Creativity + Taoism
Course No. HCS 300 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Allen Zimmerman
This interdisciplinary course explores the ground from which, in the Chinese Taoist philosophic view, all great creativity springs. The purpose is two-fold: first, to investigate and achieve an understanding of the Taoist world view through readings of primary texts such as the "Tao Te Ching" and the "Chuangtzu," and selected works from the Ch'an (Zen) tradition. Second, we proceed to examine the Taoist and Ch'an perceptions are applied to and affect the creation of the art object in traditional China, primarily represented by selections from Chinese poetry. Appropriate attention will also be paid to intended relationships between painting and poetry, occurring when poems are inscribed directly on paintings to create an aesthetic whole. Here the notion that "visual" and "literary" experiences are somehow mutually exclusive will be challenged. We read such poets as T'so Ch'ien, Wang Wei, Su Tung-p'o and Han Shan, and we look at paintings by such artists as Mu Ch'i, Mi Fei, Shih T'ao and Ni Tsan. Students are encouraged to connect and contrast Taoist assumptions and themes with their own knowledge and experiences as developing artists. May be applied as Creative Writing Concentration course.
Culture/Conflict/Syncretism in African + African-American Literature
Course No. LLC 441 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Olatubosun Ogunsanwo
This course is primarily concerned with the dialectic of multiculturality and multidimensionality. Africans under colonialism, like most of the Third World at one time or the other, were confronted with the overwhelming encroachment of European/Western/Christian ways of life and thought alien to them. Yet Africa still struggles up till today to preserve its integrity, its intrinsic identity, notably in the form of neotraditionalism. This vortex of cultural interplay in Africa has led to socio- cultural phenomenon described as deracination or “the crisis in the soul” (Achebe) or “triple heritage/cultural accommodation” (Ali Mazrui). In postmodernist terms, it has led to syncretism. The course will also explore analogies from the multidimensional art, mainly from the interchange between visual and literary arts. Fulfills Humanities/Cultural Studies distribution requirement. Creative Writing Concentration course.
Design + Craft in Modern Culture
Course No. ACD 462 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Gary D. Sampson
This course is an introduction to graphic and three-dimensional design from the Industrial Revolution to the present. We will examine modern and contemporary artists, styles, and objects across the design and craft disciplines, including finely crafted furniture and other objects designed for public and private spaces (architectural details and ornamentation, wallpaper, textiles, lamps, kitchenware, etc.); decorative objects such as ceramics, metalwork, and glass; objects of mass production and consumer culture (cars, trains, cameras, corporate and residential furnishings, electronic goods, etc.); art posters, private press books and illustrations, and innovative forms of communication graphics. Special consideration will be given to the social and cultural meanings of objects, issues related to the design and craft fields as professional occupations, and the art historical and theoretical relationships of the various design and craft disciplines beyond medium (material) specific concerns. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
Exhibition Theory + the Culture of Display
Course No. ACD 363X Credits: 3.0
While fundamental theories of exhibition design are applicable to exhibiting art in a variety of public and private places, there are considerations of philosophy and methodology that are unique to this field. This course is designed to give students preparing for careers in the arts an understanding of those philosophies and exposure to the practical techniques that have been proven useful by people in the field. The required text book title suggest that the course will focus on contemporary visual display strategies but consistent applications will be made to explore gallery and museum standards. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
Course No. LLC 392 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Shelley Bloomfield Costa
Fiction is the sustained application of the literary artist's imagination to the observation of life, and writing it well requires a vision of what's true in the story before it ever reaches the page. Fiction Writing provides the student with the opportunity to write short fiction, discuss technique, study master storytellers, and critique one another's work. Some weekly topics in writing technique take up the issues of narrative structure, clear meaning, turning story into plot, scene content and scene break, dialogue, conflict and tension, the power of point of view, the revelation of character, and rewriting. Over the course of the term, students work on three pieces of fiction. Fulfills Humanities/Cultural Studies distribution requirement. Creative Writing Concentration course.
From the Front Row: Cinema + Critical Writing
Course No. HCS 389 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Bruce Checefsky
Does writing about a film mean something different from writing other things? What is cinematic representation? Cinema is a cultural phenomenon but what do we mean when we say such a thing? Is film a language? What is critical theory? The aim of the seminar is to encourage undergraduate students interested in cinema to develop better written and verbal skills within the context of a broader field of cinema studies. Students will debate the essence of cinema and acquire a framework for understanding its formal qualities. In the process, they will learn to experience film as a visual language, explore its similarities to other arts, and analyze its relation to critical dialogue. FROM THE FRONT ROW; Cinema and An Approach to Critical Writing is divided into three sections or thematic discussions with each section intended to follow one another to provide a cumulative sense of the field of study. Some cross-reference is required to initiate debate and discussion. May be applied as Creative Writing Concentration course.
Course No. LLC 419 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Bradley Ricca
Are you fascinated by the graphic novel (or nonfiction)? In this class, we will investigate a variety of ways that texts and images (specifically illustrations and photographs) interact to tell stories: how the visual and the verbal engage and catalyze each other, how they can reflect and inflect, reinforce, strengthen and gesture to each other in compelling, powerful and meaningful ways. To this end, the class will examine and practice different methods used in telling both personal and fictional stories. The course will also involve working at understanding different ways that graphic narratives have been, and may be, theorized. Assignments will include critical responses to our readings and a creative project involving an integration of writing and visual media. Primary readings are likely to include, but are not limited to, work by: Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi, Alan Moore, Craig Thompson, and others. Films we watch may include Spirited Away, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, and Rashomon. Fulfills Humanities/Cultural Studies distribution requirement. Creative Writing Concentration course or Visual Culture Emphasis course.
History of Photography Survey
Course No. ACD 348 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Nancy McEntee
This is a photo historical survey course. Lectures present leading photographers and the history of photography from its earliest beginnings through the present within a context of cultural, art historical, social and political trends. Students develop skills in critical thinking, writing and research through lectures, group discussions, reading and writing assignments along with the production of a comprehensive research paper. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Offered fall.
Gary D. Sampson
Professor of Art + Design History/Chair of Liberal Arts
Gary Sampson teaches art and design history and theory at the Institute. He is also adjunct in art history and...more
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