<p>As these factors condition a certain level of identity to exist in regards to the Nation-State, the underlying issue within this subject centers on issue of humanhood: the sate of condition of being human. Or, as Diderot would have it, "Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it."</p>


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04172015-003356

Author Benjamin Sunderlin
Advisor Austin Collins, C.S.C.
Contributor Austin Collins, C.S.C., Committee Chair
Contributor Nicole Woods, Committee Member
Contributor Martin Nguyen, C.S.C., Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History and Design
Degree Name MFA
Defense Date
  • 2015-04-14

Submission Date 2015-04-17
  • United States of America

  • Art

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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